MARQUETTE — The Upper Peninsula’s voice in Congress visited Marquette this afternoon.
Republican Dan Benishek was the guest at an Economic Club of Marquette County luncheon. Benishek says he’s fighting what he believes are job-killing federal regulations, as well as fighting for veterans’ issues and vocational and technical education programs.
“The people I’ve been talking to, they’re concerned about jobs,” Benishek said. “They’re concerned about health care. They’re concerned about opportunity for their children, and (I’ll) continue to work for that and I’d be pleased if people can continue to support me going forward.”
Benishek also said he’s working to convince the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to change its mind about the December 1st electric rate increase that will hit the U.P. very hard because of Marquette’s Presque Isle Power Plant.
“We’re working on making sure that all the stakeholders are involved, that FERC treats the U.P. residents fairly,” Benishek said. “We’re actually looking at sponsoring legislation this November yet to put a stop to what they’re doing.”
Power grid officials decided that the plant needs stay in operation for power grid reliability purposes. WE Energies was looking to close the plant for cost reasons.
FERC then decided that U.P. electric customers would have to pay more, starting December 1st, to cover the plant’s operating costs.