Coulee Region Group Sierra Club


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   Our local group meetings are the last Tuesday of the month at 7 PM at Ho Chunk.

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Badger Coulee Transmission Line - Update April 2012

American Transmission Company has released a list of five alternative routes for the Badger Coulee Transmission Line to Madison from the Mississippi River north of La Crosse. This controversial power line has received considerable opposition, including the Coulee Group of the Sierra Club.

The Coulee Group Board voted to oppose the line based on:
· the environmental and scenic degradation it would cause;
· because we favor decreased use of coal power generation;
· because there are other ways of meeting energy needs, including conservation, renewable generation, and demand/supply side management.

ATC has announced public open houses where the five alternative route plans will be discussed.
Please attend and make your feelings known.
The open houses are:

· Tuesday, April 17, 2012, Onalaska, 1–7pm at Stoney Creek Inn and Conference Center  3060 S. Kinney Coulee Road

· Wednesday, April 18, 2012, Ettrick 1–7pm  at Ettrick Elementary School, 22750  Washington St.

· Thursday, April 19, 2012, Warrens, 1-7pm  at Three Bears Lodge, 701 Yogi Circle

· Thursday, April 26, 2012, Norwalk, 1-7pm at Norwalk Community Ctr., 200 W. North St.

For more information , go to this web site:


Badger Coulee Transmission Line Project

The SC Coulee Group Board voted in June 2011 to oppose the Badger Coulee Transmission Line Project—a new 345-kilovolt transmission line from the La Crosse area to northern Dane County. This new transmission line would be an extension of the CapX2020 transmission line project in Minnesota. That proposed transmission line would cross Minnesota from the Dakotas and terminate in La Crosse. These projects are proposed by ATC (American Transmission Company), and supported by local utilities.  The Coulee Group opposes these projects because:

the use of electricity in Wisconsin has either remained stable or, in some instances, declined since 2005

the proposed routes cut across rivers, farms, forests, valleys, and scenic bluffs, endangering wildlife habitats

the 130-175’ steel towers and high voltage power lines would harm the scenic beauty of the region

the CRG Sierra Club believes that there are other ways of meeting future power needs that should be considered first (including conservation, renewable generation, and demand/supply side management)

The Sierra Club is opposed to meeting future power needs from new coal-fired power plants, and this power line project appears to be designed to provide a transmission line path from proposed new coal-fired power plants in the Dakotas to power markets in Chicago and farther east. We believe that new power transmission projects should be designed to enable wind and other renewable generation.

ATC’s web site describing the project is

To see where the routes being studied in relation to your home, go to

Watch for open houses to be scheduled by ATC in Spring, 2012 to get more information and express your concerns about the project.


22nd Annual MREA Energy Fair

Friday & Saturday June 17-18,  9 AM - 7 PM
Sunday, June 19,  9 AM – 5 PM

Each year the MREA Energy Fair transforms rural Central Wisconsin into the global hot spot for renewable energy education. The Energy Fair brings over 25,000 people from nearly every state in the U.S. and several countries around the world to learn, connect with others and ready them for action at home. The Energy Fair is the nation’s longest running energy education event of its kind.
Location:  The fair is located just east of Stevens Point, Wisconsin, off Hwy 10 at
Renew The Earth Institute,  7558 Deer Road,  Custer, WI 54423
Details on their website:
3 Day Event Schedule:

1 Day BUS from La Crosse to MREA Energy Fair option on Saturday, June 18th!
People's Food Coop and Coulee Partners for Sustainability are sponsoring a bus going to the Fair for $20 (and $5 off the price of admission. sorry; no cancellations.)  Pick up your tickets by June 15 at the Coop's customer service desk.

Midwest Renewable Energy Association at:     Click on "Energy Fair"

- - - - -

Help stop the wasteful, large Power Line Project

Stop it at the River!

