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Friday, April 30, 2010

Landfill subject of special county board meeting

From an article by in the Thomah Journal-News:

A proposal to generate energy for solid waste by-products of the Ridgeville landfill site will be the subject of a special meeting of the Monroe County Board of Supervisors at 6 p.m. Wednesday in Sparta.

Gail Frei, Monroe County solid waste manager, will present the proposal at the session to be held in the courthouise annex meeting room.

Frei outlined the plan to make electricity from biogas at a meeting of the Solid Waste Committee in February. At the time, the committee approved $14,000 to begin initial planning for the program. Frei, who was Vernon County’s solid waste manager for 18 years, said there was a ready market for the electricity produced and the process would extend the life of the landfill.

As outlined, The Monroe County Landfill Gas-to-Energy/Food Waste Diversion Project is an environmentally proactive landfill gas management project designed to reduce the amount of methane gas released to the environment by the landfill, process specific food waste outside the landfill to create biogas, and use those gas products for constructive purposes. Frei said the project would reduce landfill odors from decomposing food waste, extend the life of the landfill, and develop a new revenue source (sale of electricity) to pay a capital cost loan. After the loan is repaid, the revenue would be used to offset landfill costs, which means anyone using the landfill will share in the benefits.

3M Cumberland Joins Green Tier Companies

From a story on WQOW-TV, Eau Claire:

CUMBERLAND, WI. (Press Release) - 3M Cumberland was formally welcomed into the Department of Natural Resources' Green Tier program today, during Earth Week, at a celebration event at their facility in Cumberland, Wisconsin. DNR officials congratulated 3M for its commitment to environmental protection during the celebration, which included staff and management from the facility, local officials and 3M Corporate officials.

"The Department of Natural Resources is proud to add 3M Cumberland to the growing ranks of Green Tier companies," Department of Natural Resources Secretary Matt Frank said. "They have proven that they are leaders in their community by managing operations to protect our shared natural resources for future generations."

Frank said it is fitting the company is welcomed into Green Tier during Earth Week when so much is being done to enhance the natural resources of the state.

3M has a long-standing corporate commitment to three pillars of sustainability, also known as the triple bottom line: environmental protection, social responsibility and economic progress. 3M uses this philosophy to reduce their environmental footprint while continuing to grow their business. To do this, 3M pioneered the concept of pollution prevention with the creation of the Pollution Prevention Pays (3P) program in 1975. The 3P program is based on the reality that pollution prevention is more environmentally effective, technically sound and economical than conventional pollution control equipment. 3P seeks to eliminate pollution at the source through product reformulation, process modification, equipment redesign and the recycling and reuse of waste materials. By 2009, 34 years later, 3P ideas and initiatives from employees have prevented 2.9 billion pounds of pollutants and saved 3M nearly $1.2 billion.

Kids' health focus of biomass critics

From an article by Amy Ryan in the Wausau Daily Herald:

WESTON -- After presentations for and against a proposed biomass energy plant to be built across from Rothschild Elementary School, the D.C. Everest Area School Board decided Tuesday to not yet take a position on the project.

Residents fighting the biomass plant were hopeful the board would join the effort to stop its construction.

"I think we have too much material. I would not make a recommendation at this time," said board member Rita Kasten.

We Energies plans to build a $250 million power plant that burns low-quality and unusable wood and paper waste, powering the Domtar paper mill in Rothschild and providing electricity to homes in portions of Wisconsin. We Energies hopes it will be operating by fall 2013.

Residents at the meeting said they were concerned about the effect the plant might have on the health of the children at the nearby elementary school. Those concerns were shared by board members and district administrators.

"USA TODAY ... studied 127,000 schools, and only 23,000 have worse air than Rothschild," said board member Larry Schaefer. "We're starting with some pretty poor air already. That's a concern I have with this plant."

Rob Hughes, the parent of a 7-month-old, lives near the proposed site of the energy plant and said he is concerned about children playing on the playground near an energy plant.

"In the long term, these particulates cause development of lung disease in children," he said. "It's hard to learn if you're puffing on an inhaler, if you're light-headed and struggling to breathe."

Representatives from We Energies and Domtar said the new plant would emit less pollution than the current biomass generators used at Domtar.

"There are very rigorous standards placed by regulatory agencies to protect our welfare," said Terry Charles, environmental health and safety manager for Domtar. "That includes asthmatics and elderly."

The plant would cut dependence on fossil fuels, reduce acid rain and be nearly carbon-neutral, the environmental advocacy group Clean Wisconsin and the U.S. Forest Service have said.

More groups join call for veto of waste-to-energy bill

Shortly following the end of the legislative session, RENEW Wisconsin wrote to Governor Jim Doyle asking him to veto Senate Bill 273, which would allow "plasma gasification" of municipal wastes to generate electricity. RENEW sought the veto because the bill would allow the electricity to be called renewable and count toward the renewable energy requirements placed on Wisconsin utilities.

Now several other organizations, including RENEW, fleshed out the orginal veto request with a second letter:


We, the undersigned businesses and organizations, urge you to veto SB 273, which would undermine Wisconsin's current renewable energy standards under Act 141. Signing this bill will result in less renewable solar, wind and biomass energy for Wisconsin at a time when our economy and our environment desperately need more, not less, of these technologies to decrease our dependence on dirty fossil fuels.

New development companies across the country are attempting to define gasification facilities as "green" renewable energy. Yet this technology, a glorified form of incineration that is burdened with many of the same cost and environmental drawbacks, has never been successfully deployed anywhere in this country. Developers are seeking tax incentives, grants and renewable energy credits at the expense of recycling and true renewable energy programs.

Please end your tenure as Governor by vetoing the bill that will undermine Wisconsin’s efforts to become a leader on genuine renewable energy. The benefits of doing so will be recognized for years to come.

The letter came from the Sierra Club – John Muir Chapter * Waukesha Environmental Action League * Midwest Environmental Advocates * Advocates for Renewable Energy * Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters * Clean Wisconsin * Wisconsin Environment * Citizens Utility Board * RENEW WI * Physicians for Social Responsibility * Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice.

Click here for a description of SB 273, as amended.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Green hospital construction nears midpoint

From an article by Wayne Nelson on BusinessNorth.com:

The Marshfield Clinic is incorporated sustainability principles in the construction of a $42 million new hospital campus under construction in Rice Lake.

BWBR Architects in St. Paul and its design partners have designed the project to conserve natural resources, reduce operating energy costs, and provide a quality indoor environment, said Edward Wolf, chief executive at Lakeview Medical Center in Rice Lake. . . .

The project’s energy-saving features include efficient lighting, air conditioning and plumbing systems. Lakeview’s board of directors committed to maximum energy use 15 percent below the state’s current building code limit. To meet that goal, the building ventilation design will recover heat from air exhausted out of the building that will heat incoming air, said mechanical engineer Linda Weingarten of Minneapolis-based Dunham & Associates, the project consulting engineering firm.

Heat given off by chillers that cool the building will be used to heat hot water, lowering electric usage during summer, she said.

“This isn’t new technology, but it’s the first time we’ve used it in a hospital project,” she said. The design is expensive, and wouldn’t be cost-effective if retrofitted in an existing building, she said.

High efficiency condensing boilers also will help lower fuel consumption year round.

Increased roof insulation values and high performance windows also will help reduce energy costs.

Moving away from coal as primary source of energy

From a story on WXOW-TV:

LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) Dairyland Power serves a half a million households in their system.

Currently, more than 90 percent of their energy is produced from coal.

However, officials say Dairyland wants to have 25 percent of their power be produced by sustainable renewables, like wind and solar, by 2025.

Dairyland isn't the only one looking at making a transition away from coal.

Today, Secretary of State Building Commission David Helbach spoke at UW-L about how Wisconsin is trying to covert its state institutions from coal consumers.

There are 16 heating state plants that heat and cool institutions using some amount of coal.

These heating plants can be found at variety of places from government buildings to college campuses, including UW-La Crosse.

Secretary of State Building Commission David Helbach says, "Coal has about twice the pollutants as natural gas so just by changing the fuel you reduce your emissions by half."

The state wants to transition the biggest users of coal first, which are not university's like UW-L.

That means the university will be put on the back burner.

Helbach, "We'd like to do some of the other plants first so this plant may not be until the first round, maybe on the second or third round"

Since Dairlyand's transition can't happen over night either, it is taking steps to make coal burning more environmentally friendly, like recycling by it byproducts and installing a scrubber system and bag house to make air safer.

Biomass power is good for Wisconsin

From a Community Conversation column by Bob Cleaves, president of the Biomass Power Association, in the Sheboygan Press:

Wisconsin is in the midst of a serious debate about the environmental impact of biomass power, and whether increasing their use of clean, renewable biomass for electricity could potentially lead to unintended negative consequences, specifically with respect to forest health and greenhouse gas emissions. The truth, however, is that increasing our use of biomass power will improve forest health in Wisconsin and reduce the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere.

Biomass power is carbon neutral electricity generated from renewable organic waste that would otherwise be dumped in landfills, openly burned or left as fodder for forest fires.

On average, America's biomass power industry removes 68.8 million tons of forest waste annually, improving forest health and dramatically reducing the threat of forest fires. This forest waste includes dead debris and brush left to rot on the forest floor. Clearing this debris is a part of regular forest maintenance and is frequently done by state forest services in the form of open burns.

