Local public interest group applauds LS Power plant decision - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Local public interest group applauds LS Power plant decision

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WATERLOO (KWWL) --  LS Power announced Tuesday it will not go forward with plans to develop a coal power plant in Waterloo, Iowa.

The company backed away from the proposed project less than one week after losing its financial partner, Dynegy Inc., which announced on January 2nd that it would not continue a coal development joint venture with LS Power.

"We congratulate LS Power and Dynegy for recognizing that developing new coal power is just too financially risky for their stockholders, but Iowa ratepayers should know that Alliant Energy's proposed new Marshalltown coal plant saddles them with the same imprudent financial risks," said Carrie La Seur, President of Plains Justice, a public-interest law center based in Cedar Rapids. 

La Seur founded Plains Justice in 2006, in part in response to the Waterloo proposal by a New Jersey developer.

Over the last three years, La Seur and Plains Justice workers have spent many pro bono hours on educational presentations, legal work, and other advocacy in opposition to the proposal.  

La Seur and co-counsel Jana Linderman assisted grassroots group Community Energy Solutions in making a detailed presentation to the state City Development Board that convinced the board to deny planning authorization.  

In two District Court filings, Plains Justice asked the court to set aside flawed Waterloo City Council annexation and zoning decisions related to the coal plant. 

"Alliant Energy should take this decision by LS Power as a giant red flag telling them that the financial risks of new coal power are too great for Iowa's economy to bear.  If Alliant is not willing to change course, the Iowa Utilities Board should protect Iowa ratepayers by refusing to allow Alliant to shift the risk and excessive cost of the Marshalltown plant from its stockholders to ratepayers," La Seur added.

Plains Justice says it advocates aggressive implementation of energy efficiency measures and expanded investment in Iowa-built renewable energy as alternatives to coal power. 

The group says it is one of many organizations opposed the Waterloo coal plant proposal, including the Black Hawk, Fayette, and Johnson County Boards of Health; Community Energy Solutions; Iowa Environmental Council; Iowa Farmers Union; Iowa Renewable Energy Association; NAACP; Physicians for Social Responsibility; and the Sierra Club.

Online Producer:  JJ Murray

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