Interstate Power and Light Company today announced a plan to offset the greenhouse gas emissions created by its proposed new coal-fired electric plant in Marshalltown. Ryan Stensland is a spokesman for Alliant Energy, which is the parent company of Interstate Power and Light.
Stensland says they proposed reducing the greenhouse gas emissions by shutting down the coal-burning units two and three at the Lansing electric plant, and switching the Dubuque power facility to natural gas. Stensland says the new plant would make up for the electricity lost by shutting down the two Lansing units, and the other changes will handle the greenhouse gas emissions.
He says the combined changes will more than offset the carbon emissions from the new plant known as Sutherland four. The company is currently in the middle of the process of gaining state approval for the new coal plant. There are critics of the new plant, but Stensland says they have put up just one argument — "say no."
Stensland says they want to say no to coal, no to natural gas and no to nuclear power. "Simply changing a light bulb and putting up a wind turbine is not going to meet Iowa’s energy needs, now or into the future," Stensland says. He says while looking at conservation and alternative energy sources are important components in the solutions to Iowa’s energy needs, but he says they are not the only solution and not a practical solution.
It will likely be this summer before all the issues surrounding the new plant are decided. If approval is given, then the new plant would begin operating in 2013.