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Bill would outlaw PSC from encouraging utilities to lobby for legislation


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A new bill in the state Legislature would prohibit the state's utility regulating body from making power companies lobby for energy legislation.

The Public Service Commission once asked a Green Bay electric utility to lobby for a package to fight global warming. The commission backed off, and the bill was never passed.

But a new bill would ban the PSC from having utilities go to the Legislature to push for energy-related measures.

PSC chairman Phil Montgomery, a former legislator, said it's like being stopped for speeding on Interstate 43 and having the officer tell you the ticket will be dropped if you give to the police benevolent association.

The new bill would also streamline a number of PSC duties. And it would set time limits for the panel to approve or deny utility construction projects.