New report highlights three compliance paths for the state

MADISON — On the heels of global climate talks in Paris, a new report by Clean Wisconsin shows that the state can comply with the Clean Power Plan while reducing ratepayer energy bills by $55 million statewide.

“Our analysis shows that by doubling energy efficiency and renewable energy alone, Wisconsin can achieve the carbon pollution reductions needed under the Clean Power Plan while lowering energy bills in the state,” says Tyson Cook, director of science and research at Clean Wisconsin. “We analyzed three different pathways the state could follow to comply with the Clean Power Plan and found that two out of the three would result in overall lower bills for homeowners and business owners in Wisconsin.”

The report, Clean Power Plan in Wisconsin, is the first to take an in-depth look at how Wisconsin could comply with the Clean Power Plan and what impacts it may have. It also explains how the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) set the carbon reduction targets in the Clean Power Plan, many of the options Wisconsin has to choose from for compliance, and what steps Wisconsin needs to take to comply with the new law.

“Under the Clean Power Plan, our state is tasked with reducing its carbon emissions by 34% by 2030, a goal that is reasonable and easily achievable,” says Keith Reopelle, senior policy director for Clean Wisconsin.

The Department of Natural Resources is the agency designated to draft Wisconsin’s compliance plan and must make an initial filing with EPA by September 2016. Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel has joined a lawsuit initiated by coal companies to challenge the Clean Power Plan in court.

“Whether they are challenging the Clean Power Plan in court or not, most states are preparing state implementation plans, and many have been holding stakeholder meetings already, a requirement of the Clean Power Plan,” says Reopelle. “The longer Wisconsin waits to bring stakeholders together and develop the state’s implementation plan, the harder it will be to comply with that law in a way that keeps costs low.”