By using this waste to generate electricity, the biomass power industry is preventing the need for open burns and significantly reducing the risk and spread of forest fires. Waste byproducts from other industries and organic waste from the forest floor continue to be the only economically viable fuel sources for biomass power.

Fuel providers to the biomass power industry do not harvest wood solely for the purpose of generating electricity — forests are simply far too valuable.

In 2 minutes, watch a turbine installation


The turbine will serve the Green Leaf Inn in Walworth County.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

State awards funds for food, agribiz training in Western Wisconsin

From a story on WXOW News 19, La Crosse:

Matching funds boost total to $106,374

MADISON – Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Roberta Gassman today announced a Wisconsin Industry Partnership training grant of $53,105 to help meet the skilled workforce needs of an expanding food resource and agribusiness sector in western Wisconsin.

DWD's regional partner, the Western Wisconsin Workforce Development Board, and 20 employers in the Food Resource and Agribusiness Network (FRAN) will provide $53,269 in matching funds for a project total of $106,374.

"These resources demonstrate how by working together, we can meet the needs of employers and prepare workers for jobs of tomorrow, resulting in a stronger Wisconsin economy," DWD Secretary Roberta Gassman said. "One of the region's main economic strengths is its agriculture and food processing industry. It is one reason why Wisconsin is a leading state in organic farming. The grant will help the food and agribusiness sector grow and create more jobs."

One FRAN employer includes Organic Valley of La Farge, the largest organic farm cooperative in the country. For over two decades, the Midwest Organic & Sustainable Education Service has held its annual convention in La Crosse. Sales of organic products total nearly $133 million annually in Wisconsin.

Another FRAN partner is Kwik Trip, which is doubling the size of its bakery, a $30 million project expected to add more than 100 jobs. Last year, the western Wisconsin region's food resource and agribusiness sector had 3,374 jobs, and it is projected to add jobs in coming years.

PSC seeks public comment for biomass project

From a news release issued by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin:

MADISON – The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) is seeking public comments for a biomass-fired power plant project proposed by Wisconsin Electric Power Company (WEPCO) in Rothschild.

In March 2010, WEPCO filed an application with the PSC for permission to build a 50-megawatt, woody biomass-fired, cogeneration power plant on the Domtar Corporation paper mill property. This newly proposed unit would require about 500,000 tons of biomass fuel per year. It is expected that the fuel would largely be sourced from within a 75-mile or possibly a 100-mile radius of the plant.

Comments on the proposed project will be accepted until June 1, 2010. The comments are considered when staff is analyzing the proposal. Hearings to take testimony from the public regarding the project are expected to be held later this year. . . .

To comment on the proposed project, visit the PSC’s website at http://psc.wi.gov, click on the Public Comments button and choose We Energies (WEPCO) Rothschild Biomass Cogen Project. For documents associated with the case, visit the PSC’s website at http://psc.wi.gov.

Legislature needs to act

From an editorial in The Journal Times (Racine):

Let us count the ways in which this Legislature has failed in its duty. We do not speak of any particular issue or any particular position which the Legislature took, because the truth is that it took few.

There were some good results from this session, such as the law which formalized a transportation authority to make progress on KRM commuter rail. But there is much that didn’t move — bills on regional transit, election reforms, and energy and jobs. We do not advocate for every clause of every one of those bills. We decry the lack of action. It is true that one function of a legislature is to let bad ideas expire quietly, but the overarching issues of transit and jobs and energy must not fail. They must be dealt with in some manner.

The Democratic leadership bears a large portion of the blame, for many major bills did not come to the floor until the closing days of the session, leaving members little time to digest, discuss and amend. But Republicans must also be held responsible for an amazing rigidity and intransigence that produced few constructive suggestions or compromises.

Mordecai Lee, a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee political science professor, labeled the Legislature’s inaction an example of what is wrong with modern lawmaking. That presumes the goal is to make laws or decisions.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Renewable Energy Not Responsible for MGE Rate Increase

IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 27, 2010

MORE INFORMATION
Michael Vickerman
RENEW Wisconsin
608.255.4044
mvickerman@renewwisconsin.org


Renewable Energy Not Responsible for MGE Rate Increase

Higher costs associated with fossil fuel generation are driving Madison Gas & Electric’s costs higher, according to testimony submitted by company witnesses. The utility filed an application last week with the Public Service Commission (PSC) to collect an additional $32.2 million through a 9% increase in electric rates starting January 2011.

The bulk of the rate increase can be attributed to expenses associated with burning coal to generate electricity. A 22% owner of the 1,020-megawatt (MW) Columbia Generating Station near Portage, Madison Gas & Electric (MGE) and the owner plant owners plan to retrofit the 35-year-old facility to reduce airborne emissions. The cost of Columbia’s environmental retrofit is expected to total $640 million, of which MGE’s share is about $140 million.

MGE also owns an 8% share of the state’s newest coal-fired station, the 1,230-MW Elm Road Generating Station located in Oak Creek. A portion of the proposed rate hike would cover lease payments and other expenses at that plant.

MGE’s application does not attribute any portion of its proposed rate hike to renewable energy sources. However, MGE plans to increase the premium associated with its voluntary Green Power Tomorrow program from 1.25 cents per kilowatt-hour to 2 cents. RENEW estimates that the premium hike will collect more than $1 million in 2011 from the approximately 10,000 customers participating in the program.

According to the utility’s web site, 10% of MGE's electric customers purchase some or all of their electricity from renewable resources. Moreover, Green Power Tomorrow has the second highest participation rate of all investor-owned utilities in the country according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Not surprisingly, MGE anticipates subscribership in Green Power Tomorrow to decrease if the PSC approves the higher premium. Currently, the program accounts for about 5% of total electric sales. Program subscribers include the City of Madison, State of Wisconsin, Dane County Regional Airport, Madison West High School, Goodman Community Center and Home Savings Bank.

According to MGE, sinking fossil fuel prices have widened the difference between wholesale power costs and the cost of supplying customers with renewable energy. However, it is worth remembering that the cost of supplying power from MGE’s renewable energy assets, such as its Rosiere installation in Kewaunee County and Top of Iowa project, did not increase last year and will not increase in the foreseeable future.

“Even though the cost of MGE’s windpower supplies is not going up, Green Power Tomorrow customers will take a double hit if the PSC approves this rate increase and request for higher premiums,” said RENEW Wisconsin executive Director Michael Vickerman. “It’s a ‘heads-I-win-tails-you-lose’ proposition that will wind up rewarding customers who drop out of the renewable energy program because coal is cheaper.”

“It would be short-sighted to penalize renewable energy purchasers just because fossil fuel prices are in a temporary slump,” Vickerman said. “But if MGE is allowed to institute this penalty at the same time it imposes the cost of cleaning up an older coal-fired generator on all of its customers, including its Green Power Tomorrow subscribers, it would have a profoundly negative impact on the renewable energy marketplace going forward.”

“This is the wrong time to be throwing up barriers to renewable energy development. We at RENEW will fight proposals that reward fossil fuel use and penalize renewable energy,” Vickerman added.
END
RENEW Wisconsin (www.renewwisconsin.org) is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that acts as a catalyst to advance a sustainable energy future through public policy and private sector initiatives.

Paper group backs proposed Rothschild biomass plant

From an article by Robert Imrie in the Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune:

ROTHSCHILD -- The Wisconsin Paper Council announced Monday that it will support a planned $255 million wood-burning power plant at a Rothschild paper mill.

"We are happy to join in and give it a thumbs up," WPC Vice President Earl Gustafson said in a telephone interview from Appleton. "From what we have seen so far, it looks like a good plan."

The Paper Council, which represents 20 paper mills including Domtar and dozens of other suppliers of goods and services to the industry, has asked to participate in state regulatory proceedings on the project.

We Energies has applied to the state Public Service Commission to build Wisconsin's first biomass power plant on the grounds of the Domtar paper mill along Business Highway 51. A decision is expected by the end of the year, and neighbors of the mill are seeking to stop the project because of concerns about noise, traffic, aesthetics and pollution.

In seeking "intervener status" in the case, the Paper Council told the PSC that "supply and demand for wood fiber" used to make paper products could be affected if We Energies gets approval to build the plant.

Gustafson said Monday the plant's plan to burn only waste wood, including forest residue and wood shavings, should eliminate most of the Paper Council's concerns.

Energy-savings efforts get a jolt

From an article by Tom Content in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

State programs receive $20 million to help owners retrofit homes, businesses

Milwaukee, Racine and Madison will launch or expand programs to help homeowners and businesses retrofit buildings to cut energy use. The programs are part of a $20 million initiative funded by the federal stimulus package.

The three cities were partners in a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to Madison-based Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corp. and announced by Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday.

The money will be used to set up or expand programs that lower the cost of making energy-saving changes in homes and businesses.

The Wisconsin project was one of 25 nationwide that won more than $450 million in total funding. The Energy Department received applications for more than $3.5 billion.

The state had sought $65 million through the federal "retrofit ramp-up" program. The goal: bring down the cost of energy-saving home improvements such as air sealing, insulation and other initiatives offered by the state Focus on Energy program.

Milwaukee recently launched a solar-financing program, and Racine has started an energy-efficiency retrofit program that will expand with the new funding.

"This initiative will help overcome the barriers to making energy efficiency easy and accessible to all - inconvenience, lack of information and lack of financing," Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in a statement. "Block by block, neighborhood by neighborhood, we will make our communities more energy efficient and help families save money. At the same time, we'll create thousands of jobs and strengthen our economy."

