BlueGreen Alliance

Good Jobs, Clean Environment, Green Economy

Posts About Wisconsin

Union members across the country know the importance of giving back. That's why several members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 158 in Wisconsin volunteered their time to install solar panels at the Boys and Girls Club in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The use of solar power will save the Club $400 a year — money that can be used for the organization's core mission of helping children.

Posted In: Wisconsin, Clean Energy

Officials at the Green Bay School Districts started thinking about the District's energy use in 2002. Since then, they have done a series of energy audits and made a number of energy efficiency improvements have helped the District save, an estimated, 46.5 million-kilowatt hours of energy, 5 million-therms of gas, 163 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions and $9.7 million.

These improvements — which are being done by a “green team” of local contractors that includes several members of SMART Local 18, IBEW Local 158 and UA Local 400 — allow the District to better use and monitor its energy use. Some of the projects include:

  • The installation of Direct Digital Controls (DDC) systems at 37 of the District’s schools allowing the District to better regulate and monitor each building’s energy use;
  • The replacement of outdoor air control dampers in order to better control the air entering and leaving the buildings;
  • The use of a Peak Demand Limiting system that encourages the schools to pre-cool their buildings and limit energy use during high-demand times;
  • The development of new HVAC control sequences that optimize energy savings; and
  • The installation of pass-through lighting in the middle and high schools that dim the lights when the hallways are not in use.

Not only do these projects help the District to cut the size of its energy bills, they create a better learning for the students along with new educational opportunities. Several of the schools have incorporated the ideas of energy efficiency and sustainability into their curriculum — ranging from the elementary schools where students are taught about the importance of turning off the lights to the high schools where students can learn about renewable energy and energy conservation careers.

The BlueGreen Alliance recently stopped by the Green Bay School District to talk to the faculty and contractors who are working on these energy efficiency projects. From these interviews, we made a series of three interviews videos about the energy efficiency projects, how they are being incorporated into the school curriculum and the importance of having trained individuals working on the projects. These videos can be watched below or on our YouTube or Facebook pages.

Links for the individual videos are as follows:

More information about the School District's energy efficiency improvements are available at the following:

See photos from our stop on the BlueGreen Alliance's Flickr page.

Thank you to all the individuals who took time to talk to us including:
Jeff Christens, Green Bay Public Schools, Service Steamfitter, UA Local 400 Member
Luanne O’Leary, Green Bay Public Schools, Manager of Trades & Internal Service Systems
Eric Ahlgrim, Eland Electric, Journeyman Electrician, IBEW Local 158 Member
Bob Baierl, Eland Electric, Foreman, IBEW Local 158 Member
Dan Christens, Ace Electric, Master Electrician, IBEW Local 158 Member
Miles Cornell, Tweet Garot Mechanical, Pipefitter/HVAC Technician, UA Local 400 Member
Mary Hock, Tweet Garot Mechanical, Sheet Metal Technician, SMWIA/SMART Local 18 Member
Jeff Jarolimek, AutomatedLogic, Senior Project Engineer
Katie Klarkowski, Eland Electric, Apprentice Electrician, IBEW Local 158 Member
Mark Rasmussen, Automated Logic, System Specialist
Allen Rymer, Green Bay Public Schools, Electronics Technician

Posted In: Wisconsin, Energy Efficiency, Green Schools, Jobs21!, Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Union , United Association

Chuck Porter, a member of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 2-232 in Milwaukee, WI, is taking the initiative to move to cleaner energy by installing solar panels on his roof and a solar hot water heater. Terry works for Strattec Security Corporation and he says his rooftop solar photovoltaic system supplies 25-30 percent of his home’s electricity.  Check out video and photos of Chuck and his wife’s solar setup.

Posted In: Wisconsin, Clean Energy, United Steelworkers

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 158 in Green Bay, Wisconsin is training workers in the skills they need to safely and correctly install solar energy projects.

Posted In: Wisconsin, Clean Energy

New Chart and Graphic Shows State-By-State Breakdown of Jobs Created, Gasoline Saved, Net Savings to Consumers and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction 

With the imminent Obama Administration announcement of historic fuel-efficiency standards for vehicles (54.5 miles per gallon, on average, by 2025), the BlueGreen Alliance and the Natural Resources Defense Council have assembled a detailed accounting of the huge benefits that are projected to accrue by the year 2030. 

The data include a state-by-state breakdown of the 570,000 jobs that could be created in the United States by 2030 — as well as other benefits from the standard. In addition to the jobs created, the country will save nearly 23 billion of gasoline in 2030 alone, resulting in $54 billion in net savings to consumers and the reduction of 270 million metric tons of carbon dioxide pollution, which helps cause global warming. 

The upcoming 54.5 mpg standards promise to bolster the strong automobile recovery we are seeing today. The chart and graphics with state-by-state numbers can be found below. Click them to see the larger version.

