Branstad, who appoints the members of the utilities board, warned against "political interference" into the administrative review process by which a pipeline carrying Bakken crude oil and a transmission line transporting wind-generated electricity could be approved.
"It would be mistake to get politics into this," Branstad said. "We should abide by the processes that have been put in place."
An outgoing member of the Iowa Utilities Board has bluntly told Gov. Terry Branstad in a letter that his decision to remove her is improper and being done to placate a powerful energy company.
Sheila Tipton told the governor in the March 18 letter that his move to replace her and demote board chairwoman Elizabeth Jacobs is an inappropriate attempt to influence future decisions to favor utilities and "appease MidAmerican Energy." 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.
Where I come from, that's called hypocrisy, and it's shameful. Only when regulators may regulate without political interference can the industry they regulate fail to capture them. It's time for the voice of the citizens of Iowa to be heard!