December 5, 2023

BREAKING: Iowa Courts Side with Consumers on Electricity Transmission Competition

District Court Permanently Strikes Down ROFR Law; Enjoins Case Intervenors, MidAmerican and ITC, and Iowa Utilties Board from Further Action on Inappropriately Assigned Projects

DES MOINES – In a victory for Iowa electricity consumers, the Iowa District Court for Polk County has set aside Iowa’s unconstitutional Right of First Refusal (ROFR) law and regulation. In addition, the court barred the state from issuing permits on projects and intervenors from any action on their MISO assigned projects.  

“We are pleased that the Iowa courts have uniformly and rightly decided to reject the state’s ROFR law, which was anti-consumer, anti-competitive, and anti-free market. This decisive court action is a victory for consumers – and will lower electricity costs for Iowa families and businesses,” said Paul Cicio, Chair of the Electricity Transmission Competition Coalition. We look forward to seeing MISO conduct a competitive process for the Iowa projects in short order.”

In March, the Iowa Supreme Court issued a temporary injunction on the ROFR law, noting that the bill lacked the votes to pass without “logrolling” and calling it “quintessentially crony capitalism.”

In its ruling today, the District Court:

  • Permanently enjoined operation or enforcement of the ROFR law
  • Permanently enjoined the Iowa Utilities Board from taking any additional action, or relying on prior actions, related to any and all electric transmission line projects in Iowa that were claimed under the ROFR law.
  • Permanently enjoined intervenors MidAmerican Energy Company and ITC Midwest LLC from taking any additional action on transmission line projects claimed under the ROFR, including LRTP-7 (Webster-Franklin-Marshalltown-Morgan Valley); LRTP-8 (Beverly-Sub 92); LRTP-9 (Orient-Denny-Fairport); LRTP-12 (Madison-Ottumwa-Skunk River); and LRTP-13 (Skunk River–Ipava).
  • Declared that the permanent injunction does not prohibit the intervenors, if reassigned the above referenced projects, through competitive processes or otherwise in a manner not relying on the ROFR law, from seeking approval from the State to move forward with the previously claimed projects.

Last week, the ETCC released a comprehensive report outlining the high costs to consumers from state ROFR laws and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) failure to enforce FERC Order 1000 and embrace competition in the Transmission Planning Notice of Proposed Rule Making.

Read the report: FERC’s $277 billion electricity price hike.


About the Electricity Transmission Competition Coalition

The Electricity Transmission Competition Coalition (ETCC) is a broad-based, nation-wide coalition committed to increasing competition in America’s electricity transmission infrastructure. We advocate for common-sense policies and solutions that result in competitively priced transmission projects, which reduce energy costs for all ratepayers – from large manufacturers to residential consumers. The ETCC represents a diverse group of more than 80 companies and organizations from 48 states, including manufacturing groups, retail electric consumers, state consumer advocates, public power representatives, think tanks, and non-incumbent transmission developers.

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Press Contact:
Julian Graham





Read How the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Failure to Enforce Transmission Competition Will Lead to Decades of Electricity Price Inflation for American Consumers.