Taking sides on climate change

Following Gov. Tony Evers’ announcement that he would join the U.S. Climate Alliance, committing Wisconsin to implementing the Paris climate accord (reducing carbon emissions by 26–28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025), both sides of the issue weighed in.

Wisconsin Manufacturer’s & Commerce President/CEO Kurt Bauer released a statement: “Complying with the Paris climate accord would cost the U.S. economy 2.7 million jobs — 440,000 of which are in manufacturing. Since the state’s largest industry is manufacturing, this will have a devastating impact on Wisconsin.” Bauer further noted that electricity rates would skyrocket and impact small businesses.

Tyler Huebner, executive director of RENEW Wisconsin, responded in a blog: “Instead of just saying no, we would encourage WMC and its members to work with the renewable energy industry, electricity providers, Governor Evers, and the Legislature to pursue cost-effective ways to take advantage of the new economics and technology advances in renewable energy.” Huebner noted that WMC used outdated statistics in its assessment, and major state utilities are already pursuing ways to replace coal plants with new wind and solar generation.