Doyle says renewable energy standard key to bill

Friday, February 26, 2010

From an Associated Press story on

MADISON, Wis. -- Gov. Jim Doyle said he's open to approving a scaled-back clean energy bill as long as a key provision setting new renewable energy standards remains in tact.

Doyle says the crux of the sweeping measure being debated in the Legislature would require 25 percent of Wisconsin's energy to come from renewable sources by 2025. He said that provision is what's critical to creating new jobs in fields like solar and wind energy.

Doyle told reporters he is open to changes on other details that he didn't specify and that he expects "significant changes" as it moves through both houses.

I am scared!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A submission from Hans Noeldner, a peak oil activist:

I am scared to death of scared people who "overcome" their fears by surrounding themselves with automobiles.

I am REALLY scared of scared people who don't realize – or won't admit – that by "solving" their fears with power and speed and crash-resistant steel, they force this "solution" on everyone who lives in their midst.

I am scared of you. I am scared of many people in my own family. I am scared to say anything, because when I am scared, I nearly always scare other people. I am terrified of how scared we are.

Sometimes, in my fear, I have struck out with angry words at people who force their vehicular “solution” on the world. I have found myself surrounded by people who vociferously condemn my words. I have found myself bereft of allies in the battle against those who “speak” with a metallic force that often maims and kills. Or perhaps I should say, in the battle against the fear that drives the speakers.
Sitting comfortably on our rear ends inside a room and taking and or watching a video will make exactly zero (0) difference where it matters – on the streets and sidewalks of our communities. Nor will casting a ballot once every two or four or six years. No one else is going to make Change happen for us.

Solvitur ambulando.

Middleton considered for large solar installation

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

From a post on Carol's Energy Notes:

12 Toxic Sites Across America Eyed for Renewable Energy
A Middleton site is being looked at by NREL, EPA and WI DNR for placement of a large solar electric installation. “Refuse Hideaway Landfill” located on 7812 Highway 14 in Middleton, Wisconsin is on a list of 12 Superfund sites that NREL thinks may be feasible for renewable energy installations. The Wisconsin DNR says it wants to offset 48,000 kWh annually with solar at Refuse Hideaway.

Verona Road project will do great harm

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A letter to the editor to The Capital Times:

The state Department of Transportation held a farce of a meeting on its redesign of the Verona Road interchange with the Beltline. Our public officials proclaim to listen to, and incorporate, neighborhood concerns into their project plans — only to turn around and choose the options that suit themselves.

The reality is that despite neighborhood concerns about this project’s increase in traffic, pollution, noise levels and this project’s destruction of community homes, businesses and public space, the DOT has selected a project design that does the most possible harm to this already struggling neighbor! It will remove families from their homes and remove businesses that provide tax dollars to our city.

— Jeff Glazer, president, Dunn’s Marsh Neighborhood Association

Brought to its knees

Monday, February 22, 2010

A commentary from Hans Noeldner, an active member of the Madison Peak Oil Group:

Imagine the world’s largest, most powerful corporation brought to its knees, bankrupt, and begging for a bailout. Then think back…

Imagine that corporation spending untold millions in advertising to compel Americans to buy the biggest, baddest “armored personnel carrier” on the road.

Imagine the hundred million people (or thereabouts) who bought these gas-guzzling monstrosities – many of them safety-minded soccer moms who wanted to make damn sure that if there was an accident, the other guy would get the worst of it.

Imagine the steadily-escalating arms race on our nation’s highways and streets as motorist after motorist Escaladed his vehicular footprint in a never-ending quest to outdo the next guy.

Imagine how profitable this arms race was for that corporation; how it racked up billions in sales.

Imagine that corporation being one of the few in our nation which still employed union labor; one of the few which made a sincere effort to honor its pension obligations.

Imagine the consumer turning his back on that corporation when he woke up one day and realized that cheap motor fuel was not a birthright.

Imagine the consumer abandoning his “social contract” with the union employees and retirees whose salaries and pensions vastly exceeded the obscene “compensation packages” which the handful of corporate executives rendered unto themselves.

Imagine the consumer condemning that corporation for failing.

Imagine the consumer still fuming about the power of corporations to force him to drive everywhere.

