Wisconsin

WISCONSIN

With 5.9 million residents, Wisconsin is the 20th largest state in population and, in land area, the state’s 54,310 square miles make it the 25th largest in the nation. The meeting place of three major ecological zones: northern coniferous forests, prairies, and southern hardwood forests, Wisconsin also has wetlands and inexplicable sandstone buttes. It also borders two great lakes and has many smaller lakes itself, most carved by glaciers

Wisconsinites are already witnessing major change to their state’s climate, especially in regards to rising temperatures, drought, and flooding. Already 2°F warmer than it was in the beginning of the 20th century, and  predicted to warm by up to 11°F by mid-century, scientists predict that by 2050 Wisconsin will see two weeks per year with heat indexes above 100°F. Oddly, although Wisconsin is known for its sub-zero winters, extreme heat is actually the #1 weather-related cause of death in the state, accounting for more fatalities than all other weather disasters combined, including tornadoes, floods, and blizzards. 

Warmer air holds more water, leading to more precipitation, especially heavy precipitation. It is not surprising, therefore, that 2019 was the single wettest year on record for Wisconsin, along with the rest of the Midwest. Over the last 30 years, the region has seen a 15% increase in annual precipitation compared to the first half of the twentieth century. 2019’s downpours predictably led to major floods, costing the region $6.2 billion and at least four lives.

Although precipitation is expected to increase as a whole, Wisconsin is still facing a serious drought problem. There may not be more droughts than before, but when they occur they’ll be more intense than ever, only getting worse over time.

The heat, extreme rain, and harsh droughts have had a devastating effect on agriculture, one of Wisconsin’s most important industries, contributing more than $104.8 billion to the state economy. Over half of Wisconsin’s agricultural revenue comes from the dairy industry, which is seriously impacted by climate change because higher temperatures cause cows to eat less and produce less milk.

Wisconsin’s ecosystems are also under attack by climate change altering the composition of forests and threatening the habitat of endangered species such as the American marten.  Rising water temperatures will shrink the available habitat for cold water fish such as trout and declining ice cover and increasingly severe storms add to fish habitat challenges through erosion and flooding.

Climate change is also affecting the rhythm of Wisconsin’s natural systems, affecting the timing of natural processes such as migration, reproduction, and flower blooming. Migratory birds are arriving in the Midwest earlier in spring today than 40 years ago. Along with range shifts, the intricate web of relationships between animals and their food sources and between plants and pollinators are all being disrupted. Because not all species adjust to climate change in the same way, the food that one species eats may no longer be available when that species needs it (for example, when migrating birds arrive). Some types of animals may no longer be able to find enough food.

Fortunately, Wisconsin is taking actions to mitigate climate change. In 2019, Wisconsin’s governor passed an executive order making Wisconsin the first state in the Midwest to commit to going 100% carbon-free by midcentury. The executive order created novel energy efficiency standards for state facilities, as well as creating a new office, Office of Sustainability and Clean Energy, to find the solutions and technologies needed to execute this proposal. That includes training Wisconsin’s workforce to build the clean energy sector, as the order lays out.

In 2021, Madison, Wisconsin moved ahead and set goals to have 100% of its municipal operations’ run with renewable energy by 2030. In October 2021, Wisconsin joined the other Great Lakes states in a pledge to collaborate on the development and installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure to help accelerate vehicle electrification across the Midwest.

Wisconsin does not have any fossil fuel resources of its own, so it ships in coal and natural gas, much of which comes from Wyoming and Montana. In 2020, down from a high of 82% in 1997, coal provided far less than half (39%) of Wisconsin’s electricity generation. Natural gas fueled 35% of Wisconsin’s in-state utility-scale generation, almost four times more than a decade earlier. Nuclear power is next at 16%, and 10% of Wisconsin’s energy comes from renewable energy resources, including hydropower (5%), wind (3%), biomass (2%), and solar (0.5%). Wisconsin is among the top 10 ethanol-producing states in the nation due to its corn production. Wisconsin produces about 600 million gallons of fuel ethanol every year, and ships much of it across state lines.

Despite its frigid winters, Wisconsin’s energy consumption per capita is less than that of 2/5 of the states and only slightly above the national average. The industrial sector accounts for one-third of the energy consumed in the state, the transportation sector and the residential sector each use nearly one-fourth, and the commercial sector consumes one-fifth.

Wisconsin is one of twenty four states, and Puerto Rico, committed to the U.S. Climate Alliance, which is working to implement policies that advance the goals of the Paris Agreement.

