|February 15, 2019
Fact Check: Joining Climate Alliance Will Stifle Wisconsin’s Economy
- Recent Trends Show We Don’t Need the Paris Accord
- Gov. Evers’ Job-Killing Pact Could Render Wisconsin “Closed for Business”
MADISON – Gov. Tony Evers took a big step backward this week, all but declaring Wisconsin “Closed for business” when he signed on to a pact embracing a radical climate agenda.
The U.S. Climate Alliance has a goal of imposing draconian and costly green energy mandates at the state level and radically changing our way of life in a misguided effort to adhere to the Paris climate accord, causing permanent damage to the Wisconsin economy.
Our economy is growing, unemployment hovers at a record-tying low of 3 percent, and jobs are plentiful. That could all be sacrificed by imposing arbitrary emissions mandates.
For comparison’s sake, the goals President Obama’s Clean Power Plan are very similar to the goals of the Paris accord. A joint study by the MacIver Institute and The Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University in 2015 estimated the cost of that plan to Wisconsin’s economy. It would:
- Cost Wisconsin $920 million in 2030;
- Reduce disposable income in the Badger State by nearly $2 billion;
- Cost Wisconsin 21,000 jobs;
- Increase the average household electric bill by $225;
- Increase the average commercial business electric bill by $1,530 per year;
- Hit the average Wisconsin factory with an extra $105,094 per year in higher energy costs.
Gov. Evers’ decision to add Wisconsin to this pact now could be a huge step backward for the Badger State economy—all for nothing more than political optics. The fact is, Wisconsin has reduced its carbon dioxide emissions in recent years without looking to the Paris accord.
Following are some facts about Wisconsin’s energy usage:
- Wisconsin’s carbon dioxide emissions decreased by 14.4 percent between 2005 and 2016, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
- Our use of coal for energy production dropped 32 percent between 2005 and 2016.
- Today, Wisconsin gets 20 percent of its energy from non-carbon sources, including all renewables and nuclear.
- According to WE Energies’ annual report, “Our customers’ use of electricity and natural gas has decreased as a result of continued individual conservation efforts, including the use of more energy efficient technologies.”
- Wisconsin achieved 10 percent renewable power two years ahead of schedule in 2013, during Gov. Walker’s tenure, according to the Public Service Commission.
- The PSC further stated that future growth in renewable energy would be driven by the market, not mandates. “Rather than being driven by future requirements of the Wisconsin RPS, this growth trend is driven by other forces, such as market opportunities, customer demand for additional renewable energy, and multiple processes involved in citing new projects.”
Simply put, there is no need for Gov. Evers to join the U.S. Climate Alliance or to pursue the empty and meaningless goals of the Paris accord. Wisconsin has already made great strides toward reduced emissions, thanks to our consumers and market forces.
In response to Gov. Evers’ decision, MacIver Institute President Brett Healyissued the following statement:
“The agenda of the U.S. Climate Alliance would require regulations that would cost our state dearly. Wisconsin’s economy is growing and all Wisconsinites are benefitting from that prosperity. For Gov. Evers to jeopardize our prosperity by embracing such a radical agenda is a dangerous game and very unsettling.
The Climate Alliance’s arbitrary goal of cutting greenhouse gases by 26 percent over 2005 levels within six years would be devastating for Wisconsin’s economy and force Wisconsin working families to pay thousands of dollars more each year just to keep the heat on and gas in the car.
Gov. Evers joining the Climate Alliance is just a political stunt that will do nothing for the climate and the environment.”
For all the economic pain and hardship that these regulations would impose on the American consumer, it will have very little effect on so-called climate change. A CATO analysis shows that imposing the Clean Power Plan regulations nationally would only reduce the rise in temperature by 0.018 degrees Celsius in the year 2100.