Walker wrong on wind rules

Posted on January 20, 2011. Filed under: Economic development, Wind |

From an editorial in the La Crosse Tribune:

Cue the overture to “Gone with the Wind.”

Gov. Scott Walker already has thrown back $810 million in federal funding for high-speed rail — and the jobs and investment attached — to other states, including Illinois.

Now, he wants to make sure Wisconsin blows an opportunity to develop wind energy — development that our neighbors to the west have blown past Wisconsin on.

Denise Bode, CEO of American Wind Energy Association, says the governor’s new regulations for wind energy would imperil a dozen Wisconsin wind farms worth $1.8 billion and 950 full-time jobs.

So, we’re forced to ask once again: When does Wisconsin get some of the 250,000 new jobs that Walker has promised — and when does he intend to stop creating jobs in other states at our expense?

The governor is pushing a regulatory bill that would quadruple the distance that a wind turbine is set back from another property. Opponents say that may kill any current or future wind-turbine operation.

In Walker-speak, that’s known as a job-killer.

The proposed regulations are especially troubling because they could cause problems for an innovative partnership between Gundersen Lutheran and Organic Valley. The two organization plan to split the $11.5 million cost of their project near Organic Valley’s distribution center in Cashton. A spokesman said they hope to order turbines within two weeks and begin generating electricity by November.

Isn’t that the type of entrepreneurial innovation and dynamic partnership that Wisconsin needs to grow the economy — especially with green energy?


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