Local leaders head to D.C. to discuss energy policy issues
For Hub City Times
MARSHFIELD — “Municipal bonds are essential for communities like Marshfield to affordably build critical infrastructure and provide residents with essential services, and they should remain tax-exempt,” is a message local officials delivered in person to members of Congress Feb. 27 through March 1 in Washington, D.C., during the American Public Power Association’s Annual Legislative Rally.
Marshfield Utilities General Manager Bob Trussoni, Utility Commission President Mike Eberl, Commissioners John Maggitti and Harry Borgman, and Mayor Chris Meyer participated in the event.
Across the U.S., public power utilities like municipally owned Marshfield Utilities make $11 billion in new investments financed with municipal bonds each year. This helps them affordably finance the power generation and distribution equipment needed to deliver safe, affordable, and reliable electricity to local customers.
“As Congress continues to consider possible approaches to tax reform and deficit reduction, we urged them to help us keep costs down by preserving the current tax exemption for municipal bonds,” said Trussoni. “Without tax-exempt bonding, our cost of borrowing would increase, and all projects that we undertake to ensure reliable delivery of power would cost our customers more on their monthly electric bills. We just don’t think that is right.”
Marshfield attendees met with Rep. Sean Duffy and Sens. Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin during their visit.
Other topics at the meetings included highlighting the proactive measures Marshfield Utilities implements to protect data and assets and ensuring that any policy addressing physical and cyber security of the electric grid is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Such a solution may make sense for a multibillion dollar utility but would be cost prohibitive and unnecessary for a smaller utility.
Marshfield attendees also requested that any potential federal infrastructure bill include funding for critical energy infrastructure such as transmission lines and a smarter electric grid.