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Nov. 4: VOTE!

Nov. 15: John Muir: Univeristy of the Wilderness-Cedarburg Cultural Center Tickets on sale now

Nov. 18: Cruisin' to Cento

Dec. 14: Winter Bonfire at Picnic Point



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Home > Issues > Beyond Fossil Fuels to Clean Energy > Clean Energy Solutions



  • Create in-state 21st Century jobs: Wisconsin sends $16 billion dollars out of state every year on fossil fuels to fuel our energy needs. Clean energy jobs can create a 21st Century economy in Wisconsin.  Click here to learn about the 21st Century Economy we already have in Wisconsin and our potential to create many more jobs                                                                             

  • Reduce air pollution and subsequent health effects: A 2010 Clean Air Task Force study found that fine particulate matter emitted by Wisconsin’s coal plants causes about 456 heart attacks and 268 premature deaths every year.  Mercury emissions from coal plants are linked to nerve damage that have required fish consumption advisories for every water body in our state, and coal ash has contaminated drinking water in Caledonia and other locations.                                
  • Reduce climate-change causing pollution: burning coal (how Wisconsin gets over 60% of its electricity) is the leading source of carbon dioxide.  Reducing our dependence on fossil fuels will reduce Wisconsin's greenhouse gas emissions.

All forms of energy have negative factors, but studies show that impacts on property values, human health, and wildlife are negligible relative to fossil fuels.


Advocating for Renewable Energy

energy efficiency

solar panel

 Energy Efficiency            Wind Energy              Solar Power              Great Lakes Wind


Policies Wisconsin Needs to encourage clean, renewable energy:

  • Clean Energy Choice or 3rd Party Power Purchase Agreement legislation is a simple clarification of current law that would allow a third party to install, maintain, and sell power from a renewable energy system back to the those homeowners or business. 

  • Net-metering requires all utilities buyback customer generated renewable energy at wholesale rates; and provide credit to customers that can be used at other times for excess energy produced.

  • 25% Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) requires 25% of the power generated or purchased by utilities to come from renewable energy sources.   Wisconsin currently has a 10% RPS by 2015 and our utilities have met or on track to meeting this. It's time to raise the standard again. Minnesota and Illinois have a 25% RPS and a Minnesota has a 30% RPS for Xcel Energy (their largest utility). 


In 2009-2010 the Sierra Club - John Muir Chapter was a member of the Wisconsin Global Warming Taskforce (GWTF), which brought policymakers to the table with industry and environmental stakeholders to create a powerful roadmap to cut Wisconsin’s greenhouse gas emissions 75% from 2005 levels by 2050.  Taskforce recommendations included goals for Wisconsin to obtain at least 25% of our energy from renewable sources by 2025, and policies that promote small, distributed renewable energy projects, such as net metering, fair buyback rates for renewables.  Although this didn’t pass, we continue to work together to promote policies that will create jobs, protect our environment and build a better future.

The Wisconsin Blue Green Alliance and the Apollo Alliance
Launched in 2006, the Blue Green Alliance is a strategic initiative led by the United Steelworkers and Sierra Club and including many other "blue" (blue collar/labor) and "green" (environmental) partners. The BGA creates a formal structure for creating a renewed, vibrant base of  Americans who will work for good jobs, a clean environment, and a safer world. In Wisconsin, the BGA leverages the power and size of the USW's 35,000 members and retirees, and the Sierra Club’s John Muir Chapter, with its 15,000 members.