Dear Editor: Public Service Commissioner Mike Huebsch, recently announced his resignation. Commissioner Huebsch was one of the three commissioners who approved the highly controversial Cardinal-Hickory Creek high-capacity transmission line that will cut a swath through over 100 miles of the scenic and unique Driftless area of southwestern Wisconsin.
The Midcontinent System Operator (MISO) initially proposed this project and was an active party litigating in support of it. Huebsch is a member of MISO’s formal Advisory Council. The avoidance of even the appearance of judicial bias, lack of impartiality, or conflicts of interest is central in our administrative law and judicial systems. Rightly so, opponents of the project question Commissioner Huebsch’s impartiality and claim he should have recused himself from involvement, and the PSC project approval should be rescinded.
DALC supports the conclusions of the Public Service Commission’s own staff modeling that indicates that better, more cost-effective, more environmentally sound and more flexible alternatives for reliable clean energy are available and preferred by Wisconsin’s ratepayers.
We urge Gov. Evers to consider someone with experience beyond and outside of the utility industry who can bring knowledge of both the environmental impacts of proposed projects but also forward thinking ideas on projects that will benefit our environment and help to bring Wisconsin energy development, systems and approaches into the 21st century and put us back on the leading edge.
Executive director, Driftless Area Land Conservancy
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