Wednesday, August 3, 2011


August 3, 2011.

Buckwheat Valley Citizens Coalition (BVCC) has two goals in its BVCC Mission Statement. The first, is to educated the public. The second, is to encourage public discourse and the exchange of information. One of the biggest mistakes citizens and government often make is to NOT learn from their past. BVCC often reaches out to recommend resources to citizens that will accomplish both goals. One such recommend resource, which BVCC hopes everyone will read and absorb, is contained within the following article written by the column writer [Vikki Kratz] way back in 2007. In compliance with copy write law, we have provided the following link:

Currently, many concerned citizens in Wisconsin are engaged in a challenge opposing the construction of new proposed high voltage electrical lines in our communities. Many of us may think this is a new struggle. It is NOT! These massive electrical transmission line projects have been opposed by many affected communities, for many years. The problem in Wisconsin, is NOT that valid objections are not raised, they are, and have been many times over since 2004 onward. The real problem, in Wisconsin, is that our elected officials and governmental authorities have not listened to what the public wants, and they are still not listening, to this day. Why? Is it true that a three member appointed Public Service Commission knows more about what the public needs, than the public? Could it be true that public opposition to these monster lines is driven simply by tree huggers? Do civic and public organizations, made up of hundreds of ordinary tax paying citizens, expend massive amounts of human energy to oppose these lines simply because they have nothing else to do in this busy world we live in? I think not to all of the above! What we really have here is "a failure to communicate," brought about by a lack of "public minded leadership," and no public oriented vision for Wisconsin's future. Put another way, "NASA, we have a problem."

Monday, August 1, 2011


August 2, 2011.

What are your predictions for energy in the future?


(A) 2010 National Super Grid Energy System Policy.
      1. Centralized Corporate Energy Grid Monopolies.
      2. Independent Alternative Generations Stifled.
      3. Minimal Free Enterprise Energy Technology.
      4. Dirty Coal Generation Energy Supply Increases.
      5. Big Government Energy Policy Expansion.
      6. Non-existent Public Energy Control.

(B) 2020 Energy Horizon.
      1. Local Energy Generation Is Preferred Source.
      2. International Energy Exchange In Mega Watts.
      3. One Quarter Of US GNP In Energy Portfolio.
      4. Carbon Footprint Yields To Oxygen Depletion.
      5. Obsolete Energy Transmission Super Grid .
      6. Building Codes Mandate Energy Conservation.
      7. Surge In Energy Technology Driven Jobs.
      8. Business Models Are Conservation Mandated.
      9. Federal Energy Policy Is Overhauled.
      10. Politicians Run On Energy Platforms.
      11. Revolutionary Energy Technology Systems.
      12. Ten Percent Less Energy Consumption.


August 1, 2011.

Every once in a while, the editor of this Buckwheat Valley Citizens Coalition (BVCC) Blog just can't stay silent and has to jump into the fire. This is one such time. Lately, BVCC has been asking the question: Why doesn't the press use its public format to expose the multitude of misconceptions, faulty need analysis, and outright disingenuous motivations within the American Transmission Company - Badger Coulee high voltage line proposal? Now, the answer to that dilemma is very clear for all to see. I would like to present a few quotes, from a reputedly well respected source, for your consideration.

"When the decision occurs, [Public Service Commission's ATC Badger Coulee Final Application Decision] Wisconsin residents will have had ample opportunity not only to understand the pros and cons but also to influence the decision and the choice of routes."

"For that we can thank a transparent process of public input that was underscored last month at eight public [ATC-BC] meeting around the affected areas."

"This is a model for how to make public decisions about the public interest."

"This line [ATC-BC] offers advantages."

"A westward line could bring more wind-generated electricity into Wisconsin."

"The new line would cost $425 million, adding about 75 cents to a $100 monthly utility bill."

"Residents had a chance to raise doubts about the line's value."

"ATC executives can now digest the input before making a proposal to the state Public Service Commission in another public process, predicted for 2013."

