June 24, 2024


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Iowa regulators deny requests to halt construction of controversial Cardinal-Hickory Creek power line | Science & Environment

Iowa utility regulators say get the job done can continue on a electricity line involving Dubuque and Middleton despite a court purchase blocking the Mississippi River crossing.

The Iowa Utilities Board on Tuesday denied petitions by electrical power line opponents who sought to halt construction of the Cardinal-Hickory Creek project in light-weight of a federal judge’s ruling that it could not cross the Higher Mississippi River Countrywide Wildlife and Fish Refuge.

Opponents argued that with no the crossing the line cannot fulfill its function of going energy to japanese populace facilities and that by continuing the utilities have been “recklessly” spending ratepayers pounds.

In an order issued Tuesday, the utilities board mentioned opponents did not handle the authorized factors for a continue to be nor seek out a judicial overview of the board’s purchase authorizing the line.

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Five Wisconsin lawmakers and the state’s client advocate have asked condition regulators to suspend design on the Wisconsin side of the river, noting that without the connection the project can’t present the promised gains to consumers.

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The Wisconsin Community Provider Fee has not acted on people requests.

In January, U.S. District Choose William Conley sided with 4 conservation teams that sued to stop the $492 million challenge, acquiring the environmental critique was inadequate and the challenge is incompatible with the mission of the refuge, which covers 261 river miles among Rock Island, Illinois, and Wabasha, Minnesota.

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Lawyers for American Transmission Co., ITC Midwest and Dairyland Electricity Cooperative have appealed Conley’s choice and sought to suspend his buy blocking a proposed land swap with the refuge.

They argue a delay would increase development costs, which are passed on to ratepayers, “compromise reputable operation” of the Midwestern energy grid, and lead to ongoing congestion that helps prevent the supply of cheap wind electricity from Iowa.

Venture delays could final result in the regional grid operator capping output from new cleanse strength projects that could electric power millions of homes.

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Evers billed the program as a way to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and hold some of the roughly $14 billion a calendar year spent on imported energy, safeguarding each purely natural means and residents’ pocketbooks.

The utilities, which have by now expended extra than $161 million on the job, started slicing trees last fall to make way for the Wisconsin portion of the line and approach to get started pouring foundations this spring, in accordance to the most current development report submitted with point out regulators.

A person of the Iowa segments is about 75% complete, nevertheless building of the portion by the refuge is not scheduled to begin right up until this winter.

The utilities say they are confident the appeals court docket will overturn Conley’s ruling and plan to carry on get the job done on possibly aspect of the river, which Conley called “little additional than an orchestrated trainwreck.”