LETTER: Ameren's request for rate increase is unfair

Wednesday, December 17, 2008 | 10:00 a.m. CST; updated 11:09 a.m. CST, Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Missourians voted overwhelmingly to enact a consumer protection law against unfair and unnecessary charges for power plants before they are built. AmerenUE is now calling for the repeal of that ban in order to raise rates to finance a massive and very expensive plant that will take nearly a decade to build and might never be completed.

Construction Work in Progress (CWIP) charges transfer risk from investors to the ratepayers. AmerenUE Chief Executive Thomas Voss told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (June 9) that they would not build Callaway 2 without CWIP.

"We just couldn't do it," he told the Post-Dispatch. "The risk would be too great. We don't think people would lend us the money. We don't think our board of directors would approve it. And we don't think our stockholders would think it's prudent." 

If a major investment is not prudent for the owners, how can it be for the ratepayer? AmerenUE can invest most cost-effectively in efficiency improvements and renewable sources of electricity, especially wind power. These projects can be brought on line incrementally in a matter of months and meet our energy needs and save us all money.

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