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Your Opinion: Governor urged to sign ISRS for gas utilities

Dear Editor:

Senate Bill 240 will enhance Missouri’s natural gas system safety and reliability. The Missouri Energy Development Association (MEDA) strongly urges Gov. Nixon to approve SB240, legislation that would increase the pace of Missouri’s gas pipeline replacement and enhance gas pipeline safety while protecting consumers from unnecessary rate expenses. SB240 received overwhelming support in the Legislature by a vote of 26-6 in the Senate and 110-45 in the House.

Contrary to misleading editorials and inaccurate information from opposition, SB240 makes no changes to the type of costs that can be recovered through the regulatory mechanism known as “gas ISRS” or to the current level of regulatory oversight. Instead, the enhancements to gas ISRS in SB240 would enable gas utilities to file general rate cases less frequently and would limit gas rate increases to a lower percentage per year than currently allowed.

Since the processing of a rate case can cost consumers millions of dollars, less frequent rate cases truly benefit consumers. In addition, SB240 will more accurately reconcile the unpaid customer gas bill levels in between general rate cases and will ensure for the first time that consumers do not overpay for the actual cost of those uncollectibles.

SB240 will enhance the safety and reliability of our Missouri natural gas system to the benefit and protection of all consumers at a very conservative, well managed cost. The fact that some niche attorneys who benefit financially from more frequent rate cases may have less work is no principled reason for opposition.

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