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Protecting Waukesha County's Natural Resourses since 1978

Energy Good News

We won! The legislature has passed the clean energy bill!

After two years, the Assembly followed the lead of the Senate and voted unanimously last night to pass SB 459. With the legislation heading to Governor Doyle's desk, Wisconsin will move towards a cleaner energy future by producing more of our energy from renewable sources and investing more in energy efficiency and conservation.

Thank you so much for all your efforts to contact your legislators and asking them to make Wisconsin a leader in clean, renewable energy by voting in favor of SB 459. We will soon be getting 10% of our energy from renewable sources and our state funding of energy efficiency and conservation programs is protected. Together, we are starting to move Wisconsin towards a cleaner energy future.


Given our abundant wind and farmland, Wisconsin has the potential to derive most, if not all, of our energy from clean, renewable sources. Unfortunately, Wisconsin currently gets over 90% of its energy from coal and nuclear power plants. Burning coal creates smog and soot, triggering thousands of asthma attacks and leading to hundreds of premature deaths each year, and is also responsible for 40% of our state's mercury emissions, threatening all of our state's lakes and streams. Nuclear power generates highly radioactive waste for which we have no safe long-term storage options.

Wisconsin needs to shift towards more clean energy by promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. Energy efficiency and conservation are important because the cheapest and cleanest energy is that which we never have to produce. Renewable energy, particularly wind power, not only generates energy without pollution, it can also be a source of income for farmers and rural communities.

In 2003 Governor Doyle appointed a Renewable Energy Task Force to develop recommendations for Wisconsin's energy future and they recommended that Wisconsin get 10% of its energy from renewable sources by 2015. On February 21st, the Senate voted thirty-two to one in support of SB 459, the incorporation of these points, and last night the Assembly voted unanimously to adopt the bill. The legislation now heads to Governor Doyle's desk where he is expected to sign this important legislation for Wisconsin.

SB 459 is a good first step to move Wisconsin towards a cleaner energy future. The legislation will:

* Protect money for energy efficiency from future budget raids by keeping those funds out of the state treasury.

* Requiring that our utilities have to get 10% of our energy from renewable sources thereby reducing our energy generated from polluting sources.

Thanks again for all your work. And congratulations!


Jennifer Giegerich

WISPIRG State Director

[email protected]