From an article by Matt Standal posted on the Northland Newscenter:
ASHLAND, WIS. – Wisconsin Politicians say new renewable energy Standards could be the key to creating more jobs.
It’s called the Clean Energy Jobs Act, and the final public hearing was today in Ashland.
Local folks and political figures gathered at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor’s Center to voice their opinions regarding its changes.
“We would be remiss to ignore the opportunities presented by this bill,” State Senator Bob Jauch said, speaking at the hearing. “These are the kinds of initiatives that could create jobs in Wisconsin and protect our environment.”
If adopted by Wisconsin’s state legislature in April, proponents say The Clean Energy Jobs Act would Create At Least 15,000 Green Jobs by 2025 in Wisconsin.
According to Senator Jauch, the bill’s major changes would include new statewide goals for greenhouse gas emissions, improved state funding for renewable energy resources, and strict new requirements for Wisconsin–based renewable energy to flow through the municipal grid.
Jauch and State Representative Gary Sherman say those new requirements should result in better funding for a larger renewable energy industry and more renewable energy jobs too.
Tourism and forestry are our two main industries in the area and they are linked together by this environment,” Sherman said. “If we can find a way to produce jobs, to produce industry, to produce economic development without destroying that resource, than we are looking at a bright future,” Sherman added.
Local residents largely agreed, speaking for or against various points on the proposed bill.
“I was happy to present to Senator Jauch today a petition in support of this bills signed by more than 150 area residents,” said community organizer Bill Busse from Bayfield. “So it has strong grassroots support in our area.”
However, several speakers vocally opposed the bill’s most controversial measure, a resolution reversing the moratorium on new nuclear energy development throughout Wisconsin.