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MGE Shareholders for Clean Energy: Find MGE's goals inadequate

Contact: Don Wichert 608 395-9720, Beth Esser 608 239-1353, Don Ferber 608-222-9376

MADISON – Shareholders from MGE Shareholders for Clean Energy (SCE), a grassroots shareholder group, submitted three resolutions today that call for Madison Gas & Electric (MGE) to fully disclose the company’s strategy to address climate change by decreasing carbon emissions, provide their roadmap to transition to 100% renewable energy, and lead the community in electrifying the transportation sector with clean energy. The resolutions are submitted today for a vote at the 2018 MGE Energy annual meeting next May.

Like ExxonMobil shareholders last year, MGE shareholders are asking MGE to disclose its strategy for aligning business operations with the 2015 Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to a maximum of 2 degrees Celsius. “We know that MGE’s current goal of 40% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 does not go far enough for MGE to keep in line with the rest of the world’s target goal of limiting warming to 2 degrees Celsius,” stated Beth Esser, a mother of two and MGE shareholder. “As investors, we need a clear understanding of the risks we face with MGE’s continued reliance on coal. As a parent I need to know MGE is making the right decisions in the world my children will inherit..”

“The City of Madison and other area communities are declaring goals of 100% renewable energy. 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% renewable energy roadmap?” asks Don Ferber, energy activist with the Sierra Club and 350 Madison, and MGE shareholder. “The community and shareholders need to know what MGE’s plans are to get off coal. No one can be complacent at this point in our efforts to address climate change, and supplying this community with nearly 70% coal generation is not acceptable.”

The shareholders also believe MGE is a powerful player in transforming the local transportation sector to an electric market fueled with clean energy and to assist local communities in their efforts to have 100% renewable energy. “MGE has not comprehensively evaluated the steps needed to transition electrifying Madison’s transportation sector, including mass transit buses and rail, despite many studies showing this makes the most economic sense for a utility and its shareholders,” said Don Wichert, an energy engineer and MGE shareholder who is one of the shareholders submitting the electrification resolution for the second year in a row. “MGE stated they want to support transportation sector decision makers instead of being a leader themselves. We think this is shortsighted and fails to position the company to capitalize on this major new growth area for utilities.”

Wichert summarizes the MGE Shareholders for Clean Energy objective, “When MGE agrees to these resolutions, they will move our utility and our community to be a genuine national clean energy leader.”

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