CURRENT NEWS

Labor, Construction, Business, and Community Voices Come Together to Urge Army Corp of Engineers to Approve Permits to Allow Line 5 Reroute Project to Move Forward

06/07/24
Hundreds share comments at a public hearing to show support for the project, highlight its impact and the potential results if Line 5 was not in operation
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US States Warned of Unhealthy Air From Wildfires: Weather Watch

By Brian K Sullivan 05/13/24
Air quality has turned unhealthy for parts of the Upper Midwest in the US, including the Twin Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, as smoke drifts south from ongoing Canadian forest fires, according to AirNow.gov.
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An Oil Company Is Trespassing on Tribal Land in Wisconsin, Justice Dept. Says

By Rebecca Halleck and Dionne Searcey 04/10/24
The Department of Justice has weighed in on a court battle over an oil and gas pipeline in Wisconsin, saying that a Canadian oil company has been willfully trespassing on tribal lands in the state…
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Wisconsin’s Warmest Winter

By Lydia Larsen 02/29/24
In the winter of 2022-23, the Minocqua Winter Park was bustling. The cross-country ski park in Wisconsin’s Northwoods had reaped the benefits of record snow, and staff worked seven days a week to groom its…
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Ice fishing obsession faces peril in changing Wisconsin climate

By Allison Garfield 02/25/24
Madison is defined by its lakes, and in the winter when the water freezes over, those lakes become spotted with hundreds of people ice fishing.
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Climate change is causing more flooding and erosion in Wisconsin

By The Larry Meiller Show 02/15/24
Like many other states, Wisconsin is experiencing more flooding and most insurance policies don’t cover it. We talk with two experts about Federal Flood insurance and what else you can do to protect your property.
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It’s been one of Milwaukee’s warmest winters ever. How does that affect Wisconsin’s economy and climate?

By Claire Reid 01/05/24
December 2023 was Milwaukee's warmest December on record, state climatologist Steve Vavrus said.
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Wisconsin is one of the most at risk states in the Great Lakes for biodiversity loss, report shows

By Caitlin Looby 12/07/23
Over the past 50 years, there have been unprecedented losses of plants, animals and insects around the world due to human-related causes, like climate change and habitat destruction. And a recent report provides a snapshot…
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A new map shows how vulnerable neighborhoods are to climate change. Here’s how Wisconsin fares

By Alex Groth and Bridget Fogarty 11/10/23
Wisconsin remains one of the least vulnerable states in the nation against climate risks. But experts say that doesn't mean that people across the state aren't in jeopardy of facing the consequences of climate change.
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Scientists say Wisconsin’s climate has already changed, will continue

09/11/23
A historic spring blizzard left two feet of snow on the ground in parts of Wisconsin five years ago, record breaking hot temperatures in the upper 80s sweltered the state this April and smoke from…
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President Joe Biden visits Milwaukee ahead of Inflation Reduction Act anniversary

By Evan Casey 08/15/23
One day before the one-year anniversary of the signing of the Inflation Reduction Act, President Joe Biden traveled to Milwaukee to tour a company directly impacted by the sweeping measure.
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The Mississippi River Is in Danger: What That Means for Wisconsin

By Fiona Hatch 07/24/23
Fondly referred to as “America’s river”, the mighty Mississippi is an essential natural resource for the entire country. The waterway spans more than 2,300 miles and is home to 400 different animal species. And, as…
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PLANS TO ACCELERATE RENEWABLES

Utilities weigh power demand from AI amid clean energy transition

02/22/24
As big tech companies race to capitalize on artificial intelligence, utilities in Wisconsin are assessing how to balance surges in demand for power amid the clean energy transition.

Wisconsin companies pouring billions into solar energy

02/16/24
Since the first commercial solar panel was introduced in the 1950s, people have been chasing the dream of clean, reliable energy from sunlight. Today, energy companies are pouring billions into solar panel infrastructure.

Climate-positive headlines greenwash Wisconsin’s fossil fuel dependency

02/15/24
Late last month, Gov. Tony Evers reached a deal with funding from the U.S. Forestry Service to purchase 70,000 acres of the Pelican River Forest in northern Wisconsin. The conservation project, which protects pristine forests…

Dane County celebrates achieving 100% renewable electricity in county facilities

02/06/24
Dane County’s Yahara Solar Project was recognized as part of Renew Wisconsin’s 2024 Clean Energy Honor Roll at the 13th annual Renewable Energy Summit “Unleashing the Power of Wisconsin’s Clean Energy Potential” Feb. 1.

