Thursday, April 12, 2012

WI Conservation Voters Will Expose Walker's Environmental "Fails"

I posted information yesterday from the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters (WLCV) about its timely campaign before the recall elections to educate voters about Scott Walker's failure to protect Wisconsin's environment.

It's a great development because it helps expand the discussion - - with facts - - about why Walker's recall is a necessity

Now I see that WLCV will be rolling out weekly disclosures on more specific Walker environmental "fails" - - this first installment is about Walker's failed push to kill recycling in Wisconsin - - so here is a link with the full text below.

Last reminder: As I have done, support this effort! And note that WLCV is also soliciting ideas to expand the breadth of its focus on Walker as the recall election looms:

The Walker Conservation
Failure Files
During his first legislative session, Scott Walker proved to be the most anti-conservation Governor in Wisconsin’s history. From air to water and land to wildlife, Governor Walker left no stone unturned, desecrating the things that make Wisconsin a great place to live, play, and work. Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters urges voters to replace Walker in his upcoming recall. The Walker Conservation Failure Files detail his many conservation failures.

failFile 1: Recycling Fail
Governor Walker used the state budget to try to can recycling. Even though the proposal was ultimately denied, the people of Wisconsin had a chance to see Governor Walker’s true colors…and green was not one of them.
Wisconsin has always been a leader in the push for better recycling programs.
In 1990, Wisconsin was one of the first states in the country to pass mandatory recycling laws and, as a state, we have a nationally recognized recycling system.
An incredible 90% of residents participate in recycling programs!1 It’s just what we do. Which is why voters of all political persuasions were shocked and downright mad when Governor Walker snuck a provision into his budget eliminating state recycling requirements and all funding for municipality and county-run recycling programs.
His actions sent a clear message that Wisconsin was not open for recycling businesses. His rollback of the recycling program would have cost Wisconsin 97,000 jobs and over $5.4 billion in economic activity.2
Companies across the state that depend on recycled materials like landscaping firms, electronics recyclers, plastic and paper mills, and metal producers would have been forced to close their doors and lay off employees.
Our recycling program has always been a no-brainer because it reduces the size of those ever-growing landfills by diverting 2 million tons of solid waste every year. At our current recycling rate, Wisconsin citizens save space equivalent to the size of an average municipal waste landfill every 1.5 – 2 years.3
Recycling also keeps Wisconsin’s land and air clean and healthy with 73% less air pollution and 80% less waste. Recycling saves valuable resources such as trees, minerals, water, and energy. If paper mills use recycled paper in their products, they save 60% of the water that would be used if they started with virgin pulp.
Fortunately, after the citizens of Wisconsin fought back, the Joint Finance Committee came to see the error of Walker's ways. In a rare occurrence, the members of the Committee chose to go against Walker’s recommendation, ultimately restoring recycling (although support for recycling to local governments was still cut from $32 million to $20 million).
Addendum to Recycling Fail
At the spring 2012 Conservation Congress hearing, 67% voted against Walker's fund raids for local recycling programs.

Moneys for recycling are also cut by 40%.
Today, Wisconsin’s prized recycling laws remain in intact – no thanks to Governor Walker.
Governor Walker’s recycling proposal failed Wisconsin – our health, our natural resources, and our economy.
Stay tuned for more from The Walker Conservation Failure Files.


clyde said...

Until Walker became Governor, the annual statewide Spring Conservation Congress hearings, was the only living example of participatory democracy in action in Wisconsin, with all citizens able to participate directly and personally in recommendations as well as actual governmental decisions and regulations. One of the very first actions of the 2011 legislature and the Walker Administration was to emasculate this direct citizen participation in government, and reduced the Conservation Congress and the Natural Resources Board to a window-dressing, advisory only role, functioning only as a rubber-stamp and a mouthpiece for the Governor's agenda.

A few people attended this year's hearings, and superficially, the process seemed similar to the many preceding decades, with "voting", and questions/comments from the floor. But Aldo Leopold's legacy, the Wisconsin Conservation Congress, has become a mockery and has no role except to be a PR distraction from a power grab by this Governor and his powerful corporate backers who intend to "streamline", eliminate, and head off any effective protection of air, water, and habitat quality.

For those who have not yet realized what has happened, the clues were in (1) the "directives" from the Governor, read to those attending, (2) the agenda imposed at the end of the program, and (3) the fact that no resolutions were considered or voted on - only questions ... like an opinion poll (which is what the WCC has been reduced to). In the particular County where I reside, hunt, and attend spring hearings, I found it interesting to note the unprecedented appearance, as a quiet observer, for the duration of the entire program, of a state legislator who happens to be a strong supporter of this Governor's particular political party and agenda.

dale crisler, ph. d. physics said...

Dale Crisler says
I am with Clyde on the Conservation Congress. I was chair of the Barron Co. delegation. When Walker emasculated the Congress, I resigned because, like Clyde noted, Walker essentially took away all power that the Congress had. Why waste your time on something has no effect. I still work for the environment, but no longer with the Congress.