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Letter to the Editor: No to Ameren 'construction work in progress' plan

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Despite the so-called facts detailed in the letter from Tom Voss, AmerenUE president and CEO, that was sent to the company's customers recently, I am one consumer who is buying neither the rhetoric nor rationale for supporting the so-called "construction work in progress" (CWIP) legislation. Mr. Voss calls support for the proposed Clean and Renewable Energy Act "forward thinking" and refers to it as a "pay-as-you-go" method. That is what prompts the pinched nerve. AmerenUE will not be on the hook for paying as power plants are built without producing any electricity. The consumer will pay. Opposition to such a payment structure flies in the face of the anti-CWIP law that was passed 30 years ago when consumers said no to charges for costs related to a plant not yet operational.

While I thank Mr. Voss for his letter (it was noted at the bottom that it was not sent at the expense of customers), I want him to know that I am also not in favor of building a plant at the expense of the customer. No monopoly should be allowed to earn returns when its customers, not its shareholders, are actually financing the plant. I vote no on CWIP and hope that our General Assembly follows suit. In these hard economic times, it is grossly unrealistic to believe consumer can -- and would -- want to pay for something without the ability to reap the benefits.

ILENA ASLIN, Cape Girardeau