"Other industries that face regulatory decisions affecting the public interest would be smart to adopt similar processes for involving the public."

Had enough citizens of Wisconsin. There is more, if you care to read it [Wisconsin State Journal "Editorial-Public input pays off in power plan. 8-1-2011.]. For those of us Wisconsin citizens who have followed the real ATC-BC story (and have not been hoodwinked) we know those above quotes are simply trash. Shame on you [Anonymous] Wisconsin State Journal Editorial Author! Your head is stuck in the sand, and every word of your flimflam smells of ATC rhetoric and influence, absent fact. Your Editorial is a sick and sad example of how despicable Corporate influence has contaminated media news. This Editorial is good for use only in the privy.

Alvin Brinkman
Public Relations
Buckwheat Valley Citizens Coalition

Sunday, July 24, 2011


July 25, 2011.

For several weeks now Wisconsin citizens have had an opportunity to attend "Open House" public relations sales events presented by the American Transmission Company (ATC), promoting its Badger Coulee (BC) high voltage - high capacity electric transmission line project proposal (Costing 425 Million dollars - traveling 150 miles through the heart of Wisconsin). ATC encourages the Public (at these events) to focus on where the towers should be placed, and totally avoids the question: IS THERE A "NEED" FOR THIS PROJECT? "NOT IN MY BACKYARD" is ATC's deliberate strategy to divide the Public while wrongfully presenting this ATC-BC proposal as a far gone conclusion.

ATC does not generate electricity, it is solely in the for-profit business of constructing mammoth electric transmission line corridors. The more corridors it builds, the more money it makes. The Public electric rate payers are stuck with the bill (from the beginning of the application process, all the way through the eminent domain land seizure litigation, until up to 40 years after the corridor construction is completed). As a consumer, I first establish that I need a product. Then, I buy the most affordable product I can find to meet that need. ATC, wants to sell the Public on its multi Million dollar product first (by asking where do you want me to put the towers) and plans to only reveal to the public its "Need" Application data (two years later) when ATC submits its Final Badger Coulee Application (through a privileged legal proceeding and hearing) before the Public Service Commission (PSC) of Wisconsin, in 2013.

Many Wisconsin towns (like the one I live in) are asking: Why should Wisconsin residents be forced to sacrifice or suffer from the loss of real-estate values, tourism, natural resources, potential health risks, and eminent domain land seizures, without first receiving convincing independent study data, confirming the "NEED" for this sacrifice? Is the ATC-BC  (high voltage - high capacity solution) proposal the best (most cost effective) solution to fix specific existing ATC suggested low voltage upgrades? How can citizens even be assured there are low voltage needed upgrades when ATC is the source of those studies? The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Public Service Commission (PSC) of Wisconsin have suggested that the national electric grid system (including the Wisconsin electric grid system) are reliable, stable, and that there is even an excess of electricity generation (capacity) already in our grid network! In fact, Wisconsin, in total, has used much less electricity every year (since 2008), and our national growth rate is projected to be less than 1.4%, until 2020. Why then, should Wisconsin (who has already spent Millions on upgrades since 2002 - and is way ahead of our Midwest counterparts) be asked to undertake another ATC expensive dirty coal importing project, during one of our nations worst recessions, in recent memory? Especially concerning to me is that fact that the Badger Coulee line will not be a significant source of renewable energy (contrary to ATC 's claims). The Badger Coulee line will be part of a "Super Grid" dirty coal transmission network designed to sell energy in the direction of the East Coast, where their profits could be doubled. But you wont get ATC to talk about that issue. What do you think would happen if the proposed Minnesota CapX2020 "Super Grid" high voltage corridor in La Crosse, Wisconsin (the Minnesota high voltage feeder to Wisconsin's proposed ATC-BC line) was denied? ATC has told me, that if CapX2020 was in jeopardy, ATC would have to re-evaluate ATC's position on the ATC Badger Coulee project. What does that tell you about what the goal is here regarding the "Super Grid?" What about Wisconsin's low voltage fixes? The ones ATC says they could avoid fixing if we constructed the Badger Coulee line? By listening to ATC I thought the BC line was needed no mater what else went on around us. Now, I think I know the truth behind that rhetorical hype.

