This, despite the company’s history of environmental violations.
The state Public Service Commission is poised Friday to approve selection of a Louisiana corporation with a history of environmental violations to manage Wisconsin's popular Focus on Energy program.
Shaw Environmental and Infrastructure Inc., a subsidiary of the Baton Rouge-based Shaw Group, was selected by an evaluation committee that included four representatives of Wisconsin's investor-owned utilities.
And here it comes, the Koch brothers connection. Note that the sentence denying that “Koch Industries wouldn’t profit from this deal, is just utter bull poo-poo.
Shaw also has some ties to Koch Industries, the Wichita, Kan., firm that has been a big booster of embattled Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. But there is no indication that Koch Industries would profit from the deal.
Meanwhile, the non-profit Wisconsin group, Focus on Energy, will be out of a job.
Focus on Energy is a statewide energy efficiency and renewable program launched in 2001. Using money collected from a tax on utility ratepayers, Focus works with eligible Wisconsin residents and businesses to install energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
And that’s only part of it, because there’s something you may not know, and that is that hidden in SENATE BILL 11, at the bottom of page 23, is a Trojan horse. A horse which will allow the Koch brothers to buy Wisconsin utilities at bargain prices. SECTION 44. 16.896 reads as follows, emphasis mine:
16.896 Sale or contractual operation of state−owned heating, cooling, and power plants. (1) Notwithstanding ss. 13.48 (14) (am) and 16.705 (1), the department may sell any state−owned heating, cooling, and power plant or may contract with a private entity for the operation of any such plant, with or without solicitation of bids, for any amount that the department determines to be in the best interest of the state. Notwithstanding ss. 196.49 and 196.80, no approval or certification of the public service commission is necessary for a public utility to purchase, or contract for the operation of, such a plant, and any such purchase is considered to be in the public interest and to comply with the criteria for certification of a project under s. 196.49 (3) (b).
Get that? The Koch brothers can now buy up the state-owned utility plants at a price of their choosing. And hey, of course they want a sympathetic Koch henchman to manage the energy program so as to hide any violations of an environmental nature.
According to PSC documents, Shaw was selected over two other competing bids, including the Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corp., a non-profit based in Madison. Shaw scored highest in a presentation and follow-up interview.
Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corp. has been involved in the Focus on Energy program since it was launched. Founded in 1980, the group is headed by Mary Schlaefer, a top staffer in the administration of former Gov. Jim Doyle. Schlaefer did not return a phone call for comment Thursday about Shaw's selection.