ST. LOUIS, Dec. 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Ameren Corporation (NYSE: AEE) today published a comprehensive report of the corporation's actions and policy position on climate change in a report titled "Stewardship -- Balancing the Needs of Our Environment, Our Customers and Our Economy." Completed under the direction of Ameren senior management and the corporation's board of directors, the report can be found at http://www.ameren.com/EnvReport.
The report details how Ameren companies have worked over the past two decades to reduce sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions in advance of regulatory mandates and how Ameren intends to address greenhouse gas (principally carbon dioxide -- CO2) emissions. The report includes an assessment of technology options available today and in development to reduce CO2.
Based on an extensive, third-party analysis commissioned by Ameren, the report presents the corporation's position on greenhouse gas policy proposals and their potential impact on customers and the economy.
"Ameren firmly supports mandates that will result in meaningful reductions in CO2," says Gary Rainwater, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Ameren Corporation. "However, effective climate policy must balance the benefits to the environment against the potential for significant damage to the economy in the Midwest and throughout the nation."
The analysis shows that under some policy scenarios being considered, household costs could rise significantly and rates for electricity could double by 2030. The burden could fall particularly hard on electricity consumers and the Midwest economy because of the region's reliance today on electricity generated by coal-fired power plants.
"There is no 'silver bullet' for reducing greenhouse gas emissions," Rainwater says. "With this report we outline a portfolio of approaches we are taking now, and expect to be able to take, to address greenhouse gas emissions."
The report describes the process Ameren companies employ to determine how best to meet the growing demand for electricity at affordable rates, while complying with existing or new environmental requirements to reduce emissions. It points to Ameren's decision to defer construction of coal-fired generating plants, promote energy efficiency and develop renewable energy as key pieces of its environmental and generation strategies. Ameren companies are investing tens of millions of dollars annually to provide programs to help customers manage and reduce electricity consumption and to develop renewable resources -- both important steps in reducing the region's carbon footprint.
Finally, the report cites Ameren's position that any federal climate legislation must include reductions for all greenhouse gas sources, be global in approach and recognize the significant economic impact reducing CO2 will have on consumers and businesses. The report calls for making compliance timelines for reducing CO2 consistent with the deployment of technologies that are still under development.
"We are committed to being active participants in the climate policy debate. The outcome is critical for our customers, our region and our shareholders," Rainwater said. "This report is another step in our dialogue with our various stakeholders about our environmental plans and performance."
Comments on the report should be sent to Ameren Corporation, P. O. Box 66149, MC 1500, St. Louis, MO, 63166-6149 or via email to email@example.com.
Statements in this release not based on historical facts are considered "forward-looking" and, accordingly, involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed. Although such forward-looking statements have been made in good faith and are based on reasonable assumptions, there is no assurance that the expected results will be achieved. These statements include (without limitation) statements as to future expectations, beliefs, plans, strategies, objectives, events, conditions and financial performance. In connection with the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, we are providing this cautionary statement to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated.
The following factors, in addition to those discussed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, could cause actual results to differ materially from management expectations as suggested by such forward-looking statements:
-- Regulatory or legislative actions, including changes in regulatory policies and rate-making determinations, such as the outcome of pending AmerenCIPS, AmerenCILCO and AmerenIP rate proceedings or future legislative actions that seek to limit rate increases. -- Uncertainty as to the implementation of the Illinois electric settlement agreement on Ameren and our Illinois utilities and generating companies, including in respect of the new power procurement process in Illinois for 2008 and 2009. -- Changes in laws and other governmental actions, including monetary and fiscal policies. -- The effects of increased competition in the future caused by, among other things, deregulation of certain aspects of our business at both the state and federal levels and the implementation of deregulation, such as occurred when the electric rate freeze and power supply contracts expired in Illinois at the end of 2006. -- The effects of participation in the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator. -- The availability of fuel such as coal, natural gas and enriched uranium used to produce electricity; the availability of purchased power and natural gas for distribution; and the level and volatility of future market prices for such commodities, including the ability to recover the costs for such commodities. -- The effectiveness of our risk management strategies and the use of financial and derivative instruments. -- Prices for power in the Midwest. -- Business and economic conditions, including their impact on interest rates. -- Disruptions of the capital markets or other events that make access to necessary capital more difficult or costly. -- The impact of the adoption of new accounting standards and the application of appropriate technical accounting rules and guidance. -- Actions of credit rating agencies and the effects of such actions. -- Weather conditions and other natural phenomena. -- The impact of system outages caused by severe weather conditions or other events. -- Generation plant construction, installation and performance, including costs associated with AmerenUE's Taum Sauk pumped-storage hydroelectric plant incident and the plant's future operation. -- Recoverability through insurance of costs associated with AmerenUE's Taum Sauk pumped-storage hydroelectric plant incident. -- Operation of AmerenUE's nuclear power facility, including planned and unplanned outages, and decommissioning costs. -- The effects of strategic initiatives, including acquisitions and divestitures. -- The impact of current environmental regulations on utilities and power-generating companies and the expectation that more stringent requirements, including those related to greenhouse gases, will be introduced over time, which could have a negative financial effect. -- Labor disputes, future wage and employee benefits costs, including changes in returns on benefit plan assets. -- The inability of our counterparties and affiliates to meet their obligations with respect to contracts and financial instruments. -- The cost and availability of transmission capacity for the energy generated or required to satisfy energy sales. -- Legal and administrative proceedings. -- Acts of sabotage, war, terrorism or intentionally disruptive acts.
Given these uncertainties, undue reliance should not be placed on these forward-looking statements. Except to the extent required by the federal securities laws, we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect new information, future events or otherwise.
SOURCE: Ameren Corporation
CONTACT: investors, Bruce Steinke, +1-314-554-2574, or media, Susan
Gallagher, +1-314-554-2175, both of Ameren Corporation
Web site: http://www.ameren.com/