Local residents, supported by the Sierra Club and the Iowa Farmers Union, managed to derail plans by the City of Waterloo to annex land requested by LS Power for a 750-megawatt power plant. Hundreds of citizens protested outside an annexation hearing in September.
'It was clear that this annexation was not in the public interest,' said Carole Yates, from the local branch of the Sierra Club. 'Coal-fired power plants are the largest source of global warming in the country and this proposal was a collection of worst practices - for our energy system, for our economy, for the environment, and for our community.'
Gregg Heide from the Iowa Farmers Union which supported the action said:
'We have concluded that farmers benefit from a farm-based renewable energy than from giant new coal plants. We consider plants like this a threat to a sustainable, farm-based rural economy.'
In the past year, Florida, Oklahoma, Delaware, Idaho and California have all rejected coal power plant planning applications in favour of cleaner sources of generation.
This article first appeared in the Ecologist October 2007