Business leaders, labor, utilities, farmers and environmentalists voice support for legislation

MADISON — Prominent business leaders, labor representatives, farmers, health advocates, faith leaders, energy providers, and environmentalists were among residents from across the state who gathered at a public hearing held in the State Capitol today to ask their elected leaders to support and strengthen the Clean Energy Jobs Act.

“The diversity of support for this legislation is overwhelming,” said Ryan Schryver, Clean Energy Advocate at Clean Wisconsin, the state’s largest environmental advocacy organization. “People from all walks of life gathered today to ask legislators to create jobs, clean our environment, protect our health, and support energy independence by passing this bill.”

The Clean Energy Jobs Act holds the potential to be an economic boon for Wisconsin, creating demand for energy efficiency projects, putting residents to work harvesting wind and solar power, and creating markets for farmers to grow and sell biofuels.

According to an analysis performed by the Office of Energy Independence, the current version of the bill will create over 15,000 jobs for Wisconsinites in the construction and manufacturing industries alone. Strengthening the bill could lead to even greater job creation.

“We cannot afford to continue draining our economy by exporting billions on expensive, dirty fossil fuels,” said Schryver. “Residents gathered today to say ‘enough is enough’ and demand that we create jobs and start investing in our own state by producing clean energy right here at home.”

Support for the Clean Energy Jobs Act at today’s hearings comes after the conservative business lobby, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, released radio ads last week using deceptive and misleading information in an attempt to confuse the public and attack the bill.

“The turnout at today’s hearing shows that behind the thick smokescreen created by conservative special interests like WMC, stand hard-working Wisconsinites lining up to support the Clean Energy Jobs Act,” said Schryver. “From business leaders and farmers, to construction workers and health care professionals, the people of Wisconsin are ready and waiting to lead the transition toward a clean energy economy.”

Beyond turning out to publicly support the bill, a diverse coalition of stakeholders also sent a memo to legislators asking them to maximize the job creation and economic benefits of the legislation by strengthening many provisions of the bill.