The general Public needs to become informed on this topic (and get the other side of this story). Gee, I wonder why the press and the media have not stepped up to this issue? The lack of objective news and their eerie silence should give one cause for alarm. Good journalism is more than writing a story about where ATC has events, and when the project is slated to be completed. Once informed, the Public needs to contact their elected officials, and ask the Million dollar question: Where are the "Need" data comparison (cost-benefit) alternative studies? Ask your County Board Supervisors to require ATC to publish their existing ATC-BC Draft Application (the one ATC already submitted to the PSC in 2010 - the same one that is locked inside the PSC vault) preventing the Public  from being able to understand the "NEED," NOW, during the ATC-BC Public Information Phase! How many times does the public have to ask for that data? Is anyone home at ATC? What about the PSC? Maybe they both need to turn their lights on and read their mail!
        Alvin Brinkman
        La Valle, Wisconsin 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

For The Cork Board On The Wall.

Power and position are very corrosive to humility and compassion.


JULY 23, 2011.

"Those who give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Benjamin Franklin

Friday, July 22, 2011


July 23, 2011.
July 23, 2011. For most people in Wisconsin this has been a heat wave month. Use of electricity has broken many previous records. Madison Gas & Electric Company (MG&E) served up 753 megawatts (MW) of juice to its thirsty customers, breaking their last record of 742 MW back in 2006. Wow, "that's a lot of bananas."

So, how are we doing on the energy reliability front, one might ask? Are we "constrained" and unable to meet this record electricity demand? Are we able to cope using our existing reliable electric energy generation sources and transmission systems? The Dane County Utility spokesman [Steve Kraus] said: "Electricity supplies and transmission operations are adequate to meet even higher power demands expected later this week." The American Transmission Company (ATC) spokeswoman [Kaya Freiman] said: "The system is in good shape and we are anticipating meeting those needs." The We Energy spokesmen [Brian Manthey] said: "The utility saw energy use late Wednesday afternoon that was 2% shy of their all-time high set in July of 2006." The Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator (MISO) said: "Although demand is high and supply is tight, the transmission system remains stable." The MISO vice president [Richard Doying] said: The Wisconsin electrical grid system "had sufficient power supplies available so that the grid operator did not need to ask heavy energy users to curtail electricity use." In fact, our Wisconsin electric generation and transmission system was in such good shape (during this record breaking high demand event) that ATC says it was able to "export power" (surplus electricity) to other parts of the Midwest! That's impressive! Who else in the Midwest can boast that claim?

But wait a minute here folks. I thought ATC had suggested Wisconsin was in a crisis mode, and Wisconsin needed to hurry through another ATC transmission line construction project, in order to keep our heads above water, so to speak. Here is a simple question for all of you citizens. If what the "experts" above have told us is a fact, why are we being asked to spend $425 Million Dollars of electric rate payers money for the proposed ATC Badger Coulee (BC) high voltage-high capacity transmission line? Do we really need another new dirty coal burning import line? Is there really a "reliability" problem in our current system?

We are back to square one. The same old question BVCC keeps asking ATC, and has yet to get an answer to. Where is the "need?" Maybe we should also be asking "Where is the beef?"

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Tied Up.

My friends,
let there be no mistake.
A suit, is a suit,
no mater the color.
When Congress has no suits,
justice will return to its halls,
and not till then.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


July 14, 2011.
July 14, 2011. For those of you who are into the nucleus of energy theory and management, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has released its new ISO 50001 Framework  For Energy Management. This new ISO 50001 international standard has the potential to ultimately effect 60 percent of global energy use. In its most basic overview, ISO 50001 is an organizational management standard that provides tools (for large corporations, small business and government agencies) for identifying the best measurable management approaches to yield the greatest energy savings, per year, over time. This new standard is over ten years in the making. It is said to be user friendly (for both big and small energy consumption base lines) and is not prescriptive (but rather inclusive and adaptable). Buckwheat Valley Citizens Coalition (BVCC) believes this is the kind of forward energy conservation model thinking that will provide the monetary motivation (profit-loss incentive) for corporate attitude change (which is so sadly lacking in the current corporate intellectual content of today's business mind set). Now, if only we could convince our local and federal governments to require compliance with ISO 50001, and make this a legislative priority. How long do you citizens estimate that could take? Why not ask them? See if your local and federal politicians know that ISO 50001 even exists?

