Annual report features company`s strategies for achieving net-zero carbon electricity by 2050
The link in the article last week did not work so the actual report is HERE.
MADISON, Wis.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Madison Gas and Electric (MGE) has published its 2019 Environmental and Sustainability Report,
detailing its sustainable energy goals including net-zero carbon
electricity by 2050. The report covers the company`s clean energy
investments and its partnerships with customers and other stakeholders
to advance sustainability through energy efficiency, new technologies
and other ways.
"As your community energy company, MGE is committed to serving and
working with all our customers to create a more sustainable future for
the benefit of all those we serve," Chairman, President and CEO Jeff
Keebler said. "Our goal reflects our vision and signals our direction,
but it does not determine our pace. We`re making decisions every day to
achieve deep decarbonization as quickly and cost-effectively as we can
while working to ensure all customers benefit from the use of new
technologies and investments in clean energy."
Expanded Program Aims To Benefit Businesses, Environment
Construction vehicles, agricultural equipment and city buses are
among the diesel-powered machines that can get upgraded with the help of
an expanded state program this year.
Before, the Clean Diesel Grant Program
could only fund school bus upgrades and replacements. Now, with
$500,000 more dollars funding the program, the state Department of
Natural Resources is widening its applicant pool.
Ken Notes: While we do not want to get too far ahead of the cost value curve, school buses may be a great way to dip our toes in the electric vehicle category. Routes are usually less than 100 miles, time to charge, regeneration on breaking, room for batteries, life span is longer... A state or federal program to encourage this would be interesting... Also this is often public private partnership...
They could face fines of $10,000 and up to six years in jail.
For more than 60 years, one section of Enbridge’s elaborate network of
pipelines carrying petroleum across Canada has taken a detour through
the Bad River Reservation in northern Wisconsin.
Some of the easements that allowed Enbridge to keep its Line 5
pipeline on the tribe’s land expired in 2013, and negotiations between
Enbridge and the tribe to renew the leases fell through. Yet Line 5 is
still funneling Enbridge’s petroleum across the Bad River Reservation.
The tribe says Enbridge is trespassing, and has sued the company to kick it off their property.
If a bill awaiting Wisconsin’s Democrat Governor Tony Evers’
signature becomes law, members of the tribe protesting Enbridge’s
operations on their reservation could face fines of $10,000 and up to
six years in jail...
Ken Notes: This is becoming more complex. This is tribal land so a Wisconsin law dealing with what the Tribe members can do on their land could put us in the court system for years. This law would also increase pressure for the tribes to ask Enbridge to move the pipeline. This law was not well thought out and is not even in line with the federal recommendation. The governor has a difficult decision to make here, his phone is 608-266-1212.
A national public health group is
calling on federal, state, and local governments to halt approval of
large livestock farms until more is known about their impacts to public
The American Public
Health Association (APHA), along with researchers from Johns Hopkins
University`s Center for a Livable Future, recently announced a new
policy statement on concentrated animal feeding operations or CAFOs.
statement advises governments and public health agencies to impose a
moratorium on new and expanding CAFOs until more scientific data has
been collected and public health concerns are addressed...
Ken Notes: Can I mention that I have been saying this for several years now. Also note that there is technology to now really use large farms to produce bio gas and energy and if we then heat the effluent we end up with a much safer system product. I will send out one more cautionary note, there is a substantial lobbing effort tied to large farms so watch for new legislation protecting CAFO`s from local legislation, citing restrictions, and any required treatment of manure. Let your elected officials know that you support the small farmer, clean water, and the effective treatment of CAFO waste....
Wisconsin lawmakers cut environmental
protection funding more than any other state over the past decade,
according to a new study of state pollution control programs.
Adjusting for inflation, Department
of Natural Resources spending on programs designed to protect public
health and the environment from pollutants was cut 36% between 2008 and
2018, according to findings of the Environmental Integrity Project...
As you read this weeks newsletter you will see I have included articles on millions of wasteful and unnecessary expenditures. I have highlighted programs and projects that benefit our environment that many, if not most, of my readers would otherwise miss.
I can do this because a handful of companies sponsor these efforts, Specifically:
and to be honest two of them are included for free...
This year I am pleased to welcome Kraus-Anderson, to the fold but I need more help. I am still loosing money and have room for a few more sponsors. It is fairly reasonable, or so I am told. And you can learn all you need know at the link.
Ken Notes: Please remember sponsors do not agree with everything I say but they support the conversation that will help keep Wisconsin pursuing an environmental policy and programs that make us strong. We have the unique opportunity to lead the nation in innovation, production, and policy it we just work together...
