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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Rep. Shilling applauds Obama's support of clean energy projects

From a news release issued by Rep. Jennifer Shilling:

Encourages Gov. Walker to re-evaluate restrictive wind energy rules

MADISON – President Barack Obama will visit Wisconsin today to tour Orion Energy Systems, a Manitowoc-based clean energy manufacturing company. In his State of the Union address, President Obama highlighted the ongoing need for investments in clean energy development and called for 80% of America's electricity to come from clean energy sources by 2035. The visit today is part of the President’s White House to Main Street Tour in which he has met with families and workers regarding the importance of long-term economic competitiveness.

“I am glad that President Obama is highlighting the importance that our clean energy manufacturing industry will play in our nation’s economic recovery efforts,” said Rep. Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse). “If we want our state to be competitive on a national and international level, we need to invest in 21st century manufacturing and agricultural industries. Wisconsin has the potential to be a leader in clean energy manufacturing, but we need our government to be a partner rather than an obstacle to this growing industry.”

“While the President has stepped up his support for clean energy and high tech manufacturers, Governor Walker’s lack of foresight has already doomed several important economic projects in our state,” added Shilling. “While Walker has been busy bankrupting our state with corporate tax breaks, our manufacturing sector and workers continue to struggle. His crusade against clean energy and 21st century transportation has already claimed the high speed rail and Charter Street Biomass projects. With the newly proposed regulations on wind energy siting, it looks like the Cashton wind project is next in line to get the axe.”

Governor Walker has proposed new legislation (SS AB 9 & SS SB 9) that would dramatically increase the minimum setback distance for wind turbines in the state. These new regulations have been described as some of the most extreme and prohibitive requirements in the nation and would effectively ban new wind farms from being developed in Wisconsin.

“The Cashton wind energy project represents the type of forward-thinking energy policies that we should be encouraging,” stated Shilling. “By working collaboratively, Organic Valley, Gundersen Lutheran, and Western Technical College have created a model proposal for clean energy production in western Wisconsin. Unfortunately, this proposal and all of the local jobs it would have created will be left hanging in the wind if Scott Walker gets his way.”

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