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Walker backs environmental exemption for S.S. Badger

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UNDATED (WSAU)   The owner of a Milwaukee car ferry across Lake Michigan said Governor Scott Walker was wrong to help out the ferry’s competitor. Walker asked the federal E-P-A earlier this month to temporarily extend a permit to allow the S-S Badger ferry to keep dumping coal-ash emissions into Lake Michigan. The Badger’s current permit expires December 19th, and it wants an extension while it keeps working on an alternative emission system.

The Badger runs between Manitowoc and Ludington Michigan, and it’s the last coal-fired steamship on the Great Lakes. The Lake Express Ferry, which runs a faster boat from Milwaukee to Muskegon Michigan, opposes an extension for its competitor.

Owner Sheldon Lubar says Walker was misled and he’s quote, “supporting further pollution of our state’s most precious asset – Lake Michigan.” The governor’s office said it gave the Badger’s owners a $75,000 grant to help accelerate an alternative to coal-ash emissions. Walker’s office also said it received four-thousand letters and phone calls urging him to support an extension of the Badger’s permit. But Lubar said the supporters were quote, “canvassed from Michigan” and elsewhere, and they do not represent Wisconsin interests.

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