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Carl Linder: Paying more for poison

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Wisconsin's energy rates are among the highest in the Midwest.

We Energies shareholders have enjoyed annual returns of 15% for many years and former We Energies CEO Gale Klappa was paid an annual salary of over $14 million.

We Energies continues to burn coal, the most costly fossil fuels. Instead of purchasing energy from the electricity grid and saving Wisconsin ratepayers a total of $75 million a year, instead of transitioning to clean, renewable energy which is now much less expensive than coal, We Energies wants to raise its rates.

Coal is also the dirtiest of the fossil fuels. Coal dust leads to respiratory illnesses such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and COPD. The American Lung Association consistently gives an "F" to the air quality in Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha counties and the toxic residue expelled into Lake Michigan contains arsenic, lead and mercury which are well-known carcinogens. We Energies refuses to transition to clean, renewable energy for the health of the people living near their coal plants.

We Energies and its parent company WEC must stop burning coal. The transition to clean, renewable energy is inevitable, but they remain determined to squeeze out every last dollar. So they ask the PSC for a rate hike to continue their costly and hazardous practices but every day the people of southeast Wisconsin inhale the dirtiest air in the sate. The increase should be denied. Companies that traffic in human health for short term profit should be prosecuted, not rewarded.

Carl Lindner



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