Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Your Views - Letters from Our Readers; Opinion

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Your Views - Letters from Our Readers; Opinion

Article excerpt

Noranda aims to shift costs to Ameren's other customers

The story "Ameren accused of overearning by $44 million" (March 26) repeats meritless charges from Noranda and oversimplifies a complex issue. It's all part of Noranda's strategy to get Ameren Missouri's other customers to pay more for their electricity just so Noranda can avoid paying its fair share.

The Noranda press release, and its erroneous conclusion, was based on documents from the Missouri Public Service Commission that Ameren Missouri had encouraged be made public to show there is nothing to hide. It's important to understand that these documents are not suitable for determining if rates are too high, too low or just right the data provide no information on Ameren's cost of service and other factors necessary to determine rates. It's a part of the puzzle, but it's only one piece.

Just a little more than a year ago, the Missouri Public Service Commission completed, with input from more than a dozen other parties, a thorough review of our books in setting the rates we currently have in place. Late last year we announced the need to file a rate case in the second half of this year. As part of this process, we'll again open our books for inspection by independent experts.

This rate case is being driven by more than $1 billion of investments in key infrastructure, renewable energy and environmental projects that will lead to cleaner air. Ameren Missouri is committed to providing our customers with reliable and cleaner energy while keeping rates competitive, which is one reason why our rates are 24 percent below the national average.

Noranda wants to change that by shifting their costs away from their corporation and onto Ameren Missouri's other customers. The earnings complaint is totally without merit, and a distraction to draw attention away from their rate shift filing.

Ken Varel * St. Louis

Director, regulatory strategy, Ameren Missouri

Expand Medicaid, because Missouri deserves better

When a state senator (John Lamping of Ladue) dismisses calls for Medicaid expansion and brushes aside expansion supporters by telling us to "find something else to do," it is difficult to find a polite response ("The Obamacare monster," March 26). Women's Voices Raised for Social Justice is an all-volunteer, multi-issue organization; we have to make hard decisions on where to expend our efforts. Because of the recalcitrant attitudes of legislators like John Lamping, our state has endangered the health and well-being of the most vulnerable in our state. We have therefore chosen to work on issues protecting children from gun violence and providing health care for the neediest in our communities. Sen. Lamping take note, "Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned."

While Sen. …

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