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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Groups urge passage of new version of Clean Energy Jobs Act legislation

Diverse groups lined up to support passage of the rewritten version of Clean Energy Jobs Act legislation when the new provisions were announced on Tuesday. Group already releasing statements of support include:

+ Clean Wisconsin.
+ AFL-CIO
+ Wisconsin Business Council
+ Clean, Responsible Energy for Wisconsin’s Economy (CREWE)
+ Wisconsin Environment
+ WPPI Energy.

According to the bill's co-authors the highlights of the bill make the following changes:

+ Increases the use of renewable resources to meet the state’s future energy needs, requiring 25 percent of Wisconsin’s energy needs are met by renewable sources by 2025, creates new opportunities for Wisconsin.
+ Establishes graduated statewide electricity savings goals that lead up to a 2 percent reduction by 2015 and annual reductions of 2 percent thereafter, this will help reduce energy costs to businesses and homes across the state.
+ Large conservation and efficiency projects that meet workforce standards could count toward a portion of the RPS, which accelerates savings and provides options for utilities to create jobs.
+ Supports the development of small scale renewables such as solar, wind and manure digesters through expanded Focus on Energy grants and loans that will now total $25 million per year each year for a four year period. This will allow Wisconsin Companies to grow their business and create more jobs.
+ Modifies, but not repeal, Wisconsin’s moratorium on nuclear power plants. The language has been tightened to remove the threat of constitutional challenge by tying those changes to the state’s traditional regulatory authority over the need and siting of any plant.
+ Adjusts several transportation provisions, including the elimination of the California vehicle emissions standard; the proposed low carbon fuel standard tied to decisions in other states; and boiler efficiency standards that could cause conflict with EPA regulations.

The co-authors also asked the Public Service Commission to update its cost analysis of the legislation, taking into account the changes made in the substitute amendment.

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