Legislative committee holds public hearing on new windmill restrictions billWisconsin Legislature
-- Over 100 people testified yesterday at a public hearing on new restrictions for Wisconsin’s wind energy farms.
MADISON - Over 100 people testified yesterday at a public hearing on new restrictions for Wisconsin’s wind energy farms.
The state Legislature’s rules committee spent seven hours hearing from people on both sides, before it decides whether to throw out limits adopted last year by the Public Service Commission. Opponents of the rules said they favor the wind power industry at the expense of people who live near the turbines. But supporters of wind power said some type of statewide policy is needed to end what they called chaos over local laws. They said Wisconsin’s proposed limits are the most stringent in the country. And the supporters say wind projects might move to other states if lawmakers approve even longer setbacks proposed by Governor Scott Walker.
Jeff Anthony of the American Wind Energy Association says Texas, