Report dubs Sheboygan a “no growth” zone; outmoded regulations stifling economic growth
December 14, 2017 – Milwaukee, WI – Today, Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty President and General Counsel Rick Esenberg provided testimony to the State Senate Committee on Government Operations, Technology and Consumer Protection to discuss findings in, “Wisconsin’s No Growth Zone: The Impact of the Clean Air Act on Sheboygan County,” a recent report from WILL’s Center for Competitive Federalism. The Committee met in Greenbush, Wisconsin in Sheboygan County.
That report shed light on the Environmental Protection Agency’s ozone nonattainment designation involving Sheboygan County, the impact of such a designation on businesses in the County, the potential re-designation of other counties along the shores of Lake Michigan, and concludes by offering several immediate steps Congress can take to alleviate the onerous requirements by providing flexibility to Wisconsin to meet ozone standards.
The Senate Committee is considering several bills that will reform and modernize Wisconsin’s commitment to protecting the environment while simultaneously promoting economic opportunity and growth. Esenberg’s testimony provided insight to the committee on how outmoded regulations are indeed harmful to economic growth in Sheboygan and along Lake Michigan’s shoreline. Further, he stressed how policies crafted in Washington, DC impinge on an individual state’s – in this case, Wisconsin’s – ability to craft policies best tailored to their citizen’s interests.
First, we all want clean air and to protect the environment. But it is simply not the case that, if some regulation is good, more regulation – any regulation – must be better. We cannot allow our debates over environmental policy to degenerate into simple minded assessments of who is “for” or “against” “the environment” based on an unthinking determination of who wants more or less regulation. More restrictions are better only when they are smart restrictions.
Second, bad policy for Wisconsin is being made in Washington. This creates a teachable moment. States are not administrative units of the federal government. They are sovereigns with a prescribed role in our federal structure. It is imperative that we insist on that role.
A video that accompanied the report can be viewed here. *Note to media: the video may be used for B roll.