Electric company leaders in favor of bill allowing them to charge more on utility bills
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Electric company leaders in favor of bill allowing them to charge more on utility bills

Date: February 27, 2013
By: Taylor Beck
State Capitol Bureau
Links: HB398

Intro: 
The leader of Missouri's largest utility company traveled through winter weather to urge lawmakers to pass a bill which would make it easier for companies to jack up electricity bills at a House Utility Committee hearing Wednesday.
RunTime:  0:43
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: Officials from the largest utility companies in Missouri, including Ameren Missouri, spoke in favor of the bill which would add a surcharge to your utility bill to help pay for infrastructure improvements.

Ameren's President Warner Baxter says it would create jobs and improve service reliability.

Actuality:  AMEREN.WAV
Run Time:  00:12
Description: "as providers of a service which is so critical to not just our every day lives but certainly businesses as well as the economic future here in the state of Missouri, we need to keep up our investment."

But Republican Representative Todd Richardson said he thinks the companies have been reliable enough, and he wants to see a more concrete argument for infrastructure improvements.

Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Taylor Beck.

Intro: 
Opponents of a bill which would increase your monthly electric bill say it lets companies avoid government oversight at a House Utilities Committee hearing Wednesday.
RunTime:  0:49
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: Currently, to raise rates to pay for infrastructure improvements and other additional costs companies must submit a request through the Missouri Public Service Commission...which can take a while.

But the proposed bill would give utility companies the power to add a surcharge on monthly utility bills right away to fund infrastructure updates.   

Chairman of the Missouri Industrial Energy Consumers, Steve Spinner, represents companies like Monsanto and Anheuser Busch.

He says the bill gives too much power to the utility companies.

Actuality:  SPINNER.WAV
Run Time:  00:05
Description: "They remove the incentive to operate the entire organization as efficiently and cost effectively as possible."
 
Supporters say getting rid of the lag it takes to increase rates could possibly increase companies' credit ratings and thus make utilities cheaper for consumers in the long run.
 
Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Taylor Beck.

Intro: 
A bill which would make it easier for utility companies to jack up electricity bills met opposition from lawmakers at a House Utility Committee hearing Wednesday.
RunTime:  0:32
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: The bill would allow utility companies to tack on a surcharge to your monthly electricity bill to pay for infrastructure improvements.

But Representative Todd Richardson said he needs to see more concrete evidence of a necessity for those improvements.

Actuality:  RCHRDSN2.WAV
Run Time:  00:5
Description: "In the absence of a problem, I'm not sure why we're finding a solution."

President of Ameren Missouri Warner Baxter said Missouri is behind the rest of the country when it comes to infrastructure and these updates are necessary.

Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Taylor Beck.


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