ST. LOUIS, June 8 /PRNewswire/ -- AmerenUE announced the company regrets today's action by the staff of the Missouri Public Service Commission. Thomas R. Voss, AmerenUE president and chief executive officer, calls today's action "shocking."
"This request for a hearing is based solely on a newspaper report -- a report that has been discredited and shown to be inaccurate," Voss says.
The filing acknowledges that the staff is reacting to a report from Chris Leonard, of the Associated Press. In his article of June 4, Leonard wrote that AmerenUE had failed to cooperate in the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) investigation and that the company had failed to answer critical questions.
In fact, AmerenUE did provide answers to precisely those questions more than a year ago. The response is even included in the official highway patrol report released this week. Lt. Col. Richard Coffey, of the highway patrol, confirmed yesterday that AmerenUE has been fully cooperative and responsive. AmerenUE officials also learned from the highway patrol that the MSHP told Leonard that the MSHP report he used as the basis of his article was incomplete and did not accurately reflect AmerenUE's cooperation.
Voss further stated that he hopes the docket will not be opened as he believes it will set back progress on all the issues surrounding the disaster. "Rehashing these issues could well delay our efforts to reach a unified settlement with the state and delay the rebuilding of the Taum Sauk Plant, as well as the restoration of Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park. AmerenUE is ready to move ahead, and we hope this baseless filing will be dismissed."
AmerenUE is a subsidiary of St. Louis-based Ameren Corporation. Ameren companies serve 2.4 million electric customers and one million natural gas customers in a 64,000-square-mile area of Missouri and Illinois.
Built in 1963, AmerenUE's Taum Sauk is a "pumped-storage" hydroelectric plant. It stored water from the Black River in an upper reservoir, built atop 1,590-foot-high Proffit Mountain, and released the water to generate electricity when power was needed. The water flowed down a mile-long tunnel inside the mountain, turning turbine-generators to produce electricity. When power demand was low, the same turbines ran in reverse to pump water back to the upper reservoir.
On December 14, 2005, the AmerenUE Taum Sauk Plant experienced a breach in its 1.5 billion-gallon upper reservoir that caused flooding in the Johnson's Shut-Ins area.
CONTACT: Susan Gallagher, +1-314-554-2175, for AmerenUE