Friday, March 25, 2016

Walker's backward Fossil Fuel Energy Policy Killing the Return of Manufacturing in Wisconsin!!!

There's a reason why Scott Walker's Wisconsin isn't seeing a manufacturing Renaissance; his big oil pals are getting rich overcharging big business. I know, crazy right? Esquire Magazine's Charles Pierce explains Walker this way:

Scott Walker, the goggle-eyed homunculus hired by Koch Industries to run their Midwest subsidiary formerly known as the state of Wisconsin.
Walker's embarrassing AG lapdog Brad Schimel wrote an opinion piece recently in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He claimed...
As one of the top manufacturing states in the country, Wisconsin has much to lose if the Obama administration succeeds in its plan to destroy the viability of clean-coal electric generation. Manufacturing jobs in our state depends on affordable and reliable electric power. Because of the degree to which our state economies rely on manufacturing jobs, we will be disproportionately affected by the president's so-called "Clean Power Plan."
An outrageous lie the press failed to followup on.
Electricity rates paid by businesses and residents of Wisconsin now rank highest among eight Midwest states ... The analysis was released at a time when one of We Energies' largest customers, Charter Steel of Saukville, is raising concerns about the utility's rates and a power plant construction program that has left We Energies with more power than its own customers need.
The fact is, the states biggest manufacturers are getting pummeled with high utility rates, ending any chance they'll expand in Wisconsin. There's not peep coming out of the Walker administration, because they're in the pocket of big oil and energy. Look what he's done to the PSC. The rhetorical stall tactics have run their course:
Charter says We Energies has been telling customers for years to be patient because rates in surrounding states will catch up...
But that hasn't happened. In fact, the price difference is getting worse due to We Energies over expansion, which comes in at twice the planned required reserve:
Wisconsin exceeds the 7.1 percent planning reserve requirement set by MISO for 2016. Wisconsin’s planning reserve margin for the 2016-2022 period is between 14.2 and 17.5 percent.
Just as bad, the big cuts to "Focus on Energy" will kill whatever advantage we had:
An analysis of the state's energy situation found that residential electric bills in Wisconsin actually rank below the Midwest average, because customers here are using far less power on average than those in other nearby states ... nearly $8 a month below the average of all eight Midwest states ... Energy efficiency and the conservation program  Focus on Energy have helped keep average Wisconsin residential usage flat over the last two decades," said the report, 
But Walker couldn't help but mess that up too....
Wisconsin's electric utilities back the bill, which would cut funding for the Focus on Energy program by $7 million at a time when electricity costs in Wisconsin have risen above the national average. But the program's supporters cite its savings, pointing out that the program has delivered $3 of savings to customers for every $1 spent. 

Theresa Lehman, director of sustainable services at Miron Construction said at a time when capital spending budgets are tight, the program offers incentives that help customers cut their costs by allowing them to afford the upfront expenses of switching to more efficient LED lighting. St. Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton is saving $30,000 a year. Another client, Lake Mills Elementary School, received $100,000 in incentives from the program and is now saving $85,000 every year on its energy costs.
Walker's disconnect is unsettling. Hie rhetoric gives the appearance prices are steady right now, even while they increase, even without Obama's Clean Power Plan:
The federal Clean Power Plan was put on hold last month in a 5-4 vote by the U.S. Supreme Court. Wisconsin has joined with coal mining and coal-reliant states to challenge the rule, citing the impact it would have on the state's manufacturing sector.

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