Energy independence, green economy, green collar jobs — the keys to our economic recovery and our national security. The new economy that will rise from the ashes of the de-regulated mess left by the Bush administration will be led new green manufacturers based in the US, employing American workers and developing green technologies. President Obama made it clear a new, green economy is one of his top priorities with the influx of stimulus cash for state projects with an emphasis on energy efficiency.
Wisconsin has long been a leader on environmental issues ‘ look no further than Wisconsin’s own Gaylord Nelson, founder of Earth Day. But a new study by the Pew Charitable Trust challenges Wisconsin’s standing as an environmental leader, describing Wisconsin’s clean energy economy as ‘small and losing,’ putting us on par with the forward-thinking progressive states like Utah and West Virginia. Even though Wisconsin’s overall job climate grew by 3.4% between 1998-2007, the number of clean jobs in Wisconsin actually decreased by 5.2%, according to the study.
Cut to the state capital. As the economic world continued to collapse around the Joint Finance Committee and the state budget deficit ballooned to $6 billion, tough choices were made on what was (and was not) included in JFC’s budget recommendation.
The Wisconsin Energy Independence Fund was one of those tough choices, and ended up cut from the budget. The WI Energy Independence Fund awards grants and loans to private businesses for developing renewable energy sources, advancing green technologies, and helping capture and store energy created from sustainable resources.
But, turns out the Wisconsin Energy Independence Fund fights on. The Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters is pushing legislators to review the cut of the WI Energy Independence Fund and to restore the program to the budget.
We’ll continue to bring updates about the progress of the state budget and breaking news from the floor ‘ you can follow One Wisconsin Now on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/onewisconsinnow or by using the #wiprogressivenews tag.