Thursday, January 5, 2017

Kasich bests Walker in green jobs approach

I noted the other day that while Wisconsin was busy scrubbing climate change information off official websites, the other Great Lakes states - - even those with conservative GOP Governors - - were not.

Along those lines, I had missed a late December story about Ohio GOP Gov. John Kasich breaking ranks with Republican legislators and vetoing a bill which Kasich feared would stifle green jobs.

For which Kasich is getting a lot of praise:

"Governor Kasich's veto sends the signal that Ohio is back in the clean energy game, and ready to deliver good jobs and a healthy environment to businesses and families," said Samantha Williams, Staff Attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council.
"While the lawmakers who fast-tracked this legislation seem determined to freeze Ohio in the past, the administration wisely sees that embracing the clean energy shift that is already under way can only help the state move forward. Jobs and investment are coming to the region--the governor is right to steer them to Ohio.
Don't look for Scott Walker to turn green with envy.

We know that Walker had obstructed wind farm development in Wisconsin, and his Public Service Commission backed new fees on solar installations (now blocked by a judge, though utilities can now pay less for solar electricity returned to the grid, an industry win), but Team Walker also stands at odds with green, clean power and growth with its consideration of transferring state Focus on Energy program green innovation dollars to a worthy but unrelated goal - -  rural broadband development.

Walker's PSC would not be thinking of robbing Peter to pay Paul in this fashion if he had not rejected $23 million in federal broadband expansion funding in 2011 - - just after he turned aside federal Amtrak expansion funding, and before he turned down federal Medicaid expansion funding - - knowing at the time that the federal broadband money could be used to improve rural service:

The money was to have boosted broadband connections in 380 Wisconsin communities, including 385 libraries and 82 schools. It also could have been used to improve police, fire department and hospital communications in rural areas.
The funding transfer would please Walker's rural constituency but also restrict green jobs development there and statewide that Walker's GOP colleague in the Ohio knows needs boosting.

Just another reason Walker is now two years late hitting his 250,000 new jobs promise.

Backwater Wisconsin, again, where ideology trumps pragmatism, science and growth.. 

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