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Utilities split on permit process change

Published On: Feb 25 2014 06:19:14 AM CST
Updated On: Feb 25 2014 06:19:00 AM CST

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Wisconsin's utility companies are divided on a bill that could change the way the state issues permits for transmission line projects.

The proposed legislation would require the Department of Natural Resources to grant or deny a permit for a project within 30 days. That process currently can take months. The bill allows the DNR one opportunity to request more information on a project before it assesses its environmental impact.

Xcel Energy and Dairyland Power Cooperative support the bill. Xcel government affairs director Matt Pagel says delays can cost money, which is passed on to ratepayers.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports not all utilities are on board. We Energies, Alliant Energy and Madison Gas & Electric oppose the bill. Some say the current process works just fine.

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