Today in Wisconsin: Important Global Warming Events

Published March 19, 2008


Today in Wisconsin, Governor Jim Doyle’s special task force on global warming holds the first four of a series of community forums across the state. These events are intended to highlight the task force’s key findings and offer your constituents an opportunity to learn why, according to Clean Wisconsin (an environmental advocacy group appointed to the task force by the governor), “Now is a critical time to ensure that Wisconsin adopts strong policies to curb global warming pollution.”

However, the three main components of the task force’s findings and recommendations are troubling, and with this message to you (which includes links to research and commentary work conducted by The Heartland Institute) I encourage you not only to attend these community forums if you are available, but to arm yourself with the knowledge you need as an elected official in order to protect the environment and protect Wisconsin’s economy and communities.

I hope you find the analysis of the task force’s key recommendations — summarized with links to articles and research at the end of this message — to be useful in that regard. I have also included an itinerary of the community forums scheduled to take place today.

In addition I am excited to share news that renowned civil rights leader Roy Innis, chairman of the Congress of Racial Equality, will speak at an Americans for Prosperity news conference in Madison today on the harm global warming policies pose for minorities, 11:15 AM in the State Capitol Building’s Assembly Parlor Room. After the event at the capitol, Mr. Innis will deliver testimony at the Madison community forum held by the governor’s global warming task force. For more information about Mr. Innis’s participation in today’s events please see the Heartland media advisory available here.


What follows is brief analysis and links to research and commentary available from The Heartland Institute, addressing the goals and key findings of the governor’s global warming task force. Please contact me at 312/377-4000 or by email to [email protected] if you would like additional information or to be put in touch with our network of experts from the nation’s leading think tanks.

  • Efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will be disastrous for Wisconsin’s economy. A March 2008 study finds that efforts to meet a 15 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and a 33 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 would cost Wisconsin as many as 34,000 jobs by 2020 and 75,000 jobs by 2030.

Moreover, higher energy prices would have ripple impacts on prices throughout the economy and would impose a substantial financial cost on all households. Wisconsin would see disposable income reduced by $900 to $2,900 per person by 2020 and by $3,800 to $6,900 by 2030. High energy prices, fewer jobs, and a loss of industrial output are estimated to reduce Wisconsin’s gross state product by up to $3.8 billion per year by 2020 and up to $11.8 billion by 2030.

  • Sequestering carbon emissions is not the answer either. Testimony provided before the United States Senate by Heartland President Joseph Bast demonstrates sequestration efforts’ futility in offsetting carbon emissions, and addresses environmental and regulatory concerns related to the process. Be sure to see Bast’s endnotes for further reading.
  • Wind power is significantly more expensive than coal and will have a tremendously negative impact on Wisconsin’s economy and standard of living. Business Week reports the true price of wind power is $91 per megawatt hour, after factoring in the $40 per megawatt hour in subsidies provided by the national government (source). By contrast, according to The New York Times, coal costs $37 per megawatt hour (source).
  • Wind Power Costs Continue to Rise (Environment & Climate News, January 2008) offers evidence that environmental issues are not the only dark clouds dimming wind power’s appeal. Demand for wind power is driving up the cost of wind turbines substantially, further raising already-high costs of wind-generated power.

While this collection of articles was compiled for legislators in Ohio, the science and economics are clear and universal: Wind energy costs taxpayers and consumers huge sums while doing little or nothing to actually protect the environment.

Today’s four community forums hosted by the governor’s global warming task force will take place concurrently, 4:00 PM to 7:00PM, as follows. I hope you will be able to attend and participate in these important policy discussions:

  • Madison: Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, 610 North Whitney Way, Amnicon Falls Hearing Room, 1st Floor
  • La Crosse: University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, 1705 State Street, Wing Hall, Room 102
  • Green Bay: University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Mary Ann Cofrin Hall, Room 137, 2420 Nicolet Drive
  • Milwaukee: Milwaukee Area Technical College, 700 West State Street, Student Services Building, Room S120