In his first year as Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers signed Executive Order #38, creating the Office of Sustainability & Clean Energy within the Department of Administration and charging them with ensuring Wisconsin transitions to 100% carbon free sources of energy by the year 2050.
This week, the Governor and his team told us how they’ll do it.
The Cliffs Notes version: Evers’ plan is a bold call to action on climate that will reduce energy costs, create good-paying jobs, protect (and improve) the quality of our air and water, provide more resilient solutions for farmers, and ensure our state’s conservation heritage is protected for future generations.
The comprehensive Clean Energy Plan paints a clear picture of how to transition off of fossil fuels, broken down into four major pathways:
- Accelerating deployment of clean energy technologies, at scale
- Maximizing energy efficiency
- Modernizing buildings and industries
- Innovating in transportation
Crucially, the plan also includes a dedicated section on workforce development, with an eye to ensuring Wisconsin workers build Wisconsin’s clean energy future.
Evers’ plan was met with praise from across the state upon its release. Conservation Voters Executive Director Kerry Schumann hailed Evers efforts to “gather input from Tribal Nations, frontline communities and other groups to develop equitable solutions” in assembling the plan.
Clean Wisconsin Climate Program Director Chelsea Chandler heralded the sea change Evers’ plan would represent in terms of the energy economy, stating “Wisconsin imports every bit of coal, gasoline and heating gas we use, pouring more than $14 billion dollars out of our state every year and putting us at the mercy of volatile global prices. Prioritizing efficiency and shifting to homegrown renewable energy will keep money and jobs right here, and the Governor’s Clean Energy Plan is a vital piece of Wisconsin’s transition to energy independence.”
RENEW Wisconsin also weighed in, noting the plan would help the state “build a robust clean energy workforce, save billions of dollars and become more energy independent.”
Evers’ plan is, by every account, a sound one — constructed with the right stakeholders involved to tackle an enormous challenge that Republicans have refused to take seriously to date. Unless and until voters hear otherwise, the assumption should be that Evers and the U.S. Senate race aren’t the only items on the ballot this year — the Evers Clean Energy Plan is too.
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