Energy Innovation Key to our Future

by Deb Severson

Rather than accept that battles waged about high-voltage regional transmission lines are between not-in-my-backyard challengers and straight-line engineers, or coal vs. renewable energy, we should get curious, educated and involved.

Rather than accept that more transmission will improve the reliability and environmental impact of our grid, we need to relentlessly ask “why?” Especially when the stakes are so high.

Read the entire article at

Thank you, Deb, for another eloquently written article on the need for a energy solution paradigm shift in Wisconsin and across the nation.



PSC Cracks the Door Open for Citizen Input on CapX2020


On May 14, 2014 the Wisconsin Public Service Commission authorized the limited reopening of the CapX2020 docket to consider new evidence regarding the route.  CETF commented, and asked the Commission to use its discretion to reevaluate the project based on:

  1. I.               Potential for adverse human, animal and avian health issues on these, and all, routes  that were previously not addressed

Despite the substantive recent research, the Environmental Impact Statement ignored growing concern and research regarding human, animal and avian health connected to transmission lines’ emission of UV and ionizing radiation due to corona discharge. … when it is a public health issue, the Commission should apply this new learning not only to the realignment of routes but the project at large ….  New and recent research calls into question the Commission conclusion “the facilities approved by this Final Decision will not have undue adverse impacts on environmental values including ecologic balance, public health and welfare, …” and provides a significant cause to pause to protect citizens, communities and our habitat.

  1. II.              Updated cost projections based on the potential and previously granted realignments, along with progress / learning to date
  1. III.            Implications of exercising eminent domain on these, and all, routes when other solutions resolve reliability-based need in the La Crosse area

If the Commission and applicants say utilities are maxed out on using demand response to shave peak demand and new information shows CapX2020 utilities have shaved their use to none, how in good conscience can eminent domain and rate payer dollars be sacrificed to expand utility access to the wholesale energy market?

On January 9, 2014, CETF and SOUL petitioned the Commission to Reopen the CapX2020 docket providing relevant new information that negated or deferred the need for the CapX2020 Hampton-La Crosse transmission line, and demonstrated that less expensive and less denigrating solutions were available to address critical load concerns in the La Crosse area.

The Commission ignored the request, and CETF takes issue with the Commission’s ignoring citizens who present crucial, valid and new information while choosing to reopen the docket when the utilities make the request.  Because of this, CETF asked the Commission to be certain the project benefits the ratepayers the Commission is meant to serve by considering new information presented in its May 30 response  but also in January 2014.

Comment period has been extended to Friday June13, 2014 12:00 noon and CETF encourages interested citizens to provide their own comments.