Cargill joined the Fair Energy Rate Action Fund (FERAF) as the organization's newest board member. Cargill, with 142,000 employees worldwide and annual energy expenditures exceeding $1 billion, cited rising electric rates and the threat of a newly proposed electric surcharge in the Missouri legislature as the reason for joining FERAF.
FERAF is a diverse coalition of residential and business utility consumers that advocates for reliable, low-cost energy. FERAF is active in the ratemaking process through the Missouri Public Service Commission and in the Missouri General Assembly on legislation affecting utility rates.
"From the smallest farming operations to one of the largest agricultural companies in the world, the availability and cost of electricity has a direct impact on all of us in agriculture," said Eric Hoegger, Cargill Director of Retail Power Origination. "This proposed new electric surcharge, coupled with rising electric rates, will hurt farmers throughout Missouri and depress economic growth. We are pleased to join with the other consumers in FERAF to advocate for energy policies that protect all of us who depend on low-cost, reliable electricity on a daily basis."
The Missouri General Assembly is currently considering legislation that would allow Missouri's investor-owned utilities to place an expensive new surcharge on their customers' electric bills. This new surcharge would bypass the traditional ratemaking process that has served Missouri consumers well for generations. The legislation also allows changes in state law so that for the first time ratepayers are the ones responsible for these utilities cost overruns. This legislation would cost ratepayers hundreds of millions of dollars, according to FERAF's latest analysis.
"We are pleased that Cargill will be joining our Board of Directors," said Chris Roepe, FERAF's Executive Director. "Cargill has a unique perspective on how energy costs affect business and agriculture. Their expertise will be invaluable as we discuss how best to promote economic growth by protecting ratepayers with Missourians and policymakers."