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.