Manufacturing, business and utility interests that oppose federal rules to slash carbon emissions standards have contributed about $7.6 million to Governor Scott Walker who now says he wants Wisconsin to sue the federal government over the matter.
Walker made the call during his State of the State speech Tuesday, saying the proposed rules for current and future power plants would have a “devastating impact” on the state’s economy because it is dependent on manufacturing. Walker claimed the rules would cost tens of thousands of jobs and increase household energy bills.
Manufacturing and business interests have contributed nearly $7.2 million and utilities another $371,000 to Walker between 2009 and July 2014 to help him win three campaigns for governor. In contrast, the air pollution rules are backed by environmental groups that contributed only $1,550 to Walker during the same time, but a total of $37,935 to his two unsuccessful Democratic challengers: Tom Barrett in the 2010 and 2012 elections and Mary Burke in the 2014 contest.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which proposed the rules last June, recently said it would delay the required emissions cutbacks for new power plants. The original plans called for Wisconsin to cut carbon emissions 34 percent by 2030.