The answer is blowing in the wind?

From an article by Jeff Holmquist in the New Richmond News:

A proposal to construct a wind turbine network in the Town of Forest, east of New Richmond, is picking up steam.

A proposal to construct a wind turbine network in the Town of Forest, east of New Richmond, is picking up steam.

The project is being promoted by Emerging Energies of Wisconsin LLC, a Hubertus company that is involved in several wind farm projects across the region.

Emerging Energies has been studying wind speeds in the St. Croix County township for two years.

According to Bill Rakocy, co-founder and principal of Emerging Energies, the Forest area is “looking very favorable” as a site for large wind turbines.

The company’s research shows that average wind speeds are about 16 to 17 miles per hour, which is sufficient to turn a large turbine and thus generate electricity.

As the state and federal governments begin to encourage development of alternative energy sources, Rakocy said his organization is poised to make a difference.

Among current available clean energy sources, Rakocy claims, wind power is the best for Wisconsin.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Solar more affordable than ever

From an article by Tim Damos in the Baraboo News Republic:

Green energy subsidies and new partnerships between manufacturers and contractors are making it easier for the average homeowner to utilize solar technology.

"I'm really excited about this," said Craig Dittrich, general manager of Senger Lumber, Inc. of Baraboo. "I think it's really going to catch on."

Customers of Senger Lumber soon will have the option to build with metal roofing that comes with a solar-energy-trapping film already attached.

Dittrich's supplier is McElroy Metal, a national firm that produces metal roofing, siding and substructural components, and operates a manufacturing plant in Mauston.

McElroy Metal has partnered with UNI-SOLAR, which produces thin, flexible solar laminates with an adhesive backing that allows them to be easily applied to smooth surfaces.

"It's easy to apply so you don't have to pay as much for the installation," Dittrich said.

With a 30 percent federal tax credit and another 30 percent credit available from the state, Wisconsin home builders can purchase the portion of the roof that includes solar laminates at a 60 percent discount, Dittrich said.

Outdoor Renewable Energy Learning Center open for green energy lessons

From an article by Keith Uhlig in the Wausau Daily Herald:

Students, educators, environmentalists and public officials gathered on Earth Day to dedicate the area's first Outdoor Renewable Energy Learning Center.

The Wausau School District's center at East High School includes a 100-kilowatt wind turbine, with another, smaller one in the works, and two solar power systems.

Students at East already have been using the systems for hands-on learning about alternative energy, and the plan is to have students and teachers from throughout the region use the facility to augment classroom lessons.

"This is the perfect place to be on Earth Day," said Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton, keynote speaker at the ceremony.

Lawton said the center will help students position themselves as leaders in a green energy surge in America, a crucial step toward energy independence and a strong economy.

Cashton wind farm project rustles up plenty of interest

From an article by Dorothy Jasperson-Robson in the Westby Times:

On Thursday, April 8, a proposed community wind project meeting was held in the village of Cashton. The well attended meeting provided the general public and adjacent land owners with the opportunity to learn more about the proposed $9.7 million wind energy project, which calls for the construction of two wind turbines to be developed in the village of Cashton Green Industrial Park.

Through a joint venture with Organic Valley, Western Technical College, Gundersen Lutheran Health System and the village of Cashton, two wind turbines will be constructed in the Cashton Greens Park, located off State Highway 27, southeast of the village of Cashton, in Monroe County.

The renewable energy wind generation system would be located adjacent to Organic Valley’s Cashton Distribution Center. The two wind turbines would generate approximately 10.5 million kilowatt hours (kWh) annually or enough power to supply 7,000 average residential homes. Electricity produced by the turbines will travel to an existing electrical substation, owned by the village of Cashton, and be distributed from the substation.

Wes Slaymaker, of Wind Energy Systems Engineering, calculated that each turbine in the Cashton project will cost $3 million dollars, be 262 feet high, produce 1.8 megawatts of energy with three 150-foot blades. The wind farm development will help the village of Cashton reach its mandated Green Credit before the 2025 deadline and the entire project is expected to be paid off within 20 years, by LLC partners in the project, Organic Valley, Gundersen Lutheran and Western Technical College.

RENEW Wisconsin calls for veto of waste-to-energy bill

IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 23, 2010

MORE INFORMATION
Michael Vickerman
RENEW Wisconsin
608.255.4044
mvickerman@renewwisconsin.org

RENEW Wisconsin Calls for Veto of Waste-to-Energy Bill

RENEW Wisconsin called on Governor Jim Doyle to veto a bill that allows garbage to qualify as a renewable energy resource.

“The bill (Senate Bill 273), passed in the last hours of the final legislative session, would lead to a cutback in new clean-energy installations using solar, wind, biogas, and biomass,” said Michael Vickerman, executive director of RENEW Wisconsin, a statewide renewable energy advocacy organization.

The bill would credit electricity from gasification of garbage toward the amount of renewable energy each Wisconsin utility must supply under current law.

“By failing to pass the Clean Energy Jobs Act, the Legislature essentially froze the overall percentage of renewable energy that Wisconsin utilities must supply to customers,” said Vickerman.

“Adding solid waste to the list of eligible resources without raising the percentage above the current requirement will result in a reduction of electricity derived from truly sustainable renewable resources.”

“No way can anyone legitimately say that this bill expands renewable energy in Wisconsin.”

“All in all, this session will be remembered as a wasted opportunity for clean energy and job creation,” Vickerman said.

“When we entered the month of April, we had high hopes for the Clean Energy Jobs Act, a bill that would have forcefully sent Wisconsin down a path to energy independence while creating thousands of new jobs. Instead, the Legislature crammed garbage down the throats of utility customers.”

“No other legislative body in history has managed to trash Earth Day and the legacy of Wisconsin’s own Gaylord Nelson as completely as the Wisconsin Senate whose leaders wouldn’t allow a vote on the Clean Energy Jobs Act,” according to Vickerman.

“Governor Doyle can honor Gaylord Nelson by vetoing SB 273.”

END

RENEW Wisconsin Calls for Veto of Waste-to-Energy Bill

IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 23, 2010

MORE INFORMATION
Michael Vickerman
RENEW Wisconsin
608.255.4044
mvickerman@renewwisconsin.org

RENEW Wisconsin Calls for Veto of Waste-to-Energy Bill

RENEW Wisconsin called on Governor Jim Doyle to veto a bill that allows garbage to qualify as a renewable energy resource.

“The bill (Senate Bill 273), passed in the last hours of the final legislative session, would lead to a cutback in new clean-energy installations using solar, wind, biogas, and biomass,” said Michael Vickerman, executive director of RENEW Wisconsin, a statewide renewable energy advocacy organization.

The bill would credit electricity from gasification of garbage toward the amount of renewable energy each Wisconsin utility must supply under current law.

“By failing to pass the Clean Energy Jobs Act, the Legislature essentially froze the overall percentage of renewable energy that Wisconsin utilities must supply to customers,” said Vickerman.

“Adding solid waste to the list of eligible resources without raising the percentage above the current requirement will result in a reduction of electricity derived from truly sustainable renewable resources.”

“No way can anyone legitimately say that this bill expands renewable energy in Wisconsin.”

“All in all, this session will be remembered as a wasted opportunity for clean energy and job creation,” Vickerman said.

“When we entered the month of April, we had high hopes for the Clean Energy Jobs Act, a bill that would have forcefully sent Wisconsin down a path to energy independence while creating thousands of new jobs. Instead, the Legislature crammed garbage down the throats of utility customers.”

“No other legislative body in history has managed to trash Earth Day and the legacy of Wisconsin’s own Gaylord Nelson as completely as the Wisconsin Senate whose leaders wouldn’t allow a vote on the Clean Energy Jobs Act,” according to Vickerman.

“Governor Doyle can honor Gaylord Nelson by vetoing SB 273.”

END

Friday, April 23, 2010

Wisconsin Democrats say no to Clean Energy on Earth Day

A news release issued by Clean Wisconsin:

MADISON -- Hours ago, the democratically controlled state Legislature failed the people of Wisconsin when it adjourned before taking up the Clean Energy Jobs Act.

"It's ironic that on Earth Day, our Democrat-led state Legislature effectively killed a vital piece of clean energy legislation," says Keith Reopelle, senior policy director, Clean Wisconsin. "Senate Democratic leaders Jeff Plale and Russ Decker's refusal to schedule the bill for a vote guaranteed the bill's demise."

The Clean Energy Jobs Act would have created more than 15,000Â jobs for Wisconsinites. Just yesterday, Wave Wind, a wind energy service provider in Sun Prairie, sent an open letter to the state Legislature noting that the delayed passage of the bill forced the company to lay off 12 employees. Had the bill passed, Wave Wind would have created 100 new high-quality jobs.

"The world is transitioning to a clean energy economy, and Wisconsin is getting left behind," says Reopelle. "Wisconsin has now lost the manufacturing and design jobs that would have been created by the bill  to China, California and Illinois."

The bill also would have lowered energy bills for homeowners and businesses with its renewable energy and energy efficiency provisions, allowing Wisconsin to make incremental but critically important steps toward reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and increasing our energy independence.

"It is a travesty that Wisconsin's Legislature missed the opportunity to take action on such an important bill for the health of our state's economy and environment," says Reopelle. "While today's inaction is definitely a setback, thanks to the hard work of our allies in the Legislature and coalition partners, we have laid the foundation for future clean energy legislation and remain hopeful that Wisconsin will soon return to its forward-thinking roots."