Why the state has commissioned not just one, but two panels to examine the risks posed by the ubiquitous chemical
been a part of life for decades, used for everything from waterproofing
clothing to making foam for fighting airplane and industrial fires.
for most of that time, the class of chemicals known as PFAS escaped
detection as potentially hazardous to human health. And not until the
last five years or so have Wisconsin regulators begun to understand how
widespread potential contamination from PFAS chemicals might be.
stands for perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, a class of
manufactured chemicals that date back as far as the 1940s. There are
anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 different compounds. And there’s still not
much known about them, except for several health hazards attributed to
learning here as we go,” Darsi Foss, administrator of the environmental
management division at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources,
told the Wisconsin Examiner...
Ken Notes: We know it is there, what we don`t know is how to get rid of it. What we need to know is how can we affordable do this when we are way ahead of the federal government where funding will eventually come from. I get very nervous when I see companies mentioned in articles that have not clearly defined the scope of the problem.
At the emcee’s signal, participants flock to different tables. They
quickly get down to discussing their common interests, intent on
discovering whether to meet up again soon.
This is speed dating, of a sort. But while participants indeed search for new partners, romantic matches aren’t the goal.
Over appetizers on a cool fall afternoon at the University of Wisconsin–Madison Arboretum,
dozens of scientists and environmental educators are hashing out
collaborations that can advance research, build new partnerships, and
improve the experiences of hundreds of thousands of visitors to
educational sites across South Central Wisconsin.
Ken Notes: The medical field has been doing this for years in clinical research. Many companies right here in Madison are major players in this field, Forte and EPIC come to mind. We should have a green research data base that would allow researchers to consolidate efforts and results.
A city employee union supported
Madison’s new $40 wheel tax, as did a trio of environmental groups. And
an official with the statewide organization that lobbies on behalf of
municipalities wished Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway “good luck” in getting
her signature initiative passed.
the vast majority of people who emailed Madison’s mayor and City
Council during the 27 days between the introduction of the vehicle
registration fee and its approval were decidedly less enthusiastic.
Ken Notes: This is difficult. I guess I am in favor of "cause and effect taxation" and this wheel tax fits into this category. The Madison wheel tax will be used to improve and create mass transit. I also believe there are far more cost effective ways deal with this. Much of the demand for better transit options come from those living outside the city and this tax does not impact them.
I would love to see better "Park and Ride" options and would point out that 6,000 parking spaces sit at Alliant Energy Center unused most days, why not a park and shuttle or park and bike system on this site. We say we want to solve problems but we often ignore the solutions that are in front of us in favor of those that cost more money....
ELLISVILLE - Arlin Karnopp doesn’t drink the water in his house.?
Taped to the refrigerator is a sign that says, “Do Not Use.” He’s afraid his grandchildren will fill their cups from the ice dispenser on the door.??
Since 2015, results of his well tests show potentially harmful bacteria and nitrates. Karnopp blames manure spread by large dairy farms on a ridge next to his property...
....“I’m very disgusted," he said. "If we could only turn back the clock.”
Turning it back even five years would take Karnopp to a time when Wisconsin boasted more than 10,000 farms — most of them small, family operations passed down for generations.
Since then, a drawn-out assault of low milk prices has pummeled America`s Dairyland. More than 2,700 Wisconsin dairy farms have gone out of business. Many more face tough decisions this winter as a poor fall harvest has led to soaring prices for cattle feed....
The average size of a Wisconsin dairy farm is about 150 cows. Farms qualify as CAFOs when their milk-producing herds reach 700...... ...more
Nearly a year into divided
government in Wisconsin, many lobbyists and Capitol observers say
they’ve adjusted to the new reality: things are moving slower and less
is getting done.
a decade of one-party control of the state Legislature and governor’s
office, a new Democratic face in the East Wing — coupled with
Republicans holding onto their legislative majorities — has brought a
change of pace to the state and its legislative process
Split government isn’t unusual
in Wisconsin. Before the 2009-10 session when former Gov. Jim Doyle had
Democratic majorities in both houses, the state was mostly governed
under divided control since at least the late 1980s. Still, lobbyists largely agree the current state of affairs differs from recent history...
Ken Notes: Split government should not slow things down it should cause compromise -- It is not working out that way. Both sides are waiting for yet another election cycle to change the numbers. We have become too polarized in Wisconsin not to mention Nationally.
The problem with this is that we are actually in a position to do great things. Renewable energy is now cheaper that coal, we could work with China who is leading the charge to electric vehicles for everyone, we have the opportunity to become energy independent, we can affordably clean up much of environment, we can build new affordable energy efficient housing, we can improve our dairy, and farming industries, and so much more.
All this is right in front of us and yet we find things to keep us apart -- fighting and pointing fingers...
