The City of Albert Lea has hired Flaherty & Hood to challenge Alliant Energy’s (also known as Interstate Power and Light) recently proposed 22 percent Minnesota electric rate increase. During the worst economic climate in more than 70 years, this rate increase will amount to a more than $200,000 yearly impact on the City of Albert Lea’s budget. State law allows Alliant Energy to raise rates on an interim basis before the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) determines whether the rate increase is necessary, and as such, many communities in southern Minnesota are already feeling the impact of this massive increase in their electric bills. The rate increase will be effective permanently after the MPUC rules on the case during the summer of 2011. Attorneys Joe Sullivan and Steve Nyhus are planning a comprehensive legal and media strategy to pressure the MPUC to significantly lower or eliminate the rate increase.