Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


No decision on emissions law

In a long-running floor session on Tuesday, the state
Assembly rejected a motion that would have allowed an Assembly vote on a bill
aimed at reducing Wisconsin’s impact on global warming.

The Wisconsin Safe Climate Act, authored by Rep. Spencer
Black, D-Madison, and Sen. Mark Miller, D-Monona, aimed to reduce greenhouse
gas emissions in the state of Wisconsin to pre-1990 levels.

Black and Miller, along with Lt. Gov. Barbra Lawton and
other state legislators, pitched the bill to students at a climate change awareness
event at the Union earlier this month.

Black said action to combat global warming must take a
preemptive approach.?

?We have an obligation to act before we see damage to our
environment, our economy and our quality of life,? he said in a statement.
Black also noted that 17 other states have passed similar legislation to reduce
greenhouse gases.

The decision to reject the proposal came after disagreement
between Democrats and Republicans in both houses over its merit. Until now,
Republicans in the Assembly have refused any action on the bill. Rep. Jim Ott,
R-Mequon, a key opponent to the proposal, said it would do little to alleviate
the causes of global warming.?


“We should all protect our natural resources,” Ott
said in a statement, “but [this bill] would have no impact on reducing
global temperatures.” The statement went on to say that the bill would
ineffectively address the issue by implementing a “carbon tax,? installing
costly pollution controls and reducing production levels, all of which Ott sees
as ineffective means of reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

Ott also pointed out the fallibility of climate prediction
and recalled that some scientists in the 1980s thought a new Ice Age was
imminent, a belief which later proved false.?In response to the claims made
against the proposed legislation by Ott, Black pointed out similar bills passed
in California and New York, saying both bills resulted in a dramatic economic
growth in alternative energy industry.

?Ten billion dollars are spent on fossil fuels every year,?
Black said. By reducing dependence on foreign fuels, he said, Wisconsin could
reduce the net loss of money that results from the dependence on fossil fuels.

Black cited a recent poll that showed 84 percent of
Wisconsinites favor state action to reduce the believed causes of global
warming. Ott said those numbers clearly reflect strong public opinion on the
issue, but that there are better ways to address this concern than allowing the
bill to pass.

“If people really understood what was in the bill, I
don’t think it would have much support,”‘ Ott said.

Ott added any attempt to reduce carbon dioxide in Wisconsin
would make little or no difference in overall carbon dioxide production in the
world. He listed repealing the moratorium on nuclear power plant construction
and building more windmills as possible alternatives to the proposal.?


Human trafficking bill passes Senate

A bill defining and setting a penalty for human trafficking
was also on the Legislature?s plate Tuesday, passing the Senate unanimously.

The bill, which makes trafficking of humans a felony
punishable with up to 25 years in prison, defines human trafficking as
?recruiting, enticing, harboring, transporting, providing or obtaining an
individual without the consent of the individual.?

Sen. Carol Roessler, R-Oshkosh, applauded the bill?s

?Human trafficking is a serious problem in Wisconsin and
nationwide,? Roessler said in a statement, citing a report that said nearly 15
percent of the known cases of human trafficking in Wisconsin are children
forced into commercial sex acts.

? Beth Mueller contributed to this report.

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