Dane County, City of Madison Asks PSC for Independent Transmission Line Study

February 22, 2007

Kathleen M. Falk, County Executive
David J. Cieslewicz, Mayor
Scott McDonell, Chair of Dane County Board of Supervisors

Madison - Dane County and the City of Madison is filing with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin a joint request for an independent study on the need for transmission line projects in the County.

The joint filing follows the November 7 election when Dane County voters approved a referendum seeking an independent study to determine the energy needs of the area. The vote was about 75 percent (152,741) to 25 percent (48,495).

In addition, in May 2006 the County Board passed and Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk signed Resolution 322 requesting an independent study on the need for transmission lines in Dane County.

Mayor Dave Cieslewicz signed a similar resolution passed by the Madison Common Council in July 2006, calling for a "comprehensive, independent study of the need for and cumulative impacts of the proposed transmission lines."

The American Transmission Company, which provides electric transmission to Dane County as part of its Midwest service territory, last year announced project proposals for the region.

"The Public Service Commission is the place to turn for an independent study. I said this early on when it became evident Dane County was being eyed for transmission line projects," Falk said, citing her April 2006 letter to the PSC. "The PSC has the tools and access to the independent expertise necessary to determine if transmission lines are needed. Because these projects always generate a tremendous amount of interest, an independent expert analysis is needed to provide a fair assessment of need."

"An independent study will give the public confidence that these far-reaching decisions are being made based upon the best available, most comprehensive information," said Cieslewicz. "These decisions will impact our community for decades to come, so it is vitally important that we get them right."

Scott McDonell, chair of the Dane County Board of Supervisors, added: "A lot has changed since ATC first proposed building a new power line. MG&E has reduced its electric demand forecasts and has decided to convert the Blount Street station from coal to natural gas. The demand for new housing has declined, and there has been a recent push nationwide to conserve energy and pollute less in order to slow global warming. That is why an independent study is so critical."

The PSC has 60 days to consider the request and make a decision.

###

Contact:
  • George Twigg, 266-4611
  • Joanne Haas, 267-8823
  • Scott McDonell, 266-5758