Clean Energy Jobs Act would boost economy and employment

Friday, February 19, 2010

From a news release issued by the Center for Climate Strategies:

Implementation of the recently introduced Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA) would expand the state’s economy and create thousands of additional new jobs for Wisconsin. These impacts are reported in a recent Center for Climate Strategies (CCS) analysis of the macroeconomic effects of the proposed law, conducted by Michigan State University and the University of Southern California in association with the State of Wisconsin. The analysis focuses on nine proposed policy actions that address clean and renewable energy, energy efficiency, industrial processes, transportation and agriculture.

Based on a state-of-the-art macroeconomic analysis, implementation of these CEJA actions would result in the following outcomes for Wisconsin:
 Create a net increase of more than 16,200 new jobs in the state by 2025;
 Boost the state’s economy (Gross State Product) by
o $254 million in the near term (2015),
o more than $700 million in 2020,
o $1.41 billion by 2025, and
o $4.9 billion total over the 2011-2025 period.

Reactions to the study: Governor Doyle and CREWE.

Study projects minimal impact from renewable buyback rates

Thursday, February 18, 2010

From a letter to State Rep. Spencer Black and State Sen. Mark Miller from RENEW Wisconsin:

RENEW is pleased to provide the enclosed copy of the narrative and appendix of tables from an economic analysis that we commissioned.

The analysis concludes that special buyback rates (sometimes called Advanced Renewable Tariffs) designed to stimulate small-scale renewable energy installations would have negligible impact on residential utility bills, averaging about $10 a year. That’s less a dollar a month for the typical customer. And it’s less than a household’s cost of purchasing the smallest block of green power from Madison Gas and Electric, for instance.

Compared with other forms of economic stimulus, promoting small-scale renewables through utility buyback rates would deliver a substantial and long-lasting economic punch with minimal impact on the Wisconsin citizen’s pocketbook.

Prepared by Spring Green-based L&S Technical Associates, the study modeled rate impacts from the legislation’s provisions for ARTs on the state’s five largest utilities. The modeling predicts cost impacts ranging from a low of $8.12 a year for a residential customer of Wisconsin Public Service to as high as $11.07 for a Wisconsin Power and Light (Alliant) customer. The projected impact would amount to $8.81 a year for a We Energies customer, $9.71 for a Madison Gas and Electric customer, and $10.11 for an Xcel Energy customer.

The projections assume that when each utility reaches its maximum threshold of 1.5 percent of total retail sales. In the aggregate, this percentage equates to 1/70th of total annual sales. That’s one billion kilowatt-hours a year, out of total annual sales of 70 billion kilowatt-hour.

Though the principals of L&S Technical Associates serve on RENEW’s board of directors, they have prepared numerous renewable energy studies for other clients, including the U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Center of Wisconsin, and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. L&S has also co-authored renewable energy potential studies in response to requests from the Wisconsin Public Service Commission.

The bill’s renewable energy buyback provisions would unleash a steady flow of investment that would lead to new economic activity and jobs while moving us toward energy independence – exactly what we all hope to accomplish by passage of the Clean Energy Jobs Act legislation.

Madison spending millions on new streets: Is that a good idea?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

From an article by Kristin Czubkowski in The Capital Times:

Pleasant View Road is little more than a dirt path in places right now. Drive west on Mineral Point Road past Target and it is easy to miss the beginning of Pleasant View’s southern extension, which will connect it to Valley View Road and the city’s burgeoning southwest side.

But stand at the intersection of Pleasant View and Mineral Point at 5 p.m. on any weeknight and look east toward Madison, and it’s easy to see why Pleasant View may become one of the most important new roads in the city. Cars turning left from Mineral Point onto Junction Road (County M) to head south back up nearly to the Beltline at rush hour, and it’s not unusual to have to wait through two light cycles before making a left turn anywhere at the intersection.

And that’s before most of the area west of Junction Road has even been built up, which will bring even more traffic. The majority remains farmland, waiting for the recently approved University Research Park II to be built as one of the city’s largest new economic development projects. Neighborhoods that surround the research park site are still in their infancy, with developers’ signs dotting the landscape for future houses and apartments.

Roads like Pleasant View that will serve these areas, however, do not come cheap. The price tag on Pleasant View Road for 2010 is $8.57 million, with the city paying about $1.9 million after special assessments and federal money are factored in. . . .

