Legislature leaves current nuclear laws intact; Clean Energy Jobs Act dies without a vote

The State Senate has adjourned for the session, without the Clean Energy Jobs Act ever coming to a vote in either house of the legislature.  The Carbon Free Nuclear Free Coalition, which includes WNPJ, has issued the following statement: 

Given the pro-nuclear provisions and many compromises in the final version of the Clean Energy Jobs Act (AB649 / SB450), we are relieved that the bill did not pass the state legislature. While the bill had great promise – and still contained some good measures – we are better off without this version of CEJA on this 40th anniversary of Earth Day.
 
We look forward to working with legislators to pass strong renewable energy, energy efficiency and smart transportation policies in future sessions. Taking up these important issues in several smaller bills will allow for a more informed and open debate on each, while making the special interest horse-trading that plagued CEJA more difficult.
 
We urge legislators to heed the strong public support for Wisconsin’s existing safeguards on new nuclear reactors. For decades, Wisconsin law has protected ratepayers from the sky-high costs of nuclear reactors and protected communities from the risks of more high-level radioactive waste stockpiles. Over the past year, people from across the state have repeatedly voiced their opposition to nuclear power, in public hearings, local listening sessions and other contacts with legislators.
 
Nuclear isn’t clean energy, and building new reactors won’t help Wisconsin address climate change. In fact, opening the door to new nuclear reactors here would distract from real solutions. The massive investment required to build nuclear reactors would take resources away from renewables and energy efficiency efforts. New nuclear reactors would also retard our much-needed transition away from massive, centralized power sources to a smarter and more distributed energy grid.
 
Wisconsin can and should build an energy future that’s carbon free and nuclear free. Our coalition will continue to work toward that goal. 
 
Members of the coalition are: Artha Sustainable Living Center (Amherst), Coulee Region Progressives (La Crosse), Down River Alliance (La Crosse), Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (Racine), Nukewatch (Luck), Peace Action Wisconsin (Milwaukee), Physicians for Social Responsibility Wisconsin (Madison), Wisconsin Network for Peace & Justice (Madison)

 

EARLIER COMMENTARY:   It is bittersweet news. It means Wisconsin will not move toward a more renewable energy policy. But this story in the Daily Reporter, a publication mostly serving the construction industry which has been pro-nuclear in its coverage, is a reminder of the positive side of the Clean Energy Jobs Act not passing.

It begins: Nuclear power plant construction in Wisconsin likely will be just as difficult to accomplish after the legislative session as it was before. 

Read it here.