MILWAUKEE – A provision in a settlement imposed by the Obama Environmental Protection Agency on the Wisconsin Public Service Corporation (WPS), a power company, requires WPS to spend up to $2 million on replacing wood stoves and furnaces in and around Brown and Marathon counties. The EPA settlement is aimed at resolving allegations of regulatory non-compliance on the part of WPS, a charge the power company disagrees with.
After the decision was announced last week, WPS said that it anticipates laying off employees as a result of the EPA settlement conditions.
The mandate to pay for replacing wood burning stoves and furnaces owned by some Wisconsin residents with newer, EPA standard compliant appliances is above and beyond the terms of the settlement that resolve the underlying dispute.
“It is one thing to mandate that a company resolve a problem, it is another to use a settlement to twist their arm and force them to pay for things unrelated to the underlying dispute, but important to environmental activists occupying bureaucratic jobs in Washington,” said Brian Sikma, communications director for Media Trackers, a conservative watchdog group.
“During the 2012 presidential campaign, President Obama visited Wisconsin on official and campaign trips and said his policies would lead to job creation,” Sikma said. “Now we have his administration imposing a settlement on a Wisconsin employer that likely leads to job losses, that’s not keeping campaign promises,” Sikma remarked.