Critical Court Date
Dane County Circuit Court215 S. Hamilton St, MadisonThursday, October 13, 2022 2:00-5:00Oral ArgumentsJudge Jacob FrostCase #2019CV003418County of Dane et al vs. Public Service Commission of Wisconsin et alIn person (very important): Courtroom 6B, 6th floor, Branch 9Online (second best way to attend):Scroll to Dane County and Select Branch 9
Let Your Voice be Heard!
Federal Judge William Conley’s recent ruling BLOCKED CONSTRUCTION of the Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission line through the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. Moreover, 114 federally-protected wetlands are temporarily OFF LIMITS under a temporary injunction. Nevertheless, American Transmission Company, ITC Midwest, and Dairyland Power Cooperative continue to destroy and cause irreparable harm to the landscape of the Driftless Area. It’s time they stop this senseless destruction and waste of ratepayers’ money!
You Can Help!
Please take a few minutes to
Call or Email Your Legislators and Governor
- Judge Conley’s ruling makes it clear that completion of CHC is not inevitable.
- By continuing to build, the developers are not risking THEIR money; they are spending RATEPAYERS’ money – constituents of legislators and the governor pay the bill.
- The Public Service Commission’s own staff has demonstrated that far less expensive, less environmentally damaging alternatives would deliver the same benefits as CHC.
Ask Them To:
- Call on the developers to cease this irresponsible construction in the Driftless Area.
- Publicly call for the transmission companies to pause, step back and reassess.
Legislator and Governor Contact Info.
Wis. State Senators
Jon Erpenbach Sen. Dist. 27 (West Point/Middleton) 608-266-6670 Sen.Erpenbach@legis.wisconsin.gov
Howard Marklein Sen. Dist. 17 (Spring Green)
Wis. State Assembly Members
Rep. Dianne Hesselbein Assembly Dis. 79 (Middleton) 608-266-5340 Rep.Hesselbein@legis.wisconsin.gov
Rep. Todd Novak Assembly Dist. 51 (Dodgeville) 608-266-7502 Rep.Novak@legis.wisconsin.gov
Rep. Sondy Pope Assembly Dist. 80 (Mt. Horeb) 608-266-3520 Rep.Pope@legis.wisconsin.gov
Rep. Kelda Roys Sen. Dist. 26 (Madison)
Rep. Travis Tranel Assembly Dist. 49 (Cuba City) 608-266-1170 Rep.Tranel@legis.wisconsin.gov
Congressman Ron Kind Wis. 3rd Dist.
Congressman Mark Pocan Wis. 2nd Dist.
Senator Tammy Baldwin 608-264-5338
Senator Ron Johnson 920-230-7250
Governor Tony Evers
Gov. Tony Evers 608-266-1212 https://evers.wi.gov/pages/connect.aspx
Much to our dismay, on Thursday, September 26, 2019, all three Public Service Commissioners gave their final approval for Cardinal-Hickory Creek. The decision is being appealed in Federal and State court by Driftless Area Land Conservancy and Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, represented by attorney Howard Learner, Executive Director of Environmental Law and Policy Center. The decision is also being appealed by the Dane County Board, the Iowa County Board, and two municipalities. More information can be found HERE.
Please sign our petition
If CHC will cross your property, we have posted information about Right-of-Ways & Easements on our PSC UPDATES page HERE
American Transmission Company (ATC), ITC Midwest, and Dairyland Power Co-op propose to build massive steel towers and 345 kilovolt transmission lines through 125 miles of our rural towns and scenic countryside. Their project, called “Cardinal-Hickory Creek” (CHC), will not provide for the greater good of the public; rather it is designed to make money for ATC, a private corporation, and its shareholders. They are guaranteed a 10.2% rate of return simply for “putting steel in the ground.” There are better, less expensive alternatives for meeting our energy demand. Watch our video and read below to understand our reasons for opposition. To see where the CHC line will be built, view the interactive route map.
Driftless Defenders is a grassroots coalition of citizens dedicated to preventing the construction of high voltage transmission lines through the geologically unique Driftless Area of Wisconsin.
For ongoing ways to help Driftless Defenders maintain public pressure and keep the CHC issue in the public eye, visit our Get Involved page.
Why we oppose the transmission lines:
Not Needed and Outmoded
- Demand for electricity has been flat or declining in Wisconsin and adjacent states.
- Wisconsin ranks in top ten states for grid reliability.
- Our energy needs can be better met with locally-produced, cost-effective, and up-to-date 21st century alternatives that do not require massive and obtrusive transmission lines.
Exorbitant Cost — Paid by Us
- Construction alone is estimated at $500-$700 million. Other expenses raise cost to over $1 billion.
- For 40 years we will be forced to pay for this project on our electric bills, which already are among the highest in the Midwest.
- Meanwhile, ATC investors will receive a 10.2% guaranteed annual rate of return!
Serious Economic Impact
- Tourism businesses will suffer when the area loses its scenic appeal.
- Real estate values will drop by as much as 40% on and near the routes of the transmission lines.
- Property will be difficult to sell.
- Farm operations will be compromised.
Destruction of Our Environment
- The scenic beauty and serenity of our unique Driftless landscape and the character of our rural area will be radically and permanently altered by the presence of massive, industrial-style steel towers with their buzzing and popping wires.
- Native plants and wildlife will be impacted.
- Clear cutting and herbicide treatments will be used regularly to maintain a corridor under the lines measuring 150 feet wide by 125 miles long.
More About Us
Driftless Defenders is a non-partisan, all volunteer group. It began with five friends living in Dodgeville Township. Everyone along the proposed route received a letter from ATC informing them of the CHC proposal to build 170-ft tall high-voltage transmission towers across the Driftless region from Dubuque, Iowa to Middleton, Wisconsin (125 miles) via towns, farmland, nature conservancy, prairie restoration, and woodlands. These five residents sent an invitation to their neighbors to meet and discuss the situation.
To their surprise, more than 70 people from four townships gathered in a neighbor’s barn to discuss the transmission line, its economic and environmental implications, and what they could do to stop it. We named ourselves the Driftless Defenders.
From that first meeting we have grown from a tiny grassroots organization to one that reaches thousands of people dedicated to preserving the unique Driftless area and opposing the construction of unnecessary transmission lines.
Farmers, landowners, business owners, conservationists, tourists, and many others living and visiting the Driftless region, understand quite well that the construction of this high-voltage line will permanently mar a landscape that supports a thriving rural sector and a broad range of protected and endangered plant and animal species. Driftless Defenders is helping to spread the word that there is no demonstrated need for this high-capacity transmission line. There is no justification for the negative impact such a line would have on rural development, tourism, local property values, taxes, electric bills, and the environment.
Driftless Defenders is a strong proponent of meeting the energy demands of Wisconsin and its adjoining states through improvements in energy efficiency, conservation, non-transmission alternatives, and local renewables.
NOTE: Driftless Defenders is a 501(c) (4) non-profit organization. Donations to us are not tax exempt.