Dear Editor: Madison Gas & Electric’s goal to be carbon neutral by 2050 is too little, too late. Instead, MGE must commit to being carbon free by 2030. Here’s why:

• There’s a big difference between being carbon neutral and carbon free. Carbon neutral means that 30 years from now MGE still plans on burning fossil fuels, but they will try to take steps to offset the release of carbon into the air. Carbon free means giving up burning fossil fuels altogether and switching to renewable energy sources.

• Carbon free is the only viable option to halt climate change. Burning fossil fuels is heating up our planet’s temperature, and the effects of this climate change are dire. The consequences of a warming planet include extreme drought, wildfires, floods, and food shortages for millions of people.

• We only have until 2030 to halt catastrophic climate change, according to a report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. By 2050, any actions MGE takes will be too late.

• MGE needs to clean up its act. Columbia Energy Center near Portage, which is co-owned by MGE and Alliant Energy, was named the dirtiest power plant in Wisconsin in 2013.

• Unsubsidized renewable energy is now the cheapest source of energy generation. It’s a no-brainer. MGE must go coal free by 2030. The age of fossil fuels is over.

Short term profits for shareholders should not and cannot override what’s best for the health of the people and the planet in the long run. There is no planet B.

Laura Lane


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