All told, Madison’s budget for major road construction and maintenance has more than doubled since 2000, leaping from $27.5 million in 2000 to $59.3 million in 2010. The portion of that coming from city borrowing, not state or federal money, has nearly quintupled, from $6.83 million in 2000 to $34.11 million in 2010.

Panel OKs federal funding of Milwaukee-Madison rail link

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

From an article by Jason Stein in the Wisconsin State Journal:

An up to $810 million project to establish high-speed passenger rail service between Madison and Milwaukee cleared its final obstacle Tuesday as the Legislature's budget committee signed off on the project.

The 12-4 party-line vote means the state can use federal stimulus money to begin construction work by the end of this year and to start passenger service as early as 2013 -- the first such service in Madison in four decades.

Democrats on the Joint Finance Committee pointed to support from business groups that say the line will create thousands of construction jobs in the early years as well as increasing commerce and investment.

"It's going to be very positive for the region and for the entire economy," committee chairman Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Madison, said.

Republicans criticized it as a "train to nowhere" that would be a waste of federal money and require ongoing state subsidies once it begins.

Railroad chief makes the case for federal stimulus for freight rail, too

Monday, February 15, 2010

From an article by Jane Burns in the Wisconsin State Journal:

There's been much talk about passenger rail lately. But Bill Gardner is trying to get people to talk about freight rail, too.

The president and CEO of Wisconsin & Southern Railroad has spent the past year speaking to federal and state elected officials and community leaders about his plan to spur economic growth if federal stimulus dollars are earmarked for freight rail improvements.

Gardner proposes that with $90 million, three sections of state-owned track could be repaired. The sections, totaling some 91 miles, are between Madison and Whitewater; Brodhead and Avalon through Janesville in Rock County; and between Slinger and North Milwaukee.

"We heard (President Barack) Obama was ready to do some shovel-ready projects," Gardner said. "We can have this thing up and running in less than 90 days. We're ready to go to fix a state-owned property."

Wisconsin & Southern Railroad is a Class 2 regional railroad that operates 600 miles of track it leases from the state and another 100 miles of privately leased track. While the railroad is responsible for routine maintenance of the system, capital improvements such as track upgrades are a joint effort by the railroad, the state and 18 Wisconsin counties that are part of rail transit commissions.

Gardner says he has met with representatives of Gov. Jim Doyle, Sens. Russ Feingold and Herb Kohl, and Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan.

Ron Adams of the state Department of Transportation said he didn't think there is any money left from the federal stimulus package, as the state DOT earmarked the $529 million it was granted to local governments for road and bridge projects. In addition, the state was awarded $810 million in stimulus money for high-speed passenger rail.

"There's certainly talk of a subsequent bill that might have stimulus implications but we don't know what might be eligible," Adams said. "But Bill is certainly making the pitch that he's got work that can be done and started very quickly."

High-speed rail carries high costs, Walker says

Friday, February 12, 2010

From an article by Steve Schultze of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker said Thursday the state should pass up the federal government's offer of $823 million for a high-speed rail line linking Milwaukee to Madison and Chicago - unless millions more for operating the line come with the deal.

That's unlikely, he said. Based on what's known about the high-speed rail plan, Walker said he would reject the federal largess.

The county executive, a Republican candidate for governor, said he might back the high-speed rail idea if "there was a model that could be shown where it was self-sufficient, where the operating costs were covered by the users." He acknowledged that also was unlikely.

Walker warned against hidden costs linked to the line, which he said ultimately could lead to cannibalizing other state transportation projects or prompt some new tax or fee. "There's no appetite for a tax increase," Walker said.

He also questioned the basic premise of the line, saying the ticket cost likely would be too high to attract enough riders. Walker said the fast trains wouldn't be as swift as driving a car, when factoring in time needed to get to the Amtrak station in Milwaukee and time to get from a proposed rail station at the Madison airport to the state Capitol or other Madison destinations.

Gov. Jim Doyle and other high-speed rail advocates must show where the money would come from to operate the rail line, Walker said.

"If they can't, then I don't know how you take" the money President Barack Obama announced for Wisconsin last month, Walker said. He compared that large sum of federal money with a person winning a Maserati sports car in a raffle and not being able to afford the insurance.

