re: proposed transmission lines Background on proposed MN-WI transmission lines
Transmission line - Updates: 2003 . 2001: 01-04. , 05-09 .
• 2000: 01-04, 05, 06-07, 08-10., 11, 12..  1999 .
  WI Wisconsin's Rural Rebellion
Model Resolution on proposed Transmission Lines
re: hydroelectric power Background on hydroelectric dams destroying Manitoba Cree rivers
Hydroelectric Dams - Updates: 2002, 2001, 2000: 01-03., 04-07, 1999
power lines
Page Contents:

Updates:

2005
2004
2003
Proposed MN-WI transmission lines -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Power Back to the People


June 26, 2005 Urgent!  Ask Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle to veto the Montgomery bill AM 437/SB 234
Aug. 19, 2004 NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARINGS - electric transmission line
Jan. 3
Wisconsin PSC Calls for Public Comment (needed by mid-Jan.) on Reopened Arrowhead-Weston Case 
Feb. 25 Public Service Commission Challenged On Private Meetings With Utilities During Transmission Line Case
May 10 Save Our Lands (SOUL), Namekagon River Gathering, canoe paddle

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From: Tom Kreager NOLINE@MTC.NET
Jun 26, 2005
Subject: URGENT: Fax or CALL Governor Doyle today!!!

Ask Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle
to veto the Montgomery bill AM 437/SB 234

Please call or fax Governor Doyle
and tell him to veto this ill-advised bill.


Phone 608-266-1212
Fax 608-267-8983


Pass this along to anyone else who may be concerned about this issue especially in the southern part of the state!

The bills referred to in this email are the ones which you may have heard of on the radio or in print:  for the first time ever, they would allow for public lands--in this case the "insurgent" Douglas County's park and forest lands--to be condemned by Eminent Domain upon request from a PRIVATE CORPORATION, in this case the American Transmission Company, to build their huge transmission line though Wisconsin's wetlands and forest lands.

If this bill is passed NO local public land, park or forest would be off limits from new transmission lines and may actually be targeted because of the ease the new bill provides to take it.

Governor Doyle (a Democrat, oddly enough) has indicated willingness to sign this giveaway of public lands to the corporate interests.You shouldn't need me to tell you that this is a complete sellout by this governor to the ATC corporation.

The Governor has lamely stated that "we" need to allow this corporation to have its way, or else face energy shortages in the future.  These statements assume there is no other way than centralized power production and distribution, when in fact you probably realize there is a perfectly viable alternative, called renewable energy production close to the end-user.  Locally produced, locally distributed.  Simple alternative.

Please call or fax Governor Doyle and tell him to veto this ill-advised bill.

Phone 608-266-1212
Fax 608-267-8983

-------------------------------------

Public Notice
US Army Corps of Engineers, St Paul District
APPLICANTS
Minnesota Power,
Wisconsin Public Service Corporation,
American Transmission Company

REFER TO 03-04029-TJF
Section 404 - Clean Water Act
and Section 10 - Rivers
and Harbors Act of 1899

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARINGS - electric transmission line
Thursday August 19, 2004

In conjunction with the construction of an aerial 345kV electric transmission line the applicants have applied for Department of the Army permits to discharge fill material into waters and wetlands, and cross navigable waters. The project, referred to as the Arrowhead to Weston Transmission Line, extends about 208 miles from Oliver, Wisconsin to near Wausau, Wisconsin. The enclosed map indicated the approximate route of the proposed transmission line.

During the Public Notice comment period, our office received several requests for a public hearing, asking that an opportunity be provided to express concerns regarding potential impacts to sensitive resources. A public hearing will be held gathering additional information which will be considered in evaluating the permit decision for this project. The public hearing will be held from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM on Thursday August 19, 2004 at the LCO Casino Convention Center. The Center is located at 13767 West County Road B, about 4 miles east of Hayward, Wisconsin.

All interested parties, groups and agencies are invited to be present or be represented at this hearing. Oral statements will be heard, but for accuracy of the record, we request that Written statements be handed to the hearing officer or mailed to the St. Paul District, Corps of Engineers, at 190 Fifth Street East, St. Paul, Minnesota 55101-1638.

The record for this hearing will be kept open for 10 days following the hearing, to receive additional statements. All statements, both oral and written, will become part of the official record on the proposed project.

If you have any questions about the project, or the public hearing, please contact Mr. Tim Fell in our St. Paul office, at (651) 290-5360.

 

(signed)

Robert J. Whiting
Chief, Regulatory Branch



MAY 10, 2003

Save Our Unique Lands (SOUL)
http://www.wakeupwisconsin.com

Linda Ceylor, SOUL hillsidedairyfarm@yahoo.com

Namekagon River Gathering

Wisconsin's Namekagon River was designated part of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway in 1968. It is administered by the National Park Service. The National Park Service, in an upcoming draft environmental impact statement, is in a position to deny the American Transmission Company permission to cross the Namekagon River with the proposed, 250 mile-long Arrowhead-Weston electric transmission Line.

