Following testimony filed in WEC Energy Group’s rate cases for Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) and WEPCO (We Energies) at the Public Service Commission, the Clean Power Coalition of Southeast Wisconsin is renewing its call for We Energies to retire its coal plant in Oak Creek and replace it with cleaner, cheaper energy. The testimony filed Sept. 28 by Sierra Club, a member of the Coalition, concluded that all of WEC’s coal resources are uneconomic compared to market prices and renewable resources, and that ratepayers are paying more than they need to for the electricity and capacity these plants are providing. Read the CPC’s full statement.
Your Actions on We Energies Water Permit Made a Difference!
Following review of extensive public comments, the DNR made two significant changes to the variance terms in We Energies’ proposed Wisconsin Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (WPDES) permit: 1) a slightly reduced mercury cap along with more robust measures to bring mercury levels into compliance going forward; and 2) a change in the Effluent Limitation Guidelines (ELG) compliance deadline to 2021 from 2023. The EPA has a 60-day review period for the permit variances, but the DNR is unlikely to revisit the 2021 ELG deadline. The DNR also committed to investigating potential sources of elevated metals levels reported in surface waters and ditches near the facility, based on CPC sampling data. For details, check out the WI DNR press release and this story in the Racine Journal Times.
Rate Case Settlement. WPDES Permit. What Does It Mean?
Sierra Club, along with a number of other groups that were participating in the rate case but were not part of this settlement, will have 30 days from the date the settlement was filed to sign on to or contest the agreement. While the rate case and WPDES permit processes are not directly connected, concurrent timing – as well as the expert testimony – have created an interesting scenario. The WPDES permit will require WEC to invest millions more dollars to keep the South Oak Creek plant running – a plant we now know is losing money. This adds new pressure on WEC for commitment to an earlier retirement of the plant.
So What Do We Do Now?
There are many ways you can continue to make a difference! Take action today!