July 14, 2011. BVCC will be meeting with several grass roots energy conscious organizations on Monday, July 18, 2011, to discuss our common interests regarding the American Transmission Company's Badger Coulee high voltage line proposal and the CapX2020 proposal. BVCC will update you later on the results of that meeting.
July 14, 2011. BVCC has received several requests for information on how to electronically enter your citizen comments into the Public Service Commission (PSC) of Wisconsin website. Here are the links to the PSC and information on how to both submit comment and how to become an intervenor in a PSC application. Please take a little time to learn how to submit your public comments, and send them frequently. Please remember to enter the correct Docket Case No. when sending your comments or submissions.

ATC-BADGER COULEE Docket No. 137-CE-160
CAPX2020 Docket No. 5-CE-136
 Guide To Public Hearings.
 Public Testimony & Public Comment Overview.
 How To Prepare Effective Public Testimony & Public Comment.
 Public Involvement, Intervenor Status & Compensation.
 Public Comments (ERF) On Existing Cases.
 Intervenor Compensation.
 Intervenor Compensation Application.
 Login & Create Account For Electronic Regulatory Filing.
 Case Management System.
 Overview Of Electronic Regulatory Filing-Quick Reference.
 Electronic Regulatory Filing-General Information.
 Electronic Regulatory Filing-Document, Format-Quick Reference.
 Subscriptions To Electronic Regulatory Filing System Notifications.
 How To File Formal Case Electronic Documents.
 Electronic Regulatory Filing System (ERF).
 Electronic Regulatory Filing (ERF).
 Search Electronic Filing System (ERF).

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Saturday, July 9, 2011



July 9, 2011.


July 9, 2011. Lots happening in the Energy News.
(1) The CapX2020 Alma, Wisconsin connection from Minnesota is in its review stage. Interveners are lined up, and the Public Service Commission (PSC) of Wisconsin has given CapX2020 the green light on its application saying it is "complete" and can move into the next phase (more sales pitches coming your way, and lots of legal jaw flapping).
(2) ATC representatives told Buckwheat Valley Citizens Coalition that it will "Have to reevaluate its proposed Badger Coulee line project" if the CapX2020 Alma, Wisconsin connection is not approved by the PSC. That doesn't say much for the "need" in the Wisconsin study area flim-flam we have been hearing for the last two years.
(3) According to our sources, Dairyland Electric Co-Op is in hot water (more like sour milk). Seems some of the voting membership are looking to take legal action against their Dairyland Board Of Directors for violating their "Charter" when Dairyland's Board approved investment in the CapX2020 line connection without asking the voting members for approval. BVCC will follow this story with an Investigation Report in the near future.
(4) Several new links, studies and books were added to the BVCC Link Library for those of you who have an interest in the real story on all sides of the Energy issues.
(5) BVCC has filed a complaint with a Federal Authority over disclosure of information. More details will be forthcoming.
(6) BVCC will be participating in the Wisconsin Coalition On Energy (WCOE) to be held on July 18, 2011, at 3:00 PM, at the La Valle Town Hall, in La Valle, Wisconsin. Interested energy minded citizens should contact BVCC for details.
(7) Still no response from the PSC regarding BVCC questions about PSC statutory processes and oversight authority. BVCC has patience with such matters, and we will keep you posted.
(8) One of our sister organizations has sent a citizen to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) Regional Transmission Organizations (RTO) training session meeting on June 14-15, 2011. We will let you know later of what news that brings.

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011





Posted July 5, 2011.


