CRAWFORD COUNTY - At their meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 18, the Crawford County Board of Supervisors voted 9-7 against a resolution concerning High Capacity Transmission Lines that was already passed unanimously by the Crawford County Land and Water Conservation Committee. The vote was preceded by a lengthy discussion.
The resolution concerns High Capacity Transmission Lines and seeks to hold utility companies legally accountable by providing clear information, research, and non-transmission alternatives to the county, such as energy efficiency and distributed renewable energy production.
Similar resolutions were passed recently in both Grant and Vernon counties.
These alternatives have been shown to be lower-cost and more energy efficient. According to the U.S. Dept. of Energy these non-transmission alternatives are the most effective ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
The resolution read as follows:
TO THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION (PSC) OF WISCONSIN AND UTILITY APPLICANTS FOR DOCKET 05-CE-146 REGARDING THE CARDINAL-HICKORY CREEK PROPOSAL AND CONSIDERATION OF ALTERNATIVES
WHEREAS, the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin has received a joint utility application containing an option for a 345-kV high-capacity transmission line from Middleton, Wisconsin to Montfort, Wisconsin to Dubuque County, Iowa; and,
WHEREAS, the high voltage transmission option includes the potential construction of a large-scale, 345- kV substation facility in the Montfort, area creating the possibility of additional, potentially impactful, transmission facilities connecting to the facility in the future; and,
WHEREAS, our municipality's responsibilities include protecting and enhancing natural and local economic assets, including scenic beauty and development potential that could be Impacted by 110 to 170-foot steel or concrete poles and wires for high voltage transmission; and
WHEREAS, high-profile transmission lines have the potential to reduce property values and slow economic development due to their prominent visibility and perceived negative health effects; and,
WHEREAS, growth of demand for electricity in Wisconsin and adjacent states has been flat in recent years and utilities that might utilize the facility are not projecting significant increases in energy use or peak demand; and,
WHEREAS, the cumulative, long-term costs considering construction, financing, operation, maintenance and securitization could place significant financial burden on electric customers within and beyond our jurisdiction; and,
WHEREAS, it is unknown whether any increase in energy demand estimated by the applicants might be more cost effectively met with comparable or lesser investment in accelerated energy efficiency, conservation, load management, and development of local renewable power options; and,
WHEREAS, it is unknown if the high voltage transmission option or investments to improve the efficiency and self-sufficiency of homes, farms and businesses could develop and stabilize local economies with minimal negative impacts; and,
WHEREAS, Wisconsin State Statute 1.13(2) encourages governmental units to define their energy planning priorities and Wisconsin State Statute 1.11(2) encourages the WI PSC to study, develop, and describe appropriate alternatives to recommended courses of action for full public consideration; and,
WHEREAS, our county lacks important information required to make informed recommendations during the public information stage of this docket; and,
WHEREAS, informed recommendations by counties and municipalities should receive review and consideration by PSC staff and additional experts;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that
1) Crawford County requests that the following information be a part of the completed application to appropriately evaluate impact of the proposed scope and goals of said application and subsequent considerations
(a) Crawford County requests 40 year, estimated total cost for the high voltage transmission option that electric customers would pay. These 40-year costs should itemize capital and other construction period costs; return on the investment; financing costs; operation and maintenance costs; costs for securing the facility against cyber or physical attacks; and any other costs that are ultimately paid by electric customers in sum.
(b) Crawford County requests clear, easy to read comparisons of impacts on average residential, commercial and industrial utility bills for years 5, 10 and 20 with and without high voltage transmission in service for all alternatives in the submitted application.
(c) Crawford County requests that modern load management, developing local renewable energy, alternative spending towards energy efficiency, end user improvements, and updating out of date distribution lines be a part of the application.
(d) Crawford County, in consideration of long-term, potential impacts of establishing 345 kV substation in or near Montfort, request the applicants provide knowledge (even speculation) of future interests in constructing new 138 kV or larger transmission lines connecting with the 345-kV facility.
2) Following PSC receipt of the application for Cardinal Hickory Creek, our county requests the Public Service Commission ask applicants for clarifications and information as required to ensure that information in the application is clear, understood by the public, and contains adequate information to arrive at a fair, just judgement of the proposal.
3) If, after 180 days following the PSC's completeness letter the applicants have not provided all of the information requested by our County in 1(a)-1(d) above, Crawford County requests that the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin consider the application as incomplete and terminate the application process.
4) Our municipality requests the Public ServiceCommission of Wisconsin to record this resolution in the public record of Docket 05-CE-146 and to include it, in entirety, in the Appendixes of the PSC's draft and final Environmental Impact Statements for same docket.
The person/agent below is authorized to transmit this resolution and other appropriate documents to
Wisconsin Public Service Commission on docket NOS-CE-146.