UWM awarded $975,000 to expand its expertise in clean-energy workforce development

02/02/24
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is among 10 universities nationwide funded by the U.S. Department of Energy to launch a Building Training and Assessment Center. These centers will teach technical college students to identify ways to…

Sheboygan’s Onion River Solar Project is now in service. Here’s the impact it’s expected to have.

01/08/24
Alliant Energy’s 1,000-acre solar project is now in service in the town of Holland, after several years of planning and building.

MGE and We Energies power up Wisconsin solar farm

01/05/24
Badger Hollow Solar Farm is a 300 MW renewable energy facility located near the communities of Montfort and Cobb in Iowa County, Wisconsin. The project came online in two 150 MW phases. The second phase…

Wisconsin’s largest solar park is now fully operational, featuring 830K panels

01/05/24
The largest solar project in Wisconsin history is now fully operational in Iowa County, its developers announced Thursday.

Wisconsin trails Illinois, Minnesota on solar adoption. Advocates say policy changes could help turn the tide

01/03/24
Wisconsin is lagging behind some of its neighbors in terms of adoption of solar energy, but advocates say a few policy changes could help turn the tide.

Developers hope a balloon-like battery will aid Wisconsin renewable energy efforts

12/27/23
When Wisconsin’s largest coal plant, the Columbia Energy Center, closes in the next few years, a carbon dioxide-filled “battery” developed by the Italian company Energy Dome will take its place.

Wisconsin made progress toward clean energy transition in 2023, but more work is needed

12/18/23
Wisconsin continued to make progress in its transition to renewable energy in 2023, but environmental advocates say there’s still a long way to go.

First of its Kind Energy Storage Project in US to Be Constructed in Wisconsin

09/27/23
Alliant Energy’s new battery system, known as the Columbia Energy Storage Project, would be the first-of-its-kind in the United States and represents a significant advancement toward a more sustainable, reliable and cost-effective energy future.

Western Wisconsin utility now generates over half of its electricity without carbon

06/23/23
A utility that serves customers in parts western and northwest Wisconsin announced this week that over half of its electric generation is now carbon-free, and company officials say they are on pace to potentially exceed…

Alliant Energy starts construction on 50-MW Wisconsin solar project

06/12/23
On June 6, Alliant Energy executives and team members were joined by construction partners, community leaders, neighbors and participating landowners to mark the beginning of panel installation at the 50-MW Beaver Dam Solar Project site.…

Discover the Largest Solar Farm in Wisconsin (And What Lives Around It)

06/12/23
Due to its wide, flat plains and expansive open spaces, Wisconsin is a state synonymous with the agricultural industry. In fact, Wisconsin is in the top quartile of all states for farming and manufacturing. The…

Wood County Solar Project in Wisconsin Earns an Envision Platinum Award for Sustainable Infrastructure

05/16/23
The Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) has awarded Envision Platinum to Alliant Energy’s Wood County Solar Project, highlighting its contributions to sustainable development and clean and renewable energy.

Wisconsin’s Menominee Nation taps into sustainable roots with renewable energy training, solar installation

05/01/23
The Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin is taking steps to advance the transition to renewable energy on the reservation. Members of the tribe participated in a solar energy workshop at the College of Menominee Nation…

Dane County becomes first in Wisconsin to achieve 100% renewable energy

04/27/23
Dane County became the first county in Wisconsin — and the fourth in the nation — to receive 100% of its energy from renewable sources after the completion of the Yahara Solar Project last week.…

New wind farm comes online in rural Wisconsin, generating enough energy to power 50K homes

04/14/23
A new wind farm in rural Wisconsin that generates enough electricity to power over 50,000 homes is now online, advancing clean energy initiatives for two utilities.

Nine Wisconsin electric co-ops partnered in a unique solar energy project

04/13/23
In Westby, Vernon Electric Cooperative will tap the partnership to build a 1.5-megawatt solar farm, the co-op's fifth. The co-op in 2014 ...

Wisconsin Public Service announces new renewable energy facility, fourth since 2020

04/07/23
More clean energy is on its way to Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) customers as a new renewable energy facility went into service this week in southwestern Wisconsin. A release from the WPS has announced the…

Federal climate legislation is poised to transform Wisconsin’s path to net zero emissions

04/06/23
A clean energy boom is sweeping the United States, spurred by two laws signed last year by President Joe Biden. In Wisconsin, the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law have dramatically expanded funding…

US Gain integrates solar microgrid at Wisconsin RNG facility

03/29/23
U.S. Gain, a leader in the development and distribution of alternative fuel and renewable energy, is excited to share its first integration of a solar microgrid at its Dallmann East River Dairy digester in Brillion,…

Wisconsinites interested in rooftop solar face more hurdles than those in other states

03/28/23
Wisconsin homeowners and small businesses interested in installing solar panels on their property face more hurdles than their counterparts in some other states, clean energy advocates say.

