WMC: Wisconsin global warming bill will cost jobs


Scott Manley, (608) 258-3400

So-Called Clean Energy Jobs Bill Will Increase Unemployment

MADISON — As Wisconsin families cope with the worst economic downturn in a generation, a state global warming bill proposed today would result in 43,000 lost jobs according to a recent economic study.

Twenty-three business groups wrote to legislators last month expressing concerns with the legislation (AB 649) that will raise energy prices and kill even more manufacturing jobs.

“Many families in this state are hurting,” said Scott Manley, director of environmental policy for Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce. “We cannot afford to lose any more jobs, but that is exactly what this legislation will do.” Wisconsin has lost 160,000 high-wage manufacturing jobs since 2000, and the proposed legislation will continue the high-wage job loss.

“We need to reverse the current trend, and find a way to bring family-supporting manufacturing jobs back to our state,” Manley said Thursday. “But hitting Wisconsin’s economy with the expensive new energy regulations proposed today will significantly increase our cost of electricity, and kill jobs while doing nothing to address global warming. Lawmakers must understand that increasing the cost of energy for Wisconsin families and employers is a recipe for further job loss.”

Twenty-three business groups signed a letter (http://www.hamiltonconsultingregwatch.com/documents/regulatory/climate/09dec03_task-force-letter.pdf) expressing concerns with the proposal.

A recent study from the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute (http://www.wpri.org/Reports/Volume22/Vol22No7/Vol22No7.html) (WPRI) found that the legislation would:

— Cause the state to shed 43,093 private-sector jobs.

— Cut annual wages by $1.6 billion, with disposable income falling by $1,012 per capita.

In addition, the paper manufacturing industry would shed an additional 3,496 jobs and investment would drop by $1.8 million by 2020.

Other damaging proposals, the WPRI study found, are:

— A $16 billion increase in energy bills to fund a 25 percent renewable mandate.

— Mandating California emission standards would increase the cost of each new car sold in Wisconsin by $968, for an annual economic hit of $353 million to Wisconsin consumers.

— The proposed Low Carbon Fuel Standard would increase costs to Wisconsin motorists by $3.2 billion.

“With 9 percent unemployment, we should be focusing on ideas to create jobs like cutting taxes, controlling spending, controlling red-tape, and clamping down on frivolous lawsuits,” Manley said.