ANR Suing Wisconsin PSC Over Guardian
ANR Pipeline, charging Wisconsin Public Service Commission
filings by Wisconsin Gas for the Guardian Pipeline project were
unlawfully kept secret, is suing the PSC in Dane County, WI,
Circuit Court. ANR wants the court to reverse and set aside PSC
orders conditionally approving Guardian. ANR seeks remanding of the
case and the opportunity to intervene in a contested case hearing.
Guardian would be a 147-mile interstate from the Chicago hub to
Watertown, WI. Wisconsin Gas is proposing a 35-mile lateral to
connect its system to Guardian in the Milwaukee area. The pipeline,
which would compete against ANR, is expected to cost $230 million
and the lateral $45 million. Wisconsin Gas would own 30% of the
pipeline and 100% of the lateral. Guardian is owned by Wisconsin
Gas parent WICOR, CMS Energy, and Viking Gas Transmission .
The LDC has executed a precedent agreement with Guardian for 650
MMcf/d of firm capacity that would displace capacity held by
Wisconsin Gas on ANR. ANR maintains it can more cheaply build any
new capacity needed to meet the needs of Wisconsin Gas and others
ANR says the cost of the redundant Guardian and the lateral
would be unfairly borne by ratepayers, to the tune of $175 million
over 10 years. Wisconsin Gas says the project would save ratepayers
$100 million over its first 10 years. ANR says the project would
result in "significant, unnecessary environmental disturbances and
The PSC refused to allow ANR to participate in Guardian
proceedings, denied ANR access to documents and secretly
conditionally approved the precedent agreement "based on
self-serving conclusory statements by WGC concerning the benefits
of the Guardian Project," the pipeline says.
Wisconsin Gas' response to the suit is somewhat akin to "what's
sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander."
"First of all, the supply contract that Wisconsin Gas filed with
the PSC is confidential, and information in it could aid a
competitor," said Wisconsin Gas spokesman David Fantle. "Other ANR
customers filed these confidential agreements with the PSC, and in
those cases ANR did not complain because the process benefits their
"Shame on ANR. They filed the same kind of supply contracts with
the PSC, and they should understand the confidential nature of
these type of filings. We believe the PSC followed all the
appropriate procedures when reviewing the Wisconsin Gas filing. The
time for a full public review of the project will come when
Wisconsin Gas files an application for its lateral project with the
PSC in the fall of this year. This is just another stall and delay
tactic from ANR because their monopoly status is in jeopardy and
Guardian represents lower prices and true competition."
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