###


Clean Wisconsin, an environmental advocacy organization, protects Wisconsin's clean water and air and advocates for clean energy by being an effective voice in the state legislature and by holding elected officials and polluters accountable.

Wisconsin Democrats say no to Clean Energy on Earth Day

A news release issued by Clean Wisconsin:

MADISON -- Hours ago, the democratically controlled state Legislature failed the people of Wisconsin when it adjourned before taking up the Clean Energy Jobs Act.

"It's ironic that on Earth Day, our Democrat-led state Legislature effectively killed a vital piece of clean energy legislation," says Keith Reopelle, senior policy director, Clean Wisconsin. "Senate Democratic leaders Jeff Plale and Russ Decker's refusal to schedule the bill for a vote guaranteed the bill's demise."

The Clean Energy Jobs Act would have created more than 15,000Â jobs for Wisconsinites. Just yesterday, Wave Wind, a wind energy service provider in Sun Prairie, sent an open letter to the state Legislature noting that the delayed passage of the bill forced the company to lay off 12 employees. Had the bill passed, Wave Wind would have created 100 new high-quality jobs.

"The world is transitioning to a clean energy economy, and Wisconsin is getting left behind," says Reopelle. "Wisconsin has now lost the manufacturing and design jobs that would have been created by the bill  to China, California and Illinois."

The bill also would have lowered energy bills for homeowners and businesses with its renewable energy and energy efficiency provisions, allowing Wisconsin to make incremental but critically important steps toward reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and increasing our energy independence.

"It is a travesty that Wisconsin's Legislature missed the opportunity to take action on such an important bill for the health of our state's economy and environment," says Reopelle. "While today's inaction is definitely a setback, thanks to the hard work of our allies in the Legislature and coalition partners, we have laid the foundation for future clean energy legislation and remain hopeful that Wisconsin will soon return to its forward-thinking roots."

###


Clean Wisconsin, an environmental advocacy organization, protects Wisconsin's clean water and air and advocates for clean energy by being an effective voice in the state legislature and by holding elected officials and polluters accountable.

Wisconsin Democrats say no to Clean Energy on Earth Day

A news release issued by Clean Wisconsin:

MADISON -- Hours ago, the democratically controlled state Legislature failed the people of Wisconsin when it adjourned before taking up the Clean Energy Jobs Act.

"It's ironic that on Earth Day, our Democrat-led state Legislature effectively killed a vital piece of clean energy legislation," says Keith Reopelle, senior policy director, Clean Wisconsin. "Senate Democratic leaders Jeff Plale and Russ Decker's refusal to schedule the bill for a vote guaranteed the bill's demise."

The Clean Energy Jobs Act would have created more than 15,000Â jobs for Wisconsinites. Just yesterday, Wave Wind, a wind energy service provider in Sun Prairie, sent an open letter to the state Legislature noting that the delayed passage of the bill forced the company to lay off 12 employees. Had the bill passed, Wave Wind would have created 100 new high-quality jobs.

"The world is transitioning to a clean energy economy, and Wisconsin is getting left behind," says Reopelle. "Wisconsin has now lost the manufacturing and design jobs that would have been created by the bill  to China, California and Illinois."

The bill also would have lowered energy bills for homeowners and businesses with its renewable energy and energy efficiency provisions, allowing Wisconsin to make incremental but critically important steps toward reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and increasing our energy independence.

"It is a travesty that Wisconsin's Legislature missed the opportunity to take action on such an important bill for the health of our state's economy and environment," says Reopelle. "While today's inaction is definitely a setback, thanks to the hard work of our allies in the Legislature and coalition partners, we have laid the foundation for future clean energy legislation and remain hopeful that Wisconsin will soon return to its forward-thinking roots."

###


Clean Wisconsin, an environmental advocacy organization, protects Wisconsin's clean water and air and advocates for clean energy by being an effective voice in the state legislature and by holding elected officials and polluters accountable.

Wisconsin Democrats say no to Clean Energy on Earth Day

A news release issued by Clean Wisconsin:

MADISON -- Hours ago, the democratically controlled state Legislature failed the people of Wisconsin when it adjourned before taking up the Clean Energy Jobs Act.

"It's ironic that on Earth Day, our Democrat-led state Legislature effectively killed a vital piece of clean energy legislation," says Keith Reopelle, senior policy director, Clean Wisconsin. "Senate Democratic leaders Jeff Plale and Russ Decker's refusal to schedule the bill for a vote guaranteed the bill's demise."

The Clean Energy Jobs Act would have created more than 15,000Â jobs for Wisconsinites. Just yesterday, Wave Wind, a wind energy service provider in Sun Prairie, sent an open letter to the state Legislature noting that the delayed passage of the bill forced the company to lay off 12 employees. Had the bill passed, Wave Wind would have created 100 new high-quality jobs.

"The world is transitioning to a clean energy economy, and Wisconsin is getting left behind," says Reopelle. "Wisconsin has now lost the manufacturing and design jobs that would have been created by the bill  to China, California and Illinois."

The bill also would have lowered energy bills for homeowners and businesses with its renewable energy and energy efficiency provisions, allowing Wisconsin to make incremental but critically important steps toward reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and increasing our energy independence.

"It is a travesty that Wisconsin's Legislature missed the opportunity to take action on such an important bill for the health of our state's economy and environment," says Reopelle. "While today's inaction is definitely a setback, thanks to the hard work of our allies in the Legislature and coalition partners, we have laid the foundation for future clean energy legislation and remain hopeful that Wisconsin will soon return to its forward-thinking roots."

###


Clean Wisconsin, an environmental advocacy organization, protects Wisconsin's clean water and air and advocates for clean energy by being an effective voice in the state legislature and by holding elected officials and polluters accountable.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Legislature should celebrate Earth Day by passing Clean Energy Jobs Act

From an editorial in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

The state Legislature could give Wisconsin's celebration of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day on Thursday a real boost by approving the latest version of the Clean Energy Jobs Act. The bill is aimed at reducing the state's reliance on fossil fuels and encouraging the growth of green technology and green jobs. A recent analysis by the state Public Service Commission says the measure will result in lower costs for energy consumers in coming years.

Given the threat posed by the reality of climate change and the opportunity to start creating jobs in a new industry, it's clearly a bill that deserves passage. The same threat and opportunity also should spur Congress to finally move forward on meaningful climate change legislation.

In addition to the good it would do, such legislation at the state and federal levels also would be a fitting tribute to the late Wisconsin Sen. Gaylord Nelson, the founder of Earth Day, which has spurred so much important environmental legislation over the past four decades.

The bad news in Wisconsin, however, is that it appears the bill won't be approved in the legislative session that ends Thursday. According to an article by Journal Sentinel reporters Patrick Marley and Jason Stein, the bill is on life-support in the Assembly because lawmakers feel they don't have the votes to pass it there.

And Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker (D-Wausau) has already signaled he won't let the bill pass in the Senate because of concerns it will raise utility rates, although we suspect that Decker's real opposition is based on political disagreements with Gov. Jim Doyle, who was hoping to make this bill part of his legacy.

Xcel Energy urges passage of Clean Energy Jobs Act

A memo distributed to all members of the state Assembly by Xcel Energy on April 20:

Xcel Energy has consistently supported enhanced Renewable Portfolio Standards and increased energy efficiency and conservation spending in the states that we serve. As the nation’s #1 wind provider and a leading provider of renewable energy in Wisconsin, we have been able to incorporate renewable resources into our diverse energy portfolio in a manner that is both cost effective and that meets the increasing energy needs of our customers.

The substitute amendment to the legislation contains many of the important changes for which we have advocated, including: capping the RPS mandate increments as to not penalize early adopters of renewable energy by forcing them to go over the mandates, adding Legislative oversight on proposed increases in spending on energy efficiency and conservation, modifying the nuclear language to ensure its constitutionality and removing language mandating advanced renewable tariffs. While we would still like to see a cap at the 10% increment of the RPS and retention of the current statutory definition of biomass, the changes move the bill to a place that is more consistent with the intent of the Governor’s Global Warming Task Force Recommendations. Xcel Energy served on that Task Force and voted in favor of those recommendations.

For the reasons outlined above, Xcel Energy supports passage of Assembly Bill 649.

We Energies Wins Praise for Support of Clean Energy Jobs Act

A news release issued by RENEW Wisconsin:

IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 21, 2010

MORE INFORMATION
Michael Vickerman
RENEW Wisconsin
608.255.4044
mvickerman@renewwisconsin.org

We Energies Wins Praise for Support of Clean Energy Jobs Act

A leading renewable energy advocacy group praised Milwaukee-based We Energies for its support of the Clean Energy Jobs Act legislation (Assembly Bill 649).

On Tuesday (April 20), We Energies distributed a memo explaining its support to all members of the state Assembly.

We Energies’ memo followed a similar memo last week from Clean, Responsible Energy for Wisconsin’s Economy (CREWE), a coalition of businesses and utilities supporting the legislation. Other utility members of CREWE are Alliant Energy, Madison Gas & Electric, WPPI Energy, Xcel Energy, and American Transmission Company.

“We Energies deserves praise for stepping out and speaking up on its own,” said Michael Vickerman,” executive director of RENEW Wisconsin.

