Utilities Board orders MidAmerican to make studies public; utility delays again

posted on Wednesday, February 8, 2023 in Energy News

On January 29, the Iowa Utilities Board issued an order in their ruling of a lawsuit filed by IEC, ELPC, and Sierra Club, which claimed that internal planning studies conducted by the utility should not be confidential. 

The IUB agreed, stating: "there is significant public purpose and interest in the disclosure of the Non-Confidential Information. The non-redacted portions of the Studies will allow participants in the docket and the public generally to evaluate … the Wind PRIME proposal." 

The Board said it would publish redacted versions of the studies 14 days after the order. On the 14th day, MidAmerican filed a request for the Board to reconsider the order, along with publicly filed versions of the studies with MidAmerican’s own set of redactions. Their new proposed redactions include the overall conclusions of MidAmerican’s internally-conducted study. 

This action continues a pattern of delay and concealment by the utility, which has aggressively sought to keep this information from the public. The IUB must now allow time for parties in the docket to respond to the objection.  

“With this action, MidAmerican can appear supportive of transparency, while ultimately seeking once again to the delay the release of information that is incredibly relevant to their customers,” says Michael Schmidt, staff attorney for the Iowa Environmental Council. This action could provide a significant enough delay to keep the information from being released before the IUB’s scheduled hearing on the approval of Wind PRIME, which begins Monday, February 20.  

IEC, EPLC, and Sierra Club filed a response to MidAmerican's objection with the IUB on Tuesday, February 7. They continue to seek clarity on the release of the redacted studies, which the groups will share when they are available. IEC, ELPC, and Sierra Club, along with other parties in the docket, will participate in the IUB hearing on Wind PRIME later this month.  

  1. climate change
  2. coal
  3. solar power
  4. storage
  5. wind power