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April 1, 2020

2/21/2020 11:19:00 AM
An Open Letter to Governor Evers Regarding PSC Appointee

Dear Governor Evers;
As members of Driftless Defender's Leadership Team we represent over one thousand of your constituents in Southwest Wisconsin who adamantly oppose American Transmission Company's proposed Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission line. We suspect that you are not fully aware of the extent of opposition. We also suspect that you are not aware of your constituents' displeasure with your appointment of Rebecca Valcq as Commissioner of the Public Service Commission.
Now that Mike Huebsch has resigned as Commissioner you have the opportunity to show that you value and respect your constituents' opinions by providing a fresh face at the PSC.
1. We respectfully request that you appoint a commissioner who is independent and free of ties to the energy industry. For too long PSC decisions have been made in favor of the utilities who reap profits from transmission lines and ignore the needs of the ratepayers who are forced to pay for them.
2. We respectfully request that you appoint a commissioner who is well versed about modern developments in the rapidly-evolving energy field. We do not need high voltage transmission lines to become sustainable with renewable energy. We can achieve your laudable goal of being carbon free by producing and distributing energy locally in a way that would be much less expensive and cause much less destruction to our precious land and environment. Even the PSC's very own staff recognized the 21st Century technology that is the future of energy.
Driftless Defenders began in Spring of 2016 as a non-partisan, all-volunteer grassroots organization with the goal of preventing the construction of high-voltage transmission lines through the geologically unique Driftless Area. For four long years people have devoted their time, energy, talents, and money to raise public awareness and protect the Driftless from a project that has no proven greater public good. Unneeded, massive transmission lines would create serious environmental and economic issues that would negatively impact people's lives and irreparably damage our precious homeland.
Other grassroots organizations formed in Iowa, Dane, and Grant Counties to oppose CHC. Because we all worked cooperatively together, our efforts resulted in an unprecedented amount of public involvement in the PSC decision-making process. The fight continues, with eight parties filing appeals in federal and state courts challenging the commissioners' decision to approve CHC. Grassroots organizations' continued commitment to defeating CHC is proven by the fact that many, many people donated money to run ads in Wisconsin newspapers announcing the appeals.
We felt frustrated when our attempts to explain our position to you went unacknowledged and unheeded. We felt betrayed when you appointed Rebecca Valcq, an energy insider, as Commissioner. We were shocked and devastated when all three commissioners ignored public involvement, testimonies from experts and citizen intervenors, plus their very own staff, and approved CHC.
We urge you to respect public opinion and appoint a commissioner who is independent and forward thinking. We would welcome the opportunity to meet with you and explain our concerns. Thank you.
Driftless Defenders Leadership Team
Michelle Citron, Kate Cooper, Betsy D'Angelo, Boyd Gibbons, Susan, Michmerhuizen, Frank Sandner, Lea Stroncek

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