Coalition calls for limits on idling

Thursday, February 11, 2010

From a news release issued by the Wisconsin Clean Diesel Coalition:

Madison, WI—17 members of the Wisconsin Clean Diesel Coalition today called on the State Senate Clean Energy Committee to strengthen the Clean Energy Jobs Act (SB 450, AB 649) to reduce unnecessary commercial vehicle idling. The groups supported stronger language after a yearlong discussion with local and state officials following a proposed Dane County idling ban.

“This stronger statewide commercial unnecessary idling ban will create jobs and reduce fuel costs, while protecting the safety of truck drivers and emergency equipment operators,” said Dane County Supervisor Brett Hulsey, who proposed the Dane County ordinance and negotiated the statewide language with a broad range of stakeholders.

The letter was signed by a diverse group from all over the state including the Wisconsin Transportation Builders Association, Wisconsin Motor Carriers, Associated General Contractors of Wisconsin, Dane County, American Lung Association in WI, Inland Power Group, Associated Builders & Contractors of Wisconsin, Brooks Tractor Inc., Wisconsin Grocers Association, Antigo Construction, Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Assn., Inc., Capitol Underground Inc., WI Engine Manufacturers and Distributors Alliance, Transport Refrigeration Inc., Miller-Bradford & Risberg, Inc., Leonardo Academy, and Wisconsin Kenworth Madison.

Their proposal is stronger than the current bill and Global Warming Taskforce language by:
1. Covering commercial gasoline and diesel engines, both large sources of emissions;
2. Covering commercial on-road and off-road vehicles, both large sources;
3. Having fair exemptions to protect the health and safety of drivers and operators; and
4. Was created by the industries that will be impacted, ensuring higher compliance.

Fast trains are something to celebrate

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

From a commentary by Dave Zweifel in The Capital Times:

Someone called in to that renowned passenger rail naysayer Mitch Henck’s talk radio show the other day to fulminate about the money that the federal government is giving to Wisconsin for high-speed rail between here and Milwaukee.

The money would be better spent on building more and bigger highways, the caller huffed. He was joined by others who I’m sure spend most of their waking hours worshiping the car gods.

Like we don’t spend money on highways! The callers are blissfully unaware that the $800 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds that Wisconsin is getting for rail would barely cover the price tag of the Marquette Interchange, which was rebuilt in downtown Milwaukee two years ago. Nor would it be enough to cover half the costs of the new Zoo Interchange, which will be rebuilt in coming years on the western edge of Milwaukee County (emergency repairs costing up to $15 million are now under way at that location).

It’s also far short of the cost estimates to redo the Verona Road-West Beltline intersection, which the state Department of Transportation will undertake in the next few years.

And those are just interchanges — not 80 miles of roadbed and track and new train stations and passenger platforms along the way.

That cars-are-the-only-thing attitude has led to the neglect of passenger rail in America, putting us at the bottom of the world’s developed countries in providing citizens with transportation options. It has played a big part in the nation’s rating as the No. 1 waster of fossil fuel energy in the world. Of that, we should be proud?

Legislature could "Just Say No" to rail money

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

From an article by Mike Ivey in The Capital Times:

Some Legislators are already complaining about the strings that will come attached to the $810 million in federal stimulus money to connect Madison and Milwaukee by passenger rail.

The gripe for those like Sen. Alberta Darling (R-Menomonee Falls) is that Wisconsin cannot afford the ongoing operational subsidies that would be required for a new train line.

So could Wisconsin "Just Say No" to High Speed Rail?

Yes, says Chris Klein of the state Department of Transportation.

"It will have to go through Joint Finance" the budget controllling committee of the Legislature, he notes.

And the Legislature could say "We don't want no stinkin', half-empty, traffic clogging, whistle-blowing train just so Madison libs can feel good about themselves."

But rejecting the rail funds would mean the federal money is lost and could not be applied to other transportation uses.

"The money is a grant, like any other grant," says Klein. "It is for a specific purpose."

The question, of course, is how much would it cost the state each year to operate the Madison-Milwaukee train including repairs, maintenance and purchase of replacement equipment.

Klein says those figures have not been calculated and won't be known until further down the road.

But he notes that all modes of transportation in Wisconsin -- buses, highways, bicycles, harbors, etc. -- are subsidized through the state's $6.8 billion transportation fund.

