On Nov. 13, the Sierra Club officially filed a resolution to Ameren’s (NYSE: AEE) shareholders, urging them to push the company to embrace stronger clean energy goals and a shift away from coal-fired power.
The resolution calls for Ameren’s renewable energy mix to reach at least 30% by 2030, ultimately reaching 70%-100% renewable energy by 2050. Ameren’s regulated utility operations in Missouri, under Ameren Missouri, include the coal-fired Labadie, Sioux and Rush Island power plants.
The resolution focuses on Ameren’s alleged lack of preparation for the transition away from carbon-intensive coal power. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the U.S. generated 39% of its power from coal in 2014, but in that same year Ameren generated 76% of its power from coal.
“Like many companies, Ameren seems concerned about earnings over the next quarter or next year. Ameren is well behind others in the utility industry in migrating towards renewable energy sources. As of 2014, Ameren only generated .02% of its power from solar. I am not sure even a kid in grammar school would get a participation award for that effort.” said Dane Kamin, CFA, a Saint Louis University Finance Instructor and a Sierra Club member. “Ameren’s outdated, coal-powered business model presents so many risks and costs to shareholders and the people of St. Louis and surrounding areas.”
The club said that other utility companies in the region like Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L) have recently made large strides in clean energy investment, committing in 2014 to major wind farm projects and energy efficiency programs in Missouri and Kansas. KCP&L estimates that the clean energy investments will save its customers almost $1 billion over the next 20 years.
The Sierra Club said it worked with As You Sow to file its resolution to Ameren shareholders. As You Sow is a non-profit foundation chartered to promote corporate social responsibility through shareholder advocacy, coalition building, and legal strategies.