"You do not need to be a politician or related to one to be a successful leader. Most politicians are indirect leaders."

 

"You must actively listen to those you are committed to serve. It is in listening that you will find the problems that need attention."

 

"I have solved a lot of challenging problems over the years and I am ready to do more. I am excited to go to work for Northeast Wisconsin."

 

 

Climate and Environment

What role does state government play in addressing climate change and moving towards 100% clean energy?

 

Ideally the federal government would play a leading role in addressing climate change and the states would support and augment such initiatives.  Under the presidency of Donald Trump, there is no support for federal initiatives addressing climate change.  This was signaled very early on in his presidency when he withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Accord.

 

Due to the current national political environment, the importance of role of the state, always substantial, is of elevated importance in addressing the climate change challenge.  Despite the fact that states are challenged by constitutional limits, budget constraints, and inconsistencies between states, it is vital that they take the lead in moving toward 100% clean energy development.  Successful state initiatives can and will become the basis of eventual federal policy and legislation.

 

States can take actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and incentivize renewable energy resources.  Examples would include:

 

  • Implementing policies and incentives that promote the development and utilization of renewable energy sources

 

  • Promoting clean power usage in transportation through infrastructure investment, zero emission standards/targets, purchase incentives and other means.

 

  • Increase building energy efficiency via improved new building codes, investment in retrofit projects, and commercial building energy standards

 

  • Government agency consideration of greenhouse gas emission in awarding project contracts

 

  • Participation in national and regional alliances such as “ The US Climate Alliance” of which Wisconsin is a member.  Climate Alliance states have shared priorities for working and agricultural lands

 

  • Setting methane standards for industry

 

  • Resources for farmers such as education, technical assistance, and financial incentives to encourage healthy soil practices.

 

In the state of Wisconsin, Governor Evers has demonstrated a commitment to clean energy.  Actions have included a commitment to clean energy via executive order.  In October of 2019, our Governor created a task force on climate change.  The work product of the task force and recommendations are due in August of 2020.   A recent attempt by democrats (bill 766) to require utilities to consider the social costs of carbon when assessing new projects, failed.

 

As states work to develop and implement policy to address climate change, there should be consideration for the fact that communities with a large minority and/or poverty stricken populations have been disproportionately impacted by pollution and climate change.  As such, consideration for tipping state investment more heavily to these communities should be given consideration.

 

In summary, the states can and should take actions to reduce the threat of climate change.