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Veto possible of Iowa deregulation following green group protests

An electric utility restructuring bill in the Iowa legislature still does not include the renewable-friendly provisions sought by wind advocates and backed by Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack (Windpower Monthly, March 2000.) The governor has threatened to veto any bill that does not include the provisions, but state Republicans oppose the amendments, saying they could raise consumer prices. The provisions backed by state agencies, local advocates and the American Wind Energy Association now include a renewables portfolio standard that calls for 8% of clean energy in Iowa by 2011, net metering, a public benefits fund and a disclosure on consumer bills showing a utility's mix of resources. The RPS is an increase from 2.5% already mandated by late-1980s legislation. Republicans, who saw restructuring legislation defeated last year when they balked at similar provisions, have proposed a compromise that offers incentives for renewables rather than a mandate. Representative Frank Chiodo, a Democrat, says that probably will not work. "Incentives without a mandate don't make sense," he says. The legislative session ends in mid-April. Without some compromise, it is possible restructuring in Iowa will have to wait another year.

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