Quitting CWIP
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Quitting CWIP

Date: April 23, 2009
By: Elizabeth Billingsley
State Capitol Bureau

Intro: AmerenUE's announcement that it won't build a Callaway 2 nuclear power plant met with disappointment. RunTime:2:24
OutCue: SOC

The state's largest energy provider has asked the Missouri Senate to cease its efforts to pass a bill that would have allowed financing costs for a new nuclear power plant to be passed to customers.

AmerenUE spokesman Mike Cleary says it cannot build a second power plant and has suspended its efforts to do so. 

Actuality:  CLEARY.WAV
Run Time: 00:12
Description: "You never say never.  I mean conceivably something could happen at some point in the future that could impact that.  We're not ruling it out for all time that we might not build another nuclear plant someday."

Cleary says it's now up to someone else to develop another nuclear plant in Missouri.

Senator Delbert Scott sponsored the bill.

He tried to salvage it during closed-door negotiations with AmerenUE and opposition groups, including large industrial consumers and residential customers.

Ameren says the negotiations failed because financing for construction work in progress or CWIP was being stripped from the legislation.

Actuality:  CLEARY3.WAV
Run Time: 00:15
Description: "There didn't seem to be any opportunity for compromises that would restore what we considered to be essential in that bill. So we had no choice, really, than to ask the sponsors to withdraw the bill from consideration."

Opponents of the bill had similar complaints.

John Coffman represents the AARP and the Consumers Council of Missouri.

He says each opposition group made significant offers of compromise, but AmerenUE did not.

Actuality:  COFFMAN3.WAV
Run Time: 00:27
Description: "My first thought was they're proposing this terrible bill with dozens of anti-consumer provisions in hopes that by the end of session the bill would merely repeal the will of the voters in the CWIP statute, and they're hoping that everyone would breathe a sigh of relief. But at every stage of this whole thing, they've insisted that they get virtually everything that they ask for."

Coffman says AmerenUE was uncompromising during negotiations.
 
Asked if he might raise the issue next session, Scott joked.
 
Actuality:  SCOTT2.WAV
Run Time: 00:06
Description: "I have lots of opportunities for fun.  Introducing another bill like this, that's probably more fun than I can stand."

Senator Kurt Schaefer revised the bill in committee.
 
He says he's disappointed because he thinks the bill was the right thing to do for Missouri.
 
Actuality:  SCHAEF4.WAV
Run Time: 00:03
Description: "I'd be happy to discuss it again if it comes up."
For now, many agree only that Missourians need to develop a plan for its long-term energy needs.
 
From the State Capitol, I'm Elizabeth Billingsley.


 
Intro: Failed negotiations leads AmerenUE to halt efforts to build a second nuclear power plant in Missouri. RunTime:0:40
OutCue: SOC

AmerenUE pulled the plug on negotiations that would have allowed the company to pass financing costs for a second nuclear power plant to customers.

The state's largest energy provider says it cannot build another nuclear plant under the current conditions.

Senator Kurt Schaefer took a leading role in drafting the legislation.

 

Actuality:  SCHAEF7.WAV
Run Time: 00:14
Description:"The timing was such that I think that a lot of parties knew that they could run out the clock.  So I think it would have been helpful to see the bill a little earlier in the process and maybe we could have gotten some more negotiation out of it but at this point it's just too late in the session."

Schaefer says it's a long term issue that he hopes will come up again.

From the State Capitol, I'm Elizabeth Billingsley.


Intro: AmerenUE announced it has suspended efforts to build a second nuclear power plant in Missouri. RunTime:0:36
OutCue: SOC

The state's largest energy provider asked lawmakers to cease efforts that would have allowed the company to pass financing costs for a nuclear power plant to customers.

Senator Delbert Scott tried to save the bill he sponsored during closed-door negotiations with AmerenUE and opposition groups. 

Actuality:  SCOTT3.WAV
Run Time: 00:10
Description: "I'm disappointed that we didn't get it done.  I think it will have a great impact on Missourians in many, many years to come, particularly if the federal government does the energy tax."

AmerenUE and opponents to the bill blamed each other for being uncompromising during negotiations.

From the State Capitol, I'm Elizabeth Billingsley.