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September 21, 2019

8/26/2019 11:15:00 AM
Best Path to Combat Climate Change?

Dear Editor:
Governor Evers just signed an executive order creating an Office of Sustainability and Clean Energy. This order charges the Department of Administration to "partner with" state agencies and state utilities to achieve its goals.
What I see glaringly missing from this picture is the public. While minimal lip service is given to "stakeholders," kowtowing to big corporations whose main goal is to line their pockets with public money is not a winning strategy for the public or the environment.
If you question this, perhaps you should consider the Cardinal-Hickory Creek project, a hugely expensive, completely misrepresented project following seven similar transmission projects that escalated electric rates in Wisconsin and did little or nothing to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. It took a massive public effort to bring light to the numerous problems with this project.
Rather than finding different ways for utilities and faux environmental groups (perched upon profits from utility scale renewables) to profit from this climate initiative, perhaps the focus should be on the publics' ability to leverage residential, business and community solar ("Distributed Energy") and reduce use with energy efficiency and load management into a response that serves the people and the environment economically.
We need to get utilities out of the way of the public adding self-generated electricity to the distribution system. Concentrating on smaller privately-owned generation, frees up infrastructure costs for greater incentives from Focus on Energy (FoE), allowing people to participate in reducing their energy needs. Such systems also prevent fertile farm lands from becoming industrial eyesores that transform the rural nature of our communities into dystopian energy districts. Energy produced where it is needed eliminates the need for expensive transmission. These efficient systems are the future and are being used effectively by states like Massachusetts to significantly reduce carbon emissions. Let's not miss this opportunity to actually progress! I urge readers to communicate their interest in FoE increases to Governor Evers as the most effective way to reduce carbon emissions.
Chris Klopp
Cross Plains, WI

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