2030 State Benefits of Achieving 54.5 mpg-equivalent Fleet Average in Model Year 2025 

Sources: Natural Resources Defense Council and BlueGreen Alliance

  • State fuel and pollution savings are from analysis by NRDC. These figures update and augment similar tables provided in NRDC’s “Relieving Pain at the Pump” publication from April 2012. Main adjustments include updates to fuel prices and vehicle miles traveled per the latest forecasts in the Energy Information Administration’s Annual Energy Outlook 2012.
  • State jobs figures are from BlueGreen Alliance’s analysis for “Gearing Up: Smart Standards Create Good Jobs Building Cleaner Cars”, June 2012. 

Table 1: Jobs Created and Annual Consumer Savings of Model Year 2017 to 2025 Standards in 2030

State

Jobs Created by 2030

Fuel Savings (million gallons)

Fuel Savings

($ millions)

Net Savings = Fuel Savings Minus Incremental Cost of Fuel-saving Technologies ($ millions)

Carbon Pollution Reduction (Thousands of metric tons of CO2-equivalent)

Alabama

11,000

380

$1,615

$1,010

4,510

Alaska

1,200

45

$200

$105

555

Arizona

11,000

685

$2,920

$1,730

8,055

Arkansas

6,200

255

$1,055

$665

3,015

California

62,000

2,435

$10,405

$5,470

28,610

Colorado

8,500

385

$1,640

$935

4,530

Connecticut

6,600

235

$1,025

$580

2,760

Delaware

1,400

70

$295

$175

830

District of Columbia

470

30

$145

$85

405

Florida

31,000

2,095

$8,795

$5,345

24,585

Georgia

21,000

810

$3,410

$2,045

9,535

Hawaii

1,800

75

$320

$165

885

Idaho

2,600

120

$525

$305

1,450

Illinois

21,000

700

$2,945

$1,395

8,210

Indiana

12,000

365

$1,550

$740

4,325

Iowa

6,300

185

$790

$415

2,210

Kansas

5,300

180

$775

$420

2,160

Kentucky

9,900

360

$1,520

$960

4,250

Louisiana

10,000

360

$1,485

$925

4,250

Maine

2,800

95

$415

$235

1,120

Maryland

13,000

480

$2,030

$1,220

5,675

Massachusetts

12,000

450

$1,960

$1,115

5,280

Michigan

20,000

570

$2,415

$1,145

6,730

Minnesota

10,000

395

$1,660

$905

4,630

Mississippi

6,800

225

$965

$615

2,695

Missouri

14,000

410

$1,725

$940

4,810

Montana

2,000

70

$305

$170

840

Nebraska

3,500

115

$485

$260

1,350

Nevada

4,400

275

$1,185

$705

3,265

New Hampshire

2,900

105

$455

$265

1,235

New Jersey

18,000

520

$2,220

$1,120

6,100

New Mexico

3,900

135

$575

$330

1,585

New York

24,000

1,055

$4,505

$2,285

12,380

North Carolina

18,000

875

$3,675

$2,235

10,280

North Dakota

1,500

35

$165

$85

460

Ohio

21,000

635

$2,685

$1,245

7,475

Oklahoma

7,700

310

$1,270

$795

3,635

Oregon

6,400

290

$1,240

$665

3,415

Pennsylvania

21,000

720

$3,085

$1,540

8,485

Rhode Island

1,600

70

$325

$185

875

South Carolina

12,000

360

$1,520

$910

4,250

South Dakota

1,600

50

$210

$110

585

Tennessee

13,000

585

$2,460

$1,565

6,865

Texas

52,000

2,405

$9,865

$6,260

28,215

Utah

4,500

185

$805

$460

2,220

Vermont

1,400

45

$200

$115

550

Virginia

17,000

690

$2,895

$1,735

8,095

Washington

11,000

510

$2,190

$1,165

6,025

West Virginia

3,500

125

$540

$320

1,510

Wisconsin

10,000

335

$1,415

$670

3,950

Wyoming

1,400

35

$150

$80

415

U.S. Aggregate

570,000

22,930

$97,010

$54,920

270,130

For additional background information on the new fuel efficiency standards, see http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/plehner/obama_administration_set_to_fi.html

Posted In: California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Kansas, Jobs21!, Energy Efficiency, Transportation, Natural Resources Defense Council

The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) was passed in the 1970's, but America still knows very little about the safety of the chemicals we use everyday. In this new video, Mark Westpahl, the Chair of the Fox Valley Labor Council and a member of USW Local 2-148, and Steve Doherty, USW Local 1096 member, explain why they want legislation to make all of us safer at work and at home.

Posted In: Wisconsin, Work, Environment and Public Health, United Steelworkers

This blog is by Sue Browne Regional Program Manager for the BlueGreen Alliance in Michigan and Wisconsin.

This week I’m proud to participate in the Service Employees International Union’s (SEIU) International Convention in Denver. Over 3,000 SEIU delegates and social activists are gathering on behalf of a better future for all of us and that means taking on necessary fights for workers’ rights, for the middle class and for the environment. Delegates come from far and wide, across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico among other places to join this important discussion.

