Missouri environmental lobbyist joins in efforts to repeal utility law

Friday, January 23, 2009 | 1:11 p.m. CST; updated 1:41 p.m. CST, Friday, January 23, 2009

ST. LOUIS — A top environmental lobbyist is joining forces with utilities trying repeal a 1976 Missouri law that bars charging electric customers for power plants under construction.

The debate over the law is triggered by St. Louis-based AmerenUE's application to build a second mid-Missouri nuclear reactor.

It pits consumer activists and environmentalists against utilities. The environmentalists and activists think customers shouldn't be billed until new plants come online. Utilities say they can't afford to build billion-dollar facilities without recouping costs as the plants are built.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Friday that Irl Scissors told the Missouri Conservation and Environment Alliance, which he has represented, that he plans to help repeal the law. Scissors, in a Jan. 14 e-mail, said he doesn't think it's "viable" to stop the repeal.


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