By Sara Adams, 350 Madison
In November 2018, Wisconsinites will vote for a governor. This post is the eleventh in a series on the environmental views of the candidates. This series is for information only. 350 Madison does not officially support any candidate.
Robert Meyer is a business owner and former mayoral candidate from Sun Prairie.
What are the most important issues you would take on if you were elected governor?
“Number one for me is the economy. We’re really behind on investments in the assets that create wealth on an ongoing basis.”
Meyer said Wisconsin is not making the necessary investments in education and infrastructure, including roads.
“I’m running as kind of a traditional, moderate Republican. I’m trying to frame all of the issues economically to try to give fiscal conservatives, Republicans, and fiscally-minded Democrats a way to frame things, and to think of this as an alternative. I think people are ready to move on from the hyperdidactic, hyperpartisan [politics].
“That’s really what I got from talking to people while I was gathering signatures. People said, we want politicians to work together.”
Where would you rate environmental issues on your priority list?
“I think it’s just immoral to pollute our air and our water. It’s all about the next generation of people. We’re stewards.
“From kind of a superficial economic view, this is a tourism state. So why on earth would we do anything to spoil the wonderful destination state that’s so beautiful all through the state? Even if you only look at it from a selfish economic perspective.
“When you look at it from a budgetary standpoint, we don’t get nearly enough cash income from corporations. Even if you were to increase tax rates on corporations, the percentage we get is so small, it’s not worth the trade-off.
“It’s just a real conservative thing. Why wouldn’t we conserve the environment, because it’s such an important asset?”
Within the broad topic of the environment, what do you think are the most important issues?
“Sustainable energy. That’s where the next great wealth creation is going to be.”
Where do you rate climate change on your priority list?
“I personally think it’s an incredibly important issue. I’m not making it the center of my platform.”
Meyer said his campaign can make the biggest contribution by discussing the economy and education.
However, although his campaign isn’t highlighting climate change, he wants to offer an alternative Republican approach to the environment.
“I want to challenge the idea that all Republicans are sacrificing the environment, are detrimental to the environment.”
How would your policies impact climate change?
“I would put someone in charge of the DNR who wants to help Wisconsin become a leader in renewable sustainable energy and environmental technology. We hear a lot about Wisconsin becoming a tech leader. We don’t hear a lot about Wisconsin becoming an environmental technology leader, which we should.”
Meyer said as governor, he would also promote and support local efforts to transition to renewable energy.
Do you know what Line 61 is?
Meyer was familiar with Line 61, the location of the pipeline, the Waterloo pumping station, the unique dangers posed by tar sands oil, and the recent Line 3 decision.
“I think [Line 61 is] an abomination,” he said. He is against Line 61 because of the environmental dangers posed by tar sands oil, and pipeline leaks.
Is there anything else you want voters to know?
“We all need to work together to move forward, and a big part of that is we need to work on our educational outcomes, so that’s been a big part of my platform too. To me, the environment should almost just be a given. This is such a beautiful state.”