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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Businesses support Clean Energy Jobs Act

From a commentary by Guy Selsmeyer, president of Northern Biogas, in the Wausau Daily Herald:

One sector of the Wisconsin economy, renewable energy, continues to create jobs, despite the economic recession. Already this year, three new businesses in renewable energy manufacturing have made headlines, creating nearly 1,000 manufacturing jobs in Wisconsin in the next few years.

It is therefore perplexing that we continue to hear claims from certain interest groups that policies encouraging renewable energy generation will eliminate jobs in Wisconsin. Renewable energy business see firsthand the potential for new job creation in the renewable energy industry.

Northern Biogas provides design and construction services for anaerobic digestion. Along with various other benefits, anaerobic digesters produce energy from local, organic resources such as livestock manure. Wisconsin spends $16 billion annually to import fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas from out-of-state.

Fortunately, our state has an abundance of natural resources, such as woody biomass, solar, wind, and livestock manure, in addition to other energy sources such a food processing waste and landfill gas. Unlike traditional energy sources plagued with volatile fuel prices, there are no fuel costs associated with wind and solar, while biomass and biogas use locally produced fuel with no or low costs.

Stable energy prices create certainty for utilities and consumers and provide security against unpredictable fuel cost increases.

The Clean Energy Jobs Act is a smart policy that will improve our economy and make us more competitive. An Enhanced Renewable Portfolio Standard (E-RPS), providing for 25 percent of our electricity from renewable energy resources by 2025, will keep us on pace with neighboring states.

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