Wednesday, December 3, 2014

In Wisconsin, PSC hearings are for the little people

Turns out it's an affront to Wisconsin's three Public Service Commission members to suggest they actually attend public [sic] hearings in the field away from their Madison offices' lunch break West side restaurants and cafes as contentious and consequential transmission line siting decisions hang in the balance.

You'd think that these publicly-paid commissioners ($127,500 annually) holding public office through public appointment and confirmation processes to serve on a commission with the words "Public" and "Service" would rough it out-state at public hearings where members of the public offer public comments on the public impact of the projects in the Public Service Commission purview, but such was not the case in eight of the last ten such instances, and the next big one is no exception - - despite its multiple impacts on the public, the State Journal reports: 

Beginning next week, Wisconsin regulators will hold a series of public hearings on one of the state’s largest high-voltage transmission line project to date, which could cost ratepayers millions and slice through western Wisconsin.
But they won’t be there.
The three members of the Public Service Commission, which regulates utilities in Wisconsin, do not plan to attend the five public hearings on the Badger-Coulee project, a proposed 345-kilovolt power line between Holmen and Madison, said PSC spokesman Nathan Conrad...
The line, if approved, could encroach on up to 556 residences, as well as farm, forest and public lands. It is expected to cost up to $580 million, which would be the most expensive transmission project approved since 1996, according to PSC records. 
Hearings will be held in hugely inaccessible Waunakee, the very remote outpost of Wisconsin Dells, and also in faraway Cashton, a Monroe County community east of La Crosse that, for the commissioners, might as well in Tibet.

The place sounds perfect for huge new transmission towers:
Cashton sits atop some of the most scenic hills in southwestern Wisconsin.  Our education and healthcare services are highly regarded in the State. From the historic buildings, to the friendly people and quality lifestyle, Cashton is truly a village rich in tradition and a community renewed with energy!

1 comment:

Stirling Newberry said...

that use the lot of money. it is a lot of money for not doing anything however.