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Tom (Yusha) Sager
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Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Testimony before the Missouri State Senate Against SB228 (Construction Work In Progress)


(Construction Work In Progress)
February 10, 2009

Re: Please vote NO on construction work in progress

Dear Members of the Senate Commerce, Consumer Protection, Energy and the Environment Committee, Members of the House Utilities Committee, Senator Frank Barnitz, Representative Dr. Dan Brown

Please vote AGAINST SB 228, HB 554 and all other bills which repeal the prohibition on utilities charging ratepayers for construction work in progress (CWIP). Reasons for voting down these bills are numerous. Here are a few:

1. CWIP is contrary to the will of the voters

In 1976 the voters passed an initiative petition by a wide two to one margin prohibiting utilities from charging ratepayers for CWIP. It would be grossly disrespectful and unfair to those who elected you to office, to repeal what the people voted in favor of by such a wide margin.

2. Missouri wants and needs renewable energy

In November 2008, the people passed the initiative petition known as proposition C by a two to one margin, thereby saying that they want to see Missouri "go green." They want clean windmills, solar panels, biogas plants and other forms of renewable energy; not more dirty, expensive or dangerous coal or nuclear facilities.

3. CWIP rewards bad management

CWIP would reward utilities for poor management. Utilities could spend, spend and spend and charge it to the ratepayers. This is what we have seen in the banking and auto industries: poor fiscal management under the (unfortunately correct) assumption that the taxpayers will continue to pay and pay for management's mistakes and excesses. This policy has left Missouri financially strapped to the point where it now has to cut basic services such as education. It is time to say NO to more "corporate welfare." It is time to say no CWIP.

4. AmerenUE has already experienced catastrophic failure

Recently, through faulty construction and operation errors, the dam at Ameren's Profitt Mountain pump-storage facility failed causing an environmental catastrophe. Would you trust a corporation with a record like this to construct and run a nuclear plant?

5. Financial speculation in times of economic hardship is poor policy.

Finally, Missourians are losing their homes and jobs in unprecedented numbers. The people have no money left to pay for another corporate boondoggle from which they may never receive a single Kilowatt-hour of power.

For these and other reasons, any bill that repeals any part of the No CWIP initiative of 1976 should be voted down.

Thank you for your consideration.

Yours sincerely,

Tom Sager