June 29, 2011. Buckwheat Valley Citizens Coalition's (BVCC) Public Relations representative, Alvin Brinkman, went shopping at the American Transmission Company's ATC Open House event, held in Mauston, Wisconsin. Here is his report.

" It was a beautiful summer day and I hated the idea of going inside a building but, it was my assignment, and I usually finish what I start. Once inside, signs pointed me in the direction of a reception area with an army of ATC intake staff (all punching keys on laptop computers) and beckoning me to come to their window (as if I had just entered a fast food restaurant order counter). They wanted to enter my name in their data base and print out a paper stick-on name tag for me to wear. I don't know about you but, I hate wearing name tags, and I definitely did not want to be on another data base, especially this one. So, I declined, and was gruffly pointed in the direction of a set of large doors, which I entered. Inside was this huge open arena with over thirty or so people walking, talking, pointing, and mulling around. I was immediately (almost grabbed by the arm) and prompted by ATC staff to enter into a enclosed tent where I was expected to sit down and be indoctrinated by an ATC-DVD film presentation. Well, I passed on that too, and began walking to the first booth. I felt like I was in a carnival (about to throw nickels into fish bowels for a stuffed poodle prize). I walked over to a huge map (the size of a war room) and began listening to some of the ATC staff sales pitches (its always interesting to walk up to a group of attendees and get close up and pretend-I'm with them) making it OK to listen in. After about twenty minutes of listening to ATC explain where their towers were going to go, I came to my senses and realized, I was not in a carnival, this was a car dealership, or should I say a tower dealership. The whole purpose of this exhibition was for ATC to explain where they might park their new 170 foot high massive electrical transmission towers. Knowing a "little bit" about the proposed ATC Badger Coulee Line proposal (probably as much as anyone in the room did) I went from booth to booth asking questions, getting no real definitive answers, and then, I got busted. One of the ATC staff asked me: "Are you the guy on the Wisconsin Public Radio talk show with Joy Cardin?" The talk show topic was: "ATC's 425 Million Dollar Wisconsin Transmission Line Project-Called The Badger Coulee Line." I just happen to be (as Joy Cardin put it) "opposed to the ATC-BC project," and that meant that my anonymity at this tower dealership event was over. I then put on my BVCC hat, and soon I had four ATC sales persons doing a four on one routine. Not to worry, I have played in bigger games than this before. I went directly into my challenge mode and began asking real direct questions about the ATC-BC application like: Can you show me the study data supporting ATC's promotional claims? Will ATC share its proposal application draft with the public? Did ATC decline an invitation to meet with a prominent Wisconsin County Board Of Supervisors (in a public meeting to discuss the need for the Badger Coulee Line) because ATC as informed that BVCC would also be present (to challenge the ATC presentation). Soon, I sensed my welcome was worn and tattered, so I thanked all four of my opponents with a hand shake and went on my way. Since then, several days have passed and I have not received a single response to my questions (as promised by the ATC gang of four). In the end, I did not buy their tower scheme, nor their "Not in my back yard" divide and conquer strategy. In stead, I turned my ATC switch off, and went shopping again. This time I bought a case of compact florescent light bulbs, because I plan to keep the lights on!"
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Friday, July 1, 2011


Who Changed The Rules?
On June 23, 2011 Buckwheat Valley Citizens Coalition (BVCC) published "Part One - Who Changed The Rules?" BVCC had received the following question from citizen [T.G.] inquiring as to: "How, why, and where was a "renewable energy percentage of transmission mandate" removed from a previously approved Certificate Of Need (CON)? BVCC thought this question was important and initiated an investigation. As events unraveled BVCC discovered that the Public Utility Commission (PUC) of Minnesota did in deed allow for what is called a "Motion For Reconsideration" (whereby an electric utility company could petition the PUC to change the rules of the PUC's previously approved transmission line project) after the PUC had issued its "Final Decision" on that application. Why is this important? Because this means (in its most common denominator) that what the PUC had issued in its "Final Decision" (rules for the electric utility's application approval) could be changed later (with or without a Public hearing proceeding).

