November 11, 2008
Madison, Wis - Wisconsin regulators rejected a proposal to build a conventional coal plant for the first time in state history today when the Public Service Commission voted to reject Alliant Energy's highly controversial $1.26 billion coal plant on the shores of the Mississippi River in Cassville, Wisconsin.
"Today's historic decision will help move our state toward a strong clean energy economy," said Katie Nekola, energy program director and attorney at Clean Wisconsin an environmental organization that fought Alliant's application to construct the coal plant since it was first filed before the Public Service Commission in February 2007. "Stopping dirty coal plants is critical to reducing global warming pollution and creating jobs by paving the way for alternatives like wind, solar, and smart biomass technology," she said.
The rejection of Alliant's coal plant highlights the changing atmosphere of energy policy in Wisconsin. The project faced unprecedented opposition; the public by a 10-1 margin, the Wisconsin Industrial Energy Group, the Wisconsin Paper Council, and RENEW Wisconsin, all joined Clean Wisconsin and Citizens Utility Board (CUB) in opposing the construction of the coal plant.
"Building coal plants has never made sense from an environmental perspective, and no longer makes sense from an economic perspective," said Charlie Higley, executive director of CUB. "When cleaner alternatives would save ratepayers $800 million, the perception that dirty coal is cheap is nothing but hot air."
Shifting away from coal and moving toward renewable energy sources and energy efficiency will help promote growth in Wisconsin's economy. A recent national report demonstrated that Wisconsin could create 37,000 family-supporting jobs in the coming years by investing in clean energy technologies like wind, solar, biofuel and geothermal power as well as energy efficiency.
"The Commission's leadership in rejecting Alliant's dirty coal plant protects Wisconsin's ratepayers and environment," said Nekola. "Clean energy production will drive America's economy in the coming years, and this victory will position Wisconsin to become a leader in the clean energy economy."
Charlie Higley, Citizens Utility Board
office: 608-251-3322 x. 14
Katie Nekola, Clean Wisconsin
office: 608-251-7020 x. 14
The Citizens Utility Board of Wisconsin is a member-supported nonprofit organization that advocates for reliable and affordable utility service. CUB represents the interests of residential, farm, and small business customers of electric, natural gas, and telecommunication utilities before regulatory agencies and the courts.
Clean Wisconsin, an environmental advocacy organization, protects Wisconsin's clean water and air and advocates for clean energy by being an effective voice in the state legislature and by holding elected officials and corporations accountable. Founded in 1970 as Wisconsin's Environmental Decade, Clean Wisconsin exposes corporate polluters, makes sure existing environmental laws are enforced, and educates citizens and businesses.