Citizens respond to Alliant Energy’s proposed coal-fired power plant

PORTAGE — Citizens from across the state voiced their concerns about global warming Wednesday night at a Portage meeting hosted by the Public Service Commission (PSC) to get input about Alliant Energy’s proposal to build a new coal-fired power plant adjacent to the site of their existing coal plants in Cassville or Portage.

Those present asked the PSC to fully consider the financial and human impacts of the plant’s global warming pollution. Alliant has proposed to use a technology that would produce even higher rates of global warming pollution than other coal plants in the state. The proposal comes at the same time as federal, regional and state leaders develop plans to stop global warming.

“Alliant is really swimming upstream on this one,” said Ryan Schryver of the environmental group Clean Wisconsin. “While Alliant is planning to increase their global warming pollution, the Governor and other state leaders are working to create a plan to reduce Wisconsin’s global warming footprint. Several Midwestern governors have agreed to work together to curb global warming. Another coal plant flies in the face of those goals and negates the benefits of those proposals.”

For example, one of the recommendations being considered by the Governor’s Global Warming Task Force would require Wisconsin rental property to be equipped with energy efficient lighting in common areas and exit signs. The Task Force estimates that these changes would prevent approximately 589,000 tons of global warming emissions per year. These savings would be completely erased in just 2 months of operating Alliant’s coal plant.

“It’s time to invest in clean, homegrown energy sources and efficiency, not building more of these old-technology, polluting coal plants,” said Schryver.

Blanche Murtagh of Portage agrees. “We have to do something about global warming now, and more coal is a step backward. The PSC should say no to this proposal.”