Afternoon News Brief - WI Congress urged to pass tax credit for manufacturer's serving wind energy technology
The president's energy secretary said in Milwaukee today that Congress should pass a tax credit for manufacturers that serve the wind energy industry. Steven Chu made his remarks after touring Ingeteam, a maker of wind turbines that was built in 2010 with the help of a former federal clean technology tax credit. Chu said a new tax credit would help avoid layoffs at wind energy facilities and he said it would be phased out as the cost of producing wind energy becomes cheaper and more competitive. Ingeteam now has 53 employees, and the firm expects to hire around 225 more people by 2015. The firm is based in Spain, and it chose Milwaukee for its US headquarters when former Governor Jim Doyle approved a state tax break of up to four and a half million dollars. The company also got a half million dollar state development loan, and its federal tax break totaled one-point-seven million. The new factory cost a total of $21 million dollars. Also today, Energy Secretary Chu was scheduled to visit the Great Lakes Bio energy Center in Madison. It conducts research aimed at creating new bio fuels as more economical alternatives to foreign oil.
Three more companies have agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by Wisconsin and other states, which accused the makers of flat screens of conspiring to inflate prices. New York's attorney general said today that three Asian firms and their US affiliates have agreed to pay $571 million dollars to settle price fixing allegations made by the Badger State and seven others for LCD screens used in T-V's and computers. All told, consumers in two dozen states will be entitled to partial refunds once the settlement gets a court's final approval. The LG Display Company, Toshiba, and AU Optronics are the final companies to reach settlements and the lawsuit will be considered closed on the deals are finalized. Earlier, seven companies from the Far East agreed to settle the states' allegations that they inflated prices for thin film transistor LCD screens from 1999 to 2006. Neighboring Michigan joined Wisconsin as a plaintiff, along with New York, Florida, West Virginia, Arkansas, Missouri, and California. Consumers in neighboring Minnesota and Iowa are also among those covered in today's agreement.
An autopsy could not explain why a four month old baby from Fond du Lac County died. Greyson Towne of Campbellsport was found unresponsive in his playpen last Sunday. He died later at a Fond du Lac hospital. Sheriff's officials said the autopsy could not uncover a definite cause of death and more tests will be conducted.