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Thursday, May 31, 2012

PSC plans local hearing on We Energies rate hike

From a story by Tom Content in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

The state Public Service Commission announced Tuesday it will hold a public hearing in Milwaukee this fall on We Energies' rate increase proposal.

Dates, times and locations will be announced later, but it's expected to take place in late September.

The commission announced its decision via Twitter after putting out a schedule last week that called for a hearing in Madison only.

The Cleaner Valley Coalition, a group concerned about pollution from We Energies' Milwaukee coal-fired power plant, had said Friday it was requesting a local hearing.

The agency typically has held hearings in the Milwaukee area, but planned the hearing in Madison while encouraging utility customers to comment on the We Energies proposal electronically on the PSC website, agency spokeswoman Kristin Ruesch said in an email.

"Typically, there is very low attendance at rate case hearings, so it was a cost-saving and staff-resource saving measure to hold the hearing here at the Public Service Commission," she said.

Because of the announcement, the Cleaner Valley Coalition canceled plans to hold a news conference on Wednesday to express its concerns on the need for a local hearing. The coalition organized to urge We Energies to stop burning coal at its Valley power plant in Milwaukee's Menomonee Valley.

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