Comparing it to smoking sections in restaurants, Gov. Scott Walker said the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan will actually be more harmful to the environment in the long run, because it will encourage industry to move to countries with fewer environmental protections, and will cost jobs in Wisconsin.
The plan puts carbon pollution standards in place for power plants and requires states to meet targeted reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. A group of 27 states sued to block the rule instituted by the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Supreme Court halted implementation of the plan earlier this month pending the outcome of litigation.
Walker said the plan will drive costs up in manufacturing and will cost the sector upwards of 20,000 jobs in Wisconsin.
“Like water in a crack, (industry) will go to (other countries) where it’s wanted,” he said during remarks at the Manufacturing Matters conference in Milwaukee on Thursday.
After the Supreme Court stayed implementation of the plan, Walker barred state agencies from working to comply with it.
Walker recalled that prior to Wisconsin’s smoking ban restaurants would have smoking and non-smoking sections that did little to prevent the spread of smoke throughout the room. He said the environmental impact of manufacturing activity leaving the U.S. and going to other countries would end up being similar.
“(Industry is) going to to go to a country that has nowhere near the environmental standards we have today,” Walker said. “That’s essentially what you’re going to have with them taking it to the extreme with this.”
Walker said he is for “reasonable and responsible environmental protections,” but has argued the plan put forward by the EPA exceeds the authority of the Obama administration.