Clean Wisconsin applauds announced closing of Columbia power plant

Columbia coal plant, Portage WI
, By Jon Drewsen

Another important step towards our clean energy future

Clean Wisconsin applauds Alliant Energy, Wisconsin Public Service, a subsidiary of the WEC Energy Group, and Madison Gas and Electric, for the announcement Tuesday of the closing of the jointly owned Columbia coal plant. The closing of this coal plant is yet another step towards our clean energy future in Wisconsin, reducing our carbon emissions and protecting public health.

“Because coal-fired power plants are major sources of air pollution, Wisconsinites can breathe easier knowing this plant will be closed,” said Katie Nekola, Clean Wisconsin General Counsel. “This is especially important for kids, the elderly and those with asthma or other respiratory problems, who are disproportionately impacted by polluted air from coal plants.”

The announced closure of the Columbia coal plant specifically positions Alliant Energy to move forward with firm commitments to eliminate all coal from its Wisconsin generation portfolio by 2024. The utility announced in July 2020 they were targeting a 50% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030. Today’s announcement is also a significant step toward meeting the Governor’s Climate Change Task Force recommendation that Wisconsin’s utilities collectively reduce net carbon emissions from the power sector to at least 60% below 2005 levels by 2030.

“This closure puts Wisconsin one coal plant closer to the end of this dirty, antiquated energy source and significantly helps to cut carbon emissions and get to 100% carbon free energy by 2050 in Wisconsin,” concluded Nekola. “We encourage Alliant Energy to continue to invest in clean energy options that are good for the environment, help stimulate the economy, create new jobs and protect public health in our communities.”