Friday, March 18, 2011

POWER to the people

The CapX2020 project continues moving forward (after it leaves the Mississppi valley it turns into the "Badger Coulee Transmission Line.")

Last night, there was a meeting of the board of the Kickapoo Valley Reserve Center that was open to the public (but only board members could ask questions.) In attendance were representatives (two public relations people and one environmental person) from American Transmission Company (ATC). There will be another meeting on March 24 at the Kickapoo Reserve - at this meeting, questions from the audience will be accepted.

Different members of the board asked questions dealing with timeline, route alternatives, environmental studies, and the process with the Public Service Commission (PSC). ATC demonstrated they are at the start of the routing process. They will identify all possible routes then choose a few preliminary routes. At that point, they will do environmental studies and cost estimate. Finally, they will choose a main and an alternate route.

ATC will then submit an application to the PSC. The PSC can review the materials and choose a different route if they wish. Per the article in the Winona Post, there are several problems with the line as it crosses the Mississippi involving several agencies including the DNR, the DOT and US Fish and Wildlife agency.

However, all this may change as Scott Walker appoints more "business friendly" members of these state agencies and boards. The PSC is key, though, and they rarely say no. The term of local guy, Mark Meyer, currently a PSC board member, expires this year. Who will Walker pick to replace him? We can only imagine.

So, while all this other stuff is going on, keep your eye on the CapX2020-Badger Coulee Transmission Line project and attend the March 24 meeting (6 p.m. at the Kickapoo Reserve Center) if you can.

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