Archive for November, 2005

Help Extend Federal Solar Credit

Posted on November 30, 2005. Filed under: Solar |

The action alert below comes from Carolyn Beach, Membership Coordinator, American Solar Energy Society:


Congressmen Mike Ferguson (R-NJ) has just introduced HR 4300, a bill to extend the federal tax credits for residential solar applications. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 authorized federal tax credits to homeowners and businesses that install energy-efficient solar panels on their properties. However, these tax credits expire after 2008.

Congressmen Ferguson was joined by Congressmen Udall (D-C)), Brown (R-SC), Goode (R-VA) Sanders (Ind-VT), Simmons (R-CT), Walsh and Mark Green (R-WI) in sponsoring the Clean and Green Solar Tax Act of 2005, extending the existing solar tax credits through 2011.

The proposed legislation is very short (2 pages) and simply amends two subsections of section 25D of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 by extending the end dates of the provisions by 4 years. The complete text of the legislation can be found by going to and searching for HR 4300.


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Goal for renewable energy pondered

Posted on November 28, 2005. Filed under: Energy Policy |

An article by Ben Fischer ( in the Wisconsin State Journal:

Wisconsin could enjoy upwards of $3 billion in new construction investments in the coming decade if the state requires more renewable resources to be used for electricity generation, an industry group said Tuesday.

That windfall and the corresponding new jobs would help offset the nearly $8 billion that flows away from the state each year to pay for traditional fossil- fuel based power, said Mark Jacobson, a representative of the Chicago wind farm developer Invenergy.

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City of Madison Hearing on MG&E Blount St. Plant

Posted on November 26, 2005. Filed under: Clean Air |

From Bruce Nilles of the Sierra Club:

Greetings, fellow clean energy supporters! We have a chance to fix the dirty coal plant in our back yard.

Great news! The City of Madison wants to hear what YOU think about MG&E’s dirty coal-fired power plant in the heart of Madison! Please join us at a hearing sponsored by Madison’s Commission on the Environment to learn more and tell the City that it is time for MG&E to clean up its act!
Monday, December 12, 6:00 pm.
City/County Building
215 Martin Luther King Blvd.
Room 201


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Statements on Wisconsin Energy Bill

Posted on November 22, 2005. Filed under: Energy Policy |

From the statement of the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters delivered by Kerry Schumann on behalf of several organizations and individuals on legislation to codify the recommendations of the bipartisan Task Force on Energy Efficiency and Renewables:

I would like to thank Senator Cowles, Representative Montgomery and other members of the Senate and Assembly Energy Committees for your work on the energy bill. While we know some changes need to be made to this bill, we appreciate the good-faith effort of Senator Cowles and others to amend this bill to create a policy that will move us toward a cleaner, safer, more reliable energy future. . . .

As you move forward with this bill, we ask that you make some changes to ensure that Wisconsin moves toward a cleaner, safer, more secure energy future. The three most important changes are:


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Peak Oil resolution in U.S. House of Representaives

Posted on November 22, 2005. Filed under: Peak Oil & the End of Cheap Fossil Fuel |

A “Peak Oil Caucus” of U.S. representatives introduced a resolution expressing the sense of the House that:

. . .the United States, in collaboration with other international allies, should establish an energy project with the magnitude, creativity, and sense of urgency of the `Man on the Moon’ project to develop a comprehensive plan to address the challenges presented by Peak Oil.

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Global Warming Debate – Madison, Nov. 28

Posted on November 21, 2005. Filed under: Global Warming |

The Bradshaw-Knight Foundation is sponsoring a debate on Global Warming, Energy Policy, and the Role of Government on Nov. 28, 2005 at 7:00 p.m. at the Wisconsin Historical Society, 816 State Street (across from the Memorial Union).

Carl Pope, executive director of the national Sierra Club, will debate Jerry Taylor, Director of Natural Resosurces Studies at the Cato Institute.

The Sierra Club is dedicated to the preservation and protection of the envrionment through democratically-based grassroots organizations.

The Cato Institute is devoted to traditional American principles of limited government, individual liberty, and free markets.

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Give ethanol mandate a green light

Posted on November 21, 2005. Filed under: Vehicles - Ethanol |

An excerpt from an editorial in Madison’s Wisconsin State Journal:

This year’s surge in gasoline prices was a reminder that America’s energy policies have failed to promote the development of alternative fuels with the urgency needed.

Wisconsin has an opportunity to start correcting that failure by jump-starting the use and production of ethanol, an alcohol fuel that in the United States is made chiefly from corn, a home- grown crop.

The state Legislature should take advantage of that opportunity by requiring that most gasoline in Wisconsin be blended with ethanol to produce E10, a fuel that is 10 percent ethanol.

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Big Oil’s performance shows we’re all hostages

Posted on November 17, 2005. Filed under: Peak Oil & the End of Cheap Fossil Fuel |

An editorial from the The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, VA) as reprinted in The News Sentinel (Fort Wayne, IN):

Nov. 17 – They feign outrage in front of their outraged constituents, but America’s senators appear to be about the only folks who believe this summer’s gas price spike wasn’t mostly a get-rich quick scheme for the oil industry.

Dragged before Congress this month just as gas prices were starting to tumble under $2 a gallon, the nation’s top oilmen claimed that there’s no connection between falling prices — down from more than $3 a gallon — and their embarrassing record profits and huge bonuses.

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, or his wallet, they told the senators; gas prices are falling now because “The Market” says so. Plus, Big Oil’s profits are in line with any other American industry, a logic that frays if you recognize it is entirely unlike any other American industry.

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Cowles, Montomery, and Doyle comment on Efficiency And Renewables Act; State Jounral Story

Posted on November 16, 2005. Filed under: Energy Policy |

State Senator Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay) and State Representative Phil Montgomery (R-Ashwaubenon)issued a release with the following comments about their introduction of the Energy Efficiency and Renewables Act, which includes the major recommendations submitted by the Task Force on Energy Efficiency & Renewables.

“This means a greater emphasis on energy conservation and efficiency measures because it saves costs and keeps jobs here in the state,” said Cowles. “Comprehensive legislation is necessary to mitigate rising electricity and natural gas costs over the long-term.”

“One of the most important aspects of a sound energy policy is having a diverse energy portfolio to insulate ratepayers from the kind of spikes in fuel costs we will be facing this winter,” said Montgomery. “Incorporating additional renewable energy and efficiency measures into Wisconsin’s energy mix helps us achieve this goal.”


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Avoid Arctic Drilling Via Energy Efficiency

Posted on November 15, 2005. Filed under: Energy Efficiency |

A guest editorial from the Izaak Walton League of America in Madison, Wisconsin’s Capital Times:

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska itself offers many reasons to oppose such a proposal, such as its spectacular wilderness, wildlife and other natural resource values. A great refuge like the Arctic should be last on the list of places to drill.

But the league also believes that drilling should not happen without an equally aggressive program of national energy conservation. Without such measures, we will squander the refuge merely to extend our profligate and wasteful energy habits.

Drilling in the Arctic Refuge will not reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil by more than 1 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. The DOE estimates that in 2015, the U.S. will need to import 63 percent of its oil. If drilling oil in the arctic refuge is approved, according to the DOE, we will still need to import 62 percent.

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