The revolving door turned the other day when the state’s economic development director Rob Dixon left Governor Mike Parson’s administration to become the community and economic development director for Ameren.
There he’ll have to grapple with the bat puzzle where a company that once funded climate change denial campaigns switched to wind power (a good thing, by the way) but built its turbines in a location the scientists said they would kill bats.
Now the bats are dying and the turbines are not running properly, and someone has to pay for this avoidable mistake.
Ameren wants it to be consumers. The office that represents those of us who are customers of the utility company has a different opinion. “The fee payers should not be responsible for costs related to Ameren’s poor management decisions in choosing the location of its wind farm,” Geoff Marke, chief economist for the Missouri Office of Public Counsel, told Gray.
Of course, since the time that bat buzzed in my head more than a decade ago, Ameren has successfully weakened the office of the OPC and stacked the cards in its favor when it comes to rate hikes. If I were a bettor, I would say that we end up paying for the decommissioned wind turbines that were the right investment in the wrong place.