September/October 2017 Issue
Also in this issue: Budget Bill Eliminates Domestic Partnership Benefits | Department of Labor Overtime Rule Halted | Court Rejects Claim that Right-to-Work Law Is an Unconstitutional Taking | Wisconsin Court of Appeals Clarifies Municipal Authority to Issue Raze Orders
City of Madison Kicks Off 100% Renewable Energy Resolution Efforts
Richard Heinemann | 10.19.17
In March of this year, the City of Madison Common Council generated national attention by passing a resolution committing the City to achieving 100% renewable energy and zero net carbon emissions. The Resolution did not set out a timetable for reaching its goals, but appropriated $250,000 for hiring a consultant to advise the City on when and how the goal could be achieved, both for city operations, and, more broadly, for the community as a whole.
After engaging Navigant and the Sustainable Engineering Group to assist in its efforts, the City began its public engagement campaign by holding a public forum on September 27th at the Central Public Library and asking attendees, “What does a 100% Renewable Energy Madison Look Like to You”? The event drew about 75 engaged community members, who offered suggestions on how the City’s goals could be achieved in four broad areas: Energy Conservation, Renewables, Transportation and Community Partners.
WKOW TV Chief Meterologist Robert Lindmeier gave a keynote address highlighting the impacts of climate change here in Wisconsin, with an emphasis on the use of carbon dividends as a bipartisan solution to address the problem.
In a wide-ranging and spirited discussion, participants urged the City to pursue its 100% renewable goals by undertaking such actions as installing solar panels in green spaces; utilizing existing biomass energy resources in its lakes and refuse; making use of existing rail corridors to enhance public transportation options; promoting bike safety and reducing vehicular traffic; protecting the urban tree canopy; providing monetary incentives for residents and businesses to conserve energy; revising the building code to promote green construction practices, and enlisting public and technical schools, the Ho Chunk nation and local churches to promote the City’s renewable efforts.
Additional meetings in locations around the City are planned as the City aims to finalize a plan in early 2018 that will lay out a clear and achievable pathway for achieving the goals of the Resolution. Madison is one of about three dozen cities nationwide with a formal commitment to achieving 100% renewable energy, and the first in Wisconsin. Additional information and opportunities for public comment may be found at www.madison100renewableenergy.com.
— Richard A. Heinemann
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