Milwaukee, WI— Today the Wisconsin Public Service Commission voted to approve We Energy’s proposal for a new Liquified Natural Gas storage (LNG) facilities in Ixonia and Bluff Creek. With an announcement by We Energy parent company WEC Energy Group earlier this week to move away from coal by 2035, as well as a swath of other proposed projects across the state, the approval signifies a decisive pivot by Wisconsin utilities to double down on gas that is facked and piped from other states. The new proposals have advocacy groups concerned about continuing climate and economic costs of fossil fuels.
Sierra Club Wisconsin Director Elizabeth Ward said, “This decision directly contradicts climate science, the Paris Accord, President Biden’s climate commitments, and the Governor’s commitments on climate change. In addition, this decision will cost ratepayers hundreds of millions of dollars and do nothing to address the deep energy burden disparities in Milwaukee that We Energies’ has an obligation to address. If WEC is going to spend hundreds of millions of dollars, it should be on investments that reduce carbon emissions, address energy burden, and are least cost to ratepayers. An energy efficiency program would have done this, but WEC and the Commission opted to stick with the same technology that got us into this climate mess in the first place.”
“Investing hundreds of millions of dollars into fossil fuels will only harm our planet and worsen conditions for those on the front lines of the climate crisis here in WI. Thousands of families in Milwaukee are having trouble paying We Energies for their high energy bills. Using this money to address energy burden will reduce energy demand, make energy bills more affordable, and help thousands of WE Energies customers in the coldest and hottest parts of the year,” said Marco Marquez, Wisconsin Program Manager at Action for the Climate Emergency
“We are disappointed at the lack of courage that was shown today by two of the three commissioners of the PSC, following Jefferson County and Ixonia town boards lead, to support a multi-billion-dollar energy monopoly over the needs and safety of the people of Ixonia and the state of Wisconsin. This decision has put Ixonia in danger and eroded our community values. Despite this defeat, the people of Ixonia have been mobilized and coalesced around this injustice being imposed on our community, and have a strengthened capacity and resolve for the future to protect and stand up for the values which we hold dear,” said Mary Rupnow a member of Save Ixonia who previously served on town planning commission for 12 years.
Tiffany Carey, also with Save Ixonia said, “Of course this is a disappointing outcome for the property owners and the town of Ixonia. The issues our concerned neighbors and local businesses raised around safety, environmental destruction, and disregard for rural preservation have not been addressed, and we are saddened that so many of our elected local and state officials turned their heads from their duty to uphold the laws and policies put in place to protect our families. The silver lining of this vote is that the town of Ixonia has never been more aware of how our elected officials have conducted themselves with questionable ethics and loyalties, and are hungry to support new candidates and policy changes that represent everyday citizens instead of out-of-town industrial concerns.”