Wind turbines being considered in central Wisconsin raise concerns from some

03/28/23
Wind turbines are again on the agenda in Central Wisconsin. Volunteer organization Farmland First hosted a public information session on wind project potentially coming to the area. The energy company RWE Renewables first started approaching…

Wisconsin Republicans put clean energy in their sights this session

03/23/23
Following a national trend of state backlash to renewable energy projects, state lawmakers are crafting more roadblocks to defend fossil fuels. With the Wisconsin Legislature now in session, Republican lawmakers have introduced a variety of…

Conservatives, clean energy backers find common ground on community-owned solar bill

03/21/23
For the second time in as many years, a group of Republican state lawmakers will seek to reset the rules on how solar energy can be owned and distributed in Wisconsin.

Largest renewable energy project in Wisconsin moving forward

03/21/23
The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) has unanimously approved Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) and We energies' purchase of the Koshkonong Solar Energy Center in Dane County.

Utility regulators approve $649M purchase of Wisconsin’s largest renewable energy plant

03/20/23
Three utilities have received approval from Wisconsin utility regulators to buy the state’s largest renewable energy plant. On Thursday, the Public Service Commission approved the $649 million purchase of the Koshkonong Solar Energy Center by…

Wisconsin’s renewable energy wave is prompting some farmers to lease land for fields of solar panels

03/17/23
The decision to transition a sizable portion of their family’s farm from pastures and grain fields to thousands of solar panels was not an easy one for Duane and Tina Hinchley.

Wisconsin’s renewable energy wave is prompting some farmers to lease land for fields of solar panels

03/11/23
The decision to transition a sizable portion of their family’s farm from pastures and grain fields to thousands of solar panels was not an easy one for Duane and Tina Hinchley.

DNR Seeking Public Comment On New Charter Supporting Climate Resilience

02/23/23
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is seeking public input on a new charter to encourage businesses, non-government organizations and communities to combat the effects of climate change in our state.

Evers’ budget will call for spending millions on Wisconsin’s clean energy workforce

02/08/23
Gov. Tony Evers will call for spending millions on developing Wisconsin's clean energy workforce during his budget address next week. It's part of a long list of environmental spending initiatives from the governor, who will…

Wisconsin utilities are investing in battery storage to aid clean energy transition

02/03/23
As Wisconsin's utilities continue moving toward clean energy, they're making big investments in battery storage. WEC Energy Group, the parent company of Wisconsin Public Service and We Energies, announced Thursday it is working on a…

EnTech Solutions Provides Wisconsin Cheese Factory With Solar Energy

01/20/22
Clean energy solutions provider EnTech Solutions has installed two renewable energy microgrids on the site of Agropur’s new 210,000-square-foot cheese production facility being built in Little Chute, WI.

Clean energy jobs poised for continued growth in Wisconsin

11/02/21
For the first time since Clean Jobs Midwest began tracking Wisconsin clean energy jobs in 2017, Wisconsin clean energy jobs declined during 2020’s pandemic-wracked economy. However, the second half of the year showed significant recovery and…

NextEra to offer Buckeye’s solar energy to SRP customers

10/07/21
Buckeye residents interested in energy reform have often pointed to the 295 average days per year of sunshine as to where to find more electricity. NextEra Energy Resources plans to take advantage of that sun.

Leaders of 5 Great Lakes states agree to cooperate on electric vehicle infrastructure

10/06/21
The governors of five Great Lakes states have agreed to collaborate on the development and installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure to help accelerate vehicle electrification across the Midwest.

Jefferson Utilities celebrates Wisconsin’s newest solar energy project

10/04/21
Jefferson Utilities Senior Energy Services Manager Greg Hoffmann joined state leaders and executives from WPPI Energy and NextEra Energy Resources, LLC to celebrate the commissioning of Wisconsin’s newest large-scale solar energy project — the Point…

Grow Solar Central Wisconsin expands to Waushara County in its fifth year

09/18/21
Grow Solar Central Wisconsin is launching for its fifth year. The education and bulk purchasing program will help property owners in Lincoln, Marathon, Portage, Wood, and Waushara counties take advantage of competitive prices for solar…

New grants to help Wisconsin nonprofits purchase electric vehicles

04/13/21
RENEW Wisconsin launched the “EVs for Good” initiative in early April, a new program that provides nonprofit organizations with financial support for purchasing electric vehicles.

