Fair rates for state

Editor, Daily Union: The results from a new study conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s Fiscal and Economic Research Center deserve the attention of residents and businesses across the state.

Why? The study finds that there are many positive effects on the economy from the state’s wide array of energy providers — and this matters to everyone who is a part of the Badger State.

Some data points in particular from the study have made me and my organization sit up and take notice. We already knew that energy providers provide thousands of high-wage jobs that enable these workers to live a very high quality of life and provide well for their families. We also knew that these providers also pay taxes that support each and every community across the state.

But we didn’t until now have hard numbers that quantify the impact — and this is what truly garners our attention.

Between worker income and economic output, Wisconsin energy providers annually contribute more than $20 billion to Wisconsin’s economy. The family sustaining wages that flow from these providers to employees amounts to more than $2.7 billion annually. And the state’s energy providers generate a total of $1.14 billion annually in a variety of taxes which directly provides positive benefits to cities, towns, and counties across the state.

These numbers are all substantial. They truly make a positive difference for all Wisconsinites.

Fair Rates for Wisconsin’s Dairyland is an organization that exists to ensure three basic tenets are adhered to: fair, affordable and reliable. We also must ensure that each resident and business pay a fair rate with access to affordable energy and to sound, unbiased information about energy issues. It is crucial that upgrades take place so that Wisconsin’s infrastructure can meet the needs of 21st century customers, and the flow of power continues to be reliable.

We rely on energy each day, and in many cases take it for granted. Let’s ensure that we continue to support the energy providers and their employees — as Wisconsin energy providers truly power our state’s economy. — Kathi Kilgore, executive director, Fair Rates for Wisconsin’s Dairyland, Madison.

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