Wisconsin soon wide open for transmission line business? Public hearing Tuesday 2/26

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Here comes another one of Scott Walker’s “Open for Business” efforts. This time it is SB35 which intends to make Wisconsin wide open to high power transmission lines.

SB35

* SB35 completely eliminates the requirement that a transmission path plan be submitted to the DNR. It just goes to the Public Service Commission. As law currently stands, the company applying must give a path plan 60 days before the PSC gives the company building its building permit – what is called a “certificate of public convenience and necessity” or CPCN. Thus, there will be no checking of the transmission line path against locations of pristine wetlands, or migratory wildlife paths, or nesting grounds etc. This will make sure of that.

Lifted from the summary of the bill: “In addition, current law requires an applicant for a CPCN
for a high-voltage transmission line to submit a detailed project plan to the
Department of Natural Resources (DNR) at least 60 days prior to filing the CPCN
application. This bill eliminates the requirement to submit the plan to DNR.”

* SB35 renders an application for a transmission line “complete” if the WI Public Service Commission does not get back to the applying company within 30 days.

* SB35 gives the company applying another 30 days of secrecy (You might call that “a running start”). As the law stands now, every city, town, village, and public library of same must get a copy of the transmission line application within TEN days of the application filing date. If SB35 goes through as is, then the governments and libraries will not be notified until the application is complete.

There is additional language in there about allowing the transmission companies additional flexibility over who exactly is constructing the line and how the electricity is shared over the lines and frankly, because I’m not acquainted with this industry, it’s over my head. I hope I can update this after a call to an expert.

Here is Senate Bill 35

There’s a public hearing on SB35
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
11:30 AM
330 Southwest

Senate Bill 35
Relating to: powers and duties of an electric transmission company and
certificates of public convenience and necessity and permits for certain electric
generating facilities and high-voltage transmission lines. By Senator Farrow – source

A reminder of what it is that transmission companies have already planned for Wisconsin

There is the CapX2020 which stretches from the Dakotas to the LaCrosse region.

And then there is what is nicknamed the “Badger Coulee” spur that would shoot down to Madison, Wisconsin.

Map below dated October 2012:

For more reading on who objects to CapX2020 and the Badger Coulee spur, see

Soul of the Kickapoo

NoCapX2020 – they seem to be focusing on the Minnesota side of things.

Citizens Area Taskforce

Map of CapX2020 path Hampton, Rochester, LaCrosse

Related reading:

CapX2020 route OK’d by regulators May 11, 2012 12:00 am • By JUDY NEWMAN | Wisconsin State Journal

Crime and Courts: Power line opponents take PSC to court AUGUST 26, 2012 6:15 AM • STEVEN ELBOW | THE CAPITAL TIMES

WPR interview with transmission line representative and Irv Balto. 1 1/2 minutes

2nd part of interview with Ron Kind has info. on transmission line plans. from LAX WPR archives. Must download an mp3 HERE (couldn’t get my computer to play it) from March 15, 2012

Brief history of the planning to build this project from the Dakotas to Wisconsin at Legalectric

ATC would build Badger Coulee. Their info HERE.

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