WI Landowners Join ANR in Fighting Guardian
ANR Pipeline has picked up landowner support for its suit
against the Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) that charges
the PSC unlawfully kept secret filings made by Wisconsin Gas for
its competing Guardian Pipeline.
Neighbors Standing United is a group of Wisconsin 160 landowners
along the proposed Guardian route petitioning Wisconsin Circuit
Court to intervene in ANR's suit against the PSC. The landowners,
led by Weenonah Brattset, own anywhere from one acre to 1,000
acres, Brattset said. "Every single landowner in our group is
prepared to take this all the way through the courts to
condemnation. If this [Guardian] pipeline is permitted, we would go
in and appeal our property tax assessments be reduced to reflect
the decrease in the value of our lands because of the pipeline."
Brattset said her group feels Guardian is unnecessary because
the area already has pipeline infrastructure, namely ANR's. She and
Neighbors Standing also question who would end up paying for
Guardian. Their bet is it would be ratepayers.
Last month ANR filed suit against the PSC in Dane County, WI,
Circuit Court (See Daily GPI July 26, 1999). 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 owned by Wisconsin Gas
parent WICOR, CMS Energy, and Viking Gas Transmission .
Brattset said her group was formed about two years ago to oppose
the then prospective Viking Voyageur pipeline. "We have just kind
of stayed in touch ever since expecting something like this," she
said. The group doesn't have much of a war chest, she said, but is
planning to build one up. "We are beginning again."
Wisconsin gas spokesman Dave Fantle said his company's position
on Guardian has not changed. "The route is still not cast in stone.
We've had very proactive communication as it pertains to the
landowners, public officials and the news media."
Wisconsin gas has 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," ANR says.
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