Pass legislation to help wind projects

Posted on February 27, 2008. Filed under: Wind |

This letter to the editor appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

A Feb. 26 editorial asked what could be done to encourage wind farms (“Blowin’ in the wind”). We should work for passage of Assembly Bill 899 and Senate Bill 544. The legislation would set up clear, uniform criteria and permitting timetables for wind projects under 100 megawatts. Wisconsin wisely has a law now, Statute 66.0401, that already forbids local units of government from discouraging or prohibiting renewable energy projects “except for reasons of health and safety.”Its meaning is plain, and there is case law backing it up all the way to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Does that prevent outrageous, obstructionist local ordinances from being written and effectively tying up smaller wind proposals? Not on your life! Any and all shenanigans have been concocted under the ruse of concern about “health and safety.”

Wind machines are not a blight on the landscape. On the contrary: These dramatic and majestic artifacts will become widely accepted, even taken for granted as time goes on.

We urgently need wind as part of the mix to meet Wisconsin’s clean energy goals. The proposed legislation will move us away from obstructionism and toward sanity on this important issue.

David Lagerman


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