Monday, September 26th, 2016

Throwing coal at the dairy state

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On Tuesday, President Barack Obama announced his plans to attack the nation’s energy infrastructure to fight the global warming that hasn’t been seen for 15 years and counting. Over at the MacIver Institute, I look at the likely collateral damage to Wisconsin.

The administration’s plans will hit Wisconsin especially hard. According to data from the United States Energy Information Agency, Wisconsin generated over 63% of its electricity from coal in 2011. Wisconsin is 14th among the states for coal use as a percentage of its power generation, well ahead of Pennsylvania (25th).

Wisconsin is also more coal dependent that its neighbors Minnesota (16th), Michigan (15th), and Illinois (24th). Only Iowa (12th) is more dependent on coal. However, the closeness of the states in coal dependency shows that the entire region will be adversely affected by the Obama Administration’s policies.

The result will be to make energy produced from coal more expensive. As we saw with the $900 million retrofitting of the Oak Creek coal power plant, complying with the tougher emission standards will necessarily raise rates for struggling families and job creators alike.adversely affected by the Obama Administration’s policies.

As energy rates rise, Obama’s policies will hurt the poor the most because they pay a higher percentage of their incomes for energy. It will also hurt as employers pay higher utility rates, leaving less to invest in business growth. Household energy consumers will have less disposable income after paying higher energy rates, having a depressive effect on Wisconsin’s economy.

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