Aquila may keep disputed power plant

April 24, 2008


— Utility regulators could decide whether Aquila can continue operating a Cass County power plant that courts have ordered torn down.

The House has endorsed a bill that essentially overrules the courts, giving the Public Service Commission until next August to approve the plant.

Aquila built a power plant near Peculiar in 2005 without the blessing of county officials. Utility regulators in 2006 approved the plant's construction after it was already built. But a trial and appeals court said the commission's permission came too late.

Bill supporters say the power plant is needed and that it doesn't make sense to tear down a plant so it can be rebuilt. But critics say lawmakers are essentially rewarding Aquila's illegal behavior.


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