This is a huge deal. The EPA’s new regulations will severely damage our state’s economy – especially in Milwaukee where joblessness is high.
The DNR largely brushed aside concerns of environmental organizations and agreed with business groups that said the EPA’s plan to combat global warming would hurt the economy and cost Wisconsin up to $13.4 billion. The agency was joined by the state Public Service Commission, which regulates utilities.
The EPA plan, released in June, is part of a larger Obama Administration Climate Action Plan to reduce carbon pollution. Monday was the final day for feedback to EPA on the rules, which it expects to finalize next year. Multiple organizations weighed in.
Wisconsin’s utilities, which include five investor-owned companies, are the state’s largest source of carbon emissions. And because Wisconsin relies more on carbon-producing coal as a source of power than many states, officials expressed concern that the burden could fall disproportionately on the state.
To achieve its national goals, the EPA would set state-by-state standards. The proposal for Wisconsin is to cut carbon emissions by 34% by 2030 — the 23rd deepest cut among states.
“EPA’s proposal seriously penalizes Wisconsin relative to other states,” wrote DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp, PSC Chairman Phil Montgomery and Commissioner Ellen E. Nowak.