Ald. Bob Bauman
Press Release

We are witnessing what happens when shareholder owned utilities are accountable to no one but themselves and their shareholders

Statement of Alderman Robert J. Bauman August 13, 2021

By - Aug 13th, 2021 01:45 pm

The rash of power outages, some lasting for days, caused by severe weather is demonstrating that WE Energies, along with the other shareholder owned public utilities in Wisconsin are essentially accountable to no one but themselves and their shareholders. Unlike Milwaukee’s water utility, which is owned by the citizens of Milwaukee and overseen by the Common Council and mayor, there is no one to complain to and no one to vote against when WE Energies fails to deliver on their responsibilities to their customers and the public. Customers cannot take their business to a different electricity supplier. They are at the mercy of WE Energies, an absolute monopoly accountable to no other than an obscure regulatory agency in Madison known as the Public Service Commission which is headed up by unelected politically appointed part-time commissioners who are largely beholden to the shareholder owned utilities they supposedly regulate.

This fundamental lack of accountability and oversight has been present for decades and represented a disaster waiting to happen. Well we have gotten a taste of the dimensions of that disaster this week.

Mentioned in This Press Release

One thought on “We are witnessing what happens when shareholder owned utilities are accountable to no one but themselves and their shareholders”

  1. Douglas Johnson says:

    I met and talked with some of the WE Energies staff and contractors who were working tirelessly under extraordinary circumstances to get the electricity back up and running. How easy is it to blame someone when the circumstances are not in anyone’s control? Well, I for one am grateful for the hard work WE Energies staff who put in long hours to restore damaged infrastructure that was unprecedented in their experience.

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