GOP bid to block wind power rules fails

Posted on March 8, 2012. Filed under: Wind |

To steal a line from Billy Crystal in The Princess Bride, the bill is mostly dead, but not completely dead. In other words, it’s possible that the bill could again come to the floor for another attempt to pass it, but it’s very, very unlikely.

From a story by Patrick Marley and Lee Bergquist of the Milwuakee Journal Sentinel:

Madison – Rules for the wind industry crafted when Democrats ran state government will likely go into effect after a Republican effort to block them failed Wednesday in the state Senate. . . .

The wind industry rules were written by the Public Service Commission, but Republicans temporarily stopped them from being implemented after they took over the Legislature after the November 2010 elections. To permanently prevent the rules from going into effect, Republicans needed to pass a new bill by next week, when the legislative session ends.

Senate Republicans put forward a bill requiring the PSC to write new wind rules, but they pulled the bill back Wednesday because they didn’t have the votes to pass it. Sen. Frank Lasee (R-De Pere) said there was no way to get the measure passed, leaving the rules written by Democrats to soon go into effect.

Republicans control the Senate 17-16. All the Democrats and Sen. Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center) opposed blocking the rules, meaning Republicans were one vote shy of passing their bill.

The wind bill came up short on votes a day after mining legislation failed because Schultz sided with Democrats against that measure.

Schultz said he opposed blocking the wind rules because the wind industry, which has operations in his district, needs certainty after recent years of tumultuous policy-making for wind energy.

“If we send this back (to the PSC), we just further indecision on this,” he said.


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