Jeffrey Tomich posted an excellent editorial at the Post Dispatch today about the Ameren request for a rate hike.
Beautifully stated, and an excellent source for testimony at the hearings! I am hoping many customers of Ameren will be able & willing to attend despite or because of the heat and drought which are so record breaking they astonish me day after day. Maybe you yourself feel this way too: we are going to be paying higher air conditioning use bills for awhile to come. So their profits are likely to increase by default of the climate change.
On top of that, though, as Sarah Edgar explained to me while working with the local Sierra Club in St. Louis, coal is the dirtiest possible fossil fuel and the prices for it are going up. She is representing Beyond Coal, which works to retire coal fired energy plants. Not only are the coal prices up, but the cost of containment as decided by the EPA, also increases total costs. This method is no longer viable as a choice for other reasons too, especially the health risks, which are known to be worse in more recent years since the coal is not of the same quality as it was half a century or more ago. Other organizations, like AARP, also oppose the use of coal fired plants because many of their members, about 37%, have medical needs that include devices that use electricity. Of course our elderly population is also extremely vulnerable to air pollution. And they certainly need cooling during months like these.
Meanwhile sustainable sources of energy are quite readily substituted for the ancient carbon based fuels. In fact wind farms are already in existence in Northwest Missouri. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/13/a-wind-boom-in-missouri/
So I myself am planning to testify at the hearing held here in my new hometown Mexico in August, and I will see if I can show up elsewhere just to attend as an audience member. Hoping to see a lot of you turning out to participate in Missouri governance as well.