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Dane County Public Hearing
on Transmission Expansion 

In-Person April 25, Black Earth WI or by email 

          The Dane County Environment, Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee is requesting public comments concerning the Cardinal Hickory Creek 345 kV transmission expansion proposal for southwest Wisconsin and the County's Resolution calling for comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of Non-Transmission Alternatives.  Comments can be made in-person at the hearing or via email to Deputy Director Laura Hicklin.

Tuesday, April 25, 6 pm
Wisconsin Heights High School 
Hwy 14 - West of Black Earth, WI Directions

         The County's Resolution asks the Public Service Commission of WI (PSC) to improve electric customer and local government accountability during the state's review of high capacity transmission line proposals. Wisconsin became a target for utility-promoted transmission expansion after the state stopped evaluating the cost advantages of energy efficiency, load management and developing local renewables more than decade ago.  The proposed 125 mile, Cardinal Hickory Creek transmission line between Madison, WI and Dubuque, IA would be the eighth high capacity transmission line approved in WI in the last 10 years.

        The required billions charged to electric customers over the next 30-40 years, have already put Wisconsin's rates and fixed facility charges at the top in the midwest. Rob Danielson of the Town of Stark (Vernon County)  Energy Planning Committee observes, "As Dane County can attest, when local governments informally ask transmission developers to estimate impacts on our electric bills and provide total costs over 40 years, we are told they do not have time or resources to provide such information."  

         The resolution asks transmission developers to provide timely, electric customer friendly comparisons of the savings and environmental benefits that would come  if the same billions was invested, instead, into  "end-user" improvements in homes, farms, businesses and local renewable energy. Prior to 1998, state energy laws automatically required these comparisons.  

Today. the Reforming Energy Vision (REV) initiative in New York State and the 15 solar facilities sponsored by Dairyland Power are showing that energy efficiency, modern load management and community solar targeted to avoid expansion saves billions in capital utility costs-- a fixed debt that directly lowers the price our utilities  will pay us for the local energy we produce and efficiencies we prefer.

       Danielson adds, "More than any single, energy question before us, transmission expansion reveals lower cost alternatives that guarantee dramatic CO2 reductions and lower electric bills. Our energy future, our dollars, our lands and our local economies are at stake. You be the judge: Is it appropriate for transmission companies with state-granted powers to condemn our lands to tell us that they do not have time to answer questions put forward  by our elected officials?" 

        If the resolution is approved by Dane County, transmission builders would be formally asked to provide accountable information in coming months before the companies finalize their application to the PSC,   The timing is necessary for local governments and individuals to make informed recommendations during this stage of the Cardinal Hickory Creek review process to expand the scope and intent the Commission will consider.  

        If the PSC does not require the transmission developers provide the accountability requested before their application is submitted as early as next year, the only recourse for local governments, individuals and communities seeking crucial information is to commit significant monetary and time resources to formally "intervene" in the utility case.

       With resolution approval, Dane County would be joining more than 120 municipalities who have made similar requests.


Event to Explore DIY Grid Defection


Saturday, May 6, 2017
 Kickapoo Valley Reserve Visitor Center
Sponsor: WI Network for Peace & Justice 

The Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice is holding its Spring Assembly for members and guests to share efforts in promoting a more peaceful, just, and sustainable world. Public activities start at 10:30 am with network members and groups participating in a  circle discussion followed by lunch. Following lunch at 1:30 pm is a panel introducing divestment and re-investment activities associated with energy and environmental activism and the sanctuary movement in WI.  John Peck of Family Farm Defenders and Rob Danielson of SOUL of WI are among the panelists. Breakout workshops from  2:30 to 4:30 pm will go over specific practices in greater detail like rapid response during immigration raids, efforts underway to check sulfide mining in Upper Michigan and the Enbridge oil line addition in Wisconsin. The breakout workshop for SOUL will cover low and no cost ways to reduce a very significant percentage of household energy use to slash carbon footprints.. Pete Gruendeman will describe his popular DIY invention that uses solar panels to directly heat hot water and reduce reliance on the dirty grid power by 30%..

Individual reservations are $10; groups $35 including tabling space. Make reservations  on line or pay what you can at the door. The event will be held at the beautiful Kickapoo Valley Reserve Visitors Center just north of La Farge, WI on Highway 131. Overnight Lodging at Echo Valley Hope in Ontario, WI (608) 337-4578 ; Walk-in camping at the Reserve ($10/night) 608/625-2960 or and  camping from your car at Wildcat Mountain State Park, Ontario, WI (608) 337-4775 For more information, contact Dace Zeps 



Sustain Iowa County
Solar group buy available.  Visit to express interest and learn more. Next meeting  Sat, May 13, 11:00 am, Dodgeville Country Kitchen

Driftless Area Land Conservancy 
Banners and signs opposing the Cardinal Hickory Creek 345 kV high capacity transmission line available  for higher visibility locations. Contact 

Driftless Defenders
Driftless Defenders is a coalition of citizens dedicated to protecting the geologically unique Driftless Area from construction of high voltage transmission towers. Recent newsletter with action groups to fit different interests. For more information contact Robin 

Wisconsin Utility Investors
Wednesday, May 24, Madison WI
Day at the State Capital- Meeting with State Legislators: More Info/Registration  
9:30 am Registration; 10:00 am Meeting  & Guest Speaker 11:15  am Scheduled Legislative Meetings; 12:30 pm Lunch; 12:45 pm Luncheon Speaker; 1:20 pm Wrap-Up.  Invited guest speakers include Governor Scott Walker and PSC Commissioner Mike Huebsch. WUI membership is $15 per year. You can invite 3 guests to this event. 

