THIS WEEK, the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) is expected to launch the public review process of the Cardinal Hickory Creek proposal to consider high-voltage transmission and non-transmission alternatives. For the first time in more than 20 years1, a proposal to build a costly and invasive expansion transmission line will face strong competition from Non-Transmission Alternatives that are widely preferred by electric customers whether they are concerned about the large expansion costs on electric bills or striving to rapidly reduce CO2 emissions that are associated with all grid-supplied power2.
SOUL OF WISCONSIN welcomes electric customers, land owners, residents, business owners, naturalists, environmentalists, energy activists, elected officials and community leaders across Wisconsin and the greater Midwest to join an expected record number of public intervenors in expressing substantial concerns and recommendations from a wide variety of unique perspectives. The positions taken by transmission builders’ can be accessed on the PSC docket3. Assessments of builders’ claims and advantages of Non-Transmission Alternatives4 can be reviewed in recent SOUL eNewsletters.
THE FIRST COMMENT OPPORTUNITY called scoping input5, has already begun. The citizen opportunity will continue through January 4, 2019 to allow multiple submissions from each commenter. The simplest way to provide input is to use a template to prompt ideas and paste the text into the PSC's on-line comment portal . Portal comments have the advantage of being officially recorded. One can also email comments to PSC staff, deliver materials in person at provided public meetings (below) and mail them. (See links to templates, sample letters, forms and complete comment packets in side bar, left).
WIDE COMMENTS ENCOURAGED. Scoping comments are not restricted to residents directly affected by the proposed transmission line. One may comment as visitor who appreciates the many natural and economic assets of the Driftless and Mississippi River areas. All electric customers across the Midwest have right to comment as they would share billions in utility expansion costs6 over coming decades. Concerningly, these costs are billed in ways that undercut the prices utilities can afford to pay for home, business and locally produced solar power and energy efficiency improvements7. As PSC Commissioners will select one the options before them in their final decision, SOUL encourages stressing personal preference for Non Transmission Alternatives. These alternatives include larger rebates for energy efficiency improvements, modern load management and investment in home, business and local renewable energy.
PSC SCOPING MEETINGS These meetings provide rare and important opportunities to show your concern and to Introduce yourself to PSC staff persons who will be authoring the agency’s official position statement on the proposal called the Environmental, Economic and Cultural Impacts Statement (EIS). The purposes of the EIS is to assess harmful impacts and help citizens and decision makers understand both the transmission option and less intrusive alternatives. If you plan to attend a scoping meeting can prepare more involved written comments in advance using a scoping packet or make an initial comment using a form available at the meeting. One can make unlimited comments through January 4, 2019 but staff will be well into writing the EIS by mid December. Consider making a copy for your comments to be emailed, hand delivered or mailed so they can be entered into the docket by SOUL or another party.
The PSC’s Public Scoping Meetings are:
Thursday, November 8, 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. (identical sessions) Dodger Bowl Lanes – Banquet Center 318 King St. Dodgeville
Monday, November 12, 2018 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. (identical sessions) Madison Marriott West-Salon A 1313 John Q. Hammons Dr. Middleton
Wednesday, November 14, 2018 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. (identical sessions) Grant County Fairgrounds Youth and Ag Center 916 E. Elm St. Lancaster
Contact Akanksha Craft ,CHC Docket Coordinator with questions at email@example.com or (608) 267-9509
GET HELP DOCUMENTING YOUR SPECIAL CONCERNS Four municipal governments are hosting evening sessions to constituents prepare detailed written submissions. These sessions allow persons with property, businesses, land, livestock and natural assets at risk to itemize and map sensitivities that are vulnerable to transmission line siting. The materials developed at these sessions are copied for documentation purposes and can be submitted to PSC staff at or after the PSC’s scoping meetings via mail.
Village of Montfort and Town of Wingville (Grant County)
Wednesday, November 7, 2018 - 6:30 pm
Montfort Community Center, 102 E Park St, Montfort
Towns of Lima (Grant County) and Belmont (Lafayette County)
Wednesday, November 14, 2018 ~7:30 pm
8712 Town Hall Road, Platteville
Contact Robin or Susan with questions
At 10:30 am at PSC Offices in Madison, WI and vis the internet, Commission staff will discuss how the interested and affected public can have their voices heard throughout PSC proceedings and outline the general process by which the Commission makes its decisions. The commission finally agreed to provide this information and opportunity to ask questions after more than a year of requests made by nine municipal government members of the Inter-Municipal Energy Planning Committee. Announced subjects in order include:
- Overview of Wisconsin's Administrative Procedures Act, Wisconsin Administrative Code ch. PSC 2 and PSC Guidelines of Contested Cases
- Review of the PSC's Electronic Records Filing System (ERF) procedures
- How to participate as a member of the public or as party to the proceeding
- Intervenor Compensation billing and application processes
- A sample case - start to finish
The presentation can be attended in person at: the Public Service Commission Hearing Room, Hills Farms State Office Building Room #S105 4822 Madison Yards Way Madison. Directions
Advance registration for in person attendance is encouraged by November 5 by e-mailing Matthew2.Spencer@Wisconsin.Gov
SOUL OF WISCONSIN
TUES., OCTOBER 30
ORGANIC VALLEY HEADQUARTERS
1 Organic Way, La Farge, WI
OR VIA PHONE CONFERENCE
CONTACT SOUL FOR CONFERENCE DETAILS
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Harnessing Our Local
Meeting Our Priorities with Household and Local Solutions
Shortfalls in Transmission Review Process and Busting Utility Myths
Confronting the Harmful Land and Economic Impacts of Transmission Expansion
Trustee, Village of Montfort, WI
StopPATH WV, Shepherdstown, WV
Participation, Politics, and Public Opinion
Driftless Area Land Conservancy, Dodgeville, WI
Protecting the Natural Habitats and Local Economies of the Driftless Area from Unnecessary Transmission Expansion
Powers Engineering, San Diego, CA
Local-Based Energy Futures and the Obstacle of Transmission Expansion
The grid to nowhere
An argument against building giant transmission lines
BY MICHAEL LENEHAN
MARCH 1, 2018