Note - - DAVE ZWEIFEL | Cap Times editor emeritus | Sep 4, 2015

A recent Voice of the People letter written by Ken Harwood said what a lot of folks feel about the state`s biggest business lobby, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce.

"It is too bad that (WMC) has an opportunity to take a lead role in working with both sides on an energy plan for Wisconsin and chooses to just say no," Harwood, of Evansville, wrote.

But that`s been WMC`s usual stance in recent years, staunchly opposing any proposal that it perceives as challenging the status quo, and then turning it into a partisan political issue.

WMC has been nothing short of apoplectic over the Environmental Protection Agency`s carbon reduction plans, contending that for Wisconsin to reduce emissions over the next 15 years will bankrupt everyone from business owners to homeowners.

The business consortium`s vice president for communications, Scott Manley, is dispatched to spread the alarm through alarmist guest newspaper columns and appearances on radio and television shows.

But, as Harwood asks, wouldn`t it be more productive to actually work on a solution that could not only meet what really are quite reasonable EPA guidelines with ample time to meet them, but could really be a blessing for the health of Wisconsinites and of Earth itself?

As Harwood pointed out, the WMC should mention that the cost of solar is way down and natural gas can now fill in many of the gaps that the organization claims are problems caused by onerous emission limits on coal-fired power plants. Instead, Manley`s op-eds focus on the limits of wind power.

"Why can`t Wisconsin take a lead role in energy production, environmental sanity and a nonpolitical approach to working together as a state to create new jobs, a better environment for our kids and political sanity?" he asks. "Remember when Wisconsin used to lead the way on some very difficult issues that the nation was dealing with? Why can we not do this again?"

Why not, indeed.  

Dave Zweifel is editor emeritus of The Capital Times. dzweifel@madison.com and on Twitter @DaveZweifel



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