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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Legislature needs some energy to pass energy bill

From an editorial in The Journal Times (Racine):

Gov. Jim Doyle doesn’t want to talk about his legacy just yet and wants to get things done, but that’s not likely because the Legislature has largely checked out for the year.

When Doyle presented his State of the State address, and also in a meeting with The Journal Times Editorial Board, he talked about his energy ideas and the need to move Wisconsin and its economy toward a different energy future. He said quite rightly that if the United States had pursued the alternative energy ideas which sprouted in the wake of the Arab oil embargo 37 years ago, we would not today be burdened by gasoline at $3 and $4 a gallon. He also rightly commented that Wisconsin spends billions every year on fuel — money which quickly leaves the state instead of being put to other uses in the local economy.

China and Europe are not standing still, he said, but are pushing into alternative energy technologies. Look at the wind turbines sprouting all over Wisconsin. Many of them bear the logo of Vestas. That’s not a Wisconsin company. It’s a Danish one. The question is whether Wisconsin will join these producers, putting to use its manufacturing base and skilled workers.

But to do any of this, Doyle needs legislators to meet. A newspaper story which followed his State of the State address noted that lawmakers will meet at most a dozen times between now and May. Then they’ll take the rest of the year off for elections and won’t return to the Capitol until January 2011, when the new Legislature will be seated and begin work on the biennial budget.

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