Here's some good news for the environment and public health:
Interstate Power and Light on Thursday canceled plans for a $1.8 billion coal-fired power plant in Marshalltown, citing the economy and uncertainty over state regulations. [...]
"At the end of the day it's economic condition, uncertainly regarding future regulatory and legislative treatment of environmental issues, meaning greenhouses gases," said spokesman Ryan Steensland.
Other factors were terms placed on the power plant by the Iowa Utilities Board, including a 10.1 return on equity for investors. "It would have made it very challenging to attract the capital necessary to build these types of investments. The cost and the return laid out by the board just did not wet the appetite of the investment community to move forward with this project," Steensland said.
Economic concerns prompted a different company to pull the plug on a proposed coal-fired power plant near Waterloo earlier this year.
Thanks to all the environmental and public-health advocates who have worked so hard for years to defeat both coal plants, including the Sierra Club, Plains Justice, the Iowa Environmental Council, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Community Energy Solutions, the Iowa Renewable Energy Association and Iowa Interfaith Power and Light.
I am still annoyed that the Iowa Utilities Board approved an application to build the Marshalltown plant last spring, but at least the IUB's recent ratemaking decision helped doom the project.
Please disregard my action alert regarding public comments on the DNR's draft air quality permit for the Marshalltown plant.
UPDATE: At Century of the Common Iowan, noneed4thneed points out that the coal plant would have created 85 permanent jobs as well as providing a lot of temporary jobs during its construction. I sympathize with people who are upset about losing those jobs. However, I do not support making a 50-year investment in the wrong direction on energy production, which would also result in more respiratory illness, mercury pollution and higher utility bills for thousands of Iowans, all for the sake of some jobs in the Marshalltown area.