Job Alarm Sounded: Does Your Family Count on Any of These Industries?

Editor’s Note:  Sorry for the long post.  But, though some folks in Madison love it, there is a LOT of opposition to this bill.  Want to add yours?  Click here.


Wisconsin Agricultural Groups

Cooperative Network

Dairy Business Association

Midwest Food Processors Association

Wisconsin Agribusiness Council

Wisconsin Agri-Service Association

Wisconsin Corn Growers Association

Wisconsin Crop Production Association

Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation

Wisconsin Pork Association

Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Association

Growmark Inc.

Wisconsin Cattlemen’s Association

Wisconsin State Cranberries Growers Association

Wisconsin Business Associations

Aggregate Producers of Wisconsin

Alliance of Wisconsin Retailers, LLC

Associated Builders & Contractors of Wisconsin, Inc

Associated General Contractors of Wisconsin

Independent Business Association of Wisconsin

Midwest Equipment Dealers Association

National Federation of Independent Businesses – Wisconsin Chapter

Wisconsin Automobile & Truck Dealers Association

Wisconsin Automotive Aftermarket Association

Wisconsin Automotive Parts Association

Wisconsin Builders Association

Wisconsin Cast Metals Association

Wisconsin Economic Development Association

Wisconsin Engine Manufacturers & Distributors Alliance

Wisconsin Housing Alliance

Wisconsin Independent Businesses

Wisconsin Industrial Energy Group

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce

Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association

Wisconsin Paper Council

Wisconsin Petroleum Council

Wisconsin Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association

Wisconsin Realtors Association

Wisconsin Restaurant Association

Wisconsin Retail Council

Wisconsin Utility Investors, Inc.

Local Chambers of Commerce

Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce

Fond du Lac Association of Commerce

Forward Janesville, Inc.

Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce

Heart of the Valley Chamber of Commerce

La Crosse Area Chamber of Commerce

Marshfield Area Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Menomonee Falls Chamber of Commerce

Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce

Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce

Racine Area Manufacturers & Commerce

Waukesha County Chamber of Commerce

Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce

West Bend Area Chamber of Commerce

Over 50 organizations with membership representing most of the jobs in Wisconsin have joined together in opposition to the so-called “Clean Energy Jobs Act” (AB 649/SB 450). AB 649 is scheduled for a vote in the state Assembly tomorrow. The bill has earned the opposition of employers from Wisconsin main streets to town roads because it would raise utility rates and eliminate jobs throughout Wisconsin.

 “What do the all these groups have in common?” said Todd Stuart of the Wisconsin Industrial Energy Group. “We have all looked closely at this bill and see the same results – it will increase energy costs and lead to fewer Wisconsin jobs.”

 Many of the organizations had hoped that the revised bill would contain new cost containment measures. “We were surprised that the amendment up for vote did little to address our concerns over costs,” said Bill Oemichen with the Cooperative Network and member of the Governor’s Task Force on Global Warming. “We had little choice but to oppose the bill considering its implications for rural Wisconsin.”

 The impact of the bill on Wisconsin competitiveness has been confusing to many because of competing studies from independent groups and the state bureaucracy. The state government says that sweeping new government powers and unprecedented utility expenditures will reduce energy bills and create private sector jobs. Independent organizations and private employers say mandating billions of dollars in unnecessary expenditures will increase costs for the consumers who pay for them.

 Both the Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) calculations and private studies agree consumers will have to pay for over $15 billion in new energy costs over the next 15 years. The PSC argues that spending an extra $15 billion will save money.

 “Only government could argue that unnecessary spending would save money,” said Bill G. Smith of the National Federation of Independent Business. “My members live in the real world where unnecessary spending means unnecessary cost.”

 Nick George from the Midwest Food Processors Association agreed with Smith’s assessment. “We had to set the dueling studies aside and apply a little common sense. Our common sense analysis was: Consumers pay for utility construction. More construction equals more cost for consumers.”

 The bill gives the PSC broad authority to impose a tax on energy bills to pay for programs aimed at reducing energy use. The PSC must impose a tax sufficient to reduce energy consumption by 2% every year. Their “research” indicates that $700 million in energy taxes are needed to reduce consumption by 2%. If raising the tax doesn’t work, the PSC must raise the tax even more.

 “Whether you’re running a milking machine or a metal casting furnace, higher costs in Wisconsin make us less competitive with other states or countries,” said Brian Mitchell of the Wisconsin Cast Metals Association. “Whatever industry you represent knows you can’t keep jobs if you can’t compete.”

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