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A billion dollars would be a terrible thing to lose

December 16, 2007
The Times-Republican
A billion dollar investment in Marshall County doesn’t come along very often. However, there are those people out there who are trying to take away the single largest boon to the local economy to ever hit Central Iowa.

In January, Alliant Energy along with its partners proposed building a $1.4 billion coal-fired plant in Marshalltown that will ultimately stimulate as a beneficial byproduct more jobs, more retail, more dining and a larger tax base.

The 600 megawatt power plant will be a high efficiency super-critical baseload pulverized coal generation plant located adjacent to its existing Sutherland Generating Station.

The power plant will provide energy for nearly half a million homes and almost all of the state of Iowa – in 94 of the 99 counties. In addition to power, it will generate $2.9 million per year in annual tax revenues for communities and school districts throughout the service area of the plant.

Coal is currently the source for over 50 percent of the electricity in our country. In fact — as pointed out in a special insert on coal-fired plants found in today’s Times-Republican — coal and nuclear are the only two sources recognized by the American Society for Mechanical Engineers as reliable for baseload power plants. There is a 250-year supply of coal in the United States so we believe continuing to use and improve coal technology for baseload power plants, making it cleaner and more efficient only makes sense.

The latest technology that will be employed at this proposed facility will make this a state-of-the-art plant and much cleaner than what EPA guidelines require.

In fact, due to even better technology advancements, this plant will be cleaner than the “Power Plant of the Year” that was granted this year to the coal-fired plant that beats EPA regulations by the widest margins.

Marshalltown and Iowa need this facility to ensure stable and reliable energy needs for current growing power requirements to attract more business and industry and to provide more and better jobs.

Here are a few more facts about this new plant:

• Sutherland Generating Station Unit 4 will provide enough energy to power 472,500 homes and businesses.

• The plant will be a high-efficiency, hybrid fuel plant, using renewable fuels such as corn stalks or switch grass.

• The availability of steam cogeneration and land near the new plant will create additional economic development opportunities.

• More than 1,000 jobs will be created in Marshalltown during the plant’s peak construction period.

• Current employment at the plant will be bolstered with 80 high-paying jobs when the plant is operational.

Marshalltown and Central Iowa needs your support for this important project.

Don’t let someone else take this huge benefit to our community away because they spoke up and you remained silent.

Speak out in favor of the plant. Write letters supporting it to the people below who will be making this important decision.

And, while you’re at it, wish for coal for Christmas.

Fact Box

Hon. Governor Chet Culver
State Capitol Building
1007 East Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50319
Phone: 515-281-5211

Attorney General
Hon. Tom Miller
1305 E. Walnut Street
Des Moines, IA 50319
Phone: 515-281-5164
Fax: 515-281-4209

Office of Consumer Advocate
Mr. John Perkins
Office of Consumer Advocate
310 Maple Street
Des Moines, IA 50319-0063
Phone: 515-281-7021
Fax: 515-242-6564

Iowa Utilities Board
Executive Secretary
Docket No. GCU-07-1
350 Maple Street
Des Moines, IA 50319-0069
Chairman Norris Phone: 515-281-5167
Board Members Phone: 515-281-3941
Fax: 515-281-8821



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