April 23, 2010

Michael Vickerman
RENEW Wisconsin

RENEW Wisconsin Calls for Veto of Waste-to-Energy Bill

RENEW Wisconsin called on Governor Jim Doyle to veto a bill that allows garbage to qualify as a renewable energy resource.

“The bill (Senate Bill 273), passed in the last hours of the final legislative session, would lead to a cutback in new clean-energy installations using solar, wind, biogas, and biomass,” said Michael Vickerman, executive director of RENEW Wisconsin, a statewide renewable energy advocacy organization.

The bill would credit electricity from gasification of garbage toward the amount of renewable energy each Wisconsin utility must supply under current law.

“By failing to pass the Clean Energy Jobs Act, the Legislature essentially froze the overall percentage of renewable energy that Wisconsin utilities must supply to customers,” said Vickerman.

“Adding solid waste to the list of eligible resources without raising the percentage above the current requirement will result in a reduction of electricity derived from truly sustainable renewable resources.”

“No way can anyone legitimately say that this bill expands renewable energy in Wisconsin.”

“All in all, this session will be remembered as a wasted opportunity for clean energy and job creation,” Vickerman said.

“When we entered the month of April, we had high hopes for the Clean Energy Jobs Act, a bill that would have forcefully sent Wisconsin down a path to energy independence while creating thousands of new jobs. Instead, the Legislature crammed garbage down the throats of utility customers.”

“No other legislative body in history has managed to trash Earth Day and the legacy of Wisconsin’s own Gaylord Nelson as completely as the Wisconsin Senate whose leaders wouldn’t allow a vote on the Clean Energy Jobs Act,” according to Vickerman.

“Governor Doyle can honor Gaylord Nelson by vetoing SB 273.”