Ald. Bob Bauman
Press Release

Resolution authorizes city opposition to potential We Energies rate increases


By - Sep 20th, 2022 01:31 pm

Legislation authored by Alderman Robert J. Bauman that authorizes the City Attorney to file comments in opposition to Wisconsin Electric Power Company’s and Wisconsin Gas LLC’s joint application to increase electric, steam, and natural gas rates was adopted unanimously today by the full Common Council.

The resolution (Council file #220612) authorizes the City Attorney to file comments in opposition to the rate increases that Wisconsin Electric Power Company (WEPCO) and Wisconsin Gas LLC have applied for to the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC).

Alderman Bauman, chair of the Public Works Committee, said We Energies currently has some of the highest rates in the Midwest, and the proposed increases will pose a significant hardship on the city’s residents.

“Additionally, the PSC should not allow WEPCO to reap excessive profits on coal-fired power plants that were imprudently built and are now slated for shutdown,” Alderman Bauman said, adding: “The utility has also delayed the closing of its Oak Creek coal-fired power plant units, continuing to contribute to pollution and climate change.”

“I thank my Council colleagues for their support of this file (which is co-sponsored by Alderman Michael J. Murphy),” the alderman said.

Alderman Bauman said We Energies “sees a threat from solar energy” and has devoted significant resources to opposing affordable rooftop solar options for low- and moderate-income homeowners, non-profit organizations, religious organizations, school districts, and local governments.

Excessive pay packages for We Energies executives are often kept from public view but should also be factored in by the PSC in the utility’s rate hike application, Alderman Bauman said.

“According to the Milwaukee Business Journal’s November 26, 2021 list of ‘Highest-Paid Executives of Public Companies,’ the President/ CEO and Executive Chairman of WEC Energy Group, Inc., the holding company that owns WEPCO, received total compensation packages of more than $18.1 million and $8.8 million, respectively, in the latest fiscal year, and of the 100 individuals listed in the publication’s ‘Highest-Paid Executives of Public Companies,’ seven were identified as current or retired executives of WEC Energy Group, Inc., with total compensation packages ranging from roughly $2 million to $18 million,” he said.

“Milwaukee ratepayers should not be asked to dig deeper into their hard-earned income in order to support the already excessive compensation of the utility’s top brass,” Alderman Bauman said.

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