Sierra Club: Statement: WEC announces coal-free by 2035, doubles down on “Natural” gas

Milwaukee, WI— Today, Wisconsin’s largest utility, WEC Energy Group, announced intentions to transition to coal-free electricity generation by 2035, though did not announce specific plans for either the Elm Road or Weston coal fired power plants. The move is in line with previously announced goals to reduce carbon emissions, but advocates reiterated that shifting to other fossil fuel resources would continue to raise serious climate concerns.

In response, Sierra Club Wisconsin Director Elizabeth Ward released the following statement:

“We’re glad WEC has seen the writing on the wall: the era of coal is over. But we cannot replace one expensive and climate destroying fossil fuel with another. Wisconsin’s largest utility needs to demonstrate a real commitment to the sustainable vision that it claims to have. Doubling down on gas that is fracked and piped across hundreds of miles from other states is not the innovative industry shift some people think it is. 

“Upstream emissions from so called ‘natural’ gas are shown to be just as problematic for our climate as coal. Swapping one for the other is short sighted. The sun shines and wind blows right here in Wisconsin, and new investment in renewable energy will not only keep costs down and protect our climate but create thousands of jobs for Wisconsinites.”