(WisBusiness) WED News Summary — 20 Feb. 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— With a few minor tweaks, the Governor’s Global Warming Task Force unanimously approved an interim report Tuesday that asks the state Public Service Commission to change the way it regulates electric utilities to promote conservation and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The document, which says Wisconsin should try to reduce electric load by 2 percent and natural gas load by 1 percent per year by 2015, also suggests streamlining the process to site windmill farms and tightening commercial and residential building codes. It didn’t address nuclear energy, which some members want to see expanded in Wisconsin.

The report was forwarded to Gov. Jim Doyle, who praised the diverse group of public, business and environmental leaders for its work.

Dan Ebert, chairman of the PSC and a task force member, said most of the recommendations sent to Doyle are relatively non-controversial. The final report, due out this summer, will deal with transportation, buildings, land use planning and development, agriculture, forestry, industry and other sectors that produce carbon dioxide (CO2).

“These interim steps are a good start and the PSC will play a major part in addressing them,” said Ebert. “We look forward to rolling up our sleeves and getting to work right away.

He said some of the contentious areas that will be considered in the final report include nuclear energy and possible carbon taxes or a cap-and-trade program to limit CO2 emissions.

— The eight Great Lakes governors are calling on state lawmakers to approve the Great Lakes Compact amid a push by two Wisconsin lawmakers to alter the deal.

Assembly Speaker Mike Huebsch and Rep. Scott Gunderson have raised concerns about a provision that gives any of the eight guvs the power to veto diversion of Great Lakes waters outside their basin. That could affect areas like Waukesha County, which is searching for a new source of fresh water because of contaminated wells but lies just outside the basin.

The governors rejected calls for renegotiations, saying that will only weaken protections in the compact.

“We cannot allow misguided efforts to derail this important compact at this critical time,” said Gov. Jim Doyle, who chairs the Council of Great Lakes Governors.

See the release: http://www.wispolitics.com/1006/080219_CGLG_release.pdf

See the resolution: http://www.wispolitics.com/1006/large/080219_CGLG_resolution.pdf

— Register for a WisPolitics.com/WisBusiness.com briefing on the pending compact Wed. March 5 in Milwaukee. Other organizers include UW-Milwaukee, MMAC, the Government of Canada and DiscoveryWorld.

See more and register: http://www.wispolitics.com/index.iml?Article=116957

— The state Department of Justice has urged a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit seeking to overturn the state’s minimum markup law.

Utah-based Flying J Inc. filed suit last month seeking an injunction to prevent the state from enforcing the law. The company won a lawsuit filed by a competing gas station chain after a federal magistrate ruled last year the law violated the U.S. Constitution and had not been adequately monitored as required under the Sherman Act.

DOJ offered a point-by-point response to the complaint in a filing and listed half a dozen reasons why the suit should be dismissed. That includes DOJ’s contention that the markup law is not pre-empted by the Sherman Act, that the federal court lacks subject matter jurisdiction and that Flying J has failed to allege the state has pursued an enforcement action against it.

*See the state response: http://www.wispolitics.com/1006/flying_j_answer.pdf

*See the complaint: http://www.wispolitics.com/1006/080205FlyingJComplaint.pdf

— Small Business Times is seeking participants for its 2008 Fittest Execs competition, which challenges local CEO’s, owners, partners and other top executives to compete for the title of Fittest Exec in a variety of categories.

The highly successful Fittest CEOs competition from 2007 has been renamed this year to encourage broader participation by the executive leadership teams of southeastern Wisconsin companies.

The focus of the campaign continues to promote both personal fitness and corporate wellness through friendly competition.

See story: http://www.biztimes.com/daily/2008/2/19/#fittest-execs-program-provides-free-health-evaluations



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Press Releases
· Council of Great Lakes Governors: Governors renew call to enact Great Lakes protections
· DATCP: Deadline for 2008 Agricultural Development and Diversification grants is March 15
· Gov. Doyle: Receives interim global warming report
· Officer of the Commissioner of Insurance: Commissioner cautions consumers of ice dams
· Sen. Erpenbach: Cellular phones on “No Call” list passes state Senate
· Wisconsin Fair Trade Coalition: Failed trade agenda cooling on chilly primary election day

For these and more releases visit http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Content=82


Global warming panel agrees; But question of utility profits is contentious:
The thorny issue of whether monopoly power companies should profit from energy efficiency nearly prevented unanimous support for a series of recommendations adopted by the state’s global warming task force Tuesday. Papermakers objected to changing the way utilities earn their profit to reward energy efficiency. Energy-intensive industries such as NewPage Corp. that are already investing in energy efficiency want to see lower energy costs, not higher rates, paper council President Jeff Landin said.

