Utilities, Environmental Groups, Regulators Come Together for Clean Power Plan

, By Clean Wisconsin

Collaborative partners present joint comments to EPA in Washington, D.C.

MADISON — Clean Wisconsin is among a diverse group of Midwestern organizations and electricity sector stakeholders meeting today with top officials at the White House Council on Environmental Quality and the Environmental Protection Agency to give input on EPA’s Clean Power Plan. The plan, currently in draft form, would help to reduce carbon pollution from Wisconsin power plants by 34 percent below 2012 levels over the next 15 years.

“We’ve been meeting with utilities to discuss the carbon pollution standards for more than three years now in an effort to better understand their concerns and challenges,” said Keith Reopelle, senior policy director for Clean Wisconsin. “There are many viewpoints we have in common with utilities including the importance of energy efficiency as a compliance method.”

The group – the Midwestern Power Sector Collaborative – includes Clean Wisconsin as well as representatives from WPPI Energy, Alliant Energy, the Great Plains Institute, the Illinois Commerce Commission and numerous other stakeholders. We Energies has been involved with the process, as well.

“This represents one of the only broad-based efforts of its kind in the country,” said Reopelle. “It’s encouraging to see the common ground we have developed in an effort to shape EPA’s carbon cutting plan. This is about our quality of life today as well as the protections to benefit future generations.  We need to get it right.”

Clean Wisconsin has been engaged with utilities in collaborative preparation sessions on the Clean Power Plan since 2011. In November, Clean Wisconsin met with members of the health, faith and youth communities to show support for the Clean Power Plan by releasing a report, Cutting Carbon Works for Wisconsin. The report found that increasing the role of energy efficiency programs such as Wisconsin’s Focus on Energy will create savings and jobs. The report also recommends a comprehensive stakeholder process to determine how Wisconsin can maximize renewable energy and energy efficiency to meet the EPA’s goal and benefit Wisconsin residents.