James Rowen
Op-Ed

Climate Change An Afterthought for DNR

Issue barely exists, to judge by its website.

By - Nov 10th, 2016 04:06 pm
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Coal pile. Photo by Dave Reid.

Coal pile. Photo by Dave Reid.

I checked today again on climate change information provided by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to see if anything has been added since Scott Walker‘s “chamber of commerce mentality” agency  had several years ago scrubbed climate change data and links posted during the Doyle administration.

Sure enough, the information still reads as if written by noted fossil fuel campaign donation recipient and climate change denier Ron Johnson, our GOP US Senator.

To judge for yourself, start at this page, Climate Change and Wisconsin’s Great Lakes.

Scoll down the very short page to this header and click on the link “Global Climate Change.”

Wisconsin DNR Climate Change information

That takes you off the DNR site to a page that has not been updated since June 18, 2012 to a UW/DNR collaborative.

It’s a fine site.

But the DNR has added nothing of substance to its own page “Wisconsin DNR Climate Change information” in four-and-a-half years.

What do you expect from a DNR whose air policy and now added water and business responsibilities have been consolidated under the division run by Pat Stevens, whose Wisconsin experience was summed up this way by the Journal Sentinel upon his 2011 appointment:

Pat Stevens, Division of Air and Waste. Stevens, 49, new to DNR, will oversee Air Management, Waste and Materials Management, Remediation and Redevelopment and Cooperative Environmental Management, including Green Tier, programs. Stevens brings 17 years of experience with DNR programs as general counsel for the Wisconsin Builders Association, counsel for the Wisconsin Transportation Builders Association and environmental policy director for Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. In these roles, he collaborated with DNR and others on the development of a number of DNR rules.

Call it par for the course in Walker’s Wisconsin:

Tia Nelson sums up Wisconsin’s dangerous, intentional and unique resistance to clean air:

Wisconsin continues to gamble on a dangerous, negative strategy that every major country and every major corporation in the world came to grips with in Paris: the inevitability of carbon regulation in one form or another…

Wisconsin, the only state not to even start a plan, according to the Natural Resource Defense Council, is putting all its chips on delay through litigation. It’s a dangerous bet for a lot of reasons, but two stand out.

First, we are walking away from early-action incentives and credits that would lower our ultimate cost of compliance. Second, if we do not develop our own plan, the federal government has to impose one on us. Our utilities can’t want that. None of us should, when we could be designing our own energy future.

More about the key players making Wisconsin a pollution haven, here, and obstructive denial on climate matters extends far beyond the US Midwest.

Categories: Environment, Op-Ed, Politics

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