Wisconsin Conservation Leader: Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act Will Help Bypass Republican Barriers to Climate Action

In this photo posted to Sen. Tammy Baldwin's social media accounts, the Wisconsin Democrat (right) is joined on the White House grounds on Sept. 13, 2022, by (left to right) state Rep. Lisa Subeck, Sheboygan Mayor Ryan Sorenson, Jeff Cramer of Community Access Solar, and Kerry Schumann, executive director of Wisconsin Conservation Voters. They were invited guests to a celebration hosted by President Joe Biden to mark the implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act.

By Pat Kreitlow
September 14, 2022

Thousands gathered on the White House lawn to celebrate the new law that also addresses healthcare costs and tax fairness.

Several Wisconsin guests were on the White House lawn Tuesday for a celebration of the Inflation Reduction Act, including the leader of Wisconsin Conservation Voters (WCV), who called the environmental and energy provisions in the new law “historic” in the face of climate changes that are having a dire impact on Wisconsin.

“It’s the biggest investment in climate action in US history,” said WCV Executive Director Kerry Schumann. “So the fact that there was a celebration was great. We should celebrate these moments because it’s a really, really big deal.”

Earlier: Here’s How the Inflation Reduction Act Will Help Wisconsin Families

Thousands of invited guests—including Sen. Tammy Baldwin, state Rep. Lisa Subeck, and Sheboygan Mayor Ryan Sorenson—gathered to take a victory lap for a bill that passed with no Republican votes despite the new law bringing relief to healthcare costs, reducing the deficit, making the tax system more fair, and investing in climate action and clean energy jobs. Schumann said the GOP opposition will be less of an obstacle now because of the new law.

“We’re in a time when the Wisconsin Legislature is not investing in climate action,” Schumann said. “They don’t seem to really care that taking action on climate is popular across political boundaries. But this Inflation Reduction Act really allows us to make the kind of investments we need to make in Wisconsin without the Legislature.”

Schumann praised Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, the Democratic challenger to US Sen. Ron Johnson, for his role on Gov. Tony Evers’ Climate Change Task Force. She said Evers’ Clean Energy Plan that resulted from the work includes provisions that would work in tandem with the Inflation Reduction Act and make it easier for local governments to take the initiative to create a cleaner and safer environment.

As more public opinion polls show bipartisan support for climate action—whether for environmental or economic reasons—Schumann believes GOP lawmakers are falling out of the mainstream.

“I think we’re in this place in time where the public is very different than where some of our elected leaders are at,” Schumann said. “The public’s ahead of a lot of our Republican elected leaders. Ron Johnson is still saying there is no climate change, and yet everybody knows climate change is happening. It’s having a serious impact here in Wisconsin.”

“I mean,” she continued, “we are seeing Lake Michigan erode properties. People are losing their property values. We are seeing impacts on our water quality from climate change. We are seeing impacts on our agriculture. We have more mosquitoes and ticks that carry more diseases. So I think voters need to remember that people like Sen. Ron Johnson or Rep. Tom Tiffany are out of touch. They’re not in the same place that voters are at, and they’re not representing us.”


  • Pat Kreitlow

    The Founding Editor of UpNorthNews, Pat was a familiar presence on radio and TV stations in western Wisconsin before serving in the state Legislature. After a brief stint living in the Caribbean, Pat and wife returned to Chippewa Falls to be closer to their growing group of grandchildren. He now serves as UNN's chief political correspondent and host of UpNorthNews Radio, airing weekday mornings 6 a.m.-8 a.m on the Civic Media radio network and the UpNorthNews Facebook page.

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