The following statement is from Clean Wisconsin regarding an executive order Gov. Scott Walker signed Monday, Feb. 15 regarding state implementation of the federal Clean Power Plan:

“Yesterday’s action by Gov. Walker’s prohibiting state agencies from working on a plan to help our state comply with the Clean Power Plan is a gamble with Wisconsin’s energy future. Choosing to halt any and all work to create a customized plan for implementing carbon pollution emission reductions in the state will almost assure that EPA will impose a federal plan on Wisconsin. This is something we simply cannot afford.

“We need to create a plan that is the least expensive and best for our state, but we can only do that by drafting our own plan; and the sooner we begin, the better. When regulators, utilities and stakeholders work together and take advantage of the flexibility in the Clean Power Plan, we capitalize on the most cost-effective strategies, such as energy efficiency, to reduce our emissions by 34% by 2030. In fact, Clean Wisconsin’s recent analysis shows that Wisconsin can comply with the Clean Power Plan while reducing ratepayer energy bills by $55 million statewide by making energy efficiency a centerpiece of the plan.

“While the Supreme Court’s recent stay on the Clean Power Plan was a disappointing delay, most states aren’t letting that decision — or politics — pull them off course. Other states, including many of our neighbors, are pushing ahead with their state implementation plans because they know it is the economically responsible thing to do for their residents, businesses, public health and economies. These states see the advantages in complying, and in some cases, over-complying, to bring additional revenue to their state by selling credits to other states that fail to plan.

“That is a list that Wisconsin shouldn’t be on, but yesterday’s executive action almost ensures that’s where we’ll land. But Wisconsin can’t afford to play the waiting game any longer; the time to act on climate change and the Clean Power Plan is now.”