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers (D) signed a bill into law Wednesday
designed to criminalize and chill environmental protests, despite
widespread opposition from local and national environmental and social
justice groups, as well as some of Wisconsin`s federally recognized
In a press release, the Governor echoed oil and gas industry talking points, which the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) revealed earlier,
saying, "Today, I signed Assembly Bill 426, which aims to ensure each
energy provider is treated the same under the law while still protecting
the right to exercise free speech and the right to assembly."...
Ken Notes: This one surprised me a little but if you were wondering if the lobbying money has an impact -- now you know. Finally you should also know that our bill was above and beyond what ALEC was actually recommending. There is language that seems to protect free speech in the actual bill but now the test will be in the courts and it may become expensive to test the line where speech becomes felony trespass.
APPLETON, Wis., Dec. 02 /CSRwire/ - U.S. Gain®, a leader
in development, procurement and distribution of renewable natural gas
(RNG) announces the purchase of anerobic digesters at two Wisconsin
dairy farms, S&S Jerseyland Dairy LLC and Dallmann East River Dairy
LLC, to expedite RNG development for the transportation and energy
U.S. Gain is currently coordinating installation of biogas clean-up
equipment at both dairy farms to strip the impurities from the biogas,
so it can be injected into the natural gas pipeline system. Next, U.S.
Gain will pursue RNG certification through both the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) so
they can distribute through private natural gas fueling stations, their
own GAIN Clean Fuel® network and other non-transportation outlets.
Ken Notes: What a great idea! Now if we can just get every CAFO in the state to enter the field we could become an energy production state instead of an energy purchaser state. Since I am always talking about CAFO`s take a look at two that are doing it right (above)!
Ken Notes: I am not even worried about the truckloads or the tractor loads in the photo. I am worried about the network of ten inch pipe and hoses that deliver liquid manure miles and miles from the source to fields obscure to what people can see and what DNR can detect with the sole intent of emptying the pits. This is not soil management this is equivalent to factories in the 60`s and 70`s dumping toxic waste into our waterways. These farms are lobbying heavily to remain unregulated and it is working...
BLOOMER, Wis. — Marc Boettcher’s day started
before dawn, when he fired up the hammer mill that ground up corn for a
mixture he fed to the steers in his barn.
There was an empty room where he
used to milk dairy cows until he sold them a couple of years back, but
on a cold morning this summer, much of the barn was full of cattle —
curious, anxious, and endearingly weird — who jostled one another to get
a look at him. One left him a gift of manure in the drinking trough.
Another managed to climb into the manger and stayed there, blinking,
like that was the perfect spot...
Ken Notes: We have countries like China begging for protein and yet we can not get milk prices high enough to sustain small farms. This is wrong. Make the trade wars about buying our dairy an recyclables in exchange for a market for your electronics and other consumer goods...
MERRILL — Joseph Dutton feels like he`s being punished for caring about the environment.
wife bought a used 2012 Toyota Prius because they wanted to use less
gasoline during her 70-mile round-trip daily commute.
wife died two years ago, and the hybrid isn`t driven as much now. But
when he went to re-register the car online in early October, he saw he
would have to start paying a $75 surcharge, and he called his state
legislators to ask why.
"They told me that they
decided to do that because of fuel costs," Dutton said. "I wasn`t paying
enough in taxes because I wasn`t burning as much fuel."
Ken Notes: This is backwards thinking for sure. I like the cause and effect tax that fuel tax should be i.e. gas tax for roads but even this is often diverted into other programs or other regions in the state. You can not penalize someone for using less gas. Want to recoup any losses charge more gas tax, use tollways, use a wheel tax, but do not single out a specific type of vehicle. It is sort of like charging an elected officials vehicle tax, which may not be a bad idea....
The Public Service Commission, which opened an
investigation into legal questions surrounding the use of electric
vehicles and the role of regulators, is planning a workshop next month
on breaking down barriers.
As Wisconsin regulators continue to study ways to respond to the
growing use of electric vehicles, Xcel Energy is proposing programs to
encourage adoption by its customers.
Limited availability of public charging stations was the most
frequently cited barrier to electric vehicle adoption in comments filed
last summer. In a second round of comments, respondents suggested
Our commitment to preserving the quality of our environment is not just a program at Dairyland. It reflects a deeply held view that good environmental practices reflect sound operations and contribute to the overall economic and social health of the communities we serve.
The University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Wisconsin Initiative on Climate
Change Impacts will contribute climate data informing the work of a
state task force charged with advising Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers on
climate change adaptation and mitigation.
Chaired by Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, the task force brings together
state agencies and legislators, tribes, business leaders, and economic
and conservation organizations from across the state — including WICCI,
which is led by the UW–Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental
Studies and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR)...
