Gov. Jay Nixon released a statement this morning that might spell doom this year for legislation altering the state's Construction Work in Progress law.
Lawmakers have been pushing to alter CWIP, hoping the move paves a way for a new nuclear power plant in Callaway County. The law prohibits utility companies from passing on costs to ratepayers to build power plants.
But some lawmakers - such as Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia - have been hesitant to grant Ameren's request without assurances that the plant will be build. Schaefer told me a few weeks ago that even if the utility company gets everything they want from Sen. Delbert Scott's legislation, there still isn't a firm commitment that Ameren will build Callaway II.
Today, Nixon spokesman Jack Cardetti released a statement saying that the governor "thinks it is in everyone’s best interest if
Ameren continues to move forward in the federal permitting process."
“This is a two-step process that involves both procuring a license and then deciding whether to build," Cardetti said. "It is premature at this time to saddle ratepayers with potential construction costs before regulators have awarded a permit and Ameren has made the decision to build.”
The statement is significant, because Nixon can veto legislation he finds unacceptable. And the without those aforementioned benchmarks being met, it looks like CWIP legislation is dead for the time being.