Tag Archives: Iowa

Open meetings needed for county attorney selection?

Could there be any problem with selecting a county attorney without any open process?

CNHI in VDT today, Officials violate Iowa’s open meeting law,

CENTERVILLE, Iowa. — The Appanoose County Board of Supervisors and County Auditor Linda Demry violated the state open meeting law three times in less than three weeks recently when they interviewed candidates for the vacant county attorney’s position, a state agency has determined.

Well, apparently we don’t have that problem here Continue reading

No Iowa nuke: MidAmerican will refund tax money!

Cancelling a nuke is what’s really in the best interests of utility customers: Southern Company and Georgia Power take note. MidAmerican Energy just added another to the long list of nukes permanently closed or not to be built. Time to add Plant Vogtle to that list.

In the DesMoinesRegister.com yesterday, MidAmerican decides against Iowa nuclear plant: MidAmerican Energy says design plan isn’t approved; environmentalists celebrate

MidAmerican Energy has scrapped plans for Iowa’s second nuclear plant and will refund $8.8 million ratepayers paid for a now-finished feasibility study, utility officials said Monday.

The utility has decided against building any major power plant. That’s because there is no approved design for the modular nuclear plant it envisioned, and there are too many questions about limits on carbon emissions from a natural gas plant, the company said.

“We opted for what was in the best interest of our customers,” MidAmerican vice president for regulatory affairs Dean Crist told The Des Moines Register.

The decision ends, Continue reading

Cleaner energy creates jobs in Iowa

In Iowa they didn’t whine about cleaner power regulations like Southern Company did, they went ahead and got on with it without dragging their feet for months or years. Simply complying with the new EPA regulations has created jobs for Iowans.

Matt Kasper wrote for ThinkProgress today, Pollution Control Retrofit Creates 400 Jobs In Iowa: Project Is A ‘Win-Win For Iowa’s Economy And Environment’

Alliant Energy in Iowa is celebrating an emission-reduction technology that will help a power plant meet new standards — creating 400 jobs in the process. One recent study found that “EPA’s two new air quality rules create 1.5 million jobs.”….

The Ottumwa Courier reported:

“The OGS [Ottumwa Generating Station] project is a win-win for Iowa’s economy and environment,” said Pat Kampling, president and CEO of Alliant Energy. “The project at OGS will create approximately 400 good-paying construction jobs for Iowa’s working families and foster future economic growth while making Iowa’s air cleaner.”

Better for public health, better for less climate change, and better the economy: more jobs for Iowans.


Missouri has defeated CWIP: so can Georgia

A veteran of the original No Nukes movement calls Plant Vogtle and CWIP like he sees it.

Harvey Wasserman wrote Friday for EcoWatch, Nuclear Power’s Green Mountain Grassroots Demise,

The accelerating revolution in renewables has allowed solar, wind and other green sources to outstrip atomic reactors in cost, time to build, ecological impact and safety. As billions pour into Solartopian sources, private investment in atomic energy has all but disappeared—except where there are massive taxpayer subsidies.

Even that’s not enough. In 2011, President Obama handed $8.33 billion in federal loan guarantees to the builders of two reactors at Georgia’s Vogtle. But Peach State ratepayers are already being soaked for billions more in pre-payments, and the cost of the project is soaring. A parallel financial disaster looms at the Robinson site in neighboring South Carolina. Though the industry assumes these four reactors will eventually be finished, economic realities may say otherwise.

Cost estimates for new nukes have been soaring even before construction begins. Even with federal money, the builders still demand that state ratepayers foot the bill as the process proceeds, meaning consumers are on the hook for multiple billions even if the reactors never open. Pitched battles over this Construction Work in Progress scam have already been won by consumers in Missouri and are being fought in Iowa and elsewhere. As the years of building drag on, costs will escalate while renewables continue to become cheaper. Sooner or later, construction is likely to stop, as it did at numerous projects in the 1970s and 1980s which were never finished.

We can end CWIP in Georgia. It will benefit Georgia Power and the EMCs as well as all the rest of us when we stop wasting tax and customer dollars on boondoggles like Plant Vogtle or biomass or private prisons and get on with clean, profitable, job-creating renewable energy in Georgia: wind off the coast and sun inland.


Why CWIP is a bad idea

Iowa is rejecting CWIP, and Georgia can, too. Here’s why.

Herman K. Trabish wrote for Green Tech Media 22 February 2012, The Nuclear Industry’s Answer to Its Marketplace Woes: Construction Work in Progress (CWIP) financing shifts the risks of nuclear energy to utility ratepayers,

A sign of the nuclear industry’s difficult situation in the aftermath of Fukushima is a proposal before the Iowa legislature
“Construction Work in Progress was intended to circumvent the core consumer protection of the regulatory decision-making process,”
that would allow utility MidAmerican Energy Holdings, a subsidiary of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, to build a new nuclear facility in the state using Construction Work in Progress (CWIP) financing (also called advanced cost recovery).

“Investment in nuclear power is the antithesis of the kind of investments you would want to make under the current uncertain conditions,” explained nuclear industry authority Mark Cooper, a senior fellow for economic analysis at Vermont Law School’s Institute for Energy and the Environment. “They cannot raise the capital to build these plants in normal markets under the normal regulatory structures.”

CWIP would allow the utility to raise the money necessary to build a nuclear power plant by billing ratepayers in advance of and during construction.

“Construction Work in Progress was intended to circumvent the core consumer protection of the regulatory decision-making process,” Cooper explained. “It exposes ratepayers to all the risk.” The nuclear industry’s answer to its post-Fukushima challenges, he said, “is to simply rip out the heart of consumer protection and turn the logic of capital markets on their head.”

And the Iowa Utilities Board staff agreed with Cooper and recommended against CWIP.
His message to policymakers is simple, Cooper said. “This is an investment you would not make with your own money. Therefore, you should not make it with the ratepayers’ money.”
Meanwhile, in Georgia: Continue reading