Announcing the Launch of the Wisconsin Conservative Energy Forum
Conservative educational organization seeks to highlight “all of the above” approach to energy
(Madison, WI) – Conservative community leaders gathered today at the Wisconsin State Capitol to announce the launch of the Wisconsin Conservative Energy Forum (WISCEF), an organization that seeks to be a long missing voice for conservatives in the state’s energy policy discussion.
Scott Coenen will serve as the executive director of the organization. Coenen said that WISCEF launches in a unique moment in U.S. energy history. For the first time, many renewable forms of energy, such as solar and wind, are cost competitive with fossil fuels. “Conservatives need to emphasize the development of cheap, reliable, and cost-effective energy,” he said. “To do that, we need to recognize that advances in technology increasingly mean renewable and alternative energy fits that description; cheap, reliable, and cost-effective. However, for too long conservatives have not engaged on this issue and we’ve allowed groups on the left to drive the message.”
The launch of the forum provides the opportunity to drive a conservative message. “We founded WISCEF in order to start to change this dynamic, to bring conservatives to the table to discuss these new technologies, and introduce a new conservative message to the renewable energy debate,” said Coenen.
Coenen said too often renewable and alternative energies are thought of as “green” experiments that only serve to drive up the cost of energy. “As new technologies are developed and the market changes, we need to change our pre-conceived notions too. Renewable energy can be about job creation, economic development, and sustainable cost-effective energy. That message is a conservative message.” The group is made up of forward-thinking conservatives ready to change the dynamic of the state’s energy conversation. The WISCEF Leadership Council currently includes:
·Tommy Thompson – Former Governor of Wisconsin
·Ryan Owens – UW Madison Professor Political Science
·Mark Honadel – Former GOP State Representative and Chairman of the Assembly Committee on Energy and Utilities
·Debbie Crave – Vice President of Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese
·Matt Neumann – President of Neumann Companies Inc. and Sunvest Solar Inc.
·Jon Hochkammer – Outreach Manager of the Wisconsin Counties Association
·Jake Margis – Chairman of the Wisconsin Young Republicans
The goal of WISCEF is to spur a dialogue and provide a vehicle for individuals, organizations, and businesses to join the conservative conversation about Wisconsin’s energy future. WISCEF believes that an “all of the above” energy policy, with an emphasis on stimulating the state economy, lowering costs, and protecting national and grid security must be pursued by increasing the commitment to developing “Wisconsin-gown” clean energy resources and expanding energy efficiency. The WISCEF Statement of Principles is attached.