New data illustrates the high cost of attacks on clean energy 

MADISON —Adopting stronger clean energy goals in Wisconsin could create thousands of new jobs, significantly reduce pollution and save residents and homeowners billions of dollars on their energy bills, according to a report released today by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

By embracing renewable energy and energy efficiency goals set by the Midwestern Governors Association, Wisconsin could create 11,500 new jobs, generate $2.7 billion in capital investment, and save residents and businesses $5.9 billion on their electric and natural gas bills by 2030, according to the report, “A Bright Future for the Heartland: Powering the Midwest Economy with Clean Energy.”

“The Midwestern Governors Association charted a clear path for states to create jobs and clean the environment by investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency,” said Keith Reopelle, senior policy director at Clean Wisconsin. “Unfortunately, Gov. Walker and legislative leaders have taken a wrong turn, thus far. Their actions will result in fewer jobs and higher energy bills, unless they are reversed.”

Since taking office in January, Gov. Walker and legislative leaders have made it more difficult to construct wind farms in the state, cut investments in energy efficiency, and proposed and adopted policies that dilute Wisconsin’s commitment to renewable energy.

“Renewable energy and energy efficiency can lower energy bills and create thousands of family-supporting jobs in Wisconsin,” said Reopelle. “If Governor Walker and legislative leaders are serious about their commitment to create jobs, then they should invest in clean energy.”

Wisconsin sends about $16 billion a year to other states and countries for fossil fuel imports including petroleum, coal and natural gas.

“The UCS report is an important reminder that clean energy is one of the fastest growing sectors in the global economy,” said Reopelle. “We need to invest in energy sources, technologies and human resources here in Wisconsin to make sure we see some of that job creation.”

The complete report is available here.