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Doyle promotes bill for cleaner energy

Gov. Jim Doyle says Wisconsin needs cleaner energy, even if Congress does not pass national limits on greenhouse gases. Doyle told a forum in Saginaw, Mich., Wednesday that We Energies' proposed wood-burning power plant near Wausau would never happened without a state law that forces utilities to produce more green power.

The law requires utilities to make 10 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2015.

Doyle now wants to increase that to 25 percent by 2025. And he also says he'll ask lawmakers to modify the state's moratorium on nuclear power, and take steps to reduce energy use in Wisconsin by 2 percent.

Those recommendations came a year ago from the governor's task force on global warming.

The DNR's Pat Henderson says the bill will most likely be introduced in the next month.

Also at the Saginaw forum, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke made another pitch for the cap and trade limits on greenhouse gases passed by the House but stuck in the Senate. Locke said it would send a signal that it's safe and- profitable to make long-range investments in clean energy.

Doyle scoffed at claims that the federal bill would hurt Wisconsin more than other states, because of its heavy reliance on factories and coal for electricity.

He said the bill has major exemptions for utilities.

And Doyle says he does not believe the measure would cost the state thousands of jobs, as critics contend.