Missouri bill seeks to improve energy infrastructure

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Missouri power companies could seek to levy a surcharge for costs from infrastructure projects under a legislative proposal.

The legislation filed in the Senate has support from 17 lawmakers. That includes five Democrats and two top Republican leaders.

Supporters say it would help power companies make investments to improve the state's power infrastructure while improving reliability and leading to jobs and economic development opportunities. They say consumers could save money over time through improved reliability and efficiency.

But consumer advocates fear the legislation would make it easier to raise electric rates.

A 2003 law allows gas and water companies to seek approval from state regulators for an infrastructure system replacement surcharge.