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Unedited: Libla on Rone’s amendment

From Sen. Doug Libla

Yesterday afternoon the Missouri Senate had on the floor for debate legislation that would help the New Madrid smelter being reopened with an “economic development electric rate subsidy.” Rep. Don Rone of Portageville attached an amendment to an unrelated House Bill that could have helped accomplished this, but it was high jacked by Ameren – the smelters utility provider, before it got to the Senate. This Ameren supplied amendment would have continued their quest of diminishing the Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC) oversight, not just a good electric rate for the smelter. PSC is the consumer protection arm that reviews and approves price adjustments to your Ameren electric bill ensuring fairness. Rep. Rone’s intent of providing an economic electric special rate would have had my full support, if not for this.

Because people and businesses have no choice from whom to purchase their electric – anything that reduces the PSC oversight of fairness is serious business. Companies, such as Ameren, are a monopoly and enjoy by state law – NO COMPETITION. This is why we cannot afford any deterioration of the oversight capabilities and responsibilities of the PSC.

Just to be clear, I am not knowingly going to support anything that jeopardizes our current job providers, schools, and families not being able to financially meet their electric bills and other obligations.

Please remember, that I have fought for NORANDA all my years here in the Senate against unreasonable rates – 2013 it would have been 10% surcharge! That alone, could have put them under. This surcharge would not have just crippled NORANDA, but all whom Ameren provides electric.

The Bootheel is a great place – wonderful folks – superior work ethic – ready to provide the next business we can attract with a “good days work for a good days pay.”