Wisconsin Public Service Commission staff has determined that American Transmission Co.’s half-billion-dollar high-voltage transmission line project, known as Cardinal-Hickory Creek, would lose money in most of the future scenarios it studied.

In a few cases, it might make a few pennies per month.

The commission has also determined that Cardinal-Hickory Creek would cause ratepayers across the Midwest to pay more, not less, for electricity as the Mid-Continent Independent System Operator and Cardinal-Hickory Creek applicants have promised.

In one scenario the commission says might potentially save some money, $200-$270 billion in new proposed power plants is not included. Also not included is the rapid growth in distributed energy, such as solar, or the freezes in energy efficiency at 10%.

Applicants seem opposed to everything that avoids energy use and saves energy customers significant dollars.

Our older transmission lines are not efficient. For far less than Cardinal-Hickory Creek would cost us, we could rebuild older 138-kilovolt lines in southwest Wisconsin, rebuild the existing 161-kilovolt transmission line across the Mississippi, and invest in energy efficiency, distributed solar on homes, farms, businesses and community solar for those who cannot site solar.

Why spend more to access remote wind energy when we can reduce CO2, reduce our bills and make our own energy at home?

Attend the public hearing at the Youth & Ag Building in Lancaster, Wis., at 2 or 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 25.

Let the Public Service Commission know. We don’t just want to keep utility lights on. We want to keep our lights on!

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