Governor Doyle: Governor Doyle and UAW/GM Janesville Assembly Celebrate 500,000th Flexible Fuel Vehicle

Anne Lupardus, Office of the Governor, 608-261-2162

State and Janesville Plant, Leading the Way to Energy Independence

JANESVILLE – Governor Jim Doyle today, joined by joint leadership from UAW/GM Janesville Assembly and the Wisconsin Nature Conservancy, commemorated the production of more than a half-million flexible fuel vehicles produced at the GM Janesville plant. GM also announced that they were donating a Janesville-built Chevy Tahoe to the Wisconsin Nature Conservancy to be used to educate Wisconsin school children about conservation and protecting the environment.

“Wisconsin is leading the way toward energy independence,” Governor Doyle said. “Through ethanol, we are building partnerships between Wisconsin farmers and manufacturers in a way that is growing our economy, creating jobs, protecting our environment, and relieving our nation’s addiction to foreign oil. Congratulations to the UAW Local 95 and General Motors on an incredible milestone.”

GM has produced over 1.5 million flexible fuel vehicles since 2002. These vehicles can operate on either regular gasoline or E-85 fuel, which contains 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. During this year’s super bowl, GM launched a national advertising campaign called “Live Green, Go Yellow” to inform Americans about E-85 fuel.

Governor Doyle is working to increase the number of E85 fuel stations, to make the use of this fuel more convenient for the general public. Following an executive order requiring all state agencies to reduce the use of petroleum-based gasoline in the state’s vehicle fleet by 20 percent by 2010 and by 50 percent by 2015, Governor Doyle directed Department of Administration Secretary Steve Bablitch and Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection Secretary Rod Nilsestuen to look into how the state can attract more E85 pumps

GM-Janesville is one of the oldest GM plants in America, with approximately 3,700 employees at the facility. Governor Doyle has provided $10 million to GM to help offset the cost of training associated with the production and launch of a new line of sport-utility vehicles. GM has invested $175 million in the Janesville plant to produce the all-new line of sport-utility vehicles, the GMT 900 lineup. Production of the Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon and Yukon Denali began earlier this year. The Chevy Suburban and GMC Yukon XL and Yukon Denali XL production will begin in early April.

Governor Doyle has dramatically expanded the state’s commitment to ethanol and other renewable fuels. Last week, he enacted the most sweeping energy policy in our state’s history, signing bipartisan legislation to promote energy conservation and renewable fuels in Wisconsin. Senate Bill 459, the Energy Efficiency and Renewables Act, requires that by 2015, ten percent of the state’s electricity be generated from renewable sources. This is enough to supply the needs of 850,000 homes each year, and avoid more than 5.5 million tons of greenhouse gases by 2015.