The question BVCC then had was: Is this same process for "Changing The Rules" also within the regulatory domain of the Public Service Commission (PSC) of Wisconsin? And, if so, what electric utility has used this process to "Change The Rules?" In order to answer these questions we asked legal expert Attorney Frank Jablonski (from the Progressive Law Group, LLC, of Wisconsin) for guidance. The following are question and response quotes:

----------Beginning Of Questions & Answers---------

1. QUESTION ONE: Is there a procedural regulatory process within the PSC of Wisconsin, whereby a public utility applicant (after the date of its applications approval) could procedurally ask the PSC to modify the terms and conditions of the PSC's "Final Approval Decision," by a process known as "Reconsideration" (or any other term to that affect)?    ANSWER: YES.

2. QUESTION TWO: If such a process exists within the procedural rules of the PSC, please provide the specific PSC citation and rules for this procedure?  ANSWER: Statutes:  Wis. Stat. § 196.39 and Wis. Stat. § 227.49.  

196.39 Change, amendment and rescission of orders; reopening cases. (1) The commission at any time, upon notice to the public utility and after opportunity to be heard, may rescind, alter or amend any order fixing rates, tolls, charges or schedules, or any other order made by the commission, and may reopen any case following the issuance of an order in the case, for any reason.
(2) An interested party may request the reopening of a case under s. 227.49.
(3) Any order rescinding, altering, amending or reopening a prior order shall have the same effect as an original order.
(4) Within 30 days after service of an order, the commission may correct an error or omission in the order related to transcription, typing or calculation without hearing if the correction does not alter the intended effect of the order.
(5) This section does not apply to an order issued under s. 196.371.
History: 1983

227.49 Petitions for rehearing in contested cases.
(1) A petition for rehearing shall not be a prerequisite for appeal or review. Any person aggrieved by a final order may, within 20 days after service of the order, file a written petition for rehearing which shall specify in detail the grounds for the relief sought and supporting authorities. An agency may order a rehearing on its own motion within 20 days after service of a final order. This subsection does not apply to s. 17.025 (3) (e). No agency is required to conduct more than one rehearing based on a petition for rehearing filed under this subsection in any contested case.
(2) The filing of a petition for rehearing shall not suspend or delay the effective date of the order, and the order shall take effect on the date fixed by the agency and shall continue in effect unless the petition is granted or until the order is superseded, modified, or set aside as provided by law.
(3) Rehearing will be granted only on the basis of:
(a) Some material error of law.
(b) Some material error of fact.
(c) The discovery of new evidence sufficiently strong to reverse or modify the order, and which could not have been previously discovered by due diligence.
(4) Copies of petitions for rehearing shall be served on all parties of record. Parties may file replies to the petition.
(5) The agency may order a rehearing or enter an order with reference to the petition without a hearing, and shall dispose of the petition within 30 days after it is filed. If the agency does not enter an order disposing of the petition within the 30−day period, the petition shall be deemed to have been denied as of the expiration of the 30−day period.
(6) Upon granting a rehearing, the agency shall set the matter for further proceedings as soon as practicable. Proceedings upon rehearing shall conform as nearly may be to the proceedings in an original hearing except as the agency may otherwise direct. If in the agency’s judgment, after such rehearing it appears that the original decision, order or determination is in any respect unlawful or unreasonable, the agency may reverse, change, modify or suspend the same accordingly. Any decision, order or determination made after such rehearing reversing, changing, modifying or suspending the original determination shall have the same force and effect as an original decision, order or determination.
History: 1975 c. 94 s. 3; 1975 c. 414; 1977 c. 139; 1979 c. 208; 1985 a. 182 s. 33t; Stats. 1985 s. 227.49. This section does not require service of a petition for rehearing within 20 days of DOR v. Hogan, 198 Wis. 2d 792, 542 N.W.2d 148 (Ct. App. 1995), 95−0438. A petition is filed when it is physically delivered to and received by the relevant authority. Currier v. Wisconsin Department of Revenue, 2006 WI App 12, 288 Wis. 2d 693, 709 N.W.2d 520, 05−0292.

