Cap Times's Editor Dave Zweifel wrote an opinion today in opposition to ATC's plan for a transmission line connecting green wind energy in Iowa to Middleton, saying we don't need the extra power anymore. That's true, but he never brought up the fact that it was clean energy. Why? And when is Wisconsin supposed to transition to clean energy without first importing it?
To be clear, I hate ATC's above ground transmission lines. I've always thought policy should have at least dictated that in beautifully scenic areas, like parts of southwest Wisconsin, underground lines would be the only available option. But we've never had that state policy debate. Why?
Is this also part of Scott Walker's legacy? Yes. Think about it; Walker ignored green energy production in Wisconsin for 8 years, and instead stuck with fossil fuels. Walker pushed frack sand mining of all things, because digging up Wisconsin's country side is preferable to transmission lines?
Republican legislators delayed and "debated" the supposed horrors of green energy's "noise" and "destructive" use of valuable agricultural land for solar and wind. Taking a pass on our energy future, Republicans made Wisconsin dependent on other states, and they're loving it. There's a reason why we pay more for energy than most every other state in the country.
So instead of shorter ATC transmission lines connecting us to Wisconsin's own wind or solar farms, making us more independent, we have to import it from Iowa with unsightly ATC transmission lines:
MISO, the Indiana-based Midcontinent Independent System Operator, has identified the project as one of 17 transmission proposals designed to improve the reliability of the electric grid, provide lower-cost power to the Midwest and expand the infrastructure to renewable energy sources. “The cost of wind energy has declined dramatically in the past decade, and wind is now the least expensive source of new electricity generation in America,” said Tyler Huebner, executive director of RENEW Wisconsin. “We need to build the infrastructure that connects wind-produced electricity with customers.”
Delays already have pushed back the possible completion date, if approved, from 2020 to 2023.
Proof Walker and Republicans to Blame: Better late than never? We wouldn't be having this discussion if not for Walker, Vos, and Fitzgerald's opposition to the climate related alternative energy movement and ATC's campaign contributions. It's all just a big hoax anyway, right?
Meanwhile, Alliant Energy, of Madison, is building a 700-megawatt natural gas-fired power plant and a two-megawatt solar field in Beloit, and at least two wind farms are being developed in the state, so a transmission line bringing in more power is not needed, the organization says.
There is support for clean energy...
Chris Kunkle, regional policy manager for Wind on the Wires, a St. Paul-based organization that promotes renewable energy (said), "These projects are vital to ensuring we can transition our energy system to cleaner energy.Walker Legacy will Haunt us for Decades: While ignoring actual state debt by claiming Wisconsin has a $500 million budgetary surplus, Republicans want voters to believe that spending cuts to education, infrastructure improvements, environmental protections, state parks, joking about green energy, and stopping progress is something we should celebrate as fiscally responsible.
For now, ATC's sprawling transmission lines will spread like duck tape across our aging energy infrastructure.