No, I Will Not Pay for Your Nuclear Plant
Did you know AmerenUE isn’t allowed to raise its rates to finance future construction projects? More specifically, if a customer is not gaining utility from a project that is currently in the works, Ameren is not allowed to raise that customer’s rates to pay for the construction work in progress (CWIP). Seems like a fair law to me. I don’t want to have to pay for something I’m not using, and, more importantly, something I don’t necessarily want. And, yet, that is what Ameren is trying to do in Callaway County.
Callaway County is the home to one Ameren nuclear plant, and could possibly be the home of a second. If Ameren gets its way, the current law that prohibiting it from charging for CWIPs would be repealed, and current customers would have to finance the second Callaway County nuclear plant. Already, Ameren is trying to pass the $46 million filing fee price tag onto customers. That’s right: $46 million. For a filing fee.
Now, this isn’t the first time these shenanigans have popped up. Ameren tried to get rid of this law back in ’82, but was unsuccessful. Isn’t this the type of law that keeps Ameren a nice, friendly monopoly rather than the scary, bags-o-money, monocle-wearing Mr. Monopoly?
Ameren claims that unless it is allowed to charge customers for construction as it goes, it will not be able to afford the plant and meet the demand for electricity.
What really bugs me is this: If Ameren is claiming it will have to charge us for plants not even in operation, how is it going to finance 15-percent renewable energy by 2021 if Proposition C passes? Perhaps in this current volatile economy, a multibillion dollar nuclear plant — or, for that matter, a massive renewable energy standard — isn’t in the state’s best interest.