Alliant Energy Plans to Add Six Solar Projects in Wisconsin

04/05/21
Alliant Energy plans to add another 414 megawatts (MW) of solar in Wisconsin. This rounds out the company’s previously announced plan to accelerate its transition to clean energy by adding more than 1,000 MW of…

Alliant Energy Poised To Become Largest Owner-Operator Of Solar Power In Wisconsin

03/31/21
Madison-based Alliant Energy is set to become the largest owner and operator of solar power in Wisconsin under plans unveiled Wednesday. The utility is making good on its goal to build 1,000 megawatts of solar…

Organic Valley launches national clean energy fund for its farmers

By Martha Koloski 03/22/21
The nation’s largest organic, farmer-owned cooperative, Organic Valley in La Farge, announced a $1 million fund to help its farmers make clean energy improvements faster.  

Preparing for Climate Change in Wisconsin

08/30/20
This page provides an overview of the steps Wisconsin is taking to prepare for the impacts of climate change.

Milwaukee’s Leadership on Climate Change

03/21/19
Mayor Barrett has joined over 362 mayors to show that the City of Milwaukee remains committed to the principles of the Paris Climate Agreement. The Milwaukee City Council also unanimously passed Council resolution 170337 pledging…

Wisconsin’s Changing Climate: Impacts and Adaptation

03/21/19
The Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts has released its first comprehensive report, Wisconsin's Changing Climate: Impacts and Adaptation. The report will serve as a resource for business executives, government, natural resource managers, public health…

Wisconsin Climate and Health Adaptation Plan

03/20/19
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has created a Climate and Health Adaptation Plan to assist state and local agencies in adapting to a changing climate.

Wisconsin’s Struggling Wind Sector Could Suffer Another Legislative Blow

09/12/11
Assembly Bill 146 would eliminate the four-year expiration date for renewable resource credits, also called renewable energy credits (RECs), that electricity providers can trade to meet state energy requirements within a given year. The measure…

KEY RESOURCES

Wisconsin Solar Panels: Pricing and Incentives

01/24/22
Wisconsin is no stranger to solar power. The state began investing in solar policies nearly four decades ago, and those investments have paid off. While Wisconsin still ranks among the middle of states for solar…

Wisconsin State Profile and Energy Estimates

10/19/21
Bordered by navigable waterways, Wisconsin lies between Lake Superior and Lake Michigan to the north and east and the Mississippi and Saint Croix rivers to the west. The glaciers that covered most of the state…

Energy State Bill Tracking Database

09/10/21
The searchable Energy Storage Legislation Database displays information in interactive maps and charts, tracking state activity from 2017 to the present.

The First National Flood Risk Assessment

10/06/20
The First Street Foundation Flood Model represents the culmination of decades of research and development made possible by building upon existing knowledge and frameworks regularly referenced in the identification of flood risk.

The State of Climate Adaptation in Public Health An Assessment of 16 U.S. States

10/06/20
EcoAdaptpartnered with the Natural Resources Defense Council to assess the state of climate adaptation planning and implementation for climate-related threats to public health in 16 U.S. states.

The Impacts of Climate Change and the Trump Administration’s Anti-Environmental Agenda in Wisconsin

09/19/20
Between 2017 and 2019, Wisconsin experienced one flood and three severe storms. The damages of each event led to losses of at least $1 billion.

State-by-State: Climate Change in Wisconsin

08/07/20
Climate and Energy Polling in Wisconsin

Climate Wisconsin

06/27/19
Climate Wisconsin is an educational multimedia project featuring stories of climate change. These stories are produced to support teaching and learning about climate change in Wisconsin.

Clean Wisconsin

05/28/19
From unsafe drinking water to disappearing lakes and streams to threats of increased air pollution, your natural resources and special places need protecting, now more than ever before. That’s where we come in. Using science,…

What Climate Change Means for Wisconsin

08/01/16
Wisconsin’s climate is changing. In the past century, most of the state has warmed about two degrees (F). Heavy rainstorms are becoming more frequent, and ice cover on the Great Lakes is forming later or…

MORE NEWS

‘This is on our doorstep now’: Wildfire smoke a reminder that climate change impacts human health

By Madeline Heim   06/09/23  
Smoke from Canadian wildfires that turned skies along the East Coast a sickly yellow has become yet another illustration of how changes in our climate foster extreme weather events.
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Milwaukee Confronts Climate Change

