Argument inconsistent with company’s support of Global Warming Task Force recommendations
MADISON — Less than two weeks after voting in favor of recommendations to reduce Wisconsin’s greenhouse gas emissions 75 percent by 2050, Alliant Energy Corporation submitted comments to the Public Service Commission last week arguing that global warming pollution should not be considered in the environmental impact statement of their proposed coal plant.
“Alliant acknowledged that Wisconsin must reduce global warming pollution when it recently voted in favor of Governor Doyle’s Global Warming Task Force recommendations,” said Katie Nekola, energy program director at Clean Wisconsin, the state’s largest environmental advocacy organization. “Now, in an argument that is entirely inconsistent with the recommendations they voted to support, Alliant claims that Wisconsin officials should not consider global warming pollution when they decide whether to allow the construction of another coal plant.”
In a response to the draft environmental impact statement filed before the PSC, Alliant argues “that the [final environmental impact statement] should either eliminate the discussion throughout of [greenhouse gas] emissions, or, alternatively, emphasize that they do not fall within PSC’s or WDNR’s jurisdiction.”
“The idea that our state agencies charged with enforcing pollution laws should ignore nearly 3 million tons of global warming pollution is preposterous,” Nekola said. “Alliant is turning its back to the reality of global warming and asking Wisconsin officials to do the same.”
Alliant submitted its comments the same week a Georgia Supreme Court Judge halted the construction of a coal-fired power plant because of its high levels of global warming pollution. The Court found that “there is no question that CO2 is ‘subject to regulation under the [Clean Air] Act.'”
With this decision, Georgia joins a long list of states across the country scrapping plans to build new coal plants including Minnesota, Kansas, Wyoming, Montana and Texas.
“Wisconsin should join a growing list of states and reject Alliant’s proposal to build another coal plant,” Nekola said. “We cannot continue to construct coal plants if we are to meet the targets set by the Global Warming Task Force and avoid the most disastrous effects of global warming.”
The Public Service Commission will consider comments filed in response to the draft environmental statement and release a final environmental impact statement later this summer.