Gov. Terry Branstad is offering a fiery defense of his administration's efforts to work with an Egyptian company to build a $1.4 billion fertilizer plant in southeastern Iowa.
Branstad lashed out at the project's critics during a Tuesday community meeting in Fort Madison. He says Democratic state senators are playing politics when they criticize the hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks that state and local leaders offered Orascom Construction Industries for the plant, which he says will create jobs and help farmers.
Branstad defended his decision to finance the project with $1.2 billion in bonds meant to help Iowa businesses recover from the floods of 2008. And he said he believed the Koch brothers were behind some opposition to the plant because it would hurt their fertilizer business.