Local officials, labor leaders endorse energy blueprint for new president and Congress

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bret Hulsey speaks while County Executive Kathleen Falk (on his left) listens.

From a media release issued by Dane County Supervisor Brett Hulsey:

Madison, WI – At a Dane County landfill producing green electricity and $1.4 million each year, Dane County and Madison officials joined labor leaders and scientists today to urge President-elect Obama and the incoming Congress to invest stimulus dollars in local clean energy actions to quickly create new green jobs, revitalize the economy and promote energy independence.

“By using ‘cow-power’ and new technology we will turn old problems into money making
opportunities and good paying jobs,” County Executive Kathleen Falk said. “With support from President-elect Obama and the new Congress on these kind of clean energy projects we’ll continue to reduce dependence on foreign oil and cut greenhouse gas emissions.”

Economists are promoting green jobs as key to the country’s economic recovery and long-term growth. Dane County is considering a $28 million regional manure digester to help farmers manage manure, produce green energy and reduce water and air pollution. Madison will ask for more hybrid buses that will create jobs, cleaner air, and save fuel.

“We look forward to working with President-elect Obama and Congress to ensure that federal policies give local communities the tools and resources we need to get the job done,” said Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz. “We are working with Climate Communities, ICLEI USA, and city and county leaders from across America to make sure that federal decision makers support local governments to reduce energy use and address climate change.”

Local government actions can dramatically reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions and save taxpayers money. According to the Energy Information Administration, more than 40 percent of energy consumption and carbon emissions come from residential and commercial buildings and one-third is generated by the transportation sector.

“Supporting local government actions should be a top priority as Washington develops new economic stimulus, climate and energy policies,” said Dane County Supervisor Brett Hulsey, chair of the Personnel and Finance Committee. “Our efforts in Dane County have saved taxpayers almost $750,000 and reduced greenhouse emissions by over 25 million pounds. Local governments can save $3 billion more with more efficiency, according to the Department of Energy.”

Dane County and Madison officials joined more than 40 other cities and counties nationwide and Climate Communities and ICLEI USA this week to endorse Empowering Local Government Climate Action: Blueprint for the New President and 111th Congress.