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Harnessing Our Local Energy Futures
Friday, March 2 Dodgeville, Wisconsin 1 pm - 8:30 pm

Unnecessary Debt

While ATC is set to make the profits, we will be the ones paying for the line. Rates will go up for all users, while energy demand is flat or declining.

Threat to Unique Habitat

Oak savannas and cold water fisheries are some of the most endangered habits. We have both in Vermont township and both will be impacted by the path of the towers.

Rural Character Lost

High voltage puts our dairy farms are at risk. The huge towers and clear-cut paths through our rural community destroys the beuaty we cherish.

Undermine Land Values

Merely having the threat of an ATC line running near a house can wreak havoc on your ability to sell your property and greatly impact the price.


Panel 1
1:00 to 2:15 pm

Meeting Our Priorities with Household and Local Solutions

Michael McDermott

Welcome and introduction to the event

As a semi-retired physician, author, activist, co-founder of the Black Earth Institute, McDermott is facilitating an array of citizen and local government responses in his community.

Bill Powers

With more than 30 years of experience in energy and environmental engineering including strategic energy plans for major US cities and states, Powers will explain how No Wire alternatives he has presented before public utility commissions in Wisconsin, Missouri and California are able to exceed all economic, reliability and environmental benefits that utilities claim for expansion transmission lines like Cardinal Hickory Creek.

Melissa Davis

Can an ambitious volunteer engage in-kind community assets and realize energy savings shattering those of leading state energy efficiency programs? Melissa accomplished this as the mastermind and Managing Director of New Power Tour/HEET based in her utility in Houghton, MI.

Gary Radloff

Recently retired UW-Madison researcher and Director of Midwest Energy Policy Analysis for the Wisconsin Energy Institute will discuss the potential of energy efficiency, load management and other Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) in Wisconsin’s future as alternatives to enlarging utility-scale infrastructure.

Sondy Pope

As Wisconsin State Representative for District 80 and outspoken advocate of energy efficiency and conservation, Rep. Pope will moderate discussion.


Panel 2
2:20 to 3:50 pm

Shortfalls in Transmission Review Process and Busting Utility Myths

Sondy Pope

Moderator, Wisconsin State Representative, District 80

Bill Powers

From experiences of developing No Wire alternatives for two MISO-recommended expansion transmission lines (Badger-Coulee and Mark Twain) and other contrasting transmission proposals, Bill will address the unique challenges and advantages he anticipates with Cardinal Hickory Creek proposal.

Frank Jablonski

As legal counsel for the Town of Holland, Frank will describe the basis of the on-going appeal of the Badger-Coulee transmission line, accommodations the Public Service Commission and applicants are likely to extend to opponents of Cardinal Hickory Creek and preparations to help overcome shortfalls in the review process and in appeal should one become necessary.

Keryn Newman

From her roles assisting transmission opposition efforts in many states, Keryn Newman will shed light on how the regulatory process is created by and for utilities and how citizens can employ ‘out of the box’ techniques to make utilities play in the opposition’s sandbox. She will also discuss common, misleading utility claims.

Ross Astoria

Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin at Parkside and Chair of the board of the directors of Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Ross will discuss New York efforts to develop non-wire alternatives and transition to a distributed, low-carbon grid in relation to the Cardinal Hickory Creek proposal.


Panel 3
4:00 to 5:30 pm
Confronting the Harmful Land and Economic Impacts of Transmission Expansion

Marilyn Pedretti

As town clerk and off-grid energy advocate in the Town of Holland located north of La Crosse, Wisconsin, Marilyn will describe economic and other negative impacts from the presence of two, 345 kV expansion transmission lines in her community. Through steadfast appeal of the PSC’s approval of the most recent Badger-Coulee line and other energy improvements, the Town of Holland provides an inspiring example of local efforts to restore land owner and electric customer accountability throughout Wisconsin.

Dave Clutter

Drawing upon more than 20 years of experience as a conservation professional, Driftless Area Land Conservancy Executive Director David Clutter will provide an overview of the area’s unique lands and waters, and plans for residents to respond to the Environmental Impact Statement (natural, cultural and economic impacts) for the Cardinal Hickory Creek transmission proposal.

Jon Greendeer

From personal experience of Wisconsin’s first ,345 kV expansion transmission line, Arrowhead-Weston, and as former Ho-Chunk Nation president. Maasusga (White Feather) will discuss concerns about the proposed Cardinal Hickory Creek high capacity transmission line that would impact tribal assets.

Lila Zastrow and Dave Hendrickson

As a certified arborist and owners of an off-grid property
severely impacted by the Bay Lake 345 kV line and multiple 138 kV transmission lines near Appleton, WI, Lila
will describe increasing utility intrusions on corridor habitats and lower-cost, habitat compatible, federally
approved vegetation management practices that utilities in Wisconsin are currently allowed to ignore.

Mary Mauch

As Executive Director of the Illinois Landowner’s Alliance and Co-founder of Block RICL, Mary will describe organizing and outreach techniques with citizens and elected officials which proved effective in stopping the Rock Island Clean Line in Illinois, and other merchant lines in Missouri and Iowa, that sought to use eminent domain to take private property for transmission expansion.



Networking and Food 5:30 – 6:30 pm


Evening Session
6:30 to 8:30 pm
Confronting the Harmful Land and Economic Impacts of Transmission Expansion

Introduction by Pat Raimer

The small village of Montfort, where Pat is a trustee, would house a city-scale, 345 kV substation prone to attract additional expansion transmission lines. Pat represents one of many, informed, energy-conscious local government officials concerned about backward goals and impacts of Cardinal Hickory Creek.

Bill Powers
Powers Engineering, San Diego, CA

Local-Based Energy Futures and the Obstacle of Transmission Expansion


Dave Clutter
Driftless Area Land Conservancy, Dodgeville, WI

Protecting the Natural Habitats and Local Economies of the Driftless Area from Unnecessary Transmission Expansion


Keryn Newman
StopPATH WV, Shepherdstown, WV

Participation, Politics, and Public Opinion

Our Expert Panelists

Learn from the experts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Check out technical information.

Who is proposing to build the high-voltage Cardinal-Hickory Creek line?

American Transmission Company (ATC), ITC Midwest, and Dairyland Power Cooperative are proposing to build the 125-mile, 345 kilovolt high-voltage Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission line connecting northeast Iowa and western Wisconsin.

What is ATC?

American Transmission Company (ATC) is a privately owned company. Ownership of the company includes utilities, municipalities, municipal electric companies, and electric cooperatives from Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, and Illinois. Wisconsin Power & Light and Madison Gas & Electric are included in this group. As part owners, these entities will benefit greatly from the guaranteed 10%+ rate of return if the high-voltage Cardinal-Hickory Creek line is approved and built.

What is FERC?

FERC stands for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. FERC “is an independent agency that regulates the interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas, and oil. . . “ ferc.gov Although it was put in place by Congress, its operations are largely autonomous and paid for entirely by annual charges and filing fees levied on the industries it regulates. FERC is the agency that establishes the very profitable guaranteed rates-of-return for utility capital investments, thereby creating strong profit incentives and effectively protecting transmission companies and their shareholders from financial risk.
https://www.ferc.gov/about/strat-docs/2016/FY16-final.pdf
https://www.ferc.gov/industries/electric/indus-act/trans-invest.asp

What is the PSC?

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin is a state agency whose mission is to “Oversee and facilitate the efficient and fair provision of quality utility services in Wisconsin.” The PSC’s mandate includes but is not limited to:

PSC Vision: http://psc.wi.gov/aboutUs/organization/vision.htm

FOR MORE FAQs Go to Driftless Defenders website

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