The bill which would deregulate Iowa’s electric utilities was dealt a near-fatal blow yesterday as the Senate Commerce Committee failed to take up the bill. Senate Republican Leader Stewart Iverson of Dows says it’ll be difficult to revive the bill and get it passed into law. He says negotiations have continued, but not many members have changed their minds.But House Republican Leader Christopher Rants of Sioux City says MidAmerican’s last-minute announcement it might build two, new power plants in Iowa is a big boost for the bill. Rants vows to bring the bill up for a vote in the House. He hopes the bill’s saga will be a bit like an old western where the calvary comes riding over the hill in the last minute to save the day.Rants says a bill of this magnitude is never dead. If the bill were to become law, Iowans could shop around for a company to provide their electricity — in the same fashion Iowans choose a long-distance telephone company. Some lawmakers consider MidAmerican Energy’s announcement that they’ll build two, new power plants in Iowa if the legislature passes an electric deregulation bill a threat — or even a bribe. The president of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry says MidAmerican will likely build those plants elsewhere if the bill doesn’t pass.”Association of Business and Industry president Jim Aipperspach says that’s not a scare tactic, though, it’s just a result of the business climate in the state.Aipperspach made his comments during taping of the Iowa Public Television program, “Iowa Press,” which will focus its Sunday show on the deregulation bill.
You are here: / Deregulation bill takes a hit