Sunday’s column from state Sen. Rob Cowles R-Green Bay, extolling the Republican’s environmental record, was laughable. He focused on some rather minor legislation and ignored major actions by the Legislature, governor and attorney general that undermine public health and the environment, including the following:
Defunding Department of Natural Resources programs and cutting science staff.Rolling back environmental regulations on mining, which would have devastated the Penokee mountains and thousands of acres of public land, wetlands and tribal wild rice beds.Reducing wetland protection and encouraging wetland fills through legislative action.Prohibiting local communities from managing shorelands to protect against erosion and toxic algae blooms.Prohibiting the DNR from protecting groundwater from depletion and contamination, with a legally flawed opinion by Attorney General Brad Schimel and DNR support.Rejecting federal funding for mass transit that would have reduced our carbon footprint while creating thousands of jobs.
Worse than these, the Republican Party both here and nationally has advanced the false narrative denying climate change. Historically, protecting public natural resources and clean, healthy drinking water has been nonpartisan. The current edition of the Republican Party, however, has chosen to sacrifice our health, property and quality of life to the short-term financial interests of their benefactors at Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce and the Dairy Business Association.
Carl A. Sinderbrand, Middleton