State needs clean energy goal
From an editorial in the Wisconsin State Journal:
Wisconsin needs an ambitious goal for boosting clean energy and efficiency.
Our state leaders also need to let the private sector find the best ways to achieve the higher standard.
Thursday is Earth Day. It also is the final day of session before the Legislature adjourns for the year.
State lawmakers should find a way to pass a clean energy bill with more buy-in and flexibility.
Both sides in this important debate are guilty of overheated debate. Supporters sell the bill as a magic potion for incredible job creation. Opponents trash the legislation as a job killer that will dramatically hike utility rates.
The reality is that encouraging more renewable energy production, along with greater energy efficiency, has a lot of long-term benefit for Wisconsin. Yet it also requires investment costs that aren’t easy to cover during such a challenging economy.
That’s why the bill phases in progress toward reaching the goal of 25 percent of Wisconsin’s power coming from renewable sources by 2025.
Sponsors also made it easier to reach that goal last week by agreeing to include gains in energy efficiency toward the 25 percent renewable standard. Another improvement is the elimination of a misguided provision that would have tied Wisconsin’s auto-emission rules to California’s.