Gronstal on IPR: “certainly possible” nuclear bill will return

Last year, a bill to support a new nuclear power plant in Iowa passed the Iowa House but stalled in the Senate (SF 390), where it remains as the new session begins.  Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal appeared on Iowa Public Radio’s The Exchange, where he responded to a caller’s question about the fate of this bill in his chamber.

“It’s certainly possible that it will come up in the Senate” this session, Gronstal said.  “If it comes up in the Senate, we agree with the caller that there are clearly not enough protections for consumers in the version that the House has passed.”

(Hear the whole program here; the exchange in question begins at 19:40.)

The Iowa Environmental Council hasn’t taken a position on the use of nuclear technology in Iowa, but we oppose this legislation because it would let the utility, MidAmerican Energy, shift costs of planning, designing and building the plant to electric ratepayers in Iowa.  This would be true whether or not the plant ever gets built.

To us, this legislation looks like a way to give a huge boost to a nuclear project that could take the place of wind and solar development in Iowa.  We oppose policies that would develop nuclear power capacity in Iowa at the expense of truly renewable energy sources.

Last year, our Action Alert Volunteers spoke out twice in opposition to this bill, joining a broad coalition of other Iowans.  So far, this opposition has kept the bill from moving forward.

If the bill moves, it may be time for you to speak up again—possibly on short notice.  We encourage you to join our Action Alert Network right now to support truly renewable energy policy for Iowa when it matters most.

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