Sen. Miller: GOP’s tilting at windmills costing jobs, stopping progress toward energy independence
From a news release issued by State Sen. Mark Miller:
Madison – As gas prices continue to skyrocket and the need to create new, well-paying jobs in Wisconsin remains a top issue, Senate Republicans continued blocking implementation of uniform wind energy zoning rules that would bring hundreds of millions of dollars in new clean projects to the state and create jobs.
Senate Democratic Leader Mark Miller commented, “The Republicans are tilting at windmills, standing in the way of green job creation and hundreds of millions of dollars in investments in renewable energy projects in Wisconsin.”
In 2009 session, the Senate passed legislation on a strong, bipartisan vote to require uniform, statewide zoning of wind farms and directing the Public Service Commission (PSC) to create a wind siting council made up of stakeholders and other interested parties to develop rules for where wind power developments could be located.
Miller noted, “The PSC went through the process we told them to go through. They brought together the stakeholders and they reached a reasonable compromise.”
The Republican’s blocking implementation of the rules has created regulatory uncertainty and already led to the termination of two projects that would have brought hundreds of millions in new investments to our state, created jobs on the project sites and among affiliated businesses, and delivered over 250 megawatts of clean power to Wisconsin consumers.
In a letter to the PSC, wind power developer Invenergy wrote that they “… cannot justify continuing to make significant investments … while substantial uncertainty persists regarding relevant project regulations …” Midwest Wind Energy suspended a 75 -turbine wind project and said, “Most states are clearly open for renewable energy development and the economic development dollars and jobs that come with it … it doesn’t make sense to devote significant dollars to a state that is creating unreasonable roadblocks for wind development.”
Miller concluded, “To be clear, the actions of the Senate Republicans today mean they continue to stand in the way of new jobs being created, clean energy being developed and hundreds of millions of dollars being invested in our economy.”