State senator calls missed wind opportunities ‘sad commentary’

Posted on May 13, 2009. Filed under: Economic development, Wind |


Plale speaking - lo res - cropped
State Senator Jeff Plale (right) testifies in support of identical companion bills (Senate Bill 185 and Assembly Bill 256) that he co-authored with State Rep. James Soletski (left). The bills direct the Public Service Commission to begin a process to set state-wide uniform standards for wind project permitting.

From an article by Paul Snyder in The Daily Reporter:

In addition to missing out on an estimated $3.5 million of economic opportunity for each wind turbine not built in Wisconsin, the state also is missing out on new energy without uniform standards.

“We’re looking at about 600 megawatts of stalled energy right now,” said R.J. Pirlot, director of legislative relations for Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce.

State Sen. Jeff Plale, D-South Milwaukee, author of the statewide wind farm siting bill and chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Utilities, Energy and Rail said the inactivity is disappointing.

“That’s a lot of missed opportunity,” he said. “And it’s a sad commentary for this state when we’re out there saying we want more renewable energy.”

RENEW Wisconsin’s executive director Michael Vickerman also testified.

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One Response to “State senator calls missed wind opportunities ‘sad commentary’”

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In these exceptionally hard economic times we have an industry that is flourishing in Wisconsin. The wind turbine industry has in 2008 enjoyed exceptional growth by a factor of 9. Does this sound like an industry that is stalled out, restricted in any way, or one that needs help from Lawmakers in Madison? They want it all, but all has yet to be determined. A 9 fold increase is not enough. This industry is being driven by greed.

All Americans are suffering the consequences of the greed driven business practices of the banking industry and Wall Street. While Governments, businesses, and families, are experiencing major budget shortfalls the wind industry wants more, more from the taxpayers, more from the ratepayers. These greed driven business practices are sure to have a negative impact on the long term renewable energy goals in Wisconsin.

The unprecedented growth in installed wind capacity in 2008 indicates there is no need for and type of siting reform. Many communities are welcoming wind turbines with open arms. There is no need to force residents to live under turbines. Wind developers must continue to work with local Governments for approval of wind turbine projects.

A one size fits all rule developed by the PSC and wind developers will not adequately address the diverse land use in Wisconsin. Only local control of land use can protect the health and safety of residents, agricultural activity, and property rights. The PSC and wind developers asked for siting control last year. One year later the PSC has not brought anything to the table for review, instead they continue to ask for a blank check.

Any siting rules must be written and approved by elected officials, with input from professionals in noise, health, safety, agriculture, property rights, and property values. This new set of rules would then be given to the PSC to implement and police.

Are we really missing out on 3.5million in revenue for each turbine not built? That’s 3.5 million over 30 years not each year. Where would all this money come from? Do turbines print $100 bills as they rotate? No, all the money comes from the taxpayers and rate payers. Wind developers will take our tax and rate dollars tack on a health profit margin for themselves and the return a few dollars to landowners and local governments. Remember, the greed driven wind developers are here in Wisconsin to make money, not produce renewable energy.

Wisconsin is an agricultural state. Process vegetable business is a $750,000,000.00 industry that employs thousands of people. This industry will be put in serious jeopardy if growers are unable to apply pesticides in a timely manner with aerial application. Wisconsin’s grain crop does not rely as heavily on aerial application, but it can increase crop yields by as much as 30%. It was made clear at the hearing that not one pilot in Wisconsin will fly inside or within ½ mile downwind of a turbine facility.

This wind industry needs to slow down. A state wind moratorium should be put in place until all the negative impacts of wind turbines can be addressed and properly regulated.

This hysterical approach to wind development by advocate’s, and developers is going to harm Wisconsin’s citizens and our economy.


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