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Wis. GOP takes aim on environment policies

Governor Scott Walker signs a ceremonial bill at the Wisconsin State Capitol on March 11, 2011 in Madison, Wisconsin. Republican Governor Scott Walker and the Republican-controlled legislature plan pay cuts for all state employees and to strip them of their collective bargaining rights in controversial legislation. The Wisconsin Assembly passed the legislation on Thursday, and the Governor signed the bill today. UPI/David Banks
Governor Scott Walker signs a ceremonial bill at the Wisconsin State Capitol on March 11, 2011 in Madison, Wisconsin. Republican Governor Scott Walker and the Republican-controlled legislature plan pay cuts for all state employees and to strip them of their collective bargaining rights in controversial legislation. The Wisconsin Assembly passed the legislation on Thursday, and the Governor signed the bill today. UPI/David Banks | License Photo

MADISON, Wis., May 8 (UPI) -- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Republican legislators are pushing a sharp reversal of environmental and energy policies, advocates on both sides say.

Among more than a dozen fronts are attacks on wind power, biomass energy and recycling, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Saturday.

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Citing the budget deficit and economic development, Walker is trying to end mandatory recycling and municipal subsidies to fund it.

Republicans also aim to tighten siting requirements for wind power and to cancel a state contract to burn biomass for energy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The GOP also wants to postpone rules to control phosphorus in waterways, citing cost.

"I knew it was going to be bad," said Democratic state Rep. Brett Hulsey, a former Sierra Club staffer. "But I didn't think it was going to be this bad."

"There is no question that Governor Walker's administration and this legislature have taken a much more focused look at what our state is doing to create and retain jobs," said Scott Manley of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, a business group.

Walker called state enforcement heavy-handed during his campaign and linked his attack to job creation.

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