‘Yahara Station’ will improve city corridor

Monday, February 08, 2010

From a letter by Brian Grandt to the editor of the Wisconisn State Journal:

First, thanks to our local leaders for their efforts to get high-speed rail to come to Madison. It is long overdue. Now let’s make sure the train stops at the right location so it can be an overwhelming success.

The “Yahara Station” proposal for a stop at First Street and East Washington Avenue is exactly what Madison needs. This is where the population density is, not at the airport. The airport should be the second stop in Madison so that we can coordinate all the transportation needs for people traveling to and from the Madison area.

It makes no sense to make the airport the only stop — we will pay the price in reduced ridership. For the train to truly be successful, we need both stops.

Wisconsin needs Clean Energy Jobs Act

Friday, February 05, 2010

A letter to the editor of The Capital Times:

Dear Editor: We applaud President Obama for making clean energy and global warming legislation a priority in his State of the Union address. We have already begun to see the benefits of the unprecedented $80 billion in clean energy and green transportation in his economic recovery plan. This investment has created jobs, saved Americans money and reduced global warming pollution.

Yet America cannot fully transition to a clean energy economy without making long-term investments in clean energy and finally holding polluters accountable for their global warming pollution.

It is time to put American ingenuity and technological know-how to work designing 21st century solutions to our economic, energy and pollution problems. And Wisconsin can be a leader on all fronts. The Wisconsin state Legislature must act to prioritize homegrown, renewable energy right here in Wisconsin by passing the Clean Energy Jobs Act.

Megan Severson
federal field organizer
Wisconsin Environment

Editorial: Green Bay needs to get on fast track

Thursday, February 04, 2010

From an editorial in the Green Bay Press Gazette:

As the state and federal governments press forward to improve passenger rail service through the Midwest, Green Bay and other points north of Madison and Milwaukee must have a respected voice in that discussion.

With the announcement last week that the federal government will send Wisconsin $823 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the state is on track to start construction of a high-speed railroad line between Milwaukee and Madison by the end of this year. The line would carry people between those cities and Chicago at speeds of up to 110 mph by 2013.

The project also includes planning and environmental work to lay the groundwork to continue the line through to Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Wisconsin Commerce Secretary Richard Leinenkugel said he saw the economic development implications when he accompanied Gov. Jim Doyle to Spain last year. During a visit with the Green Bay Press-Gazette editorial board Monday, he described a community about an hour's drive south of Madrid that has blossomed since a high-speed rail station cut the traveling time in half. . . .

The White House fact sheet describing the Madison-Milwaukee project notes that 76 percent of Wisconsin's total population lives within 30 miles of the stations in that corridor. But a review of the latest U.S. Census estimates reveals that half of the rest of the state's population lives in Brown, Outagamie, Winnebago and Fond du Lac counties.

In other words, advance the link between Green Bay and Milwaukee and almost 90 percent of the state's population would have access, and the possibilities of widening economic beyond the Milwaukee-Madison corridor also would improve. To put a finer point on the matter, the state will be called upon to pay its share of any high-speed rail project and Northeastern Wisconsin must be considered more than an upstate revenue source for a downstate project.

Possible field trip by train to Arlington Heights, IL

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Several cities along the Metra line between Harvard, Illinois, and downtown Chicago seem to have leveraged the train stop into development opportunities and more coordinated transportation planning.

The Madison Peak Oil Group could join with other groups and individuals to plan a field trip to Arlington Heights, IL, one of the stops.

The trip would feature meetings with private and public people to learn about the pros and cons of a stop, as a way to evaluate the proposals for train stops in Madison (at Yahara Station, Dane County Airport, or other locations).

A possible schedule might look like this:
7:30 a.m. Meet someplace in Madison
7:45 a.m. Carpool to Harvard, IL
9:35 a.m. Arrive in Harvard, board train
10:32 a.m. Arrive in Arlington Heights
11:00 a.m. Meet with city officials, developers, retailers, etc.
Noon Lunch (possibly with other local people)
2:16 p.m. Leave Arlington Heights
3:20 p.m. Arrive in Harvard
5:00 p.m. Arrive in Madison

If you might be interested in helping plan the trip and make the necessary arrangements, please contact Ed Blume at RENEW Wisconsin or attend the Group's February meeting.

The Group will talk about the field trip at its monthly brown bag meeting on Thursday, February 4, at noon in the lower level conference room at 222 S. Hamilton St., Madison.

