Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Notes From the Ameren SMR Supplier Summit

Yesterday Westinghouse and Ameren convened a “supplier summit” to prepare for the possibility of moving forward on the design and construction of small modular reactors.


They are still waiting to hear from the Department of Energy about the critical initial grants.  That decision was originally expected at the end of September.  Folks now believe it could be after Election Day, but before the end of the year.



Governor Jay Nixon showed up to give a speech, but he couldn’t shake the campaign fog, and talk to the audience.  His remarks were centered about the big job numbers from the previous month and about investment in the state’s auto industry.  Odd considering the purpose of the conference.



Nixon line to save for Iowa: “Won’t it be nice when someone walks into a store in Beijing and picks something up and it says made in USA?”



Is Nixon a sports freak or Governor Rainman?  He remembers the Mizzou-Navy football score from three years ago.



Rep. Mike Talboy has officially left the Building.  He was wearing his Burns & McDonnell hat and no legislator pin.



The panel discussion seemed to be assembled according to who would be needed for heavy lifting next session.  It was a smart move.  Put the speaker and pro tem in the front of the room; let them see the few hundred people who may need their help.



Speaker Tim Jones referenced the border war with Kansas continuing the prelude to possible House action to match that state’s tax changes.



Question of the Day: What’s Sam Komo doing here?  Does he have his race sewn up?



Sen. Tom Dempsey is thinking of transportation in terms of big macro-policies coming out of Washington DC.  He sees gas tax revenue declining as consumption declined because of higher federal imposed fuel efficiency standards and more alternative fuel.



Dempsey explained the Senate’s legislative agenda as big.  As in B-I-G.  B for “build infrastructure;” I is “invest in education;” and G is “grow the economy.”



Rep. Jeanne Riddle tried to put the opportunity in perspective.  The SMR export possibilities are ten times bigger than our largest agricultural export.



The biggest ohhh and ahhh were for Geoffrey Black of Boise State.  He gave his economic impact numbers.  Phase One which involves design, licensing and engineering would generate 10,000 jobs, and add $580 million to payroll.  Phase Two (manufacturing infrastructure and supply chain) would add 18,000 jobs and $1 billion to payroll.  Phase Three (manufacturing, construction and operation) would add 13,000 jobs and $720 million to payroll.  And Phase Four (deployment) assumes slowly building to 15 units in 2030 would produce sales of $290 billion.



The kicker line from Black: “These numbers are big, but we think they’re conservative.”



MEC Whiffs on Non-Profit Game

This year one scheme to avoid transparency in political contributions became more popular.  Create a non-profit.  Have donors give to that non-profit.  Have the on-profit give to a political action committee.  The donors’ identities are never revealed.


One of the committees which employed this tactic was Missourians Against Higher Utility Rates.  It received a check from a non-profit, Missourians for Low Energy Costs.  That checks was for $275,000.  It was received by Missourians Against Higher Rates on July 24.  That’s just five days after Missourians for Low Energy Costs was created.


The Republican legislative majorities, after overturning the campaign contribution limits imposed by Missouri voters, insisted that part of their philosophical framework included transparency.  They haven’t followed through on their rhetoric though to create transparency.


The Missouri Ethics Commission ruled on this scheme last week.  They apparently view their job less about ethics and more about finding an accommodative perspective from which to perpetuate the status quo.  Read their dismissal of complaints here.


Question: If we all agree transparency in the huge six-figure checks is important to the integrity of our system, why will no one do anything about it?



A Time for Courage!

As he neared his term limit, Matt Bartle self-depreciatingly referred to some of his stances as “not liquid courage, but term-limit courage.”  That is, he was willing to take on more risky positions and votes like attempting to reform crime and sentencing issues.


The same change of heart comes from former speaker Rod Jetton as he abandons the harbor of “no new taxes” to address highway funding.  Read it here.



