Reaction to Alliant Energy’s Marshalltown decision

Governor Chet Culver held a news "event" at 10 o'clock this morning and during a Q&A session with reporters after his ceremonial bill signing, Culver was asked about Alliant Energy's decision to pull the plug on a proposed power plant in Marshalltown. Democratic legislative leaders held a news conference at 10:30 – at which the subject was addressed (Marshalltown power plant, not alliteration), followed by an 11 o'clock news conference featuring Republican legislative leaders who began by talking about the Marshalltown situation.

While Culver seemed to close the door on the deal, legislative leaders from both political parties expressed hope Alliant's decision might be undone. "We're going to review that decision. We're going to review the rational of the company involved," Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal (D-Council Bluffs) said this morning during a news conference in his statehouse office. "We're going to review the decision of the Utility Board and have those discussions."

Folks in the Marshalltown area said they were disappointed, but not surprised by today's announcement (and thanks to our friends at KFJB in Marshalltown for their great local coverage of this story today). Joel Akason is president of MEDIC (Marshall Economic Development Impact Committee: "Businesses make decisions every single day and Alliant's a good business.  They made a very prudent financial business decision. I think everybody around here fully understands that and maybe somewhat suspected that when the numbers were given on February 4th."  About a month ago, the Iowa Uilities Board did not grant Alliant Energy's request for a 12.5 percent return on their investment, instead allowing the company a 10 percent return on investment, had the plant been built.  The plant would have been built by Interstate Power and Light, a subsidiary of Alliant Energy.

You may listen to the three news conferences by clicking on this link (the mp3 is at the bottom of the page).  Legislators and the governor addressed other issues as well. 

P.S.  Do I get extra credit for the alliteration in the fist sentence of this post?

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About O.Kay Henderson

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