On May 10, canoeists, kayakers and friends will gather to paddle the Namekagon River, and express their concerns about "The Line." As proposed, the Line would cross many northern rivers along the route between Duluth and Wausau, including the Namekagon River. Impacts would include hundreds of 150' tall towers, 900 feet apart, each requiring base pilings submerged to 40' below ground.

Citizen groups, most notably northern-Wisconsin based SOUL, (Save Our Unique Lands) question whether The Line is truly needed. SOUL president Tom Kreager says the Line is "intended to be a superhighway for deregulation...It has very little to do with the people of Wisconsin or providing for the needs of Wisconsin ." Currently, eleven Wisconsin counties where construction is scheduled have a resolution against the line. More than 100 towns and organizations have resolutions. Several counties and towns are blocking surveying on county lands, says Linda Ceylor, SOUL vice president.

Members of northern Manitoba's Pimicikamak Cree Nation (PCN) will be present at the gathering to share their experiences living in Cross Lake, "ground zero" of a Manitoba Hydro dam project. The PCN's traditional way of life has been turned upside down by construction of a hydro dam. Their story has been chronicled in the video "Deadly Power." In the words of Sandy Beardy, Traditional Chief of the Pimicikamak Cree Nation, "We know that electric power is very important, but here where the dams are, they are still destroying the environment and our hunting, fishing and trapping way of life. We can't make you understand our loss which you haven't experienced, but we pray that the people of Minnesota and the other states will use their wisdom and knowledge to ask their leaders to stop making contracts with a company that drowns the hopes of

Lisa Goodman (608) 441-8410, goodman@wisconsinrivers.org
Claire Schmidt (608) 251-7020, schmidtc@chorus.net .

The Namekagon River Gathering is sponsored by: SOUL (Save Our Unique Lands) - River Alliance of Wisconsin - Wisconsin Stewardship Network - Wisconsin's Environmental Decade - Anishinaabe Niijii/Protect The Earth

For a copy of the video, Deadly Power, contact Claire Schmidt,
at Wisconsin's Environmental Decade, schmidt@chorus.net.
For more information about SOUL, and the Pimicikamak Cree,
visit http://www.angelfire.com/wi/wakeupwisc/home.html

 


 

January 3, 2003


Wisconsin PSC Calls for Public Comment
-------------------------------------
on Reopened Arrowhead-Weston Case


Save Our Unique Lands (SOUL) http://www.wakeupwisconsin.com

Mosinee, WI. January 3, 2003---The Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) issued notice that they will reexamine the 240-mile transmission line across northern Wisconsin now that its cost estimate has nearly tripled to $400 million. The PSC is calling for public comments on whether the PSC should reconsider the entire project, including a review of alternative lines, renewable, conservation, and new generation that may make this highly contested project obsolete. Public comments must be received by noon, Friday, Jan. 31, 2003, or if filing by fax one day earlier. The words "05-CE-113 Comments Regarding Revised Project Costs" must be clearly indicated on the first page of each filing. The public should address comments to:
Lynda L. Dorr, Secretary to the Commission
Public Service Commission
PO Box 7854
Madison, WI 53707-7854
FAX:608-266-3957

Tom Kreager, president of SOUL, a group of citizens who formed in opposition to this project seeking an integrated energy policy for Wisconsin, said that he welcomes a reopening of the Arrowhead-Weston docket, "During the initial comment period over 10,000 public comments were made in opposition to this project. We encourage the public to comment again, and hope that they will be listened to this time."

"When the project was approved in 2001, the PSC Commission and the utilities said there were no other alternatives to meeting the state's increasing energy needs. For the past four years, SOUL along with counties, towns and numerous other groups have been working to stop the line in favor of alternatives that are economically and environmentally sound," Kreager added.

The American Transmission Company (ATC) has taken over the job of getting the line approved and constructed - originally proposed by two other utilities.

PSC regulators will examine two additional issues besides the serious budget overages:

The ATC has asked the PSC to reconsider its request to hang fiber optic cable on the 345,000 volt transmission line. The PSC originally rejected the fiber because landowners feared ATC would use the line to generate private revenue through joint projects with cable or phone companies. In 2001, the PSC ruled that ATC cannot use its power of eminent domain to condemn land for the purpose of renting tower space to fiber optic cable companies. Now, ATC is asking for 12 strands "for utility purposes" rather than the original requested 48 strands. "Optical fiber has skyrocketed in its capacity over the past few years - today just one strand can carry the communication equivalent of the world's internet traffic. SOUL believes this is yet another attempt by the utilities to use eminent domain to take private land so that they hang fiber and lease excess capacity to third-party providers in the future - without just landowner compensation."

The ATC is also asking the PSC to overlook the law by requesting the right to purchase easements and condemn private land through eminent domain, prior to securing all necessary Wisconsin DNR permits for construction. The PSC, following state law, declared in 2001 that the project would not be validated (issued a CPCN) until the Wisconsin DNR "has issued all necessary permits and approvals that are required." The Wisconsin DNR says that it cannot issue permits to ATC because the utility does not have a property interest in the private land it wants permits for. Because the ATC needs a CPCN to condemn land and get the DNR permits -- without DNR permits, it has no effective CPCN and cannot condemn land.

