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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Rep. Steve Hilgenberg: Clean Energy Act good for farmers

A letter to the editor of The Capital Times by State Rep. Steve Hilgenberg (Dodgeville):

The reaction to the Clean Energy Jobs Act by some agriculture groups is shortsighted and misinformed. I’ve reviewed the act with farmers, bioenergy leaders and economic development experts. It’s a win for farming and rural Wisconsin.

It has provisions to give direct support to farmers interested in supplying biomass markets. It expands the Focus on Energy program. Wind turbines will be built in rural areas where jobs will be created. Landowners will receive lease payments, and local tax bases will increase.

Addressing the energy crisis in rural areas will diversify farm landscapes and stabilize energy costs with energy independence. More of the $16 billion we send out of state every year will remain in ratepayer pockets and create green jobs here.

According to an analysis by the Public Service Commission, the Clean Energy Jobs Act will save Wisconsin citizens $1.4 billion over the next 15 years.

Maintaining our dependence on cheap (for now) fossil fuels puts Wisconsin on a path to nowhere. Check your facts and help make the Clean Energy Jobs Act law.

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