WisBusiness: Protest planned for Alliant meeting

By Brian E. Clark

Shareholders arriving for Alliant Energy’s annual meeting tomorrow will be greeted by a two-story, black, inflatable coal plant and sign-waving demonstrators protesting the company’s plans to build a coal-burning facility in Cassville, representatives of Clean Wisconsin and the Sierra Club promise.

“We’ll be there to tell them that coal is a flat-out bad investment for Wisconsin, the environment and ratepayers,” said Jennifer Feyerherm of the Sierra Club. “Wall Street says coal is risky and investors all over the nation are pulling the plug on coal plants.”

She said the inflatable is 20-feet tall and will have writing that lays out what environmentalists believe is wrong with coal.

Rob Crain, a spokesman for Alliant, said his company “welcomes the input” from the Sierra Club and Clean Wisconsin. But he argued that the Cassville plant is a “flexible fuel” facility that will burn biofuels including wood waste and switchgrass.

“This is not the coal plant of yesteryear that people are walking away from around the country,” he said.