MADISON, Wis. - A new global warming task force's first job will be estimating greenhouse gas emissions in Wisconsin, Gov. Jim Doyle announced Thursday.
Doyle signed an executive order Thursday creating the task force and a new Office of Energy Independence, which will work on the governor's energy policy.
Doyle directed the Department of Natural Resources and Public Service Commission to develop the greenhouse gas estimate in conjunction with the task force.
One of the first projects for the new Energy Independence office will be working with the Public Service Commission and electric utilities to build a "clean coal" electric generation facility, Doyle said.
The new office also will provide information about energy efficiency and independence to citizens, businesses, government and other organizations. The office also will pursue federal funding possibilities.
Doyle announced the plans as part of his effort to have 25 percent of Wisconsin's electricity and 25 percent of its transportation fuels come from renewable sources by 2025.
Doyle has proposed spending $30 million on additional renewable energy sources including solar, wind, hydrogen, biodiesel and ethanol.
The governor isn't the only one thinking about global warming. A Democratic-backed measure in the Legislature would require the state to track, monitor and limit greenhouse gas emissions and reduce its carbon dioxide emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 - as California is doing.
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The governor's new task force on global warming includes representatives of the state's businesses and government, as well as leaders in the fields of energy and the environment, Doyle said.
The task force is charged with examining global warming challenges and threats to the state's economy and environment. The group also will create a state plan to reduce global warming in Wisconsin, Doyle said.
The governor also announced that he will host a summit of Midwest governors this fall to discuss regional efforts to achieve energy independence and fight global warming. One topic Doyle said he wants to explore is how to use technology to capture carbon emissions.
Wisconsin also will join Minnesota, Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota and the province of Manitoba in implementing a regional system to track and trade renewable energy credits, Doyle said.
The system will keep costs of developing renewable energy down and help increase renewable energy production to combat an increase in greenhouse gases, according to the Wisconsin Public Service Commission. Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide come primarily from the burning of fossil fuels.
Many scientists and environmentalists say carbon dioxide levels are to blame for warmer temperatures around the globe, melting glaciers and rising seas.
The World Meteorological Organization has said greenhouse gases reached a record level in the atmosphere in 2005.