GOP lawmakers plan to pass new enticements for companies to build power plants in Iowa. Republicans want to allow special contracts that let a company set the rates for electricity long-term, before the plant is even built. Critics say those deals harm consumers, who’d be saddled for years with high rates that don’t fluctuate with the market. Republican Representative Willard Jenkins of Waterloo says 4 companies have expressed interest in building new power plants here if the long-term rate deals can be struck. The proposal follows last year’s passage of sweeping reforms that streamlined the process for getting construction permits for new power plants. Four companies have since announced they’ll build new generating facilities in Iowa, investing over three-BILLION dollars in the state. Republicans also propose new tax incentives for construction of plants that use alternative sources of energy, like the wind or switchgrass.
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