Environmentalists are pleased that Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle is in Copenhagen this week for the United Nations Climate Change Conference, while a state business group is calling for a cautious approach on combating global warming in Wisconsin.
Dan Kohler with Wisconsin Environment says Governor Jim Doyle’s efforts on greenhouse gas emissions show how states can take the lead on climate change – even if Washington doesn’t sign on to an international agreement. “What’s been happening state by state, including places like Wisconsin, is that states have begun to move forward with serious and important policies that are designed to grow our clean energy economy, and begin to reduce pollution and global warming emissions.
But Scott Manley with Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce says the state needs to be careful, about enacting new regulations to combat climate change. “If we adopt expensive global warming regulations here in Wisconsin, and our neighboring states or other states, or other countries, don’t adopt those same types of regulations, we’re going to put Wisconsin businesses and Wisconsin jobs at a significant competitive disadvantage,” says Manley. But Kohler says there’s an upside, too. “The states that do that are on the leading edge of being competitive with emerging markets, with manufacturing things like wind turbines and solar panels, with creating new jobs in industries like biomass and biofuels.” Manley notes, however, that Wisconsin’s traditional manufacturing sector relies heavily on fossil fuels, particularly coal. “Wisconsin as a state, stands to be hit disproportionately hard by global warming regulations, whether they’re done at the state level, the federal level or the international levels.
Governor Doyle is in Copenhagen as part of a delegation of state and provincial leaders from the U.S., Canada and Australia. Last week, draft legislation was unveiled which incorporates the recommendations from Doyle’s task force on global warming.
Bob Hague (1:45) AUDIO: Bob Hague reports (1:45 MP3)