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Clean Wisconsin challenges Huebsch

Clean Wisconsin Inc. Thursday challenged a state lawmaker to support a bill based on the recommendations of the Governor’s Task Force on Global Warming.

State Rep. Mike Huebsch, R-West Salem, rebuked Clean Wisconsin, along with the Wisconsin Citizens’ Utility Board and Sierra Club Wisconsin, for speaking out against his bill, which lifts the state’s nuclear plant development restrictions.

Huebsch said the three groups, all of which had members on the Governor’s Task Force on Global Warming, walked away from commitments they had made in task force recommendations to ease nuclear development regulation.

Keith Reopelle, Clean Wisconsin’s senior policy director and a member of the task force, said in a press release Thursday that is untrue.

“While our groups do have a long history of opposing nuclear power in Wisconsin because of its environmental implications and exorbitant cost to ratepayers,” he said, “we support the task force recommendations as a package, in its entirety, because 98 percent of those recommendations support clean energy solutions to global warming.”

Although task force recommendations do ease the state’s nuclear restrictions, Reopelle said they still provide ratepayer protections, which Huebsch’s bill does not.

State law requires proposed nuclear power plants meet two standards beyond those which govern nonnuclear plants: Identify a federally licensed dumping ground for spent nuclear fuel and submit to a Public Service Commission of Wisconsin cost analysis whether it is publicly or privately owned.

Huebsch’s bill removes both standards, and the recommendations only repeal the need for a dumping ground.

“We appreciate Rep. Huebsch’s apparent support for maintaining the integrity of the task force package,” Reopelle said in the statement, “and we would happily work alongside him toward that goal.”

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