If you like burning fossil fuels - hey, aren't those http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/22/us/22koch.html">Koch brothers in the pipeline business? - then you'll love Gov. Walker's proposed budget.

The 1,345-pager takes a whack at scores of environmental efforts, from nixing the state Office of Energy Independence to actually encouraging state vehicles to use more gasoline.

Seriously, you can't make this stuff up. And with pump prices marching toward $4 a gallon, you wonder if any thought went into the long-term fiscal impacts.

But here's the skinny.

Walker wants to eliminate the http://energyindependence.wi.gov/section.asp?linkid=1432&locid=160"> Office of Energy Independence, which works to reduce the state's annual energy bill. Launched by Gov. Doyle in 2007, it has 10 staffers and an office at 201 W. Washington Ave. 

Since Wisconsin has no coal, natural gas or oil reserves, its citizens send over $20 billion out of state every year to Wyoming, the Gulf of Mexico and the Middle East evil-doers who hate America.

The OEI was designed to work with the biofuels industry, renewable energy markets and alternative energy researchers here at home.

Instead, Walker wants the Department of Administration to develop a "cost-effective, balanced, reliable, and environmentally-responsible energy strategy to promote economic growth." As in growth for the oil and gas guys?

The state has also been operating under a directive that by 2015 it reduce gasoline use by at least 50 percent from 2006 levels. Walker wants to eliminate the requirement and drop the reduction goal to 20 percent.

Along those lines, Walker wants to do away with any requirements regarding use of hybrid-electric vehicles or alternative fuels in state-owned vehicles.

The proposed budget also deletes a rule the state consider energy use in the purchase of new appliances, lighting or heating systems costing under $5,000.

As a final kicker, the bill eliminates the http://www.commerce.state.wi.us/bd/BD-CA-SBEC.html">Small Business Environmental Council, which assists small businesses in complying with federal and state laws regulating air and water pollution.

Energy efficiency or evironmental laws? No need for 'em if you're open for business.


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