Scott Walker’s Record on Wind and Solar Power Leaves Renewables Industry Fuming
Five years after he took office, renewable energy in Wisconsin is lagging the boom in the rest of the country and industry blames him for the shortfall.
Scott Walker’s up-and-down campaign for the Republican presidential nod has produced at least one constant: As far as wind and solar developers are concerned, the Wisconsin governor may be the worst man for the job.
Five years after Walker took office, renewable energy in Wisconsin is lagging the boom in the rest of the country and industry blames the two-term governor for the shortfall. Walker and his appointees have pushed new restrictions on windmills, cut tax incentives and research funding and last year imposed the nation’s highest fees on rooftop solar owners.
Wind and solar advocates hope to make Walker pay, painting him as an enemy of consumers who want to break away from big utilities. Most Republicans on the 2016 trail talk of ending subsidies and regulations favoring renewables, tying them to President Barack Obama’s environmental agenda. Walker’s worked hard to make that a reality on the ground, said Amy Heart, a spokeswoman for the industry-backed Alliance for Solar Choice.
“It’s pretty clear that Republican primary voters won’t support Governor Walker,” Heart said in a telephone interview. “They’re not going to support a politician who supports state-sponsored monopolies who are killing competition.”