“We Energies expressed its positive vision for a renewable energy future and the jobs that come with it,” added Vickerman.

The memo from Joel Haubrich, We Energies, said:

We Energies urges support for AB 649.

Throughout the process we have supported moving from our current 10% by 2015 renewable mandate to the 25% by 2025 renewable mandate. It will be a massive effort to meet the requirements in the legislation but we will . . . work to achieve the goal when it becomes law.

Recently, we asked the authors for specific changes to the legislation. On Monday, April 19, we believe we resolved our concerns and now can support the bill.

The changes we believe the authors have agreed to include: 1) incorporating language on “utility rate of return,” 2) removing the ambiguity as to who can perform energy conservation work, 3) allowing efficiency to count from 2016 to 2020 and 4) changing nuclear findings to previously agreed upon language.

We Energies urges support for these amendments and urges support for AB 649. (Emphasis in the original.)
END

RENEW Wisconsin (HUwww.renewwisconsin.orgUH) is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that acts as a catalyst to advance a sustainable energy future through public policy and private sector initiatives.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Delay in passage of Clean Energy Jobs Act forces layoffs

From a memo distributed to state representatives by Wave Wind LLC, Sun Prairie:

At Wave Wind LLC, we develop, construct and maintain small to mid-sized wind farms. We are a Wisconsin based company that hires Wisconsin employees to develop our projects. Unfortunately, we recently had to lay off 12 of our valued employees as a result of the delay in passing the Clean Energy Jobs Act.

By supporting the Clean Energy Jobs Act, you would not only allow us to hire back those employees, but you would also enable us to create over 100 additional high-quality jobs for Wisconsinites constructing new wind projects.

With the construction of three wind farms on hold, we recently had to lay off project managers, human resource specialists, vice presidents and marketing specialists until we can ensure a market for the power produced by
those farms. The Clean Energy Jobs Act helps to create that market that will allow our company to quickly rebuild and expand.

I hope that our employees serve as the face of the other 15,000 jobs you could create in Wisconsin by passing this bill.

Delay in passage of Clean Energy Jobs Act forces layoffs

From a memo distributed to state representatives by Wave Wind LLC, Sun Prairie:

At Wave Wind LLC, we develop, construct and maintain small to mid-sized wind farms. We are a Wisconsin based company that hires Wisconsin employees to develop our projects. Unfortunately, we recently had to lay off 12 of our valued employees as a result of the delay in passing the Clean Energy Jobs Act.

By supporting the Clean Energy Jobs Act, you would not only allow us to hire back those employees, but you would also enable us to create over 100 additional high-quality jobs for Wisconsinites constructing new wind projects.

With the construction of three wind farms on hold, we recently had to lay off project managers, human resource specialists, vice presidents and marketing specialists until we can ensure a market for the power produced by
those farms. The Clean Energy Jobs Act helps to create that market that will allow our company to quickly rebuild and expand.

I hope that our employees serve as the face of the other 15,000 jobs you could create in Wisconsin by passing this bill.

We Energies Wins Praise for Support of Clean Energy Jobs Act

A news release issued by RENEW Wisconsin:

IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 21, 2010

MORE INFORMATION
Michael Vickerman
RENEW Wisconsin
608.255.4044
mvickerman@renewwisconsin.org

We Energies Wins Praise for Support of Clean Energy Jobs Act

A leading renewable energy advocacy group praised Milwaukee-based We Energies for its support of the Clean Energy Jobs Act legislation (Assembly Bill 649).

On Tuesday (April 20), We Energies distributed a memo explaining its support to all members of the state Assembly.

We Energies’ memo followed a similar memo last week from Clean, Responsible Energy for Wisconsin’s Economy (CREWE), a coalition of businesses and utilities supporting the legislation. Other utility members of CREWE are Alliant Energy, Madison Gas & Electric, WPPI Energy, Xcel Energy, and American Transmission Company.

“We Energies deserves praise for stepping out and speaking up on its own,” said Michael Vickerman,” executive director of RENEW Wisconsin.

“We Energies expressed its positive vision for a renewable energy future and the jobs that come with it,” added Vickerman.

The memo from Joel Haubrich, We Energies, said:

We Energies urges support for AB 649.

Throughout the process we have supported moving from our current 10% by 2015 renewable mandate to the 25% by 2025 renewable mandate. It will be a massive effort to meet the requirements in the legislation but we will . . . work to achieve the goal when it becomes law.

Recently, we asked the authors for specific changes to the legislation. On Monday, April 19, we believe we resolved our concerns and now can support the bill.

The changes we believe the authors have agreed to include: 1) incorporating language on “utility rate of return,” 2) removing the ambiguity as to who can perform energy conservation work, 3) allowing efficiency to count from 2016 to 2020 and 4) changing nuclear findings to previously agreed upon language.

We Energies urges support for these amendments and urges support for AB 649. (Emphasis in the original.)
END

RENEW Wisconsin (HUwww.renewwisconsin.orgUH) is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that acts as a catalyst to advance a sustainable energy future through public policy and private sector initiatives.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Xcel, Alliant Energy and other utilities in group urging passage of Clean Energy Jobs Act

From a news release issued by CREWE, a coalition of the following organizations -- Alliant Energy, Xcel, We Energies, Madison Gas and Electric, WPPI Energy, EcoEnergy, Johnson Controls, C5•6 Technologies, Axley Brynelson, Orion Energy Systems, Forest County Potawatomi Community, Poblocki Sign Company, Emerging Energies of Wisconsin, MillerCoors, American Transmission Co., DTE Energy Services, Kranz, Inc. and Greenwood Fuels:

(MADISON, Wis.)—The coalition for Clean, Responsible Energy for Wisconsin’s Economy (CREWE) today urged the State Assembly to pass the Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA) in order to create thousands of jobs and reduce electricity costs for Wisconsin consumers and businesses.

“The amended Clean Energy Jobs Act provides even more benefits than the original version, so our representatives must make the obvious choice and pass this bill,” Thad Nation, executive director of CREWE, said. “In fact, a recent survey shows that business leaders are eager to undertake energy efficiency efforts as a means of saving money and growing their respective businesses.”

CREWE member Johnson Controls surveyed more than 1,400 executives in North America and found that improving energy efficiency in buildings is their top priority. According to the Public Service Commission, the energy efficiency provisions in the new CEJA are likely to save Wisconsin ratepayers billions of energy dollars over the next several years.

The Assembly will vote on the bill Tuesday.

Among the amendments, a more aggressive energy efficiency policy will keep electricity affordable and target Wisconsin’s manufacturing, large commercial and and institutional sectors, which in turn will produce
many high-quality, well-paying jobs, Nation added.

Alliant Energy and other utilities in group urging passage of Clean Energy Jobs Act

From a news release issued by CREWE, a coalition of the following organizations -- CleanPower, Alliant Energy, EcoEnergy, Johnson Controls, Xcel Energy, C5•6 Technologies, Axley Brynelson, Madison Gas and Electric, Orion Energy Systems, Forest County Potawatomi Community, Wisconsin Energy Corp., Poblocki Sign Company, Emerging Energies of Wisconsin, MillerCoors, American Transmission Co., WPPI Energy, DTE Energy Services, Kranz, Inc. and Greenwood Fuels:

(MADISON, Wis.)—The coalition for Clean, Responsible Energy for Wisconsin’s Economy (CREWE) today urged the State Assembly to pass the Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA) in order to create thousands of jobs and reduce electricity costs for Wisconsin consumers and businesses.

“The amended Clean Energy Jobs Act provides even more benefits than the original version, so our representatives must make the obvious choice and pass this bill,” Thad Nation, executive director of CREWE, said. “In fact, a recent survey shows that business leaders are eager to undertake energy efficiency efforts as a means of saving money and growing their respective businesses.”

CREWE member Johnson Controls surveyed more than 1,400 executives in North America and found that improving energy efficiency in buildings is their top priority. According to the Public Service Commission, the energy efficiency provisions in the new CEJA are likely to save Wisconsin ratepayers billions of energy dollars over the next several years.

The Assembly will vote on the bill Tuesday.

Among the amendments, a more aggressive energy efficiency policy will keep electricity affordable and target Wisconsin’s manufacturing, large commercial and and institutional sectors, which in turn will produce
many high-quality, well-paying jobs, Nation added.

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.

We Energies other utilities in group urging passage of Clean Energy Jobs Act

From a news release issued by CREWE, a coalition of the following organizations -- CleanPower, Alliant Energy, EcoEnergy, Johnson Controls, Xcel Energy, C5•6 Technologies, Axley Brynelson, Madison Gas and Electric, Orion Energy Systems, Forest County Potawatomi Community, Wisconsin Energy Corp., Poblocki Sign Company, Emerging Energies of Wisconsin, MillerCoors, American Transmission Co., WPPI Energy, DTE Energy Services, Kranz, Inc. and Greenwood Fuels:

(MADISON, Wis.)—The coalition for Clean, Responsible Energy for Wisconsin’s Economy (CREWE) today urged the State Assembly to pass the Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA) in order to create thousands of jobs and reduce electricity costs for Wisconsin consumers and businesses.

“The amended Clean Energy Jobs Act provides even more benefits than the original version, so our representatives must make the obvious choice and pass this bill,” Thad Nation, executive director of CREWE, said. “In fact, a recent survey shows that business leaders are eager to undertake energy efficiency efforts as a means of saving money and growing their respective businesses.”

