Tuesday, December 23, 2014

AB Hires Bond

Politico’s Influence reports… “St. Louis-based beer giant Anheuser-Busch has signed with Kit Bond Strategies as it renews its push to pass the Brewers Excise and Economic Relief Act. The BEER Act introduced in the 113th Congress sought to reduce the tax on beer production from $18 per barrel to $9 per barrel and to further reduce taxes on breweries that produce fewer than 2 million barrels a year.  The BEER Act saw support from other large breweries including MillerCoors, Heineken USA, and Crown Imports, as well as the Beer Institute. Small breweries, however, with help from the Brewers Association, supported the Small BREW Act, a competing bill that offered a different tax structure for breweries with lower levels of production.

Lobbyist Shana Marchio, a former communications director for ex-Sen. Kit Bond, will hold an educational series of meetings on beer production for Anheuser-Busch, according to the lobbying registration. Anheuser-Busch has reported spending $2.71million on lobbying so far this year, and parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev has reported spending an additional $680,000.”


Public Counsel’s Filing in Ameren Case

The Office of Public Counsel filed a report on the Ameren rate case.  First, the Public Service Commission’s website might be the least user-friendly website in state government. But perhaps it’s just a function of these regulatory matters being too complicated for lowly citizens to understand.

It appears in the OPC testimony that they are OK with a rate design which increases the rate paid by Noranda’s customer class.  This would be a change in their position since the last go-around when OPC was supporting a compromise to lower that rate.

We’ll see…


eMailbag: on ROE and AUE

“As for the 9.5% versus the T bills 2%, two quick points.  The 9.5% is a cap.  Ameren rarely actually earns their cap. Second, if you don't allow the company a good rate of return, then who will buy their stock?  If no one buys their stock, then how can they finance billion dollar plants much less pay for poles and wire?”


“ROE = Assets - liabilities, a much smaller number than ROI (investment)

Ford Motor ROE = 26.5%

Coca Cola ROE = 24.5%

Emerson Electric ROE = 20.74%

Proctor & Gamble ROE = 15.55%

Noranda Holdings ROE = (minus) 36.7% so no wonder they're fussy.”


“ROE isn’t profit or actual return and therefore can’t really link it to treasuries.  It is usually based on proxy groups…”


“PSC staff actually recommended between a $2 million decrease to $29 million increase in non fuel related costs, which is what is really at stake.  Ameren is going to get the fuel related costs recovered (approximately $100 million), so what you’re really seeing is a staff recommendation of a $2 million decrease… You also failed to recognize just how damning a 9-9.5% ROE is in the regulated utility world, staff's recommendation.  Ameren is currently at a 9.8% ROE and requesting a 10.4% ROE, if they get a 9% ROE, that is a difference of approximately

$75 million to its shareholders, again not good for Ameren…”



Diane Koestner is switching from Sen. Rob Schaaf’s office to Sen. Dan Brown’s office.


The House hopes to have their committees and committee assignments in place and rolled out by the second week of session.  A new general assembly always gets a bit of a slower start as it takes some time to get all the pieces into place, and there are a lot of moving pieces.


ProPublica/NPR does a story on Heartland Regional Medical Center and their for-profit debt collection agency.  Read it here.  Pull Quote: Many were uninsured Heartland patients who were eligible for financial aid that would have eliminated or drastically cut their bills. Instead, they were charged full price for their care, without the deep discounts negotiated by insurers, according to court records, interviews and data provided by Heartland. No other Missouri hospital sued more of its patients.


New Committees

Michael Peters filed a new committee to run as a Republican for House 91 in 2016.  He ran this year, losing to Rep. Jeanne Kirkton 60-40.


Lobbyist Registrations

Dina Ryan added Citigroup Management Corp.

Lucas Staus added Missouri Liberty Action Inc.

Thomas Shad Burner added Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce.

Michael Matousek added Owner-operator Independent Drivers Association.

Anthony McDuffie added Missouri Department Of Public Safety

Fredrick D Palmer added Peabody Energy.


$5K+ Contributions

Citizens to Elect Robin Harris - $5,100 from Cunningham Campaign Committee.