FOND DU LAC - Efforts to clean up a
contaminated property — known as the former Quicfrez site, along the
east branch of the Fond du Lac River — will cost more than $1 million.
remedial action report developed by OMNNI Associates out of Appleton,
under contract with the Department of Natural Resources, recommends
removal of contaminated materials — soil, groundwater, sediment, gravel,
boulders, sheet piling — to approximately 8 feet below ground surface
on the 6-acre parcel.
High concentrations of diesel
fuel, other petroleum-based products and heavy metals like lead,
arsenic and chromium contaminated the property on which refrigerator
manufacturing and storage took place for decades, beginning in 1916. The
DNR said the chemicals seeped 40 to 50 feet underground and into the
Ken Notes: Cleanup is difficult and expensive but in most cases needs to be done. Again an opportunity for bipartisan legislative support to seek cost effective solutions with measurable outcomes. I would go one step further, tie some of the profits for the companies doing the work to a successful out come.
Protestors will gather every Friday at Library mall as a part of Fridays for Future
Several student environmental
organizations led a climate strike demanding climate action and clean
energy on campus, they also announced the formation of a new student
environemtal coalition, Friday afternoon.
The organizations also distributed petitions
containing three key demands– have the University of Wisconsin run on
100% renewable energy by 2050 and have 100% of UW’s electricity come
from renewable sources by 2030, open UW’s Sustainability Advisory
Council meetings to students and have a plan in place from the
sustainability Advisory Council by the end of January 2021...
Ken Notes: Cart horse??? It is clear water utilities are not producing PFAS so I understand that there nervousness to get ahead of federal guidelines when reporting it. This is especially true if they have no way to cost effectively remove it. I also have to take note and ask why are we so far ahead of the curve on PFAS while turning a blind eye to CAFO waste. We know that our watersheds and ground water is impacted by both...
When asked as a kid, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" I
intuited there were only two possible answers: Get rich or help people.
It was assumed you couldn`t do both. Fast-forward four decades to last
fall when my daughter started college. As she weighed her career options
in earnest, I heard myself asking her, "How important to you is making
The rise in socially conscious companies?—?particularly benefit
corporations and Certified B Corporations, or B Corps?—?has me hoping
Benefit corporations, legal in Wisconsin since
2018, are essentially for-profit businesses with do-good missions baked
into their bylaws. B Corps, which predate the legislation, are
different. They undergo a rigorous, third-party certification
process?—?think organic or Leadership in Energy and Environmental
Design, known as LEED?—?that`s open to all types of businesses. And
while certified B Corps require a bigger time investment and annual fee,
the return on investment may be worth the altruistic branding alone...
SAUGET, Ill. -- Mamie Cosey and those living near this
tiny, industrial village on the banks of the Mississippi River spent
years wondering what poisons spewed from the three billowing stacks of a
waste incinerator plant they all smell from their front porches.
Just two days before President Barack Obama
left office, his Environmental Protection Agency ordered the stacks
continuously monitored for arsenic, lead, mercury and other harmful
metals that the 78-year-old Cosey blames for the health problems of her
Ken Notes: How do we remove EPA from the political yo-yo that benefits none of us. Liberal leadership creates standards that limit new business creation regardless of their pollution output while conservative leadership removes all restrictions allowing those who truly should be regulated to operate unrestricted.
High levels of a radioactive metal have turned up again in one of Madison’s wells.
a sample taken in August, the radium concentration was above the
federal drinking water standard in Well 19 near Picnic Point, the
primary water source for most of the UW-Madison campus, including the
American Family Children’s Hospital...
Ken Notes:On a related note the number of Madison superheros has increased exponentially and both XAVIER`S SCHOOL FOR GIFTED YOUNGSTERS and AVENGERS ACADEMY, are considering remote locations in the immediate area.
If you read these comments drop me a note. Email here
A report out by the Better Government Association last week should
concern every Illinoisan who cares about the air we breathe and the
water we drink.
The report states, among other things, that in
Region 5 of the Environmental Protection Agency — Illinois, Minnesota,
Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio — inspections for air, water and
land pollution have dropped by more than 60% in the past three years.
That drop is twice as big as other regions of the U.S., which average a
30% decrease in the number of inspections.
McMAHON provides full-service engineering and architectural services to public and private-sector clients. We are driven by a service-oriented philosophy to achieve client satisfaction on every project. ...more
A community divided. A local official
accused of self-dealing. A top political appointee ousted from his job.
In Wisconsin, a state where the footprint of agribusiness is growing, the question of how to regulate factory farms is a pressing topic from the town hall to the statehouse.
The issue made national newsearlier this month,
when the Republican-controlled state senate voted not to confirm the
governor’s appointee to lead the state’s agriculture department,
effectively firing him. The official, Brad Pfaff, had polarized the
state’s agriculture groups by supporting stronger regulation of
large-scale livestock farms.
