Brett Blume (@brettblumekmox)By Brett Blume

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Ameren shareholders arriving at Thursday’s annual meeting in Forest Park were greeted by angry environmentalists.

Those demonstrators were chanting the same phrase that appears on billboards popping up around town—”Ameren pollutes, We pay.”

The crowd of about three dozen protestors included Washington University professor Bret Gustafson, whose son has asthma.

“I’d like to have one of these coal guys come over to my house and tell my son that they’re doing everything they can to clean up the air to his face,” he says. “I don’t think they’ve got the guts for it.”

It’s a campaign that rankles Ameren Missouri representatives such as Vice President of External Affairs Warren Wood.

“It’s absolutely unfair, and it’s not a fair representation,” he says. “If you look at what we’ve been doing over the last year as to clean the air, we’ve invested hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Wood said they are developing wind, sun and other energy sources while also working to clean up coal emissions, and pointed out that on Friday, Ameren Missouri is going to break ground in O’Fallon for the state’s “largest investor-owned solar energy facility.”

But to protestors like Dr. John Kissel, it’s not enough.

“They’re going to hear about how we can’t afford to do anything other than burn coal because we need cheap electricity,” he says. “They’re going to hear the great fantasy that Ameren is a leader in protecting our health. It’s all bologna.”

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)



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