By Steve Watrous   06/05/23  
The world is getting hotter and Wisconsin weather more extreme. Global carbon emissions are the main culprit. Climate change is too hot to handle for some but in Milwaukee, government, non-profits, citizens and some businesses…
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Three Wisconsin utilities apply for rate hikes in 2024, citing renewable energy construction costs

By Joe Schulz   05/21/23  
Three utilities have submitted proposals to the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin to increase rates in 2024, and consumer advocates worry about how rate hikes could affect customers.
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Could Wisconsin be a climate haven? Great Lakes region could be attractive, but some effects are unclear

By Danielle Kaeding   05/18/23  
Snowbanks blocked Colleen Rooney’s view of the water when she and her husband first arrived at their new lakeside home in rural Vilas County last month. "I actually had to hire someone to come take…
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Nonprofit wants Wisconsin to electrify homes, businesses, and transportation

By YCC Team   05/17/23  
Wisconsin aims to fully transition its electrical grid to clean, carbon-free energy sources by 2050. But Andrew Kell of the nonprofit Renew Wisconsin says there’s an opportunity to do more. “If you focus only on…
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Ron Johnson said climate change could be good for Wisconsin. Experts disagree.

By Laura Schulte and Caitlin Looby   04/28/23  
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson again questioned whether climate change is as bad as researchers are saying — this time during a Senate Budget Committee hearing. The Wednesday afternoon hearing featured a number of climate change…
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Mississippi River flooding: Prairie Du Chien community works together to fill sandbags, place around homes

By Leah Rivard and Duaa Israr   04/25/23  
Floodwaters are creeping up towards homes in Prairie Du Chien, as the Mississippi River rises closer to its expected crest of around 24 feet. Volunteers and residents have spent the past few days filling and…
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Federal, state officials say nuclear is key to cutting carbon emissions to combat climate change

By Danielle Kaeding   04/17/23  
As the nation shifts away from fossil fuels to combat climate change, federal energy officials and some lawmakers in Wisconsin say nuclear power plays a key role in meeting carbon reduction goals.
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Clean Economy Coalition of Wisconsin; Evers, others launch effort

By FOX6 News Digital Team   03/29/23  
Gov. Tony Evers on Wednesday, March 29 joined a group of organizations, businesses and allies in Milwaukee to celebrate the official launch of the new Clean Economy Coalition of Wisconsin.
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Wisconsin schools adopt electric buses

By YCC Team   03/22/23  
Fifteen school districts in the state were awarded federal funds in the fall of 2022 to purchase electric buses. The post Wisconsin schools adopt electric buses appeared first on Yale Climate Connections. ...
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Wisconsin has a ‘solar rights’ law. But HOAs still sometimes prevent solar installations

By YCC Team   03/16/23  
Dane County, Wisconsin, is full of new housing developments, and many of the homes are ideal for solar panels — except homeowners’ associations often stand in the way.
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Wisconsin cave holds tantalizing clues to ancient climate changes, future shifts

By Will Cushman   03/02/23  
Even in their dark isolation from the atmosphere above, caves can hold a rich archive of local climate conditions and how they’ve shifted over the eons. Formed over tens of thousands of years, speleothems —…
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Tiny trout? Study finds that several freshwater species are bucking one climate change trend

By Adam Hinterthuer   03/01/23  
When it comes to predictions of how climate change will impact fish populations, a new study has found that several species are ‘swimming upstream.’
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Climate Action in Wisconsin

02/13/23  
Studies show that many of us are concerned about climate change. We’re seeing the impacts of climate change right here in Wisconsin and around the world. Warmer, wetter weather. More flooded streets and basements. Fewer…
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How Wisconsin TV news is tackling climate change in weather reports

By Jonah Beleckis   01/31/23  
Bob Lindmeier knew how to report the weather. When the studio lights and cameras turned on, the longtime meteorologist felt ready to help Wisconsinites prepare for the day or days ahead — pleasant skies or…
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Cold temperatures return to Wisconsin after near record-setting January

By Bridgit Bowden   01/30/23  
Colder temperatures have returned in Wisconsin after a near-record setting warm start to the year. According to Alex Bukvich, director of operations at Innovative Weather at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, January was on track to…
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Madison climate plan demonstrates need for local efforts to combat climate change

By Aanika Parikh   01/25/23  
President Joe Biden recently commended the City of Madison’s plan to purchase 46 electric buses in an effort to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions. The purchase of these buses is the first phase of Mayor…
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Road Salts Wash Into Mississippi River, Damaging Ecosystems and Pipes

