AARP calls prompt delay in Senate committee vote on nuclear power bill

Calls to Iowa legislators by members of AARP Tuesday (1/31) apparently delayed the first vote on a controversial bill giving MidAmerican Energy authority to raise electric rates upfront to pay for construction of a nuclear power plant. reported Iowa members of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) flooded the state legislature with more than 1,500 calls opposing the bill now before the Iowa Senate Commerce Committee.

The same bill cleared the Iowa House of Representatives in 2011 but never made it to the Senate for a vote. The bill would allow MidAmerican to begin charging customers upfront for construction of a nuclear power plant.

Ratepayers normally are not charged for electric generating facilities until the power plant has been placed in service and is providing electricity to customers. The staff of the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) in December raised a number of red flags about the proposed legislation.

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