Scott Walker is determined to lead a resurgence of the dying coal industry. Here's a "big bold" attempt by Walker to stay in the 20th century and ignore the agonizing death throws of a dirty old industry who's time is up.
The administration of Gov. Scott Walker has raised concerns about the cost of renewable energy. And some GOP lawmakers have sought to roll back or terminate the state's renewable power mandate, citing the cost to consumers and the intermittent output of wind turbines and solar panels.Hate to tell presidential wannabe Scott Walker he's got it ass-backwards:
SNL Financial has produced some jaw dropping data on the quickly deteriorating coal industry, with a horrific performance in the second quarter. Coal prices are down 70 percent from four years ago. The U.S. is shifting towards natural gas in the electric power sector, and weak demand for coal is leading to mine closures ... the coal industry could be facing structural and permanent decline. But the damage is happening quickly ... exporting coal abroad to energy hungry countries is also quickly closing off. Oversupply on international markets is depressing prices So far 2015 has been a horrendous year for coal ... but the ugly forecast keeps getting worse.Even worse for Walker, 3 reports just came out trashing Wisconsin renewable energy efforts when compared to other states, dramatically dropping us from 19th to 30th. Here's jsonline reporter Thomas Content on WPR's Central Time:
Here's the bad news:
Three new reports are charting Wisconsin's hits and misses when it comes to renewable energy and a transition to an economy that fosters growth in sustainable energy technologies. The reports from consulting firm Clean Edge, the state Public Service Commission and the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council indicate that many other states are moving more aggressively in the clean-energy space … the Sustainable Business Council, noting Illinois and Minnesota have set goals to get 25% of their electricity from renewable energy. Wisconsin utilities generated 11% of their electricity last year from renewable energy.
Two other reports by sustainable-energy advocates suggest Wisconsin is falling behind other states. According to Clean Edge, Wisconsin's ranking fell to 30th, down from 19th a year ago, in the firm's state-by-state analysis.
Wisconsin is lagging in venture-capital fundraising for clean-technology and in generating patents in this area … Moves to restrict solar and wind power development in Clean Edge's state-by-state policy assessment, known as the Clean Edge Leadership Index.
The key word here is "should:"
"This report should be a wake-up call for Wisconsin," said Gary Radloff, director of Midwest energy policy analysis at the Wisconsin Energy Institute in Madison. "We are in danger of failing to stay competitive, leaving billions of economic growth dollars on the table if we don't start targeting a more healthy policy environment for Wisconsin — focusing on clean energy technology development and deployment."The ramifications are huge, especially for Republicans who say they're focused on jobs...they're not really:
The Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council highlights:■Economy: The state ranked fifth in manufacturing job growth, but income inequality remains a concern.
■Environment: The state is still the 10th-most coal-dependent state in the country.