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
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.