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County Supervisors: Wisconsin State Budget Removes Local Control of Pipeline

July 14, 2015
County Board Chair Sharon Corrigan, (608) 333-2285
County Board



Last-minute Amendment Bars County from Protecting Environment Through Insurance Requirement

Dane County Board of Supervisors Chair Sharon Corrigan and Zoning and Land Regulation Committee Chair Patrick Miles today said they are disappointed in the State of Wisconsin budget, signed by Republican Governor Scott Walker on Sunday, which includes a provision that prohibits the County from requiring Enbridge Energy to carry $25,000,000 in environmental impairment liability insurance before it expands the capacity of an existing pipeline carrying tar sands crude oil through northeastern Dane County.

 

The requirement had been approved as part of a conditional use permit granted to Enbridge by the County Zoning and Land Regulation Committee; Enbridge had appealed that requirement. A hearing on that appeal set for Thursday has been taken off the County Board agenda.

 

“Enbridge filed an appeal properly, and we were set to hear that appeal and make a decision. That’s how it’s supposed to work,” said Corrigan. “But apparently Enbridge sent some lobbyists to make a different kind of appeal to the legislature and the governor, and got some special treatment slipped into the budget. We’re trying to protect Dane County’s environment. The Republican legislature and governor are protecting corporate interests. They’ve tied our hands.”

 

“They talk a lot about local control,” said Miles. “For years now the governor keeps telling us he’s giving us ‘tools’ for this and that. I have yet to see any of these so-called ‘tools’ do any good. In fact this budget took from us what could have been an important tool to ensure our environment and people stay safe. Pandering to corporate interests and hoping nothing goes wrong -- that’s no way to govern.”