Monsanto ready to make deal on Ameren-backed legislation

Opposition to utility-backed legislation in Jefferson City that would make it easier for electric utilities like Ameren to regularly raise customer rates appears to be softening after one of the bill’s main opponents, Creve Coeur-based Monsanto, offered to cut a deal with electric utilities last week in exchange for what appears to be a special electric rate for large power users, according to emails obtained by the Post-Dispatch.

Led by the Missouri Industrial Energy Consumers, Monsanto has taken a leading role against the legislation in Jefferson City, arguing it would drive up electric rates and take away much of the discretion state regulators have to limit rate hikes. The company’s position, however, appeared to be changing on Thursday.

“As for Monsanto, as the proposal stated below, we will be neutral upon having agreed to the language,” Duane Simpson, Monsanto’s state and local government affairs lead, wrote to Ameren vice president of external affairs Warren Wood. “Until then, I ask that you refrain from portraying our position to legislators. We have an agreement in principle, but until we see the language, the deal isn’t done.”

Monsanto, in a statement Saturday evening, said it has not changed its position on the legislation but is “currently reviewing updated language that could potentially resolve a number of concerns we had about the legislation allowing us to withdraw our opposition.”

Ameren, in a statement, said it working to ensure the bill benefits “all customers.”

Both companies declined to address specific aspects of the proposed deal.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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