Culver: “We’ve done all we can.”

"We've done all we can," Governor Chet Culver said on Thursday morning, referring to the state's involvement in a proposed power plant in Marshalltown.

Here's a partial transcript of the Q&A reporters had with Governor Chet Culver earlier today, regarding Alliant Energy's decision not to build a coal-fired power plant in Marshalltown.

Question: "What's your reaction to the news that Alliant will not built its power plant in Marshalltown?"

Culver: "I think that that was a decision they had to make based on a lot of factors and including the economic downturn, so I have not talked to any officials at Alliant with respect to this decision, but apparently that's the direction they chose to go in." 

Question: "How big of an economic blow is it?"

Culver: "I think there were going to be significant jobs related to the project.  I think in the neighborhood of a thousand to 1500.  I think a lot of the leaders in Marshalltown were working hard on this.  I know that labor was very engaged, but these are very complex projects that are extremely expensive and during a very tough economic downturn it's sometimes tough to get the financing together to make those projects work."

Question: "Is there anything else that you can do or have you done all you can?"

Culver: "We've done all we can.  The Utilities Board is responsible for making the final decision as to whether or not we move forward with projects like that and then at some point the companies have to decide if they're going to finance it.  In this case,it sounds like they're not."

Question: "The company cited, in its reasons for not moving forward, the DNR's decision to extend the public comment period about the plant.  Do you second-guess that DNR decision?"

Culver: "No. There are rules and administrative rules which must be followed with respect to the siting of any proposed plant and I believe Director Leopold was doing his job."

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.