Missouri lawmakers consider how to fund power plants

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. | Missouri lawmakers are considering allowing utilities to charge customers for the financing cost of constructing new electrical power plants.

The debate has been triggered by St. Louis-based AmerenUE’s application to build a second mid-Missouri nuclear reactor.

It pits consumer activists and environmentalists, who believe customers shouldn’t be billed until new plants come online, against utilities, who contend that billion-dollar facilities aren’t affordable without recouping costs as the plants are built.

Sen. Delbert Scott, a Republican from Lowry City, filed a bill Thursday that he said would cover some construction expenses for nuclear and renewable energy sources like wind and solar.

In the House, Republican Ed Emery, of Lamar, plans to file similar legislation within the next 10 days.