A Missouri Senate committee considered two bills yesterday that could pave the way for a nuclear power plant in Callaway County.
As mentioned in the previous post, the sticking point between Sen. Jason Crowell’s [right] bill and Sen. Mike Kehoe’s legislation is whether to provide a ratepayer-fueled funding stream for the Office of Public Counsel. That’s the entity that represents consumers and the public in front of Missouri Public Service Commission.
Here’s more from my article in the St. Louis Beacon:
Consumer groups, big corporations and Senate President Pro Tem Rob Mayer, R-Dexter, endorsed Crowell’s bill. But that measure received a chilly reception from utility company representatives; they support legislation by Sen. Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City, which does not include a funding for the public counsel.
Crowell said earlier this month that keeping that agency well-funded could be beneficial for consumers. He repeated that message after presiding over a six-and-half hour hearing over the issue.
"Most of the people who were for [Kehoe’s bill] don’t pay Ameren rates," Crowell said. "Most of the people with concerns over the bill pay Ameren rates. That’s what it boils down to."
Representatives from environmental groups rejected both bills, saying that it would give Ameren a “foot in the door” to come back and have ratepayers fund the cost of a nuclear plant.