Journalist Amy Goodman, Former U.S. Energy Official To Speak At Energy Fair

Annual Exposition Will Be Held In Central Wisconsin This Weekend

Tony Webster (CC-BY)

A former chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and a progressive journalist are the keynote speakers at this year’s Energy Fair in central Wisconsin.

Jon Wellinghoff, who chaired the FERC between 2009 and 2013, will be the speaker Friday afternoon at the an annual weekend-long event organized by the Midwest Renewable Energy Association. He said local investment in solar and wind energy is vital for national security. America’s electrical grid is vulnerable to attack, he said, because it depends on a few high-voltage generation and distribution centers.

“There are a finite number of these central, high-voltage substations, and if there was a coordinated attack on those nodes, it certainly could take down large areas of the country,” Wellinghoff said. “And all we have to do is look at August of 2003. A line in Ohio touched a tree and the whole northeast went out.”

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Progressive journalist Amy Goodman is the keynote speaker on Saturday.

Goodman hosts the popular television and radio show “Democracy Now!” which is carried on more than 1,300 radio, television and cable systems around the world. She said her keynote address will focus on climate change.

“We’re on the face of a precipice, and it’s not, like, theoretical,” she said. “We know from the climate in this country — California is dealing with the terrific drought — to what’s taking place in India — over 2,300 heat deaths.”

The Energy Fair is in Custer, east of Stevens Point.

Related Stories