Citizens Energy Task Force (CETF) is appalled, but not surprised, by the Wisconsin Public Service Commission’s approval of the Badger Coulee regional transmission line.
$9 billion dollars in annual reported lobbying is spent to influence US policies, with the fossil fuel industry one of the dominant players and Wisconsin a poster-child state for corporate influence. Never has the need to change what drives our policies been so evident.
During the March 26 public hearing, the PSC Commissioners read from scripts that sounded like advertisements for the utilities. Repeating statements claiming that the process was thorough, Commissioners glossed over gross, documented omissions.
Almost five years ago citizens, communities and elected officials began asking for proof of ratepayer need and benefits, and to have the costs and benefits of the Badger Coulee project compared to alternatives. Despite laws stating analysis of alternatives must be done, the analysis never materialized — not in response to petitions, resolutions, letters from legislators, or a request by PSC staff. And while CETF agrees that Badger Coulee is an economically driven project, we maintain that the economic benefits go to utilities while ratepayers will be saddled with massive unneeded debt and the health, environmental and quality of life consequences that come with these unsightly, unnecessary lines.
CETF and Save Our Unique Lands (SOUL) are considering filing a Petition for Rehearing with the PSC and/or a Petition for Judicial Review with the circuit court to challenge the legal validity of the PSC decision. These options are part of the official administrative hearing process.
While the bias and disregard for citizen concern were rampant during the Commission’s approval, the words of Margaret Mead encourages us to continue, “never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
For More Information Please Contact: Debra Severson
608.269.6218 or 305.299.1400 (mobile)