Neighbors United. Missouri
County governments and supporting constituencies and orgnizations were successful in turning back a court effort by transmission builder AXTI to over ride county objections to the building the 345 kV, Mark Twain expansion transmission line project.  More

80 Feet is Enough
Lobby Day, Thursday, May 4, Madison WI
Propety Rights Lobby Day at the Wisconsin State Capitol: A great opportunity to meet with your state legislators and show your support for landowners who stand to lose more property and take on more risks if the Enbridge pipe line expands. Sign up with this registration form  and include your address for scheduling appointments with your legislators.  Bus transportation from Marshfield, Wisconsin Rapids, and Portage may still be available.   More

MGE's Annual Shareholder Meeting
May 16th 9am doors open Mtg 11:00am to 2:00pm
Marriot Madison West, 1313 John Q Hammons Dr, Middleton, WI  
Re-Power Madison  MGE shareholders will vote on a proxy resolution calling for MGE to lead a study on the electrification of transportation in Madison. A press release from MGE Shareholders for Clean Energy states that MGE “has tremendous potential to jump start this coming technological revolution, and to replace polluting energy with clean renewable power. The resolution points to transportation as an emerging market and calls on MGE to work with local partners and national experts to develop a road map for this new value prospect.”

Midwest Renewable Energy Fair
Thursday June 15 to Sunday June 18, Custer. WI
The latest information and excellent networking. Speakers include JB Straubel is the Chief Technical Officer (CTO) and co-founder of Tesla Motors and Erica Mackie, GRID Alternatives a major national nonprofit that makes solar technology and job training accessible to underserved communities. SOUL can always use volunteer help at our busy booth.  More 

NY REV:  Neighbors Trade Solar; First Micro Grid 
Dozens of solar-panel arrays spread across Brooklyn, NY rowhouse rooftops are wired into a growing network. called the Brooklyn Microgrid. This project under advances promoted by the NY State PSC supports virtual trading between solar-energy producers to sell excess-electricity credits from their systems to buyers in the group.  More  ConEdison's Brooklyn-Queens Neighborhood Program is installing its first micro grid aimed at deferring investment in the bulk power grid. The system involves  a combined battery, fuel cell and solar PV at Brooklyn's Marcus Garvey apartments. More 


The Rise and Fall of Big Transmission 
Uses principle of physics to explain why high capacity transmission never made sense and never will. By Steve Huntoon  More 



Support stronger environmental protections for thousands of miles of electrical power line right of ways in Wisconsin by signing this petition to the WI PSC asking the agency to adopt widely accepted vegetation management practices for creating diverse plant communities with small trees and shrubs that reduce maintenance and enhance wildlife habitat, forest ecology and aesthetic values..

Co-sign Request to
State Lawmakers

Your Wisconsin legislators will soon be asked to join, Rep. Dave Considine and Sen, Jon Erpenbach and others, in asking the Public Service Commission of WI to use its discretionary pow-er and require companies wishing to build expans-ion transmission lines in WI to provide comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of non-transmission alternatives in their initial application.
Consider giving SOUL your permission to co-sign this LETTER  with fellow constituents asking your state legislators to make the same request to the PSC. 
Are You Exploiting the Powers of your Household?

Its been a while since that 1973 home work assignment. It's never to late to discover clever, low-cost ways to become a 21st Century Load Defector to save money, slash emissions and live with cleaner conscience.  If your household electric bill is greater than 700 kilowatt hours, per month, it's likely you can make significant improvements. Learn more about the energy and emission savings tips and email SOUL for your personalized, online ledger to record your month to month and year to year progress. More tips.   Photo: The Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and the Wisconsin Historical Society)
20th Century Utility Assumptions Failing Ratepayers in 21st Century

Article by  David Roberts explaining causes for skyrocketing cost increases and unwitting liabilities utilities are bringing upon electric customers as they refuse to embrace cost-effective solutions. Companion article  by Roberts' provides an overview of New York State's Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) program in which the NY PSC ordered utilities to apply $200,000 towards energy efficiency, local power and load management instead of spending $1 billion upgrading an older substation. See also Sept 2016 progress report on the initiative.
LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP to support ratepayer energy investment priorities is only $5!  Membership numbers are especially important when SOUL intervenes in utility cases and seeks funding for engineers and other experts.  Consider two or more memberships for your family. Donations above the $5 fee are tax deductible. Join online here or mail a check to SOUL of Wisconsin, PO Box 146, La Farge, WI 54639 
Copyright © 2017 Wisconsin Energy Awareness Initiative, All rights reserved.

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