Community members discuss economic and environmental solutions for NE Wisconsin

MADISON β€” Business, education, faith, farm, and environmental interests met with local residents at Heritage Hills State Historical Park in Green Bay last night to highlight how clean energy initiatives can help the region overcome the economic recession.

“With its robust manufacturing and agricultural history, vast natural resources, and entrepreneurial spirit, northeastern Wisconsin is ideally suited to benefit from a transition into a clean energy economy,” said Ryan Schryver, clean energy advocate at Clean Wisconsin.

David Jungbluth of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 158 agrees, “The production, construction and maintenance of clean energy technology as well as investment in energy efficiency holds the potential to employ thousands of residents in northeastern Wisconsin .”

With no gas, coal, or oil reserves of its own, Wisconsin residents send over $21 billion annually to import energy resources. According to panelists, various policies such as energy efficiency incentives, growth in renewable resources, and a cap and trade system will help keep some of that money within the state to invest in our communities.

“By transitioning toward a clean energy economy, we can keep billions of dollars right here in Wisconsin instead of sending it out of state,” said Schryver. “That would provide a major economic stimulus for our state.”

The discussion over the economic benefits of clean energy solutions comes as state leaders prepare to draft legislation to implement the Governor’s Global Warming Task Force recommendations finalized by a broad spectrum of stakeholders last year.

“With strong legislation and a commitment to developing a clean energy economy, northeast Wisconsin could become a leader in the research, production and manufacturing of clean energy solutions,” said Schryver. “Beyond cleaning our environment and reducing the threat of global warming, investment in clean energy will provide much-needed relief in these tough economic times.”