One of the fastest growing unions in North America, SEIU represents more than 1.1 million healthcare workers including nurses, doctors and home care workers, 225,000 members in the building cleaning and security industries and more than one million local and state government workers, bus drivers and child care providers.

As part of our efforts to map out a Blueprint for the Future together, I’m spreading the word amongst conference participants about a newly proposed standard from EPA that will require future plants to emit fewer greenhouse gases. As a proud union member and representative from the BlueGreen Alliance I believe that we can and must create jobs that support and protect the environment to create safer communities and create good, family supporting jobs. In the long run, the real choice is not jobs or environment. It's both or neither.

SEIU members are showing enthusiastic support for stronger environmental protections and hundreds have already signed statements of support.

Later in the week, I’m looking forward spending time with Michigan and Wisconsin delegates attending the conference to talk about ways we can continue to work together gathering support for protections of our air, soil and water that are a net benefit to people — both economically and improving health.

This conference provides a unique opportunity for people across the workforce to come together and show support for something we all believe in – worker rights. Strong environmental protections are also part of that equation and the support I have already seen first-hand for this standard speaks volumes about the potential impact it would have contributing to making the U.S. economy more competitive, putting millions back to work, strengthening existing industries, and building the industries of the future.

Join the growing movement of people here calling to protect the environment and create economic growth.

Posted In: Michigan, Wisconsin, SEIU

Madison College in Wisconsin offers a Certificate in Renewable Energy Technology which prepares students for careers in energy management and renewable energy technology.

Chris Folk, an Industrial Maintenance Instructor and AFT Local 243 member, recently gave the BlueGreen Alliance a tour of several of the renewable energy projects students have worked on including a solar-powered transit center and two wind turbines.

Paul Morschauser, Senior Diesel Tech Instructor and AFT Local 243 member, discusses the Madison Area Technical College Diesel & Heavy Equipment Technician program along with MATC's biodiesel instruction.

Posted In: Wisconsin, Clean Energy, American Federation of Teachers

Things are going well in some respects in Wisconsin — the Packers are 5-0, the Brewers are in the National League Championship Series, and the University of Wisconsin Badger football team is undefeated. But the state’s economy, like much of the nation, is still struggling. While the unemployment rate was below the national average at 7.9 percent in August, it has actually crept up from a 2011 low of 7.3, and currently there are an estimated 240,000 Wisconsinites out of work.

While other states are seeing job growth from the wind energy sector and wind energy supply chain — states like Ohio, which we looked at yesterday in this post — Wisconsin leaders, particularly Governor Scott Walker, seemed bound and determined to drive away any job growth related to wind energy.

Back in 2009, Wisconsin enacted a law to provide uniform siting across the state to ensure the state was seen as “open for business” for wind project development. But since the Walker administration took office, it seems they’ve been trying to put a “closed for business, don’t come again” sign out for wind developers.

In January of 2011, Walker offered a bill to dramatically increase the setback — the amount of space necessary between a wind turbine and an adjacent property line  — from roughly 1,250 feet from the nearest house to 1,800 feet from the nearest property line. While Walker’s bill didn’t’ pass, the current siting rules are in limbo and other efforts continue to negatively effect siting of wind turbines in the state from other lawmakers.

This anti-wind attitude is confusing because, before he was elected, Walker pledged he would create 250,000 jobs in the state. The anti-wind policies promoted by him and his political allies in the Wisconsin Assembly and Senate have actually cost the state potential jobs. Several projects have pulled out of development, including Midwest Energy’s Calumet County wind farm and Invenergy’s 150-megawatt site in southern Brown County.

Things have gotten so bad that the Illinois Wind Association actually started an “Escape to Illinois” campaign to attract developers to the state instead of Wisconsin.

While the siting rules remain unclear, the benefits to jobs and the environment of wind energy to Wisconsin are abundantly clear. This chart shows the economic benefits to the state of moving to wind: $1.1 billion in economic benefits, 3,041 new local jobs during construction and 425 long-term jobs.

Wind Energy Impacts for WI

Short-sighted efforts like those of Walker and others working against wind are detrimental to long-term economic growth and environmental health. While there are some in Wisconsin standing in the way of progress on wind, there are hundreds of thousands more looking to renewable energy and other 21st century industries to provide them economic opportunities now and in the future. Gov. Walker and others should listen to their needs and voices and lead the way to a cleaner energy future in the Badger State.

 

Research for this post was provided by Michael Mignano.

Posted In: Wisconsin, Clean Energy

The clean energy economy is all around us and so is the spirit of community and volunteerism. Thanks to the folks at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 158 the clean energy future is shining bright at Cerebral Palsy, Inc. (CP) -- a nonprofit in the Greater Green Bay, WI area -- where volunteers installed a solar array in June.

The project, which began in July 2010 after CP staff took a tour at Options for Independent Living in Green Bay - a nonprofit that was the site of another volunteer solar array - and concluded on Wednesday, June 29 of this year with a ribbon cutting.

The 19.2 KW photovoltaic system consisting of eight 240-watt modules on the roof was installed by more than 15 volunteers from IBEW Local 158.

Posted In: Wisconsin
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