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Shareholders of Madison Gas & Electric, 623 Railroad St., have submitted resolutions for MGE's 2018 shareholders meeting, calling on the utility company to take more steps toward renewable fuels.

AMBER ARNOLD, STATE JOURNAL ARCHIVES

A group of MGE Energy shareholders wants the company’s utility subsidiary, Madison Gas & Electric Co., to take stronger steps away from fossil fuels.

The group, MGE Shareholders for Clean Energy, submitted three resolutions to MGE last week to be included in voting at the company’s annual stockholders meeting next May.

The resolutions call on MGE to disclose its strategy for decreasing carbon emissions, explain how it will make a transition to 100 percent use of renewable fuels and lead a study into electrifying transportation in the area.

MGE has pledged to get 30 percent of the electricity it sells from renewable sources by 2030, as well as to slash carbon emissions. But the shareholders group said those steps do not go far enough since local communities are adopting goals of 100 percent renewable fuel.

“How will these communities achieve these goals if the local utility provider, who has a monopoly on providing electric generation to these communities, does not have a 100 percent renewable energy road map?” said Don Ferber of the shareholders group.

Another shareholder group spokesman, Don Wichert, criticized the utility for not doing more to pursue electric vehicles. “MGE stated they want to support transportation-sector decision makers instead of being a leader themselves. We think this is shortsighted,” Wichert said.

A year ago, the shareholders group proposed a similar resolution on moving toward electric-powered vehicles. It received 1,687,108 votes in favor, or 8 percent, and 20,671,089 votes opposed, or 92 percent, at the annual stockholders meeting in May.

MGE’s board of directors had recommended a “no” vote on the resolution, saying the utility is actively pursuing efforts to increase the use of electric vehicles through various collaborations, but the company has no authority over the transportation sector, directors said.

Monday was the deadline for submitting resolutions for consideration at the annual meeting. MGE spokesman Steve Schultz said no other resolutions have come in. Shareholders have to own at least $2,000 worth of the company’s stock as one qualification to submit a proposal.

MGE Shareholders for Clean Energy says it represents about 100 people who own stock in MGE Energy.

Madison Gas & Electric supplies electricity to 149,000 customers in Dane County and natural gas to 154,000 customers in south-central and western Wisconsin.

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Judy Newman is a business reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.