Yet for some time before that, the
debate over how to regulate huge animal farms was underway in towns and
counties across the state. As the conversation continues, Wisconsin’s
residents are facing a defining battle over the rights of rural
residents to shape the future of their communities.
Two counties in the Northeastern corner
of Wisconsin recently issued temporary moratoriums on concentrated
animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in response to concerns from
residents, and plan to use the pause to better evaluate the implications
of inviting massive livestock farms to town....
Ken Notes: While I applaud the efforts. Temporary often means until the Sate intervenes or new officials are elected locally. Rather than trying to delay or ban CAFOs why not require ground water and well testing and regulation that would lead to better treatment options at the source. It is nice to also see an article that really identifies why Brad was fired...
MILWAUKEE — Earlier this year,
Foxconn launched the Year Two Smart Cities–Smart Futures competition, in
which individuals and teams representing higher education in Wisconsin
compete for financial awards, technical support and in-kind
ideas submitted for the competition will help improve and enhance living
and working environments, manufacturing facilities and processes,
promote attractive streetscapes, transportation network and living
spaces, and encourage sustainability.
past week, Foxconn announced it has narrowed the list of finalists down
to 25, although the company did not publicly release the identity of
Technology, Regulatory Uncertainty and Investments Play A Role
Major utilities serving Wisconsin are moving forward with plans to
increase solar and wind projects as they’ve set goals to drastically
reduce carbon emissions over the next several decades. But some are
making the transition to renewable energy faster than others.
Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy was the first major utility to announce
its commitment to transition to 100 percent carbon-free electricity by
2050. Madison-based Alliant Energy and Milwaukee-based WEC Energy Group,
which owns We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service, have both pledged
to cut carbon emissions 80 percent from 2005 levels by 2050.
The transition to renewable energy is being driven by declining costs, customer and investor demand and anticipated policy changes on carbon emissions.
Under current Wisconsin law, a property owner is generally liable for
contamination regardless of when the pollution occurred and regardless
of who caused the contamination. There are some limited exceptions for
qualifying local governments, lenders, impacted neighbors and persons
who obtain what is known as a Voluntary Party Liability Exemption. But,
Wisconsin does not provide “bona fide prospective purchaser” (BFPP)
protections for a buyer who wants to knowingly purchase a contaminated
property for redevelopment.....
While this new Guidance will be helpful to buyers of impacted
properties in Wisconsin and may help shield those buyers from federal
liability, Wisconsin law still presents a significant barrier to the
redevelopment of contaminated properties. The federal BFPP protection
has been proven to foster redevelopment of contaminated properties and
the Guidance further defines and clarifies the standards for obtaining
BFPP protection. If the redevelopment of contaminated properties is one
of the goals of environmental regulation in Wisconsin, as it should be,
it may be time for Wisconsin to adopt its own bona fide prospective
purchaser protection program....
On a cold, rainy day in early October, five young activists calling
themselves “Friends of the Climate” held a news conference outside
Minnesota Power`s Duluth headquarters to voice their opposition to the
Nemadji Trail Energy Center, a $700 million natural gas plant proposed
to be built in neighboring Superior, Wis.
"It is my future, my
generation’s future at stake here," shouted 16-year old Izzy Laderman, a
student at Duluth East High School. "It makes no sense to me why they
want to add another plant, except that the people in charge are so stuck
in the toxic tradition of fossil fuels.”
Natural gas may be
better than coal, said Elizabeth Evans, a senior at Superior High
School. But “renewable energy sources are the only answer to reverse
climate change and save the earth.”....
Ken Notes: There were a lot of stories on this issue this week. My favorite was a lobbying organization pointing out that another organization was writing letters for elected officials. This is clearly the pot calling the kettle black, lobbying organizations have been writing letters, talking points, and legislation for legislators forever. In fact that is the nature of lobbying!!! Note the signs in the picture were printed for the protestors - who do you think printed them.
The gas plan proposed is controversial. It should be debated. Renewable can not replace 100% of carbon, so how should we balance the equation? Natural gas is now prevalent and cheap, that is because of fracking, gas is much cleaner than coal. Should we use gas? Should we build a few large gas plans or lots of little ones? Should energy policy be government driven, energy company driven, or market driven? Should solar and wind arrays be larger or small?
The answers are NOT EASY and we need to examine both sides from unbiased sources. I`ll see what I can do to help...
MADISON (WKOW) -- A group of students at UW-Madison are calling on the University to commit to 100% renewable energy by 2050.
During a day of global climate action, students and community members
gathered at Library Mall to strike against climate change.
Campus Leaders for Energy Action Now (CLEAN) announced a petition
demanding the university transition exclusively to renewable energy by
2050, and derive all electrical power from renewable resources by 2030.
