Let's Get Lit: City Offers Free Light Bulbs as Ameren Gets Sued

This just in from City Hall: On Jan. 17, 6,000 lucky St. Louisans will be the recipients of brand new eco-friendly light bulbs.

Mayor Slay is scheduled to appear at a press conference this afternoon to announce a new initiative touting energy consumption, co-sponsored by Ameren Missouri. As a part of "Energy Saving St. Louis," 27,000 EnergyStar CFL bulbs will be handed out to city residents on MLK Day. The bulbs require less energy and money than the incandescents that have traditionally been shelved by local hardware stores.

The initiative might take some of the focus off the lawsuit filed yesterday against Ameren by the U.S. Justice Department, claiming that the utility company's Rush Island power plant in Festus violates the Federal Clean Air Act by neglecting to obtain permits before making modifications.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency suit, the Rush Island plant is one of the biggest sources of air pollution in the nation. The EPA claims that Ameren has not installed the required new technologies to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide. Ameren has denied the allegations.

The lawsuit is confusing, and, to be sure, Ameren is not the only target. Until we unravel the details, we'll happily take our free light bulbs. That's hot.

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