Local News

Local Leaders Go To Washington D.C. To Talk Public Power

The City of Hartford Utility Director Brian Rhodes advocated on behalf of Hartford, Hartford Electric and its customers at the American Public Power Association’s 2024 Legislative Rally. The annual event was held in Washington D.C. as Rhodes met personally with Wisconsin Senators Tammy Baldwin (D) and Ron Johnson (R). He also met with staff from the offices of Reps. Scott Fitzgerald and Derrick Van Orden.

“Spending time talking with lawmakers provides a great opportunity to discuss the policies that impact our community,” Rhodes told WTKM News. “Sitting down to discuss the topics that matter, like maintaining a safe, reliable and affordable power supply, was beneficial for both us and our legislators.”

Rhodes spoke during the meetings about the importance of ensuring utilities receive the help they need during a supply chain crisis and that more onerous policies are not passed to worsen the problem. They also discussed the need for streamlined federal permitting and siting rules to bolster infrastructure and maintain electric reliability, reducing the cost of investments in that infrastructure, a more secure energy grid, and providing responsible and reliable energy through a mix of sources — including natural gas.

“By meeting with our legislators, we can help ensure national policymakers keep public power customers in mind when they’re making proposals,” said Joseph Owen, director of government affairs for WPPI Energy. “Their choices have consequences in our local communities, so it is important to present our view. We are fortunate to have a congressional delegation that hears the issues from communities with locally owned, not-for-profit utilities and works to help however they can.”

Member-owned, not-for-profit WPPI Energy serves Hartford Electric and 50 other locally owned electric utilities. Together, WPPI members have built a diverse, competitive and responsible power supply. They share modern technologies and forward-thinking services, and they speak with a unified voice for effective energy policy advocacy.