The petition also called on university leaders to open up meetings of
the Sustainability Advisory Council to students of the University and
come up with a plan of action from the council by the end of January
2021 to reach the energy goals...
Ken Notes: On my radio show last Saturday I was talking about this and suggested we should work with the energy companies to get there by 2050. A caller suggested we should take over or "Socialize" the energy companies and make them 100% green tomorrow. While I appreciate her enthusiasm, if we are not willing to work on these issues is a somewhat reasonable manner I question whether we can get there at all...One more time, if you want to facilitate change, seek a seat at the table.
Ordinance Will Go Into Effect In April 2020 If Signed By Mayor
The city of Milwaukee is following the trend of limiting access to plastic straws, but they aren’t issuing a strict ban.
On Tuesday, the Milwaukee Common Council approved an
ordinance that would prohibit the city’s food and beverage
establishments from handing out plastic straws to customers. The only
exception will be for people with limited physical abilities who may ask
for a plastic straw.
The policy sponsored by Alder Cavalier Johnson, met little
opposition during the Common Council meeting. Only Alder Bob Donovan
opposed the ordinance and did not express the reasoning behind his
According to Johnson, Milwaukee’s ban on single-use plastic
straws is similar to bans adopted in other cities and municipalities
across the nation...
Ken Notes: The only issue I nave with this is that straws came to our attention because of one sea turtle image and now we are not addressing the issue of containers, cups, packaging, utensils and the other billions of pounds we toss each year. Remember the "six pack ring"??? same thing...
Attorney General Kaul announced
Monday the State of Wisconsin joined a coalition of 24 states and 2
cities in filing a lawsuit opposing the Environmental Protection
Agency’s (EPA) attempt to revoke the portions of a waiver it granted
California in 2013 that permit the state to implement its greenhouse gas
(GHG) and zero emission vehicle (ZEV) standards. The action, filed in
the D.C. Circuit, is part of the coalition’s ongoing fight to protect
the ability of states to adopt California’s Advanced Clean Car
Standards. These standards are followed, in whole or in part, by 13
other states and are a key part of state efforts to protect public
health and the environment...
Years ago, Kevin Mahalko remembers his father talking about being able
to see great northern pike in the crystal clear water of northern
Wisconsin’s Yellow River.
But now? The Gilman, Wisconsin, dairy farmer says rivers are “…just
filled with chocolate water. Not chocolate, but soil,” Mahalko says.
“It’s more than a little change. It’s something we have to fix.”
A slate of speakers attending the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s
annual Agriculture Conference addressed the effects and impacts of
agriculture on the environment on November 20...
...PCM work shows that in many cases, 160 to 180 pounds of nitrogen per
acre tends to be an adequate amount to maximize profitability and reduce
A report out by the Better Government Association should concern
every Illinoisan who cares about the air we breathe and the water we
The report says, among other things, that in Region 5 of
the Environmental Protection Agency — Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin,
Indiana, Michigan and Ohio — inspections for air, water and land
pollution have dropped by more than 60% in the past three years. That
drop is twice as big as other regions of the U.S., which average a 30%
decrease in the number of inspections.
The report by BGA reporter Brett Chase adds that there
are about 150 fewer scientists, technicians and other employees in the
Chicago headquarters of Region 5 than before the Trump Administration
MADISON, Wis. — A bipartisan commission
tasked with making recommendations on what major Wisconsin road projects
should move forward met for the first time in half a decade on Friday.
The Transportation Projects
Commission did not recommend any new projects at its meeting, but
Wisconsin Department of Transportation Secretary Craig Thompson said it
would consider new projects, and how to pay for them, at future
Gov. Tony Evers, who
convened and presided over the meeting, proposed raising the gas tax by 8
cents a gallon in his state budget this year to pay for road
improvements. Republicans who control the Legislature rejected that
proposal, instead relying on a mixture of cash, borrowing and higher
fees to pay for about $465 million road spending...
As the snows start to fall, many northern states are mixing up some nice saltwater brine to keep their roads safe.
Concerned about the environmental impact and rising cost of rock
salt, Wisconsin recently ordered up high-capacity brine machines that
allow a smaller amount of salt dissolved in water to be sprayed directly
on the road, instead of dry salt that tends to bounce off the pavement...
Great Lakes colleges fared well on recent separate lists from the
Sierra Club magazine and the Princeton Review that ranked the top green
colleges of the United States and Canada.
The Sierra Club ranked five Great Lakes colleges in its top 100 —
SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (#3), Grand Valley
State University (#59), Michigan State University (#66), University of
Michigan (#71) and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (#92).
Climate Action Plan to mitigate issues caused by climate change.
Chancellor Rebecca Blank announced
that the University of Wisconsin would be signing the Resilience
Commitment administered by Massachusetts-based nonprofit, Second Nature, at the Climate Fast Forward Conference last Friday.