RENEW testifies in support of Clean Energy Jobs Act bill

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Michael Vickerman (left), Josh Stolzenburg (center), owner of North Wind Renewable Energy, LLC, Stevens Point, and Dave Miller, Wave Wind, LLC, Sun Prairie, testify in support of the Clean Energy Jobs Act bill before the Special Assembly Committee on Climate Change. Vickerman leans forward to show the committee members a map of renewable energy installations.

From a summary of Michael Vickerman’s (RENEW Wisconsin)
testimony before the Assembly Special Committee on Clean Energy
February 2, 2010:

RENEW Wisconsin strongly supports the provisions in SB450/AB649 to expand the state’s Renewable Energy Standard to 25% by 2025, which includes a 10% in-state renewable energy set-aside. RENEW has evaluated the availability of specific resources to reach that standard and has concluded that meeting such a target is technically feasible. If adopted, the in-state set-aside will become the most powerful engine for job development and capital investment over the next 15 years.

We expect such a requirement to be achieved through a combination of utility-scale power plants and smaller-scale generating units dispersed throughout Wisconsin. With respect to distributed renewable generation, we note the following:

1. The vast majority of the distributed renewable generating units installed in Wisconsin serve schools, dairy farms and other small businesses, churches and local governments.

2. Utilities are not in the business of installing these systems themselves.

3. In many cases the renewable energy installation went forward because there was a special buyback rate available to accelerate the recovery of the original investment made by the customer. Last week, I gave the example of the Dane County community anaerobic digester project that, once operational, will treat manure taken from several nearby dairy farms in the Waunakee area and produce two megawatts of electricity with it. The electricity will be purchased by Alliant Energy through a voluntary biogas tariff worth 9.3 cents/kWh. Unfortunately, Alliant’s biogas program is fully subscribed and is no longer available to other dairy farmers, food processing companies and wastewater treatment facilities served by Alliant.

4. Companies that install solar, wind and biogas energy systems are quintessentially small businesses, many of them family-owned. Renewable energy contractors and affiliated service providers constitute one of the few market sectors where young adults who have acquired the necessary skills to do the job well can find meaningful work at decent pay.

5. By its very nature, distributed renewable energy delivers nearly 100% of its economic punch to the local economy.

Energy bill reflects science, consensus

Monday, February 01, 2010

From a letter by Rob Nelson to the editor of the Baraboo News Republic:

If anyone is guilty of espousing "ideology, not reality," and taking a stand based on "politics rather than science or economics," it is clearly Rep. Jeff Fitzgerald in his recent column attacking the legislature’s Clean Energy Jobs Act (AB-649).

The bill is based largely on the 2008 report by the Governor’s Task Force on Global Warming. After 14 months of research, discussion, and compromise, this diverse group suggested more than 60 wide-ranging policy recommendations in order to enhance Wisconsin’s energy independence and reduce our state’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Reflecting an extraordinary amount of consensus, 26 members of the Task Force ultimately endorsed the entire document, while three members objected to individual components of the plan.

Keep in mind that this was no mere collection of tree-huggers: The 29 members of the Task Force included representatives from six utilities (MGE, We Energies, Alliant, Xcel Energy, WPPI, and Integrys Energy Group); two of the state’s largest unions (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, United Steel Workers); several of Wisconsin’s most prominent manufacturers (Ariens, SC Johnson, General Motors, NewPage, General Electric, and Plum Creek Timber); plus the Dairy Business Association, the Wisconsin Federation of Cooperatives, and a Democratic senator.

A member of Mr. Fitzgerald’s own party, Rep. Phil Montgomery, (R-Ashwaubenon) was included in this bi-partisan effort and agreed with the Task Force’s recommendations.

Not all of the steps outlined by the Task Force are found in the Clean Energy Jobs Act, but many are, including:

— enhancing statewide energy efficiency and weatherization programs;

— requiring that 25 percent of Wisconsin’s energy come from renewable source by 2025;

— offering incentives for producers of agricultural energy crops;

— promoting carbon sequestration in Wisconsin forests; and

— a guarantee that utilities purchase electricity from small-scale generators at fair, reliable prices.

The Wisconsin Office of Energy Independence estimates the Green Energy Jobs Act "will create a minimum of 15,000 new jobs for Wisconsin by 2025, and more than 1,800 of those jobs will be realized in the first year."