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Feedback, Duluth News-Tribune, 27 Feb 2000
Don't build additional power line
Tom Kreager

There is a lot of deceptive information concerning a proposed 250-mile transmission line from Duluth to Wausau by Wisconsin Public Service and Minnesota Power.

The lights will not go off if this line is not built!

This is a scare tactic that has no basis in fact.

The power companies are desperately devouring the rate payers' (your) money in an advertising blitz, begging misinformed people to back their poorly planned project.

Let's assume the last three summers were a little touch and go. Next, let's review what has, and will, transpire. Wisconsin entered 1997 with 10,311 megawatts of generation capacity. From 1997 through 1999, Wisconsin added 563 megawatts of additional generation, making the state's outlook much better. In 2000, an additional 968 megawatts is expected, taking care of future needs for a number of years.

If more new generation power was constructed after the 2000 we would be in great shape!

Sadly, in an intense six-page study of generation, conservation, and alternative energy in WPS' and MP's 1,400 page application, they determined there will be absolutely no new generation built in Wisconsin after the year 2000.

Wait a second, there is an application in with the Public Service Commission for the Pleasant Prairie 1,048 megawatt plant, and it is due to come on-line in 2002 in Kenosha County. It has met with no public opposition because it is sited in an industrial park where new generation belongs.

In those same six inadequate pages, the utilities state that in order to achieve the same amount of reliability as the proposed line, we would need an additional 800 megawatts of new generation. Pleasant Prairie handles that requirement hands down.

That's not the only planned generation after 2000.

An assumption of no new generation is the only way to justify their proposed line. Money is the real purpose of the proposed line! It should be renamed ``The Northern States Power Bypass'' because it avoids NSP's territory and control. This is important if you want to be a middle man in the game of deregulated electricity in Wisconsin.

Not only will this line not be built, but the repercussions of this battle will have a very significant effect on the ability of WPS and MP to survive in a deregulated market because of the damage that they have caused to their companies' images through their own greed.

A new organization, Save Our Unique Lands, is extremely well organized, knowledgeable, has tremendous momentum, and is as a serious threat to WPS' and MP's beloved transmission line. We are proud to provide real long-term solutions to short-sighted, unneeded transmission propositions.

We sincerely believe that the proposed transmission line is not needed now or the foreseeable future. Public pressure will bring an end to this ill-conceived line. Get involved!

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Kreager of Mosinee, Wis., is president of Save Our Unique Lands. Readers may visit the group's Web site at www.wakeupwisconsin.com.