By Madeline Heim   01/16/23  
This winter has already brought significant snowfall to much of the U.S. Historically, more snow has meant more road salt. It’s an effective way to clear roads — but also brings cascading environmental impacts as…
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Climate change is warming Wisconsin winters faster than other seasons

01/11/23  
Climate change is warming Wisconsin winters faster than other seasons. A wetter atmosphere and slower freezing of the Great Lakes has made wintertime temperature increases in Milwaukee and Green Bay among the highest in the…
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Milwaukee County wants input on climate change strategy

By Benjamin Yount   01/04/23  
Milwaukee County leaders are once again talking about climate change. This time, though, they say they want to listen as well as talk. Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley on Wednesday announced a new online survey…
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Could feeding seaweed to Wisconsin dairy cows help fight climate change?

By Courtney Everett   12/15/22  
Feeding dairy cows a diet including seaweed may reduce their emissions of the potent greenhouse gas, methane, by up to 20 percent, according to initial results from University of New Hampshire researchers.
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Climate change yields uncertain future for Great Lakes water levels

By Danielle Kaeding   12/13/22  
Scientists say communities around the Great Lakes should prepare for swings in high and low water levels to boost their resilience in the face of climate change. A multi-agency panel of scientists discussed the uncertainty…
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A tiny Wisconsin town tried to stop pollution from factory farms. Then it got sued.

By John McCracken   12/05/22  
The small community of Laketown, Wisconsin, home to just over 1,000 people and 18 lakes, is again at the center of a battle over how communities can regulate large, industrial farming operations in their backyards.
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Federal judge finds Enbridge trespassed on Bad River lands, but stops short of shutting down Line 5

By Danielle Kaeding   09/08/22  
A federal judge has ruled Canadian energy firm Enbridge Inc. trespassed on Bad River tribal lands and profited at the tribe’s expense but stopped short of shutting down an oil and gas pipeline across the…
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Three Questions Wisconsinites Are Asking about Heat Pumps

Lauren Reeg and Others   05/27/22  
The Wisconsin Public Service Commission, which regulates public utilities in the state, is currently deciding what role the state’s energy efficiency program will play in developing the local market for heat pumps. Heat pumps are…
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Gov. Evers releases Wisconsin’s first clean energy plan

04/20/22  
Gov. Tony Evers has released Wisconsin’s first clean energy plan, a proposal that he said would lower energy bills, fight climate change by investing in clean energy technologies and possibly create up to 40,000 jobs.
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On the Great Lakes, scientists are making a ‘Winter Grab’ of rare data

By Susan Cosier   02/18/22  
On a brutally cold day here earlier this week, Kirill Shchapov stood 200 meters off the shore of Lake Michigan, using a green auger to drill into a glistening ice sheet that stretched to the…
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Electric vehicles are gaining traction among Wisconsin drivers and businesses that provide support

By Rick Barrett   12/29/21  
From cars to motorcycles, and fire trucks to charging stations, Wisconsin has a key role in the development of electric vehicles.
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Untapped potential: Rooftop solar could meet 2/3 of Wisconsin’s electricity needs, study finds

By Chris Hubbuch   10/07/21  
Wisconsin’s rooftops could support enough solar panels to meet two-thirds of the state’s electricity needs, generating more electricity than all fossil fuel sources combined last year.
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Adapting to climate change: newly formed consortium focuses on climate-driven problems facing Midwestern states

By Katie Thoresen   10/05/21  
There’s a multitude of climate change-driven issues that Midwest is already starting to face and that will only get worse. This includes long stretches of drought followed by heavy periods of precipitation leading to flooding.
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Climate Action in Wisconsin theme of UWO Earth Charter Community Summit Oct. 2-7

By Laurie Schlosser   09/29/21  
The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh community will start the month of October focused on the Earth and climate change. Earth Charter Community Summit 2021: Climate Action in Wisconsin is the theme of a week of…
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This Northern Wisconsin Project Looks To Slow The Flow Of Runoff Made Worse By Climate Change

By Danielle Kaeding   09/29/21  
In 2018, flooding over Father's Day weekend carved a hole through a major highway in far northwestern Wisconsin, disrupting travel for months and sending three times the amount of sediment that flows each year into one Lake…
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Wisconsin Desperately Needs Infrastructure Bills to Pass, Lawmakers Say

By Julian Emerson   09/27/21  
Two bills proposed by Biden would help Wisconsin address a range of issues, according to a Democratic state representative and GOP state senator.
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Wisconsin pastor fasting until Congress passes climate bill