"All of the issues that SOUL has said will come to pass have finally been brought to light." Kreager said.

 

Attention News Room Personnel:

This press release was prepared by SOUL to inform the public along the same lines as a Public Service Announcement. This item needs to be addressed in a timely fashion, as comments are due 27-28 days from the date of this announcement.

Language in the �Notice of Request for Comments�, mailed from the Public Service Commission December 17, 2002 states:

(pp. 3) �Any party who desires to file comments should submit an original and ten copies, as indicated on page one. Members of the public need only file an original.

This comment period on this re-opened controversial project would go unnoticed by the public without announcements such as your media resources response could bring. We thank you in advance for letting the public know that they still have a voice in this project, a voice that will be heard by a new Public Service Commission Chairperson.

If you have any questions please contact:

Tom Kreager---715-693-3143
Linda Ceylor----715-474-2271
Jim Lipinski-----608-266-0478

We thank you in advance for your notice to the public on this matter.

Please do this TODAY.

 

February 25, 2003
For Immediate Release


Public Service Commission Challenged On
-------------------------------------
Private Meetings With Utilities During Transmission Line Case

Contacts: Claire Schmidt Frank Jablonski, Attorney
Local Issues Coordinator Porter,
Jablonski & Associates Wisconsin's Environmental Decade (608) 258-8511
(608) 251-7020/442-0121 frankj@mailbag.com schmidtc@chorus.net


Wisconsin's Environmental Decade today asked two Public Service Commissioners and several utility executives to 'immediately and fully disclose' any communications and records of private discussions concerning the controversial Arrowhead-Weston transmission project.

The demand came as Decade released information secured from the PSC under the Open Records Law showing that Public Service Commissioners Bie and Garvin met privately with representatives of the American Transmission Company (ATC) and other advocates for the transmission project while the case was designated as an 'active' court type proceeding by the PSC.

In "Type I" contested cases, the Commissioners sit as judges.

Sign in records from the PSC show Commissioner Bie met with ATC executives Jeff Rauh and Julie Voeck on September 12, 2001. The Commission was then considering the form of its final order on the Project.

Frank Jablonski, attorney for Wisconsin's Environmental Decade, said "It looks like the Commissioners are breaking the rules set up to make the process fair. We cannot see how fair minded Commissioners could meet with one side to a case where they are sitting as judges. The utilities already have hundreds of times as many resources as the citizens opposing the line. Separate meetings with utilities makes a lopsided situation even worse."

Additional meetings occurred after rumors surfaced in 2002 that the Arrowhead  Weston project, still designated as an "active" case before the PSC, would cost about $231 million more than the PSC had approved for recovery. On August 12, 2002, Rauh, Dale Landgren, ATC Vice President and Chief Strategic Officer and three other ATC executives signed in for a three hour meeting with "Garvin et al."

Rumors of massive cost overruns were confirmed by ATC in late October of 2002. (Milw. Jrnl.-Sntnl. October 21, 2002).

ATC's Vice President Mark Williamson, who had been hired specifically to "manage the Arrowhead-Weston transmission line project," (ATC Press Release, May 29, 2002, "Williamson joins American Transmission Company"), Rauh, and Daniel Doyle, ATC's Chief Financial Officer, signed in for a meeting with Commissioner Garvin and former Commissioner Mettner on September 30th, 2002.

Meetings involving more than one Commissioner at a time may violate Wisconsin's Open Meetings law, which requires advance notice and open access when a quorum of the Commission (two Commissioners) meets and conducts any government business. The PSC has only three Commissioners.

PSC records show Doyle and Rauh also met with Commissioner Bie the following afternoon, on October 1, 2002. A political appointee from the Department of Administration, John Marx, joined the meeting with Bie, according to the sign-in records. The Arrowhead- Weston Transmission line had been touted as part of former Governor McCallum's energy plan.

Claire Schmidt, local issues coordinator for Environmental Decade had the following comments:

"Commissioners Bie and Garvin and the utilities should immediately and fully disclose all private dealings that they have had with each other over this issue."

"When utilities first proposed this environmental disaster, people from Northwest Wisconsin openly wondered if they could get a fair shake from this Commission. Their fears were justified. Any decision coming from this process is now suspect."

 

 

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Background on proposed MN-WI transmission lines
Transmission line - Updates: 2002, 2001: 01-04 , 05-09 .
• 2000: 01-04, 05, 06-07, 08-10, 11, 12 . 1999 .
Wisconsin's Rural RebellionModel Resolution on proposed Transmission Lines
Background on hydroelectric dams destroying Manitoba Cree rivers
Hydroelectric Dams - Updates: 2001, 2000: 01-03, 04-07 . 1999 .
Midwest Treaty Network Contents