Sierra Club Wisconsin: Statement in response to MGE electric vehicle expansion

Friday, March 9, 2018
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Contact: Renner Barsella, renner.barsella@sierraclub.org217-390-9394

Statement in Response to MGE Electric Vehicle Expansion
“MGE must not only tout EVs, but must also address coal issues”

MADISON, WI — Yesterday, Madison Gas and Electric touted their work on electric vehicle infrastructure throughout the Madison area, including their fast charge systems. They called on local, state, and federal governments to create policies that encourage the implementation of more electric and low-emissions vehicles.

Three days prior, on Monday March 5th, high winds kicked up toxic coal dust from the Oak Creek and Elm Road power plants in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, into the surrounding neighborhoods, coating nearby homes, vehicles, playgrounds and residents’ lungs. MGE co-owns this power plant complex with We Energies, and the Elm Road power plant provides around 19% of MGE’s electric load. MGE has yet to address this incident.

In response, Devin Martin, Organizing Representative from Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign said this:

“What MGE failed to mention in yesterday’s press conference is that the company is still two-thirds coal-powered, and responsible for the pollution from their coal plants that is harming  Wisconsin families. We encourage MGE CEO Jeff Keebler to use his voice and MGE’s influence to not only promote the expansion of electric vehicles, but to address the toxic coal dust issues that residents near MGE’s coal plants have been complaining about for years. If MGE co-owns the plant, then MGE is also responsible for the harm to nearby residents.

“Wisconsinites have suffered long enough from MGE’s reliance on dirty coal, and it’s time for MGE to take responsibility for their contribution to this problem and to move beyond coal to clean energy solutions for everyone.”