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Foxconn Worst Deal in Wisconsin's History PDF Print E-mail
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Written by League of Conservation Voters, Ryan Billingham   
Friday, 03 August 2018 16:56

foxconnwisconsinSixth Entry in ‘Walker’s Wisconsin’ Series is all about Foxconn.


MADISON – As part of its Field Guide to Taking Back Wisconsin campaign, Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters released its sixth entry in its Walker’s Wisconsin series Tuesday. The series recounts Gov. Scott Walker’s extreme anti-conservation agenda and outlines just how far he’s taken our state, once considered a conservation model, to somewhere that’s hardly recognizable.

This week it's all about Foxconn, Walker's $4.5 billion boondoggle that includes some of the worst examples of his willingness to rollback environmental protections, give away natural resources to corporations, and interfere with the state's democracy.

Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters will update the Walker’s Wisconsin series via media releases, website, and social media every two weeks until Wisconsin elects a new governor in November. Walker’s Wisconsin concentrates on five categories – air, climate change, democracy, land, and water.

To read more, visit the Field Guide at conservationvoters.org/field-guide.

AIR

Walker created a major new source of air pollution, then rolled back air protections

Reports by Walker’s own DNR indicate that Foxconn will be a major new source of smog – a noxious mix of airborne compounds that have serious health effects, particularly for children, the elderly, and those already suffering from breathing-related health issues. Walker, however, asked his new allies at Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency, which now includes former Walker DNR secretary Cathy Stepp, to step back federal limits on air pollution. All this in a region already struggling with high levels of smog pollution during the summer months.

CLIMATE CHANGE

Walker used your money to double down on fossil fuels with Foxconn

In addition to spending $4.5 billion of our tax money to make southeasten Wisconsin the state’s most smog-polluted area, he’s also using it to double down on the state’s fossil fuel-first energy policies. The Public Service Commission recently approved a new transmission line and substation just for the plant, which will cost electricity users about $120 million. That new transmission line further locks the state into a fossil fuel future. Carbon emissions won’t be limited to the plant itself, either. Infrastructure is being built in and around the plant in the I-94 corridor that double downs on fossil fuel consumption by trucking and vehicle exhaust. Walker is again investing in fossil fuel infrastructure rather than cleaner mass transit solutions. The Foxconn plant will be a contributor to global climate change, all paid for with your tax money, thanks to Walker and his allies in the legislature.

DEMOCRACY

Walker sidestepped our state’s appeals courts just for Foxconn

Walker approved his own Foxconn bill after lawmakers added a provision allowing appeals of Circuit Court decisions related to Foxconn  to be fast-tracked directly to the Supreme Court, bypassing state Court of Appeals. Rather than allow the judicial system to operate as intended, Walker directed any challenges by parties to Foxconn be brought directly to the state Supreme Court that is stacked with justices willing to approve whatever Walker wants.

LAND

Walker is allowing Foxconn to destroy state-protected wetlands

The Foxconn bill allows the company to fill in state-protected wetlands. These wetlands protect local communities from flooding, filter groundwater, decrease pollution from runoff, and are essential habitat for wildlife. In exchange for the ability to destroy these vital areas, the company had to buy credits for wetland mitigation. That mitigation can happen outside the impacted area, which doesn’t help the communities actually being affected by Foxconn’s wetlands destruction. Adding to the problem, artificial wetlands are not the same as naturally occurring wetlands.

WATER

Walker betrayed the Great Lakes Compact, selling out the world’s largest freshwater resource

It wasn’t enough for Walker to hand Foxconn a check for $4.5 billion of our tax money and it wasn’t enough to allow Foxconn to trample on our wetlands – now he’s giving away our Great Lakes water. The plan would allow the City of Racine, which sits inside the Great Lakes basin, to divert seven million gallons of water per day – that’s equivalent to 875 tanker trucks – to Mount Pleasant, a township that’s only partially in the basin, known as a “straddling community.” There, Foxconn will consume 2.7 million gallons a day to manufacture flat screen TVs. Under the compact, diversions are meant to provide water for uses such as municipal drinking water and groundwater replenishment for family wells. This is the first time a state in the compact has been so brazen as to actually suggest a diversion almost exclusively for a private company’s manufacturing needs. The Great Lakes hold 90 percent of America’s freshwater, that’s 20 percent of the world’s supply. The diversion of Great Lakes water for private industry use is an unprecedented affront to the Great Lakes Compact.

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Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to electing conservation leaders, holding decision makers accountable, and encouraging lawmakers to champion conservation policies that effectively protect Wisconsin's public health and natural resources.

 
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