The EPA closed public comment on its Clean Power Plan on Dec. 1 after receiving more than 1.6 million comments. Among them was one from Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who is opposing the increased regulation to reduce CO2 emissions.
The plan would cut carbon emissions from the power sector approximately 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030 and sets out state-specific goals for lower carbon emissions.
The Republican governor said the proposed rule would have a detrimental effect on Wisconsin’s manufacturing-based economy, as well as household ratepayers. Those ratepayers, however, already are seeing rate increases from the utilities under Walker’s watch.
Walker, in his statement, said, “We have made major investments to ensure we are providing our citizens with reliable, clean, affordable power. If enacted, the EPA’s Clean Power Plan would be a blow to Wisconsin residents and business owners, and I join business leaders, elected officials, and industry representatives in opposing this plan. I urge federal officials to carefully consider our concerns and the adverse economic impact this plan could have on our state, as well as the nation.”
Walker said the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, which recently approved a rate hike for Milwaukee area electricity customers, said the proposed rule would cost the state $3.3-$13.4 billion. Walker also said a study by Energy Ventures Analysis estimated the average Wisconsin household would see its electricity bill increase by more than $485 in 2020.
The statement said the PSC and the state Department of Natural Resources “have spent months reviewing the rule and soliciting input from all affected parties, since its proposal in June of this year. Among other items, their review uncovered a number of flaws with the development of the emission rate goals, which penalizes states that have taken early action to reduce CO2 emissions by asking them to reduce emissions more than states that have done less. Wisconsin has invested approximately $10.5 billion over the past 15 years to help reduce CO2 emissions, increase renewable energy usage and energy efficiency, and install air pollution control equipment.”
Walker asked the EPA to reconsider the rule.