AmerenUE Responds to Public Service Commission Filing

Jun 08, 2007, 01:00 ET from AmerenUE

    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
     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
     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.