09/27/21  
A Kenosha pastor is fasting for climate change. The Rev. Jonathan Barker, pastor of Grace Lutheran Church, stopped eating on Saturday and said he will continue the protest until Congress passes a climate bill.
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350 Milwaukee Emphasizes Urgency of Climate Crisis

By Christina MCalister   09/23/21  
Education and action are at the forefront of 350 Milwaukee’s plan to end the age of fossil fuels. This Milwaukee chapter of the international climate movement, 350.org, has been working towards building a clean energy…
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Wisconsin could see major changes if Congress passes ‘Build Back Better’

By Eric Gunn   09/23/21  
In Washington, D.C., two intertwined pieces of legislation are ensnared in bickering among House and Senate Democrats while Republicans mostly look the other way. But this week, a pair of conversations 850 miles west of…
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Lake Superior Has Seen Half A Dozen Blue-Green Algae Blooms This Year

By Danielle Kaeding   09/20/21  
A decade ago, a blue-green algae bloom had never been reported on Lake Superior. Now, half a dozen blue-green algae blooms have been reported this summer across Lake Superior, including one that formed recently in Superior.…
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Rural doctors see need to invest in people, fight climate change

By Joel Charles and Jeff Thompson   09/19/21  
Rural doctors have a unique view into people’s personal pain and struggles. In our exam rooms, we treat good, kind and hardworking people. Most of them are struggling to get by.
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Wisconsin regulator withdraws from permitting decision in state’s largest clean energy project

By Chris Hubbuch   09/18/21  
A Wisconsin utility regulator with past ties to the clean energy industry will not participate in the permitting process for a controversial solar farm in southeastern Dane County.
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Wisconsin regulators fund disaster-resilience efforts

By Chris Hubbuch   09/17/21  
The Wisconsin Public Service Commission has awarded almost $1 million to study projects designed to keep electricity flowing locally even during major disasters.
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‘You’re wrecking my life’: Solar farm opponents question plans in town of Morgan

By Kent Tempus   09/16/21  
A renewable energy company considering construction of a huge solar power array in the town of Morgan received a chilly reception at an informational session Wednesday night. Most of the just over 100 people who…
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Wisconsin farmers to receive record-breaking support this year from USDA

By Jenna Bree   09/13/21  
In 2015, Mike Sievert was awarded nearly $16,000 from the USDA to purchase a grain dryer for his farm. “Things are changing fast, the way things are going right now," he said. "You hear a…
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Why cities around Wisconsin are feeling the heat

By Bekah McBride   09/13/21  
While Wisconsin may be known for its "frozen tundra," an increase in hot, humid summer days is bringing attention to Wisconsin's urban heat islands and their impact on human health. A heat island is an…
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Tribal members and scientists team up to figure out why Wisconsin’s wild rice population is declining

By Erin Gottsacker   09/10/21  
Water laps against a tangle of weeds at the shoreline of Flambeau Lake in Lac du Flambeau. Thick gray clouds hang overhead, but the weather doesn’t keep the wildlife at bay.
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We can’t stop climate change by investing in fossil fuels

By Elizabeth Ward   09/09/21  
The latest report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reiterated what we already know: We need to be taking swift, bold action to address climate change.  If we don’t, the consequences…
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Massive solar farm plan angers southern Wisconsin residents

By Chris Hubbuch   09/08/21  
When Carissa and Nathan Lyle were expecting their first child in 2017, they bought an old farmhouse on about three acres just west of Rockdale. Nathan, a builder, gutted and remodeled the house and added…
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Wisconsin regulators pass on policy changes, order further study of clean energy transition

By Chris Hubbuch   09/03/21  
Wisconsin regulators have agreed to gather more information on the clean energy transition while passing up a range of suggested policy changes that could speed the state’s shift from fossil fuels.
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Warmer And Wetter: Wisconsin’s Economy Is Already Suffering From The Impact Of Global Warming

By Wisconsin Public Radio   09/03/21  
Temperatures across the world are expected to rise past a level that scientists had hoped to avoid through drastic cuts in carbon emissions, according to a new report from a United Nations panel on climate…
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‘Here we go again’: Driftless Region at watershed moment with flooding, climate change

By Olivia Herken   08/14/21  
Last weekend as powerful, persistent rain fell and water began to rise across southwest Wisconsin, all Duke Welter could think was: “Here we go again.”
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Global Warming Is Happening More Rapidly. Wisconsin Is Already Feeling It.

By Danielle Kaeding   08/10/21  
Temperatures across the world are expected to rise past a level that scientists had hoped to avoid through drastic cuts in carbon emissions, according to a new report from a United Nations panel on climate change. Scientists…
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