Plale, utilities are partners once again | WisCommunity

Plale, utilities are partners once again

Gov. Scott Walker wants to privatize Wisconsin's state-owned power plants, the Capital Times reports.  And he's got just the man for the job -- the utilities' pal, Jeff Plale.  The story:

The provision would give the state Department of Administration the authority to sell the plants or contract for their operation. The proposal calls for net profits from the sale of the plants to be deposited in the budget stabilization fund.


"This is not a new idea," said Jeff Plale, administrator of the DOA's Division of Facilities. "This has come up before. It was shelved."

Actually, it wasn't shelved, but was passed in 2005 by the legislature, when the GOP controlled both houses.  Gov. Jim Doyle vetoed it.

Plale, the turncoat Democrat who sided with utilities instead of consumers when he was a State Senator, certainly doesn't start with a neutral point of view.  For Plale and the utilities, it's a match made in heaven. There's not much doubt how the study will come out.

Because Wisconsin utilities are monopolies regulated by the Public Service Comission, their rates are set by the PSC to guarantee a rate of return on their investment.  There is no risk involved.  And the more they invest in plants and infrastucture, the more money they make.

Walker, of course, will say it saves the state money.  But the ratepayers will bear the burden, and the utilites will reap the benefits.




February 12, 2011 - 9:23pm