Xcel Energy, Dairyland Power and nine other utilities (CAPX2020) are proposing a 345kV ultra high voltage
power line crossing from Minnesota to Alma, Wisconsin and then running either south or east to Madison. Most of the power line will be built by the American Transmission Company. The power line towers will be 15+ stories tall and have a right of way of 150 feet, which will be cleared by eminent domain and maintained by herbicides.  This project will have a major negative impact on scenic beauty, property values and natural habitat. The proposed route from Minnesota to Alma will cross the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, which provides habitat protection for fish, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, many endangered and threatened plants and a large percentage of migratory birds that use the Flyway. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has asked that the line be buried “due to the large number of eagles, egrets, herons and pelicans that use the sloughs and channels.”

With regard to property values realtors agree any kind of power line diminishes property value, with some estimates of reductions of 18-53%  Finally, the purpose of CAPX2020 is not to provide needed electricity for Wisconsin; rather, the transmission of surplus coal-generated electricity from the Dakotas to states east and south of us where the power can be sold cheaply to large markets. ATC and CAPX2020 would have us believe that alternative energy (wind) will be carried on the power lines. However, although the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission granted a Certificate of Need to CAPX2020 in April 2009 contingent upon the inclusion of wind energy on the power line, three months later, CAPX2020 filed a petition to remove the requirement for wind energy. Unless CAPX2020 can prove their commitment to wind, one must deduce the line is all about coal. 

Citizens Energy Task Force would like to see the Sierra Club, the Audubon Society and all organizations and individuals promoting the protection of wildlife and sustainability to sponsor one or more forums to address the pros and cons of this power line. For more information go to
Linda Van Art-member, Citizens Energy Taskforce

Clean Energy Coalition Meeting
Thursday, 5/28/2009 at 7:00 p.m.

Ho-Chunk Building Basement  (Same Location)

Topic: Wisconsin's Electric Energy Future
Speaker: Former State Senator Mark Meyer**

In the past half-century electricity generation and transmission concerns, once only local in importance, now affect complete regions of the country. However, future imperatives require a national and even international focus. Discussion at this forum will touch important issues such as: future wind derived electricity, transmission needs (where?, how large?, who funds new capacity?), the future of coal and nuclear, rate structure changes (“decoupling”) for consumers, etc. Attorneys advising Commissioner Meyer require that during the forum there be no discussion regarding any contested case currently pending before the PSC.  **In 2004 Meyer was appointed by Governor Doyle to the PSC—the agency that approves all proposals from the state's utilities for new power generation, transmission modifications, and rate changes. Up until that year he had served as Senator representing the La Crosse area in Madison.

Energy Fair
Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA)
June 19-21, 2009
Custer, WI

Since 1990, the Energy Fair has shown fairgoers how to change the world while having fun.
The Energy Fair is the world's largest renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable living educational event of its kind. It features hundreds of workshops and exhibits all emphasizing clean energy & sustainable living, and is fun for the whole family. For information about the Energy Fair:

Bus Trip to the Energy Fair
Saturday, June 20, 2009

The People’s Food Co-op (PFC) is organizing a bus trip to the Energy Fair again this year! For $15, you’ll enjoy a bus ride to the Fair (departing at 7:00 a.m., arriving at the Fair at 9:30 and returning at the PFC at 9:00 p.m.), visit with interesting folks along the way, and be eligible for bus prizes. To register for the bus, contact the PFC Customer Service Desk or call 784-5798 ext. 244 with credit card information. The deadline is June 6
th. NOTE: The MREA gives $5 off admission to the Fair for bus goers (coupon given on bus).

Coulee Partners for Sustainability (CPS)
The CPS, a grassroots organization begun in October of 2007, has met regularly over the past two years and been involved in many community activities. They would now like to offer assistance with projects in the greater La Crosse community, such as leading study circles, assisting business/ green economy ventures, supporting neighborhood/ housing initiatives and promoting local foods/sustainable agriculture. To learn more, contact Glen Jenkins,




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