– Task Force Approves Energy Saving Recommendations

Johnson Controls wins India mall work, magazine honor: Johnson Controls Inc. will receive a contract to perform energy efficiency retrofits in the Inorbit Mall, the largest mall in Mumbai, India, under the first project development agreement through the Clinton Climate Initiative’s Energy Efficiency Building Retrofit Program. The project at the Inorbit Mall, owned by India’s K. Raheja Corp., is intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by improving the energy infrastructure at the mall, while reducing energy costs and operational expenses, Johnson Controls said Tuesday. Financial terms were not disclosed.

– Johnson Controls gets milestone deal; Energy-saving project is a 1st for climate plan

Three higher education schools will team up to reverse the brain drain: A collaborative effort by three Wisconsin schools will make a manufacturing engineering degree available for the first time in Northeastern Wisconsin. Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, the University of Wisconsin-Stout and the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay will team up to offer a Bachelor of Science degree in manufacturing engineering. Representatives of the three schools signed an agreement during ceremonies Tuesday at NWTC’s Manufacturing Technology Center in Green Bay.

State Senate Votes To Allow Cell Phones On No-Call List: The state Senate approved a measure that would prohibit telemarketers from calling Wisconsin residents’ cell phones. The bill would allow cell phone numbers to be placed on the state’s existing no-call list. It also would require telemarketers to honor any request made over the phone to stop calling. The measure would increase the maximum forfeiture for telemarketers who intentionally call people on the list from $100 to $1,000.

– Cell phones may join no-call list


GREGG HOFFMANN: Contributor, WisBusiness.com

TOM STILL: President, Wisconsin Technology Council

JENNIFER SERENO: Senior manager, Wood Communications Group

STEVE JAGLER: Executive editor, Small Business Times

TOM BURZINSKI: IT executive and consultant

TECHNOLOGY (back to top)
– Standard Networks acquired by Ipswitch unit

– AT&T going unlimited on its wireless plans

– Office on the go; Ford to offer technology package in trucks, vans that includes in-dash computer, security system for tools

– GIS firm in Eau Claire receives tax credits

– Critics slam FCC chairman’s TV plan

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Steep rates for state bonds

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Eau Claire: Bergman Cos. sold to Fahrner Asphalt

– Aviation parts supplier moving to Green Bay area

– Ashwaubenon’s Tufco earnings drop over last year

LABOR (back to top)
– Skyway pilots will not receive severance pay

– Marshfield: CCCW to use union health care workers

– Senate OKs Plan To Allow UW Faculty, Staff To Unionize

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– African Hut takes a break in business

INVESTING (back to top)
– More Americans raid their retirement accounts

– State man on Bush’s fiscal literacy panel

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Pabst Farms gets Oconomowoc’s OK, but questions remain

– Sheboygan: City, planners begin work of reviving Taylor Drive corridor

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– Patrick Cudahy parent Smithfield to cut back hog production

– Westby creamery grows sales and employment

– Farm Groups: We’re Entering ‘High Risk’ Period for Manure Runoff

– Farm Labor Shows Farmhands Are Being Paid More

– Recalled beef turns up in Kettle Moraine

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– Report: Pilot unions reach agreement in Delta, Northwest merger

– Midwest owner TPG buying stake in Japanese lender

– Schneider National narrows rail network

– Green Bay: Reopening of Ray Nitschke bridge postponed again

RETAIL (back to top)
– Walgreen’s chief strategist Gleeson to retire

– Erickson Chevrolet of Verona sold

REGULATION (back to top)
– Opinion: State needs child-care ratings

TOURISM (back to top)
– Oshkosh: Plan commission OKs SpeedZone permit

– Racine’s HarborFest canceled because of dropping revenues

UTILITIES (back to top)
– Wood pellets spell opportunity for investors

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– Bellin Health matches practices with U.K.

– Credit unions put aside more for reserves

BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)
– Dave Marshall: Assembly bill would hurt fisheries, lakes and rivers

– Mike Ivey: Race to the bottom can prove very costly

– Rep. James Oberstar column: Airline Consolidation? Hell No

Media Partners
Small Business Times
Madison Magazine

National Business Roundups ( back to top)
–YAHOO FINANCE: http://finance.yahoo.com/
–CNBC BUSINESS NEWS: http://www.cnbc.com
–ABC BUSINESS NEWS: http://abcnews.go.com/sections/business/
–GOOGLE NEWS: http://news.google.com/news/en/us/business.html

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