October 19, 2014 by Barbara With
Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel (R) promises he will fight against new EPA regulations to reduce carbon pollution from existing power plants if he is elected Attorney General. In his October 12 debate with Susan Happ (D), he vowed to defend the use of coal as the sole source of energy for Wisconsin.
In an effort to address climate change, on June 4, 2014, the EPA proposed the Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon pollution. While there are currently limits on many industrial pollutants such as arsenic and mercury, there are none on carbon. Coal is responsible for 1/3 of US emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas producing climate change, according to the Government Accountability Office.
During the debate, moderator Mike Gousha asked Schimel to provide an example of federal overreach against which he would defend Wisconsin. Schimel named the recent EPA carbon reduction plan.
“If those go into effect, they are going to have a very disproportionate, harmful effect on Wisconsin compared to other states,” said Schimel. “We’re number 1 for manufacturing, but we get 62% of our electrical power from clean coal. So we have to make sure that when regulations like that go into effect, we don’t see Wisconsin have jobs just drain right out of our state. Because if they go to Arizona, solar power works better there. Or perhaps on the Great Plains, wind power works better. But Wisconsin — the only reasonable source of reliable and affordable electrical power we have is coal.”
Susan Happ responded that she would staunchly defend environmental laws.
Schimel’s failure to investigate his cronies in the past makes his refusal to support EPA laws even more troubling. Billionaire coal miner Chris Cline has a stake in Wisconsin on several fronts besides coal. His Gobegic Taconite LLC donated $700,000 to Club for Growth at Walker’s behest to coordinate campaigning, the subject of the John Doe II investigation and currently tied up in court. Schimel claims he would cooperate with John Doe prosecutors, and yet, he would not pursue the campaign coordination suit.
In an interview last June with Fox News 6, Schimel refused to answer questions about his failure to investigate Joel Kleefisch and his pay-to-play legislation concerning child support. Open records requests revealed the bill was line edited by Kleefisch crony Michael Eisenga, who would have benefited by saving tens of thousands of dollars in child support. Assembly Bill 540 would have allowed Eisenga to reopen his divorce settlement and reduce his child support payments. After the truth came to light, Kleefisch pulled the bill.
Schimel refused to answer Mike Lowe, claiming he was late for a fundraiser.
Watch the entire Happ-Schimel debate here: