The Iowa Consumer Advocate is recommending that the Iowa Utilities Board say no to Interstate Power and Light’s application for permission to build a coal-fired electric plant next to their existing Sutherland Generating Station in Marshalltown. Interstate is a subsidiary of Alliant Energy.
Consumer Advocate John Perkins says concern over greenhouse gases is the main reason for his recommendation. Perkins says the information from consultants his office hired showed that the company can meet all their electricity needs through increased energy efficiency and renewable energy — which he says are much more environmentally friendly.
Perkins says if the company increases significantly its energy efficiency, and uses more wind power, they can meet their projected electric needs in the near future. Perkins admits this proposed plant is being considered a different type of environmental scrutiny. He says MidAmerican did their Council Bluffs coal-fired electric plant six years ago, and it had little opposition, as Perkins says environmental concerns weren’t what they are today.
The Iowa Utilities Board will ultimately decide the issue. Perkins says the board has scheduled a hearing for January 14th at the Veterans home in Marshalltown, where Perkins will present his evidence, the company will present its evidence, and the Sierra Club has also intervened in the case and will present evidence. The office of Consumer Advocate represents gas, electric and telephone utility consumers generally and the public generally in all proceedings before the Iowa Utilities Board.