State lags in climate fight against carbon dioxide

State lags in climate fight against carbon dioxide

Wisconsin has fallen behind other states in efforts to decrease the amount of carbon dioxide billowing from smokestacks at coal-burning power plants.

The economic recession and cheap natural gas helped the nation cut emissions by 18.1 percent from 2000 to 2014, according to a Wisconsin State Journal report. Wisconsin’s emissions decreased by 12.7 percent — less than half the rate as a dozen other states.

Greg Nemet is a University of Wisconsin professor specializing in energy policy. He says Wisconsin lags despite cost drops for renewable energy.

Wisconsin set a 2-percent standard in 2000 for the amount of electricity from renewable sources utilities sold. That was increased to 10 percent in 2005.

Nemet said more than two dozen states have since set higher standards, while Wisconsin hasn’t done anything further.