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Gas-fired power plant proposed by Dairyland draws opposition on clean-energy grounds

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Building an electric power plant that’s fueled by natural gas could hasten climate change, according to the Sierra Club.

The environmental group went to the Dairyland Power office in La Crosse on Wednesday to protest plans for the $2 billion Nemadji Trail Energy Center, being proposed in Superior.

Spokeswoman Jadine Sonoda from the Sierra Club said the expensive project also would be harmful to the incomes of Dairyland customers.

“Dairyland and many utilities across the state can access power that is cleaner and more affordable by going with options like solar and efficiency” and other changes instead of investing in gas, Sonoda said, arguing about “the really high social cost of carbon.”

Republicans are upset with Democrats for opposing the power plant, which has been planned for several years. It’s scheduled to open in 2025.

Sonoda added that Dairyland should promote cleaner forms of energy.

“We’re thinking a combination of solar storage,” she said, “along with increased efficiency and ways to lower the demand for power.”

Before the November election, Republicans in northern Wisconsin blamed President Joe Biden and Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers for trying to block construction of the power plant.

Since Dairyland is a private cooperative, the project is not subject to regular review by the state Public Service Commission.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Lucenut

    November 17, 2022 at 10:10 am

    Screw the hippies! Build the plant. We need affordable energy NOW!

    • John Q Public

      November 18, 2022 at 5:45 am

      Build the plant, and if the screwballs that didn’t want it they can have their power cut off…simple solution,

  2. Randy

    November 18, 2022 at 7:28 am

    Build the plant. Natural gas is cleaner when you take in the carbon footprint of wind farms and Chinese solar panels. We need energy independence and wind farms and bird killing solar farms won’t do it. Time to stand up to the screball over the top environmental wackos.

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