There’s Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad showing how it’s done!  He’s just axed Sheila Tipton from the Iowa Utilities Board, shortly after it made a decision that MidAmerican Energy did not like.  Three days after that Feb. 6 decision, the company had a meeting with the Gov, and they openly admit that!  Really?  That’s OK?

As of March 2, Sheila Tipton is out… He also demoted the Chair Libby Jacobs!  Guess when MidAmerican complains, Branstad hops to it!

Dissing the Iowa Utilities Board

When Foley asked about Tipton, he was told that top officials from MidAmerican Energy had met with Branstad on Feb. 9 to criticize a Feb. 6 Utilities Board ruling in a rate case. The amount of money involved was not large by utility standards, and both the governor’s office and MidAmerican officials denied any connection between the ruling and the change in Utilities Board membership. 

Some people believe that; some don’t.

Foley’s story mentioned one other possibility: A pending proposal to build a 500-mile transmission line to carry wind energy from northwest Iowa to customers in Illinois.

Tipton had recused herself from that case because of her previous legal work for the owner of the owner of that transmission line. Branstad’s spokesman told Foley the governor wanted three voting members on the board when it considers the transmission line case and whether eminent domain should be used. The reason was that a single “no” vote could stall the project if the board had only two voting members. 

Gov. Branstad Accused of Allowing Energy Company Dictate Who Serves On Iowa Utilities Board

Regulator calls removal favor for MidAmerican

“The company had complained about a ruling requiring the company to use some proceeds from a $280 million wind energy investment to reduce customers’ rates.”

This was a $2 million annual return to ratepayers/rate reduction.  Less than 1% of the capital cost of the project, on which they will be making how much?  By owning it themselves they’re eliminating paying the middleman as they would with a PPA, and they’re getting the tax credits, and they’re also probably selling the energy for export.  They are also the utility that just built a BIG coal plant on the western edge of the state at the “MidAmerican Energy Center” and are also the utility that is building  part of the MISO MVP transmission highway across the top of Iowa, coincidentally starting connected to the 345 kV line attached to their big coal plant… applications have been filed for this project.  Tipton had recused herself from this transmission project docket as she’d represented MidAmerican!  Something tells me Braindead didn’t want to take chances on that transmission with any scrutiny of the project!

Here are the MISO MVP 345kV connections to the existing system to build the Energy Export Interstate System!


But with the new appointee…

Branstad appointee faces potential conflict in pipeline case

Must mean Braindead doesn’t mind if she recuses herself from that case, after all, she might be biased toward landowners!  Better if she not be a decider on that, eh?

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