CREWE member Johnson Controls surveyed more than 1,400 executives in North America and found that improving energy efficiency in buildings is their top priority. According to the Public Service Commission, the energy efficiency provisions in the new CEJA are likely to save Wisconsin ratepayers billions of energy dollars over the next several years.

The Assembly will vote on the bill Tuesday.

Among the amendments, a more aggressive energy efficiency policy will keep electricity affordable and target Wisconsin’s manufacturing, large commercial and and institutional sectors, which in turn will produce
many high-quality, well-paying jobs, Nation added.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Let's pass the Clean Energy Jobs Act to celebrate Earth Day!

Tomorrow the Assembly will be voting on the Clean Energy Jobs Act.

RENEW Wisconsin and dozens of other organizations have been working hard to pass the job-creating legislation.

Clean Wisconsin set up a Web site where you can easily send an email to your legislators to urge them to vote "yes" for the bill.

Contact them now, before the Assembly votes.

Let's make this happen!

Let's pass the Clean Energy Jobs Act to celebrate Earth Day!

Tomorrow the Assembly will be voting on the Clean Energy Jobs Act.

RENEW Wisconsin and dozens of other organizations have been working hard to pass the job-creating legislation.

Clean Wisconsin set up a Web site where you can easily send an email to your legislators to urge them to vote "yes" for the bill.

Contact them now, before the Assembly votes.

Let's make this happen!

Let's pass the Clean Energy Jobs Act to celebrate Earth Day!

Tomorrow the Assembly will be voting on the Clean Energy Jobs Act.

RENEW Wisconsin and dozens of other organizations have been working hard to pass the job-creating legislation.

Clean Wisconsin set up a Web site where you can easily send an email to your legislators to urge them to vote "yes" for the bill.

Contact them now, before the Assembly votes.

Let's make this happen!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Legislators Fire Duds at Clean Energy Jobs Act

A commentary by Michael Vickerman, executive director of RENEW Wisconsin:

Immediate release
April 15, 2010

More information
Michael Vickerman
RENEW Wisconsin
608.255.4044
mvickerman@renewwisconsin.org

Statement of Michael Vickerman
Executive Director – RENEW Wisconsin

Legislators Fire Duds at Clean Energy Jobs Act

In an April 13 statement, Reps. Mike Huebsch (R-West Salem), Phil Montgomery (R-Green Bay), and Scott Gunderson (R-Waterford) contend that the substitute amendment for the Clean Energy Jobs Act, released earlier this week, will drive up electric rates across Wisconsin. As ammunition for their argument, the representatives point to recent requests in Iowa to raise electric rates, which they attribute to the state’s renewable energy policy.

The argument advanced by these three lawmakers is truly absurd, given the facts of the situation. In the first place, Iowa’s Alternative Energy Production (AEP) law, which dates from 1983, requires the state’s two largest electric utilities to add a mere 105 megawatts (MW) of generating capacity between them. By 1997, both utilities had achieved full compliance with that law. That mandate has not been increased or modified since that time.

Fast forward to April 2010. Windpower capacity alone in Iowa now totals 3,670 MW, and the Hawkeye State is now the second largest producer of wind-generated electricity in the nation behind Texas. According to the Iowa Policy Project, windpower accounted for 14% of the state’s electric output in 2009. Additional information on windpower development in Iowa can be accessed here.

The vast majority of Iowa’s windpower capacity was built for reasons other than complying with the state’s renewable energy policy. Iowa utilities invested in windpower because it is the lowest cost generation option available to them. Here’s what MidAmerican Energy Company, Iowa’s largest investor-owned utility, says about its windpower assets.

MidAmerican began building wind turbines in 2004 and has made the investment without raising customers’ electric rates. The price of electricity per kilowatt-hour … for MidAmerican customers is lower today than it was in 1995, and the company has committed to not seek an electric rate increase to become effective until 2014, which is nearly 20 years without a rate increase.

Given MidAmerican’s experience with windpower, it is clear that the allegation from Reps. Huebsch, Montgomery and Gunderson was spun without any apparent connection to reality. The proper place to file a claim this ludicrous is in a manure digester, where it can be broken down into usable energy.

It’s worth pointing out that a significant percentage of Iowa’s wind capacity serves Wisconsin utilities, among them Madison Gas & Electric (MGE), which owns the 30 MW Top of Iowa 3 installation and purchases additional supplies of wind-generated electricity from independently owned facilities there. These facilities were constructed after 2006, the year Wisconsin’s current renewable energy standard was enacted. Yet MGE’s residential ratepayers have seen annual rate increases of only 1.5% in the last four years. Compared with other expenses, such as college tuition, health insurance premiums, and vehicle registration fees, electricity cost increases have barely been noticeable.

Windpower’s rapid growth in the Upper Midwest has also contributed to the reduction of fossil fuel consumption, resulting in lower natural gas prices. That benefit is passed through directly to Wisconsin energy users in the form of lower heating bills. Indeed, over the last 12 months, overall energy costs declined measurably for most Wisconsin households and businesses, thanks to the prolonged slump in natural gas prices.

There is no surer way to control energy bills than to reduce the state’s reliance on imported fossil fuels through increased conservation and substituting renewable resources wherever practical. The choice before the Legislature is clear cut and momentous. Either it can embrace a 15-year commitment to invigorate the state’s economy through sustained investment in clean energy or it can decide to coast along on current energy policies until they lapse several years from now and lose their force and effect.

We at RENEW believe the Clean Energy Jobs Act will propel the clean energy marketplace into an economic powerhouse that will generate jobs and help Wisconsin businesses remain competitive. We strongly support the passage of the Clean Energy Jobs Act bill as amended.

--END--

RENEW Wisconsin is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that acts as a catalyst to advance a sustainable energy future through public policy and private sector initiatives. More information on RENEW’s Web site at www.renewwisconsin.org.

Ag Sec: Wisconsin must be renewable energy leader

From a guest column by Wisconsin Ag Secretary Rod Nilsestuen in The Tomah Journal:

Legislators recently announced a substitute amendment to the Clean Energy Jobs Act that will bring down consumer costs, create more than 16,000 jobs in the state and position Wisconsin to continue its leading role in clean energy production. Through the Clean Energy Jobs Act, we will create clean energy that works for Wisconsin and is made in Wisconsin. Our state does not pump a barrel of oil. We don’t have coal deposits or natural gas. Our energy costs n which amount to one out of every 10 dollars generated in Wisconsin n mean we send about $16 billion a year out of our state to pay for fuel and electricity.

Passing the Clean Energy Jobs Act is an enormous opportunity to reduce our dependence on foreign fuels and make sure Wisconsin doesn’t lose out on this chance to create clean energy jobs to countries like China. The world is moving rapidly in this direction, and Wisconsin is well-positioned to capture a significant share of the growing clean energy market.

Especially when it comes to agriculture.

A key component of the recently announced substitute amendment to the Clean Energy Jobs Act is incentives for the development of small-scale renewable energy projects, with a preference for manure digesters. Under the revised bill, $25 million in grants and loans will now be available per year for four years through an expanded Focus on Energy Program. That is a big step forward for rural Wisconsin.

Ag Sec: Wisconsin must be renewable energy leader

From a guest column by Wisconsin Ag Secretary Rod Nilsestuen in The Tomah Journal:

Legislators recently announced a substitute amendment to the Clean Energy Jobs Act that will bring down consumer costs, create more than 16,000 jobs in the state and position Wisconsin to continue its leading role in clean energy production. Through the Clean Energy Jobs Act, we will create clean energy that works for Wisconsin and is made in Wisconsin. Our state does not pump a barrel of oil. We don’t have coal deposits or natural gas. Our energy costs n which amount to one out of every 10 dollars generated in Wisconsin n mean we send about $16 billion a year out of our state to pay for fuel and electricity.

Passing the Clean Energy Jobs Act is an enormous opportunity to reduce our dependence on foreign fuels and make sure Wisconsin doesn’t lose out on this chance to create clean energy jobs to countries like China. The world is moving rapidly in this direction, and Wisconsin is well-positioned to capture a significant share of the growing clean energy market.

Especially when it comes to agriculture.

A key component of the recently announced substitute amendment to the Clean Energy Jobs Act is incentives for the development of small-scale renewable energy projects, with a preference for manure digesters. Under the revised bill, $25 million in grants and loans will now be available per year for four years through an expanded Focus on Energy Program. That is a big step forward for rural Wisconsin.

Backers still want passage of Wisconsin's scaled-back clean energy jobs bill

From an article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel by Tom Content:

A stripped-down version of a bill to control carbon emissions was introduced by lawmakers on Tuesday, a measure that would sharply increase the use of renewable energy and open the door to new nuclear reactors in Wisconsin.

The revisions were drafted in response to concerns of business groups and politicians who said the original bill was too unwieldy, controversial and, potentially, costly.

Supporters said their changes will answer many of those concerns, and in a statement, Gov. Jim Doyle termed the revised bill "a good compromise that will bring down consumer costs."

"Wisconsin is a manufacturing state, and we can't afford to lose this opportunity to become a leader in solar and wind manufacturing to other states and countries like China," Doyle said.

By increasing renewable power and weaning Wisconsin's reliance on out-of-state coal and natural gas, supporters aim to boost green jobs and the economy while cutting emissions of carbon dioxide. The state now spends $16 billion a year on fossil fuels imported to make electricity.