UW Director of Sustainability Missy
Nergard, said Second Nature has three commitments: a climate commitment,
a carbon commitment and the resilience commitment. Nergard said the
resilience commitment focuses on creating long term solutions to the
problems caused by climate change...
MILWAUKEE (AP) - The state Department of Natural Resources is
rejecting a plan from a unit of Johnson Controls International that
calls for the agency rather than the company to determine the extent of
pollution from firefighting foam around Marinette.
Tyco Fire Products, a unit of Johnson Controls, has been testing firefighting foam in the area for decades.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Tyco has proposed that the
DNR assess the extent of contamination because the department is better
positioned to obtain permission from landowners and government agencies
to access land for testing.
Goal Is Part Of City`s Carbon Neutrality Pledge By 2050
As part of a plan to become carbon neutral by 2050, the city of Eau Claire has a goal of having everyone eventually driving electric vehicles.
Eau Claire City Council Member Kate Beaton said the city is already taking steps.
"We’re looking at electrifying our fleet,
our police vehicles, our snowplows and city buses. But our goal also
includes electrifying every car in the city of Eau Claire. That means investing in charging stations and making it easier for people to own an electric car," said Beaton.
"It also means energy conservation when it comes to transportation and
investing in infrastructure that makes it easier for people to not use
their car, which obviously is good for our carbon goals but also the
wetlands are in trouble. Soil experts have estimated that the state
once held about 10 million acres of the habitat, which supports 75% of
local wildlife, but human development has reduced that area by roughly
half. Last year, Republican Gov. Scott Walker signed a construction-friendly bill
that removed state protections on some 1 million acres, and in
September, the Trump administration rolled back Clean Water Act
protections, a move the state`s Secretary of Natural Resources said could threaten rare plant life, important fish species and drinking water quality...
Climate change deniers and
environmental scofflaws be forewarned, Tiffany Clark is coming after
you. And she plans to do so with the same ferocity she brings to hunting
down digs for the University of Wisconsin volleyball team.
immediate priority is to help the No. 7 Badgers (17-5, 13-1 Big Ten)
realize their lofty aspirations this season, beginning with Thursday
night’s showdown with No. 5 Minnesota (19-3, 13-1) in a battle for first
place in the conference.
RIVER FALLS, Wis. —
Plans call for a science and technology building at the University of
Wisconsin-River Falls to be state of the art.
The proposed Science and Technology
Innovation Center would include a dedicated makerspace and high-tech
laboratory facilities where students and faculty would tackle projects
in a building meant to foster relationships with private business
....It’s a high standard and Kassem is reaching for the very top — a LEED
platinum designation. Mark Klapatch, sustainability/facilities manager
for the university, said that would involve analysis of the building
site, construction materials and ongoing sustainability operations once
Notes:LEED certification is a great goal but can be expensive. Remember there are dozens of ways you can make your project mor environmentally friendly. Ask your architect or construction company for ideas and the cost and return for each. Doing nothing is the worst sin here....
In 1961, I left Greece for the United States. The reason for that
life-changing decision was education. The University of Illinois and the
University of Wisconsin welcomed me and gave me a free education. I
earned my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Illinois and my doctorate
A new study by UW-Madison researchers
says Wisconsin needs to change its approach to walleye management to
halt decades of “hidden overharvest.”
coveted trophy for anglers, a supper club mainstay and a staple of
traditional Ojibwe diets, the cool-water fish has suffered a nearly
three-decade decline as climate change and development have taken their
toll on its habitat...
As University of
Wisconsin-Madison dining halls continue to take steps toward
environmental sustainability without sacrificing taste, a new burger
blend with 70% beef, 30% mushrooms is showing up around campus this
reflects a trend across college campuses, where students are becoming
increasingly concerned about what goes into their food...
now averages a mere 2.4 combined sewer overflows a year, thanks to a
massive underground tunnel, green infrastructure, and flood-control
socialists” was a pejorative label applied to the leftists who governed
Milwaukee during the early 20th century and often boasted about their
achievements in sanitation. One hundred years later, the city’s sewerage
system is a source of pride again. Joel Brammier, the executive
director of the Alliance for the Great Lakes, has hailed the “astounding”
performance of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) at
stopping overflows, while Adam Krantz, CEO of the National Association
of Clean Water Agencies, described the leadership of MMSD Executive
Director Kevin Shafer as “the gold standard.”...
An overriding principal - Restore Wisconsin to the bipartisan national environmental leadership it once enjoyed...
Building and Design
Work with developers, architects, communities, and business to ensure the highest and most cost effective Green building practices are used in new development.
Expedite projects who guarantee the best environmental practices and make sure the systems are in place to ensure this. Trust but Verify.
