RENEW denounces WMC’s “fact-free flip-flop” in radio ad on energy bill

Posted on January 21, 2010. Filed under: Climate change, Energy Policy, General |

January 21, 2010

Michael Vickerman
RENEW Wisconsin

RENEW denounces WMC’s “fact-free flip-flop” in radio ad on energy bill

RENEW Wisconsin’s Executive Director Michael Vickerman assailed the credibility of a new radio ad launched by Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) that characterizes the Clean Energy Jobs Act bill as an unaffordable extravagance.

“WMC executed an astonishing fact-free flip-flop with its claim that the legislation (AB 649/SB 450) would raise an average family’s electricity bill by more than $1,000 a year. What’s astonishing about it that WMC is conveniently forgetting existing ratepayer protections, which it endorsed – and claimed credit for — when similar legislation passed in 2006,” Vickerman said.

When the state’s current renewable portfolio standard (RPS) was passed (which directed utilities to source 10 percent of their electricity from renewable generation by 2015), WMC ran an article on its website with the headline “’Energy Efficiency and Renewables Act’ Will Protect Ratepayer Dollars.” That article can be accessed at

The article says that WMC was instrumental in ensuring that “ratepayer groups will have a clear opportunity to seek delays in the implementation of new renewable portfolio standards, should they have an unreasonable effect on electric rates.”

The Clean Energy Job Act bill would continue those ratepayer protections enacted in 2005 Act 141. So far no utility or energy advocacy group has requested an implementation delay under the current renewable energy standard.

In order for an average family’s bill to increase $1,000 a year, according to Vickerman, electric rates would have to double.

“That will never happen because groups like WMC, Citizens Utility Board, and the Wisconsin Industrial Energy Group would intervene aggressively on behalf of their member using the existing ratepayer protections,” Vickerman stated.

Since the adoption of Act 141’s renewable energy requirements, Madison Gas and Electric’s residential ratepayers have seen annual increases of only 0.8 percent through 2009, even though the utility is already in compliance with the 2015 standard, added Vickerman.

“This outrageous claim is just another example of WMC’s decision to lob grenades instead of working constructively to forge a responsible partnership with all parties to create family-supporting jobs in the clean energy sector,” Vickerman said.

“It’s clear that WMC made up its mind to oppose the Clean Energy Jobs Act bill long before its contents were even known to the public,” Vickerman stated.

“There is no more obvious proof of this than WMC’s sponsorship of a so-called study by the Wisconsin Pubic Research Institute (WPRI) that claims that the bill’s provisions to expand renewable energy supplies would cost utilities $16 billion.”

RENEW previously critiqued the WPRI report in a report titled “Think Tank Flunks Renewable Energy Analysis.” (

“WPRI’s assertions demonstrate yet again that if you torture your economic models long enough, they will confess to anything,” Vickerman said.


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2 Responses to “RENEW denounces WMC’s “fact-free flip-flop” in radio ad on energy bill”

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The hysterical approach to fabricating unsustainable green jobs by lobbyist groups like RENEW will certainly eradicate more good paying manufacturing jobs in Wisconsin at a rate of 2 lost for every 1 green job. RENEW would like to see Wisconsin spend a million dollars to create every green job that will pay $25,000 per year. When the federal subsidies run out these temporary jobs will end. If any area in Wisconsin needs a boost it’s manufacturing. These manufacturing jobs pay the bills for the state, and provide a great living for hard working Wisconsin citizens.

Now that we have more people working for the state than we have in manufacturing it should be obvious even to RENEW that this must change very quickly.

Electric rates will double and then some especially for businesses. Mr. Vickerman needs some remedial training in how a business especially manufacturing works before you attack the WMC folks. WMC has a vested interest in seeing our state and economy succeed. WMC is a group of the finest business and manufacturing professionals, why would you doubt them?

If RENEW thinks they are going to save the day by making wind turbine blades and bearings, I have a news flash for you, these parts will continue to come from manufactures that have been making them for 20 years and are all off shore. A new startup company will never be able to compete, and then there’s China that is building the largest turbine manufacturing plant in the world. Good luck trying to compete with China where works are paid $1,200.00 a year.

Wake up RENEW, join forces with WMC and help them turn this green job fiasco around.

You continue more fact-free myths.

For instance, you wrote, “If RENEW thinks they are going to save the day by making wind turbine blades and bearings, I have a news flash for you, these parts will continue to come from manufactures that have been making them for 20 years and are all off shore.”

Here are a few NEW businesses serving the wind industry in Wisconsin:

Tower Tech, Manitowoc, makes turbine towers. Started 5 or 6 years ago.

Wave Wind LLC of Sun Prairie, formed in 2007, is partnering with Hyundai Heavy Industries — the world’s largest ship builder and a diversified industrial manufacturer based in Seoul, South Korea, with more than $15 billion in annual sales — to develop a Wisconsin wind farm.

American Superconductor Corp., which has its wind power business based in Middleton.
The Devens, Mass.-based company on Tuesday announced that it has received a $450 million order from Beijing-based Sinovel Wind Corp. to provide core electrical components. YES! A Wisconsin company selling components to CHINA!

Energy Composites Corporation announced the launch of its comprehensive WindFiber™ composites-in-wind-energy program. WindFiber™ is the strategic umbrella under which we carry out our wind-related innovation, engineering, customer proposition, production and services planning, and logistics activities to drive value for the sector.

Sam Fairchild, ECC’s CEO, stated that “Our comprehensive strategy platform — which we have named WindFiber™ — brings us full square into delivering value across all three channels:
+ manufacturing the advanced composite structures for wind energy systems,
+ servicing the composite components of wind energy systems as a composites Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) contractor to integrators and wind farm operators, and
+ supplying composites-related raw materials and material and technology innovations to the wind energy sector.

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