Two of Wisconsin’s major utilities — Madison Gas & Electric (MGE) and Wisconsin Power & Light (WPL) — have proposed increases in their rates for electricity and natural gas, in addition to the rules governing sales of excess energy back to the grid by rooftop solar users (a process known as net metering). As the climate crisis continues to worsen, longer, more severe, and more frequent heat waves will increasingly burden low-income individuals and families with high energy bills. This burden will be even higher if the proposed rate increases are approved. At the same time, proposed changes to net metering may put the cost savings, freedom, and independence that comes with rooftop solar even further out of reach for those experiencing the greatest climate and energy burdens.
These proposals are a threat to climate justice in Wisconsin… but we have the opportunity to take action now!
350 Wisconsin is a formal intervenor in both cases, which gives us a seat at the table to find a solution that supports a just transition to renewable energy and protects the rights of all Wisconsin communities. The Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) will make the final decision whether to approve or deny the proposed changes from MGE and WPL, and they want to hear from YOU!
The PSC has already held public hearings on both the MGE and the WPL cases, but the agency is still soliciting public comments. Submit your written comments on MGE’s proposal here through September 26 and on WPL’s proposal here through October 4.
To help you craft your comments, visit this page for talking points for both the MGE and WPL cases.
Let’s Get Together
at the Olbrich Biergarten
Thursday, September 21, 2023
Join 350 Wisconsin for a fun, casual gathering to build solidarity with fellow climate activists and community members. Enjoy the beautiful weather and views of Lake Monona. Whether you’re a long-time supporter or just getting to know us, we’d love to see you!
WHAT: Let’s Get Together! community event
WHEN: Thursday, September 21, 5:00–7:30pm (rain date September 26)
WHERE: The Biergarten at Olbrich Park, 3527 Atwood Ave., Madison
In addition to great beer, you can enjoy classics from local favorites like Clasens European Bakery, Underground Meats, Farmer John, and Banzo.
The first 15 registrants receive a free drink token!
Premiering September 23, 2023
Interested in joining a public rally in support of affordable solar power? Join us at the Dane County Farmers’ Market on September 23 for the premiere of our Art Collective’s newest dance, celebrating solar and renewable energy!
Come to the North Hamilton corner of the Capitol Square any time between 10:00 and 11:00 — and prepare to be surprised and delighted!
Our Art Collective has created this new work to bring attention to MG&E’s and Wisconsin Power & Light’s proposed rate increases. Learn more about this critical climate justice issue here — and then come on out to the Farmers’ Market on September 23!
The #1 Funder of Fossil Fuels
September 25, 2023
Are you concerned about Chase Bank’s continuing funding of fossil fuel projects? If so, please join us at this online meeting where we’ll be organizing a fall campaign of peaceful sit-ins at local Chase branches in Madison and Milwaukee. Help us put pressure on Chase and publicize the damage it is doing to the climate! We are seeking volunteers for a variety of action and support roles.
WHAT: #ShutDownChase Training
WHEN: Monday, September 25, 7:00–8:00 pm
VIA ZOOM: Register in advance here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting via computer, tablet, or smartphone.
At this kickoff meeting, 350 Wisconsin’s Divest and Defund Team will:
- Give an overview of planned actions in October
- Prepare you to participate in or support nonviolent direct actions at the banks
- Form groups that will carry out actions
Contact Divest.firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to join an action group but cannot make this meeting or if you want to organize a group for action outside Madison or Milwaukee.
Line 5 Update — Take Action!
U.S. District Judge William Conley ruled on June 16, 2023, that Enbridge must shut down its Line 5 pipeline within three years and pay more than $5 million in profits to the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa for “conscious and willful trespass” on the Band’s land. Conley ruled that “the current threat of rupture is still not so imminent that an immediate shutdown of the pipeline is necessary,” but that the erosion caused by this spring’s flooding makes a Line 5 rupture “sufficiently close to occurring” Enbridge must take new actions.
Specifically, Judge Conley found that:
- “The nature of the potential harm—catastrophic environmental damage to the Bad River and Lake Superior watersheds—is a significant factor. If a large oil spill occurred, it would be impossible to undo the damage with remediation efforts, an injunction or monetary penalties.”
- The Bad River can be unpredictable, despite Enbridge’s arguments to the contrary.
- The pipeline could be exposed in a single, significant flooding event, creating the potential for a rupture that would pollute the watershed.
- Enbridge’s current monitoring and shutdown protocol is not sufficiently conservative.
Enbridge says it plans to appeal the decision. Judge Conley stated in his ruling:
“The court will give Enbridge an additional three years to complete a reroute. If Enbridge fails to do so, the three years will at least give the public and other affected market players time to adjust to a permanent closure of Line 5. It will also give Enbridge sufficient time to appeal this court’s injunctive order or make new law. At the expiration of three years from the date of this order, therefore, Enbridge must have decommissioned Line 5 on the 12 affected parcels, as well as arranged removal of any sidelined pipe and remediation of area.”
The Bad River Band contends that recent erosion at the Bad River meander has put Line 5 at risk of an imminent, catastrophic rupture, requiring an immediate shutdown. Please take action to #ShutDownLine5 by writing or calling:
- White House: (202) 456-1111 | https://tinyurl.com/5n8vf476 | @POTUS @JoeBiden
- Gov. Tony Evers: (608) 266-1212 | https://tinyurl.com/4amnb8f7 | @GovEvers
- Sen. Tammy Baldwin: (202) 224-5653 | https://tinyurl.com/2e7h6uaf | @SenatorBaldwin
Then listen to this conversation with Communities United by Water’s Barbara With, Midwest Environmental Advocates’ Rob Lee, and Sierra Club Wisconsin’s Elizabeth Ward about the pipeline and efforts to shut it down.
Learn more about Line 5 here.
It’s 2023, and we’re looking to have a bigger impact than ever! To stay up to date on our actions, check this page often, subscribe to our monthly Climate Newsletter, and follow us on social media!