Avoid costly mandates and restrictions that will move businesses to other states or regions.
Explore the restoration of the sulfide mining moratorium or...
Work with counties to create and enforce new mining regulations, restrictions and enforcement.
Delay approval of any new mines until counties have their regulation policies in place.
Restore DNR environmental staff and expertise to levels that can review any requests in a timely manner.
Require a site reclamation fund be established from the onset of any approved project with a plan in place for complete site reclamation.
Allow municipalities to enact special utilities in lieu of or in addition to regular taxes for issues like impact on roads, utilities, infrastructure, and public safety.
Renewable Energy and Fuels
Work with the utilities, business and communities to encourage the use of renewables, reduced carbon output, and better reporting and measurement.
Establish a PSC willing to work with business and power companies while progressing to a lower carbon renewable future.
Do not impose legislative mandates on renewables but rather incentivize use of new technologies while maintaining an open dialogue among all parties involved.
Our Watersheds and the Great Lakes
Become a strong partner in Great Lakes–St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact.
If water is removed from the watershed, require that it be returned cleaner that it was taken. Again make sure DNR has the resources to monitor and ensure this policy.
Land Use and Transmission / Pipe Lines
Require the need and or profit for new systems to Wisconsin citizens. If a system like tar sand or electricity is for other states or regions, require that the land uses benefits all citizens in our state in lower utility costs, additions public facilities and reduced air and water pollution.
Require that any new system create an environmental offset equal to or greater than the land they take. This can be done in two ways: One additional Parks, Public Lands, Trails, Access to Waterways, Etc. OR Two reduced carbon emissions through the elimination or older less efficient production facilities or the conversion to renewable or exponentially lower emission fuels.
CAFO`s and Agricultural Issues
Address and regulate CAFO`s like the "cities" that they are.
Develop regulations and controls to address the scale of effluent that these facilities produce.
Consider using CAFO`s as a model for new waste treatment like digestion and pasteurization.
Preserve the small farm in Wisconsin by encouraging sound environmental practices in a cost effective way.
Work with all farms, businesses, and communities to improve watersheds, runoff and source point pollution focusing on results rather that penalties or mandates.
Transit and Mass Transit
Improve our transit and shipping corridors like rail and interstate access to encourage Wisconsin to become an efficient distribution hub for the Midwest.
Encourage communities to adopt new and more efficient mass transit systems.
Encourage the use of more efficient buses, trucks and vehicles in the state.
Explore ECO Tourism as an option to preserve our vast agricultural heritage and natural waterways and woodlands.
Allow ECO TIF financing to pair tourism development with land and watershed preservation.
Coverage of local and national eco news for commercial development,
home, transportation, food and community. We search for environmentally
friendly news that makes economic sense for Wisconsin. ONLINE HERE. Please share with a friend. To receive WDNews GREEN on Monday of each week as an email you must subscribe - secure link to subscribe is here.
We may now need to build a
coalition that is willing to lobby from a "greener" yet pro business
perspective. Lots of HUGE issues: Sand Mining, CNG, LEED Alternatives,
Focus On Energy, LED Lighting R&D, Cleaner Power Generation,
Recycling, Power Lines, Electric Cars, Wind, Solar, Bio Fuels,
Digestors, Green AG, Business Incentives...And of course the Greenest
and Happiest of Holidays to you!
Please consider sponsoring WDNGreen!
WDNews GREEN will be emailed on Mondays, included in WDNews on Thursdays, and online all the time at: WDNGreen.com
Each week we will find 10 to 20 articles from Wisconsin and across the
Nation dealing with environmental issues. Our goal is to promote
environmental excellence from a sound business perspective.
resource guide at the bottom of this publication will continue to grow,
and you may add links, suggest articles, include your press releases, or
comment by eMailing Me. As always thanks for reading, and if you would like to sponsor or get involved call 608.334.2174... ...more
Ken Notes: Please forward this to friends and colleagues who have an interest in our economy and environment. You may eMail Me Here.
Each week Ken will review economic development, job creation,
environmental trends, and social issues in the Wisconsin. He will try to
discuss issues from a sound business
perspective and he will encourage his guests to do the same. He will
offer alternative solutions from experts, pundits, and politicians, and
then examine the economic realities behind them.
Ken notes, "The idea is simple, if we can
discuss problems and solutions without pointing fingers or calling each
other names we may get Wisconsin back on track, because it has damn sure
derailed over the years".
Ken brings decades of political experience and journalism
to the table and will call on a long list of friends, colleagues, and
associates to address ideas, solutions and funding on hundreds of issues
facing Wisconsin today.
Listen Live Saturday fron 10AM until Noon On 92.7 FM Madison or 1510 AM Milwaukee