House Battlegrounds

House 20 – Rep. John Diehl sends $7,500 to Rep. Brent Lasater.

House 44 – Ken Jacob self-funds with a fresh $15K.

House 94 – HDCC spends $6K on Vicki Englund running against Rep. Cloria Brown.

House 113 – HDCC spends $10K on Jeff Roorda running against Dan Smith.





New Dave Spence TV commercial shows Republicans pushing back against Nixon’s claims of bipartisan independence.  It feels kind of inside baseball (John Lamping’s name ID anyone?) but at least has a tonal feel which is different than the bazillion political ads currently circulating and may help it stand out.  See it here.



Governing Magazine puts MO Gub race in “likely Dem” category.  See it here.



Prop A – local control – shows off its vast endorsement list.  See it here.



Shane Schoeller continues to benefit from last minute, and enormous checks.  This one - $250K from the Republican State Leadership Committee.



Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:


Scott Penman and David Winton deleted Trans Union LLC.



$5K+ Contributions

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $16,000 from Friends of Caleb Rowden.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $13,000 from Friends of Mitch Richards.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $12,000 from Friends of Joe Don McGaugh.

MO Republican Party - $6,400 from Citizens to Elect Kurt Schaefer.

MO Republican Party - $41,200 from Romine for Senate.

Parson For State Senate - $25,000 from Missouri Club for Growth.

Missouri Health Care Association PAC - $40,000 from System Service.

Brent Lasater for Missouri - $7,500 from Friends of Diehl.

Freedom PAC - $10,000 from Axcess Financial Services Inc.

Missourians for Randles - $10,000 from Spence for Governor.

Ken Jacob Committee - $15,000 from Ken Jacob.

Friends of Caleb Rowden - $6,500 from Tom Atkins.

Citizens for Vicki Lorenz Englund - $6,637 from Missouri House Democratic Campaign Committee.

Doug Libla for Senate - $30,000 from Missouri Senate Campaign Committee.

Doug Libla for Senate - $7,000 from Forest Hills Properties LLC.

Committee to Elect Jeff Roorda - $10,246 from Missouri House Democratic Campaign Committee.

Citizens to Elect John Wright - $15,000 from John Wright.

Citizens to Elect John Wright - $40,000 from Rollins Capital Management.

Missouri Senate Campaign Committee - $25,000f rom Dempsey for Senate.

Schoeller for Missouri - $250,000 from RSCL Missouri PAC.

MO Petroleum Marketers + Convenience Store Assoc PAC - $10,000 from U Gas.

MO Petroleum Marketers + Convenience Store Assoc PAC - $166,000 from Cheyenne International LLC.

MO Petroleum Marketers + Convenience Store Assoc PAC – $166,000 from XCaliber International LTD.

MO Democratic State Committee - $24,000 from Jay Nixon for Missouri.

MO Democratic State Committee - $6,000 from Missouri House Democratic Campaign Committee.

MO Democratic State Committee - $11,700 from Friends of Fallert.

Missourians for Health and Education - $150,000 from American Cancer Society, Cancer Action Network.

Freedom Incorporated - $25,000 from McCaskill for Missouri 2012.

Friends of Caleb Rowden - $19,114 from House Republican Campaign Committee Inc.

Jay Nixon for Missouri - $100,000 from Democratic Governors Association – Missouri.

Romine for Senate - $60,000 from Missouri Senate Campaign Committee.

Romine for Senate - $10,000 from Dempsey for Senate.

Citizens to Elect Kurt Schaefer - $40,000 from Missouri Senate Campaign Committee.

Romine for Senate - $9,330 from Missouri Senate Campaign Committee.

Citizens for Ryan Silvey - $7,000 from Missouri Senate Campaign Committee.

Saint Charles County Regional Leadership Fund - $7,500 from Friends of Tilley.




Happy Halloween birthdays to Rep. Paul Quinn (69), and St. Louis County Economic Council’s Doug Rasmussen.