Members and potential members gathered at the beautiful SentryWorld Club House in Stevens Point on June 16th to learn about the possible impacts of the Obama Administration’s proposed Clean Power Plan on Wisconsin’s Utilities and Economy. Luke Vebber, Director of Environmental & Energy Policy for Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) provided an industrial customer perspective on the issue; as well as an update on the legal battle surrounding the issue in Federal Court. Wisconsin and a number of other states have sued, arguing that the government has no authority to enact the rule.

For the Utility Industry perspective, Jeff Hanson, Sr. Manager of Environmental and Decommissioning Services for Alliant Energy, shared the approach being taken by our state utilities and Alliant Energy in particular.  He outlined the company’s effort to reduce CO2 by retiring old coal generation and replacing it with a combination of natural gas, which produces half the CO2 of equivalent coal generation, and wind generation, which has become cost competitive with natural gas.

Executive Director, James Buchen, delineated WUI’s position on various bills in the last legislative session.  The meeting began with a welcome from the WUI Board of Directors Chairman, Roger Cole, who described the Wisconsin Utility Investor Member as intelligent and invested individuals who care deeply about their country and who recognize the tremendous service and stability which our investor-owned utilities provide.

Attendees were encouraged by local State Representative Katrina Shankland and Senator Julie Lassa to contact their legislators about issues which matter to them; in fact, members were encouraged to reach out and develop a relationship with their legislator even in the absence of a volatile issue, and share “your story”.

Please join WUI in Pewaukee on July 14 for the second Regional Meeting of 2016.  The program will feature Representative Mike Kuglitsch, Chair of the Assembly Energy Committee along with fellow committee member Representative Adam Neylon.  In addition to discussion of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, a representative from the American Transmission Company will provide an overview of the Wisconsin electric transmission system and plans for future expansion.

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