MADISON — Hours ago, the democratically controlled state Legislature failed the people of Wisconsin when it adjourned before taking up the Clean Energy Jobs Act.
“It’s ironic that on Earth Day, our Democrat-led state Legislature effectively killed a vital piece of clean energy legislation,” says Keith Reopelle, senior policy director, Clean Wisconsin. “Senate Democratic leaders Jeff Plale and Russ Decker’s refusal to schedule the bill for a vote guaranteed the bill’s demise.”
The Clean Energy Jobs Act would have created more than 15,000 jobs for Wisconsinites. Just yesterday, Wave Wind, a wind energy service provider in Sun Prairie, sent an open letter to the state Legislature noting that the delayed passage of the bill forced the company to lay off 12 employees. Had the bill passed, Wave Wind would have created 100 new high-quality jobs.
“The world is transitioning to a clean energy economy, and Wisconsin is getting left behind,” says Reopelle. “Wisconsin has now lost the manufacturing and design jobs that would have been created by the bill to China, California and Illinois.”
The bill also would have lowered energy bills for homeowners and businesses with its renewable energy and energy efficiency provisions, allowing Wisconsin to make incremental but critically important steps toward reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and increasing our energy independence.
“It is a travesty that Wisconsin’s Legislature missed the opportunity to take action on such an important bill for the health of our state’s economy and environment,” says Reopelle. “While today’s inaction is definitely a setback, thanks to the hard work of our allies in the Legislature and coalition partners, we have laid the foundation for future clean energy legislation and remain hopeful that Wisconsin will soon return to its forward-thinking roots.”