The Senate Commerce Committee spends additional time hearing testimony on legislation to allow electric utilities to charge ratepayers for the costs of facilities while they are still under construction. This latest hearing on the Construction Work in Progress (CWIP) legislation – SB 228 – gave the panel a chance to get input from members of the Public Service Commission.
PSC Commissioner Jeff Davis did not take a position on whether AmerenUE – the state’s largest utility – should have the authority to build a second nuclear power plant in Callaway County and charge ratepayers during the construction process. But he says nothing will happen under the current law.
"Should we build a nuclear power plant?" asked Davis. "I have no idea. But if you don’t change the law I don’t think we can even honestly consider it."
Much testimony heard in previous hearings has focused on the issue of the safety of nuclear power. Commissioner Kevin Gunn says that is not the issue that is before the state at this time.
"We need to focus more on the impact of CWIP on the ratepayers rather than the safety and reliability of nuclear power," testified Gunn. "Missouri’s used nuclear power in the state for more than twenty years – safely and reliably – and there’s nothing in the record to make me believe that that wouldn’t continue for the next twenty years."
This latest Senate hearing on CWIP ended with no vote being taken.