Terry Branstad

Iowa State worked with utilities to uproot key energy center

Iowa State University officials worked with utilities lobbyists for weeks to draft a law uprooting the state's renewable energy research center, giving the industry cover to avoid allegations of a "power grab," newly released emails show.

Iowa State announced in March that it would support transferring the 27-year-old Iowa Energy Center to the executive branch, even though no legislation to accomplish the change had been introduced. The announcement stunned supporters of the university-based center, which was directed to cancel its search for a new director even though it had "excellent candidates" and pull back several loans, emails show.

Lawmakers in...