The statement by Dana Brueck quoted in “Report Card Gives Utility D+” (12/22/2016) —that Madison Gas and Electric’s goals are consistent with public input — is true in the sense that they are moving in the right direction. But MGE’s goals for using renewable resources and lowering greenhouse gases fall far short of what its customers have asked for and short of what is needed to reverse climate change.
Yes, MGE had a very extensive outreach process, but what it learned from customers is not reflected in its actions. And now, under the continuing outreach (many different kinds of partnerships), MGE is picking and choosing who they listen to and is keeping the results confidential. I hope the new CEO will turn some of this corporate behavior in a new direction.
And, yes, the J.D. Power scores do vary from year to year, but MGE’s score went down in 2015 and stayed down in 2016. We will be keeping an eye on the 2017 survey when it comes out in May. Since there was a new rate case in 2016 that did not correct the problems, we doubt that their score will improve.
As stated, the current Walker-appointed PSC commissioners’ decisions have primarily promoted the interests of utilities and shareholders but have also discouraged customers and the utilities from investing in renewable resources. Also, MGE and their regulators need to treat all customers fairly instead of looking for ways to justify raising rates for residential customers and lowering them for commercial and industrial customers.
Nancy Korda (via email)
You guys do know you can be on the right side of history without bashing local law enforcement as frequently and viciously and gratuitously as possible, right (“Cheap Shots,” 12/22/2016)? The woman who was “brutalized” at East Towne was menacing people with a knife (and it’s unclear to me what her weight had to do with anything). The mentally ill man who was killed may have been “in the throes of crisis,” but he did have a pitchfork (those are heavy — why not mention that? How much did he weigh?), and cops were responding to calls from neighbors who were scared.
I get it — we’ve got serious, serious problems in this country. That the police are sometimes a source of some those problems is shameful and awful and needs to change. But it would be nice (fair, even) if you wouldn’t always contort yourself quite so vigorously to portray the Madison Police Department in the worst possible light. I submit that it wouldn’t do your liberal street cred any harm.
Elana Matthews (via email)