Iowa State Backs Plan To Give Up Key Energy Research Center

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa State University is supporting a plan to transfer the state’s 27-year-old center for energy research to Gov. Terry Branstad’s administration.

The university confirmed Monday that the Iowa Energy Center is expected to move to the Iowa Economic Development Authority, which has an energy office that works to assist the private sector.

A state energy plan recently unveiled by Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds recommended those two agencies collaborate closely. A university spokesman says the transfer will give the center a “new and expanded role.”

Ralph Rosenberg of the Iowa Environmental Council says he sees no reason for the shift and worries the center will lose its research independence.

The move would require legislation because a 1990 law established the center at Iowa State.

But the university’s treating it as a done deal. The school suspended a national search for a new center director while the transfer’s worked out.

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