The Obama Administration’s mandate to cut carbon emissions will leave Wisconsin’s power grid at risk according to Ellen Nowak, the chairwoman of Wisconsin’s Public Service Commission, the state’s utility regulator.
Wisconsin, and other Midwestern states, rely heavily on coal due to its affordability and reliability. Wisconsin will have to make the sixth largest cut to their carbon emissions in the nation.
It isn’t as simple for utility companies to shutter older, more carbon polluting, coal plants and build new plants using alternative fuels such as natural gas, wind, and solar. Multiple steps are necessary to shutter plants including gaining approval from an organization that monitors the reliability of the Midwest’s power grid.
The DNR and PSC estimated that compliance with the draft rule would cost the state $3.3 billon to $13.4 billion. With the final rule’s more aggressive mandates the cost of compliance is likely to increase. Higher energy prices for consumers are also expected.