The bill, years in the making, joins a heavy legislative docket awaiting consideration before the end of the session on April 22. Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan (D-Janesville) indicated legislators are still working on the bill.

"We're working to hopefully come together on a package," he said. . . .

Republican opponents issued a statement saying that a survey of investor-owned utilities shows that compliance costs with the proposed regulations would exceed $15 billion.

They also complained lawmakers will not have adequate time to digest the 150-page legislation and demanded another public hearing.

"There will be little time to review this complicated piece of legislation before a vote is taken," said Rep. Jim Ott (R-Mequon). "There will be no way most legislators will be able to fully absorb the content of a 150-page bill that was drafted in secret."

Noting that electricity rates are rising in Iowa and Minnesota to pay for more wind power, Rep. Mike Huebsch, (R-West Salem), said, "Why we should going down the path to higher energy costs is beyond me." [See RENEW Wisconsin's response.]

No more hearings
A key sponsor, Rep. Spencer Black (D-Madison) called such talk "ideological rhetoric." He said the bill wouldn't get another hearing, but that lawmakers would have enough time to review it.

Also, a group that includes Milwaukee-based We Energies and renewable energy and energy efficiency firms such as Glendale-based Johnson Controls Inc., said Tuesday it was pleased with the modifications.

"It appears that this new legislation has taken into account many of the concerns over the cost and implementation of provisions in the original Clean Energy Jobs Act," said Thad Nation, executive director of Clean Responsible Energy for Wisconsin's Economy.

Roy Thilly, president and CEO of utility company WPPI Energy in Sun Prairie and co-chair of the state global warming task force, said the initial bill represented the full recommendations of the panel and that the revised bill underscores the dramatic change in the state's economy since the task force wrapped up its work two years ago.

"They've done a really good job listening to what everybody said and they've made any number of changes," he said of the bill's authors. "It's their bill now. They made some very substantial changes and fixed a number of problems that were identified."

Environmental groups praised the compromise, saying it retained provisions that would boost energy efficiency, expand renewable energy and create jobs.

"On balance, if it's passed we will be on a good track for the next 15 years," said Michael Vickerman, executive director of Renew Wisconsin, a renewable-energy advocacy group. "Right now I'm seeing the signs of deceleration in Wisconsin's renewable energy marketplace."

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Legislators Fire Blanks at Clean Energy Jobs Act

A commentary by Michael Vickerman, executive director of RENEW Wisconsin:

Immediate release
April 15, 2010

More information
Michael Vickerman
RENEW Wisconsin
608.255.4044
mvickerman@renewwisconsin.org

Statement of Michael Vickerman
Executive Director – RENEW Wisconsin

Legislators Fire Blanks at Clean Energy Jobs Act

In an April 13 statement, Reps. Mike Huebsch (R-West Salem), Phil Montgomery (R-Green Bay), and Scott Gunderson (R-Waterford) contend that the substitute amendment for the Clean Energy Jobs Act, released earlier this week, will drive up electric rates across Wisconsin. As ammunition for their argument, the representatives point to recent requests in Iowa to raise electric rates, which they attribute to the state’s renewable energy policy.

The argument advanced by these three lawmakers is truly absurd, given the facts of the situation. In the first place, Iowa’s Alternative Energy Production (AEP) law, which dates from 1983, requires the state’s two largest electric utilities to add a mere 105 megawatts (MW) of generating capacity between them. By 1997, both utilities had achieved full compliance with that law. That mandate has not been increased or modified since that time.

Fast forward to April 2010. Windpower capacity alone in Iowa now totals 3,670 MW, and the Hawkeye State is now the second largest producer of wind-generated electricity in the nation behind Texas. According to the Iowa Policy Project, windpower accounted for 14% of the state’s electric output in 2009. Additional information on windpower development in Iowa can be accessed here.

The vast majority of Iowa’s windpower capacity was built for reasons other than complying with the state’s renewable energy policy. Iowa utilities invested in windpower because it is the lowest cost generation option available to them. Here’s what MidAmerican Energy Company, Iowa’s largest investor-owned utility, says about its windpower assets.

MidAmerican began building wind turbines in 2004 and has made the investment without raising customers’ electric rates. The price of electricity per kilowatt-hour … for MidAmerican customers is lower today than it was in 1995, and the company has committed to not seek an electric rate increase to become effective until 2014, which is nearly 20 years without a rate increase.

Given MidAmerican’s experience with windpower, it is clear that the allegation from Reps. Huebsch, Montgomery and Gunderson was spun without any apparent connection to reality. The proper place to file a claim this ludicrous is in a manure digester, where it can be broken down into usable energy.

It’s worth pointing out that a significant percentage of Iowa’s wind capacity serves Wisconsin utilities, among them Madison Gas & Electric (MGE), which owns the 30 MW Top of Iowa 3 installation and purchases additional supplies of wind-generated electricity from independently owned facilities there. These facilities were constructed after 2006, the year Wisconsin’s current renewable energy standard was enacted. Yet MGE’s residential ratepayers have seen annual rate increases of only 1.5% in the last four years. Compared with other expenses, such as college tuition, health insurance premiums, and vehicle registration fees, electricity cost increases have barely been noticeable.

Windpower’s rapid growth in the Upper Midwest has also contributed to the reduction of fossil fuel consumption, resulting in lower natural gas prices. That benefit is passed through directly to Wisconsin energy users in the form of lower heating bills. Indeed, over the last 12 months, overall energy costs declined measurably for most Wisconsin households and businesses, thanks to the prolonged slump in natural gas prices.

There is no surer way to control energy bills than to reduce the state’s reliance on imported fossil fuels through increased conservation and substituting renewable resources wherever practical. The choice before the Legislature is clear cut and momentous. Either it can embrace a 15-year commitment to invigorate the state’s economy through sustained investment in clean energy or it can decide to coast along on current energy policies until they lapse several years from now and lose their force and effect.

We at RENEW believe the Clean Energy Jobs Act will propel the clean energy marketplace into an economic powerhouse that will generate jobs and help Wisconsin businesses remain competitive. We strongly support the passage of the Clean Energy Jobs Act bill as amended.

--END--

RENEW Wisconsin is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that acts as a catalyst to advance a sustainable energy future through public policy and private sector initiatives. More information on RENEW’s Web site at www.renewwisconsin.org.

Study: Amended Clean Energy Jobs Act even better for state

From a news release issued by the Advocates for Renewable Energy, a coalition of organizations, including RENEW Wisconsin:

Act Will Save Wisconsin Utility Customers at Least $1.2 Billion

The Public Service Commission (PSC) released a study today finding that the Clean Energy Jobs Act substitute amendment will save Wisconsin electricity customers at least $1.2 billion over the next 15 years, and could save Wisconsin electricity customers up to $6.4 billion over that period, compared to the business as usual approach. The study is based on the energy cost savings of provisions included in the Clean Energy Jobs Act substitute amendment released on Wednesday.

“The PSC study confirms that the Clean Energy Jobs Act will save Wisconsin residents and businesses money,” said Vicky Lipinski of Procorp Enterprises, a water and wastewater treatment solution company in Milwaukee. “Sustainable energy solutions reduce costs for businesses and allow them to be more competitive and create jobs.”

The study finds that average customer electricity bills will be lower in 2015 and 2020 under all scenarios with the Clean Energy Jobs Act compared to the business as usual approach. These savings will be realized by customers even without any federal carbon regulation. When modest federal carbon regulation is assumed, the cost savings of the Clean Energy Jobs Act are even greater.

“Our continued reliance on fossil fuel generation provides great uncertainty in the energy market, as costs of coal and natural gas are highly variable and unpredictable,” said Shaina Kilcoyne of the coalition Advocates for Renewable Energy. “As the PSC study demonstrates, renewable energy provides stability and predictability, as well as cost savings for residents and businesses.”

The study is further proof that the cost concerns alleged by opponents of the bill are without merit. The Clean Energy Jobs Act will reduce energy costs, create jobs, and improve our economy.

“The Clean Energy Jobs Act will move our state forward and establish a stronger, healthier, more sustainable Wisconsin economy,” said Kilcoyne.

Study: Amended Clean Energy Jobs Act even better for state

From a news release issued by the Advocates for Renewable Energy, a coalition of organizations, including RENEW Wisconsin:

Act Will Save Wisconsin Utility Customers at Least $1.2 Billion

The Public Service Commission (PSC) released a study today finding that the Clean Energy Jobs Act substitute amendment will save Wisconsin electricity customers at least $1.2 billion over the next 15 years, and could save Wisconsin electricity customers up to $6.4 billion over that period, compared to the business as usual approach. The study is based on the energy cost savings of provisions included in the Clean Energy Jobs Act substitute amendment released on Wednesday.

“The PSC study confirms that the Clean Energy Jobs Act will save Wisconsin residents and businesses money,” said Vicky Lipinski of Procorp Enterprises, a water and wastewater treatment solution company in Milwaukee. “Sustainable energy solutions reduce costs for businesses and allow them to be more competitive and create jobs.”

The study finds that average customer electricity bills will be lower in 2015 and 2020 under all scenarios with the Clean Energy Jobs Act compared to the business as usual approach. These savings will be realized by customers even without any federal carbon regulation. When modest federal carbon regulation is assumed, the cost savings of the Clean Energy Jobs Act are even greater.

