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Columbia Missourian

Missouri House committee approves power plant legislation

By The Associated Press
March 3, 2009 | 3:59 p.m. CST

JEFFERSON CITY — A Missouri House committee added a few consumer protections before approving legislation designed to help AmerenUE build a second nuclear power plant in Callaway County.

The legislation amended Tuesday by a House committee would allow utilities to charge electric customers for interest costs while power plants are being built. A 1976 law requires utilities to wait until a facility is online before recouping construction costs from customers.

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St. Louis-based AmerenUE has applied for a federal permit to build a second reactor. The utility says the 1976 law must be changed to pay for a multi-billion dollar project.

The changes to the legislation are designed to add several consumer protections, such as giving state regulators six months instead of three months to review requests from utilities seeking to recover construction costs.