Eau Claire Energy Forum | Wis.Community

Eau Claire Energy Forum

[img_assist|nid=16482|title=Energy Forum Candidates|desc=|link=popup|align=left|width=300|height=225]I attended the Candidate Energy Forum in Eau Claire on Oct. 5.  This is an event that is held during election cycles by Eau Claire Energy Cooperative and other sponsoring organizations.  This is always a good opportunity to hear from the candidates about what their stance is on energy issues.  In the past these have often been carefully thought-out policy statements by the candidates.

This year, however, I seem to have learned only two new and enlightening things:

  • The only thing that any of the Republican candidates seemed to want to say is that the only solution to the energy issues is to let the free market fix it.  Get government out of energy policy. Lower regulation.  Lower taxes. This has worked tremendously well in the past, giving us the comprehensive energy policy that the US enjoys now.  Including dirty air, polluted water, Gulf oil spills, and mountaintop removal.  Certainly less regulation will make this all better, and the energy companies will only become more responsible if they are more deregulated, since apparently they are not making enough money at the moment to be able to do the right thing.  
  • The other issue (genuinely surprising to me) was that all of the candidates on both sides of the lecturn agreed that the state Nuclear Moratorium should be repealed. I find this particularly surprising as the moratorium, as it's always called, really is not a moratorium at all. It merely states that no nuclear plants will be built in the state unless there is a repository available for long-term storage of nuclear waste, and only if the construction of a nuclear plant will be economically feasible for the rate payers.  To be in favor of repeal of the moratorium implies that you really don't care where the heck we put all this nuclear waste (which is currenly piling up in storage at the plants in a never-ending "temporary" solution to the problem) and that we want nuclear power even if it's not an economically viable solution.  Yes, I know, I'm going to hear again that the only reason we don't have a nuclear repository is for political reasons. But whether you believe that or not, the fact is that we don't have a working solution to the long-term storage problem and we won't any time in the near future.  I think we should let some of the other states figure out how they're going to build nuclear plants and have them make money before we put them on the backs of people in Wisconsin.


October 8, 2010 - 1:06pm