Rules: PSC 2.28 Wis. Admin. Code

PSC 2.28 Reopening. If the commission does not decide a request made under s. 196.39, Stats., within 30 days after the filing of the request, the request shall be deemed denied.
History: CR 00−187: cr. Register June 2002 No. 558, eff. 7−1−02.
 3. QUESTION THREE: (1) Do you know if the American Transmission Company (ATC) has filed for any such "Change" request under Wis. Stat. § 196.39 and Wis. Stat. § 227.49, and if so, what was the nature and result of such request? ANSWER: Yes. In the Decision and Order, Public Service Commission of Wisconsin Docket 05-CE-113 October 30 2001  (p. 58), the PSCW approved of $165,721,000 for a transmission project. Less than two years and two months later, after ATC said it needed more money, the same agency approved $420,308,000 as the reasonable cost of project. (Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, Docket 05-CE-113 Order Modifying Final Order, December 19, 2003, p. 3). 
----------End Of Questions & Answers----------

Well citizens, you have read the legal stuff, now lets talk about what BVCC has concluded from all of this.
1. There is no certainty in a PSC final decision.
2. Legal maneuvering behind the General Public View is allowable by Wisconsin Statue and PSC proceedings.
3. ATC requested a "Petition For Rehearing" (Docket 05-CE-113) and was granted their request to increase the cost of the Arrowhead-Weston Transmission Line by an additional $254,587,000.00 (over 254 Million dollars above the projects approved application cost)!
4. It is now a certainty that "Nothing Is Certain" and that any portion of a utility application can be modified later. When a project promoter tells Public citizens what the project will cost, what it will deliver, and how it will be constructed, the public needs to be aware that once in the door, all bets are off. What you see, may not be what you get. Can the Public trust Wisconsin's government, its regulatory agencies or special interest project promoters? Very good question?
5. Recently, BVCC has learned of other concerning issues regarding the Public Service Commission (PSC) of Wisconsin. According to our sources, one of the Commissioners of the PSC (in the above cited ATC Petition For Rehearing) was later named to a high level executive position within ATC. Another PSC Commissioner (who granted the ATC Petition For Rehearing for the Arrowhead-Weston Transmission Line project cost increase)  has since been left the PSC and has been promoted to a high level appointment in the Obama Administration's U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) electric transmission over-site and grid planning sector. The current PSC Chairman served in the Wisconsin Legislature during the time ATC was granted its authority to act as an extension of the State of Wisconsin (for the purpose of eminent domain seizure of citizen lands required for ATC's electric utility corridor construction). Another current PSC Commissioner is on the Board Of Directors of the Organization of Midwest Independent System Operator (MISO) States (the bulk electric distributor network grids in the Continental U.S. - Midwest region, and in Canada. BVCC is not alleging that an impropriety has occurred within the PSC. Rather, BVCC is suggesting (given the extremely sensitive nature of the Public Service Commissions authority - and sworn commitment to protecting the Public interest) that any hint of impropriety should be strictly avoided. And, when personal gain (and career incentives) enter the broader picture, suspicions run high! The simple way to pose the intended question here is: How can any PSC Commissioner make an unbiased, neutral, and fair decision (in any given Public Utility Case) if they have any outside professional or financial interests (or bias based on history) that could influence their decision? There is no wiggle room in this quandary! Especially since, only three individuals are appointed to sit on the entire Public Service Commission (PSC) bench, and their decisions are "Final," subject to revision or rescission!
6. Closing Note: Remember the end summary of the U.S. financial sectors run amok documentary "Inside Job" (highly recommended and award winning) by the filmmaker: Charles Ferguson (2010)? Stay tuned for "Part Three," because this BVCC investigation is not over. BVCC has asked the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin to respond to the same set of BVCC questions (listed above). BVCC is patiently waiting for their reply. There are still some rocks to turn and look-see.  Keep the lights on!
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