Saturday, January 29, 2011

Push Walker On Innovation, But Don't Omit His Errors

A leader in Wisconsin's technology business sector urges Scott Walker in the Sunday Journal Sentinel op-ed pages to embrace industrial innovation.

That's a sound idea.

Even better, author Tom Still notes those industries in which the state can intersect with Pres. Barack Obama's green and cutting-edge economic planning.

But then Still leaves out information disclosing that Walker has already:

a) killed a federally-funded modern Amtrak and Midwest High-Speed Rail connection in the state and the related high-speed train manufacturing jobs associated with it;

b) proposed restrictions to wind turbine siting that threaten hundreds of millions of investment dollars and growth in this burgeoning, alternative energy sector;

c) ended the construction of a wood-waste energy plant in Madison, switching away from that renewable, innovative fuel source to natural gas.

All were supported by former Gov. Jim Doyle, and all were touted conceptually by Pres. Obama in his State of the Union message, but nixed already by Walker.

Modern rail, biomass fuels and wind power offer cleaner air and less dependence on foreign and fossil fuels, along with green jobs and all the spin-off, white-collar, R & D and supplier employment for which every city and state is competing.
Walker's actions appear narrow, even closed-minded, and contradict his campaign and post-election messaging under the "jobs, jobs, jobs" slogan.

And his actions could send both the wind turbine and train manufacturing jobs to Illinois, which already got a portion of the federal train construction funds that Walker rejected.

Don't take my word for it, though these conclusions have been all over this blog for weeks: Let the LaCrosse Tribune make the case.

Or another paper far from the liberal, green neighborhoods in Madison or Milwaukee: The Northwestern, in Oshkosh.

Or an industry coalition.

Urging Walker to go green and innovative is a good and important message to deliver in print to the Governor, but there's nothing lost by a supportive voice telling Walker he's dropped the ball three times already, so how's about a new game plan?


Anonymous said...

Since when were railroads, wind mills and biomass (burning wood) considered to be cutting edge economic technology? The most efficient fuel remains to be oil. You just poke a hole in the ground and pump it out. Try pushing your car for 20+ miles and you will soon learn how much work one gallon of gasoline can do. Carbon dioxide emissions are a valuable plant food and since we aren’t wasting growing space with windfarms, or solar arrays we have more room for agriculture or natural ecosystems.

The BTU’s produced by an oil well compared to the land required to sustain it has a much higher efficiency rating than any of the so-called “green” technologies.

James Rowen said...

All the technologies you dismiss have been continually refined and improved.

And they operate more cleaner than burned oil or oil-based operations, and are not sold to us by people who are killing our soldiers.

And how did that stick a hole in the ground approach work in the Gulf.

Plenty of issues to contend with that you are blowing off.

Anonymous said...

Actually the gulf of Mexico turned out pretty well. If that was the greatest environmental disaster in the history of our country then I would say that we are doing pretty well and if we would develop the oil resources in our own country we wouldn’t need the mid-east. Our dependence on the middle east is a direct result of the environmental movement and other fabricated "issues".

James Rowen said...

The Gulf worked out pretty well? I haven't heard anyone living there or nearby say that.