“Our continued reliance on fossil fuel generation provides great uncertainty in the energy market, as costs of coal and natural gas are highly variable and unpredictable,” said Shaina Kilcoyne of the coalition Advocates for Renewable Energy. “As the PSC study demonstrates, renewable energy provides stability and predictability, as well as cost savings for residents and businesses.”

The study is further proof that the cost concerns alleged by opponents of the bill are without merit. The Clean Energy Jobs Act will reduce energy costs, create jobs, and improve our economy.

“The Clean Energy Jobs Act will move our state forward and establish a stronger, healthier, more sustainable Wisconsin economy,” said Kilcoyne.

Legislators Fire Blanks at Clean Energy Jobs Act

A commentary by Michael Vickerman, executive director of RENEW Wisconsin:

Immediate release
April 15, 2010

More information
Michael Vickerman
RENEW Wisconsin
608.255.4044
mvickerman@renewwisconsin.org

Statement of Michael Vickerman
Executive Director – RENEW Wisconsin

Legislators Fire Blanks at Clean Energy Jobs Act

In an April 13 statement, Reps. Mike Huebsch (R-West Salem), Phil Montgomery (R-Green Bay), and Scott Gunderson (R-Waterford) contend that the substitute amendment for the Clean Energy Jobs Act, released earlier this week, will drive up electric rates across Wisconsin. As ammunition for their argument, the representatives point to recent requests in Iowa to raise electric rates, which they attribute to the state’s renewable energy policy.

The argument advanced by these three lawmakers is truly absurd, given the facts of the situation. In the first place, Iowa’s Alternative Energy Production (AEP) law, which dates from 1983, requires the state’s two largest electric utilities to add a mere 105 megawatts (MW) of generating capacity between them. By 1997, both utilities had achieved full compliance with that law. That mandate has not been increased or modified since that time.

Fast forward to April 2010. Windpower capacity alone in Iowa now totals 3,670 MW, and the Hawkeye State is now the second largest producer of wind-generated electricity in the nation behind Texas. According to the Iowa Policy Project, windpower accounted for 14% of the state’s electric output in 2009. Additional information on windpower development in Iowa can be accessed here.

The vast majority of Iowa’s windpower capacity was built for reasons other than complying with the state’s renewable energy policy. Iowa utilities invested in windpower because it is the lowest cost generation option available to them. Here’s what MidAmerican Energy Company, Iowa’s largest investor-owned utility, says about its windpower assets.

MidAmerican began building wind turbines in 2004 and has made the investment without raising customers’ electric rates. The price of electricity per kilowatt-hour … for MidAmerican customers is lower today than it was in 1995, and the company has committed to not seek an electric rate increase to become effective until 2014, which is nearly 20 years without a rate increase.

Given MidAmerican’s experience with windpower, it is clear that the allegation from Reps. Huebsch, Montgomery and Gunderson was spun without any apparent connection to reality. The proper place to file a claim this ludicrous is in a manure digester, where it can be broken down into usable energy.

It’s worth pointing out that a significant percentage of Iowa’s wind capacity serves Wisconsin utilities, among them Madison Gas & Electric (MGE), which owns the 30 MW Top of Iowa 3 installation and purchases additional supplies of wind-generated electricity from independently owned facilities there. These facilities were constructed after 2006, the year Wisconsin’s current renewable energy standard was enacted. Yet MGE’s residential ratepayers have seen annual rate increases of only 1.5% in the last four years. Compared with other expenses, such as college tuition, health insurance premiums, and vehicle registration fees, electricity cost increases have barely been noticeable.

Windpower’s rapid growth in the Upper Midwest has also contributed to the reduction of fossil fuel consumption, resulting in lower natural gas prices. That benefit is passed through directly to Wisconsin energy users in the form of lower heating bills. Indeed, over the last 12 months, overall energy costs declined measurably for most Wisconsin households and businesses, thanks to the prolonged slump in natural gas prices.

There is no surer way to control energy bills than to reduce the state’s reliance on imported fossil fuels through increased conservation and substituting renewable resources wherever practical. The choice before the Legislature is clear cut and momentous. Either it can embrace a 15-year commitment to invigorate the state’s economy through sustained investment in clean energy or it can decide to coast along on current energy policies until they lapse several years from now and lose their force and effect.

We at RENEW believe the Clean Energy Jobs Act will propel the clean energy marketplace into an economic powerhouse that will generate jobs and help Wisconsin businesses remain competitive. We strongly support the passage of the Clean Energy Jobs Act bill as amended.

--END--


RENEW Wisconsin is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that acts as a catalyst to advance a sustainable energy future through public policy and private sector initiatives. More information on RENEW’s Web site at www.renewwisconsin.org.

Legislators Fire Blanks at Clean Energy Jobs Act

A commentary by Michael Vickerman, executive director of RENEW Wisconsin:

Immediate release
April 15, 2010

More information
Michael Vickerman
RENEW Wisconsin
608.255.4044
mvickerman@renewwisconsin.org

Statement of Michael Vickerman
Executive Director – RENEW Wisconsin

Legislators Fire Blanks at Clean Energy Jobs Act

In an April 13 statement, Reps. Mike Huebsch (R-West Salem), Phil Montgomery (R-Green Bay), and Scott Gunderson (R-Waterford) contend that the substitute amendment for the Clean Energy Jobs Act, released earlier this week, will drive up electric rates across Wisconsin. As ammunition for their argument, the representatives point to recent requests in Iowa to raise electric rates, which they attribute to the state’s renewable energy policy.

The argument advanced by these three lawmakers is truly absurd, given the facts of the situation. In the first place, Iowa’s Alternative Energy Production (AEP) law, which dates from 1983, requires the state’s two largest electric utilities to add a mere 105 megawatts (MW) of generating capacity between them. By 1997, both utilities had achieved full compliance with that law. That mandate has not been increased or modified since that time.

Fast forward to April 2010. Windpower capacity alone in Iowa now totals 3,670 MW, and the Hawkeye State is now the second largest producer of wind-generated electricity in the nation behind Texas. According to the Iowa Policy Project, windpower accounted for 14% of the state’s electric output in 2009. Additional information on windpower development in Iowa can be accessed here.

The vast majority of Iowa’s windpower capacity was built for reasons other than complying with the state’s renewable energy policy. Iowa utilities invested in windpower because it is the lowest cost generation option available to them. Here’s what MidAmerican Energy Company, Iowa’s largest investor-owned utility, says about its windpower assets.

MidAmerican began building wind turbines in 2004 and has made the investment without raising customers’ electric rates. The price of electricity per kilowatt-hour … for MidAmerican customers is lower today than it was in 1995, and the company has committed to not seek an electric rate increase to become effective until 2014, which is nearly 20 years without a rate increase.


Given MidAmerican’s experience with windpower, it is clear that the allegation from Reps. Huebsch, Montgomery and Gunderson was spun without any apparent connection to reality. The proper place to file a claim this ludicrous is in a manure digester, where it can be broken down into usable energy.

It’s worth pointing out that a significant percentage of Iowa’s wind capacity serves Wisconsin utilities, among them Madison Gas & Electric (MGE), which owns the 30 MW Top of Iowa 3 installation and purchases additional supplies of wind-generated electricity from independently owned facilities there. These facilities were constructed after 2006, the year Wisconsin’s current renewable energy standard was enacted. Yet MGE’s residential ratepayers have seen annual rate increases of only 1.5% in the last four years. Compared with other expenses, such as college tuition, health insurance premiums, and vehicle registration fees, electricity cost increases have barely been noticeable.

Windpower’s rapid growth in the Upper Midwest has also contributed to the reduction of fossil fuel consumption, resulting in lower natural gas prices. That benefit is passed through directly to Wisconsin energy users in the form of lower heating bills. Indeed, over the last 12 months, overall energy costs declined measurably for most Wisconsin households and businesses, thanks to the prolonged slump in natural gas prices.

There is no surer way to control energy bills than to reduce the state’s reliance on imported fossil fuels through increased conservation and substituting renewable resources wherever practical. The choice before the Legislature is clear cut and momentous. Either it can embrace a 15-year commitment to invigorate the state’s economy through sustained investment in clean energy or it can decide to coast along on current energy policies until they lapse several years from now and lose their force and effect.

We at RENEW believe the Clean Energy Jobs Act will propel the clean energy marketplace into an economic powerhouse that will generate jobs and help Wisconsin businesses remain competitive. We strongly support the passage of the Clean Energy Jobs Act bill as amended.

--END--


RENEW Wisconsin is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that acts as a catalyst to advance a sustainable energy future through public policy and private sector initiatives. More information on RENEW’s Web site at www.renewwisconsin.org.

RENEW Wisconsin Backs Amended Clean Energy Jobs Act

IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 15, 2010

MORE INFORMATION
Michael Vickerman
RENEW Wisconsin
608.255.4044
mvickerman@renewwisconsin.org

RENEW Backs Amended Clean Energy Jobs Act

The board of directors of RENEW Wisconsin approved, without dissent, the following resolution in support of the amended version of the Clean Energy Jobs Act, according to Michael Vickerman, RENEW’s executive director:

RENEW Wisconsin strongly supports passage of the Clean Energy Jobs Act. While RENEW recognizes that future legislative improve- ments will be needed, it is incumbent upon the State to extend and expand Wisconsin’s commitment to a clean energy infrastructure with associated clean energy job creation.

END

RENEW Wisconsin (www.renewwisconsin.org) is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that acts as a catalyst to advance a sustainable energy future through public policy and private sector initiatives.