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Environmental groups promote “clean energy toolkit”

Brad Williams

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Oil prices are going down as the supply of the fossil fuel increases, but the demand for traditional fuels is dropping in many places, which is good news, according to environmental groups. 

Wisconsin Conservation Voters, the Sierra Club and Renew Wisconsin are backing a “clean energy toolkit” for state residents. 

At La Crosse City Hall on Tuesday, supporters of the toolkit idea encouraged more walking, biking and use of mass transit. 

Nick Nichols, the retired sustainability coordinator for La Crosse County, said switching to cleaner energy sources could bring 160,000 new jobs to the state.

Nichols added that Wisconsin spends about $14 billion a year importing energy resources from other places, and argues that using cleaner energy will save money.

“We’re not doing this because it’s nice and warm and fuzzy, and we’re all a bunch of tree-huggers,” Nichols said.

La Crosse is taking big steps toward becoming carbon free in its energy use by 2050, according to Mayor Tim Kabat.

The mayor said efforts by city departments to use cleaner energy sources has dropped City Hall’s carbon footprint by 30 percent in just 11 years.

Kabat added that plans are in the works to install solar panels at City Hall, the La Crosse Center and the Main Street Library.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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