Fight over power plant intensifies

MADISON —The fight over Alliant Energy’s proposed coal plant in Cassville intensified today when Clean Wisconsin, the state’s largest environmental organization, launched an advertising campaign highlighting the economic and environmental concerns with the plant in response to a series of Alliant advertisements pushing the proposal.

“The coal plant Alliant wants to build in Cassville is both bad for the environment and the economy,” the radio ad reads. “It would spew three million tons of global warming pollution every year, cost more than one billion dollars, and set back the Governor’s goals on global warming.”

The advertising campaign comes in response to a series of Alliant advertisements suggesting that the coal plant is an innovative “path to a greener future.” Clean Wisconsin’s radio and Web banner advertisements provide factual information that will help the public understand the true consequence of Alliant’s coal plant proposal.

“There’s nothing innovative about building an inefficient coal plant that would dramatically increase both global warming pollution and electricity bills,” said Katie Nekola, energy program director at Clean Wisconsin. “We’re offering Wisconsin residents the information they need to see through Alliant’s smoke-and-mirrors attempt to market this coal plant proposal as environmentally and economically sound.”

The estimated construction cost of the proposed plant has jumped from $795 million when Alliant first introduced the proposal to over $1.2 billion today. Alliant’s customers could expect to see a five to six percent increase in electricity bills every year in order to pay for the plant, according to Alliant’s own analysis.

“Alliant’s coal plant proposal is a bad deal for Wisconsinites,” Nekola said. “Alliant can provide the power its customers need without compromising our environment or our economy by building another dirty coal plant.”

The advertisements are scheduled to run through mid-September, when the Public Service Commission will hold public hearings regarding the coal plant proposal.