Climate Change Task Force To Propose Ideas With “Strong Opposition” To The Governor

Task Force has not yet made public its controversial recommendations

October 13, 2020

By Lexi Dittrich

Governor Evers’ Task Force on Climate Change will be delivering their final recommendations to the Governor on October 30th, but not all members of the Task Force are on board with the full package of ideas. Final recommendations to the Governor will include controversial proposals that have met “strong opposition.”

The Task Force was created by Governor Evers in October 2019. The Governor tasked members with developing recommendations that will help Evers reach his goal of having 100 percent carbon-free energy production in Wisconsin by 2050. That means no coal power, no natural gas power, and all energy must come from renewable resources like solar and wind.

At their meeting on October 8, the Task Force administrators said recommendations will be divided into a two-tiered report.

Tier 1 recommendations represent proposals that have general support from Task Force members. 48 recommendations are supposed to appear in this category. The Task Force was supposed to develop just 30 recommendations.

Deputy Chief of Staff for Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes, Wenona Wolfe, said Tier 2 recommendations were ones that have met “strong opposition.”

Draft language describes Tier 2 recommendations as “policy proposals” but “not necessarily Task Force recommendations; however, these proposals may merit further discussion and consideration outside of the work of the Task Force. Also, of note, at least one Task Force member has expressed support for each of these proposals, while others have expressed concern or opposition.”

Apparently eight recommendations will appear in the second tier. The Task Force did not make public the eight recommendations that have strong opposition against them.

While these Tier 2 recommendations have members opposed to them, some members seem excited to include them in the final report.

Representative Greta Neubauer (D-Racine) commented “there are a number of things in the what’s currently called “Tier 2” category that are really important, that we heard a lot of public support for over the last several months and that I really think we need to move forward on as a state.”

“I think there are items that are really quite challenging in Tier 2, challenging because climate change is challenging and we’re in the middle of a crisis,” said Kirsten Shead, Co-Executive Director of Milwaukee Water Commons.

Member Stacy Craig, environmentalist and adjunct professor at Northland College, said about the forthcoming recommendations, “Some of the young people who have weighed in have said that it’s not enough, that we aren’t moving the system quickly enough, given that the changes have to happen now for the results to be in place by 2050, whereas our goals really come to fruition in 2050.”

The final report will also include “signatory language.” An initial draft of this language reads, “These recommendations should be taken as a package, such that all participants agreed to this full set of recommendations but may not have been comfortable with a single recommendation by itself.”

“When it said “such that all participants agreed to this full set of recommendations” I think there’s people that don’t agree with all this set of recommendations,” said Representative Mike Kuglitsch (R-New Berlin).

Craig said that she wants the signatory language in the final report to express “that there’s a wish that, and a hope that, we will be moving aggressively on these, and more, into the future.”

The full list of recommendations will be available to the general public in mid-November. MacIver will keep you up to date on the final report as we learn more.