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U.S. House could vote this week to fight global warming

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River Falls,Wisconsin 54022
River Falls Journal
U.S. House could vote this week to fight global warming
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

The U.S. House could vote as early as this week on the nation's new effort to fight global warming.

Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, says it's an opportunity for Wisconsin to move past its manufacturing traditions, while Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Menomonee Falls, calls it "an economic declaration of war on the Midwest."


He's long been a critic of the bill's cap and trade system, which limits total air emissions and lets larger polluters buy credits from lesser-polluting industries, thus raising things like electric rates.

But Wisconsin's Jim Doyle and other Midwest governors have promoted a modified cap and trade which protects big energy users, while still encouraging more efficient factories and renewable energy.

The state's largest utility, We Energies, says it's cautiously optimistic with the bill's recent changes.

But the Wisconsin Paper Council said the paper industry is not included in those changes, leaving it open to much higher costs.

Baldwin and Rep. Ron Kind, D-La Crosse both say the measure will create good-paying jobs.

But Kind is worried about the costs for things like rural electric co-ops. The federal EPA says those costs won't be high enough to put a damper on economic growth.

But the conservative Heritage Foundation says in a few decades, it could cost the average family $4,300 a year.

And the group says Wisconsin factories would feel the nation's fourth-worst impact.