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Hatch Blasts Branstad for Nixing Solar Grant

IOWA CITY, IA (AP) - Iowa Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jack Hatch says Gov. Terry
Branstad's decision to return a $1 million solar energy grant shows that utility companies are calling the shots in his administration.

Hatch said Monday that he was disturbed by Branstad's decision to return the U.S. Department of Energy grant, which was designed to reduce the regulations and costs associated with adopting solar power on a local level.

The Associated Press reported last week that the Iowa Utility Association lobbied the Iowa Economic Development Authority to make key changes to the state's grant plan.

Federal officials didn't accept Iowa's changes after months of negotiations, and both sides agreed to terminate the grant.

Hatch says Branstad "needs to rethink his authority not to be controlled by the special interests of the utility companies."

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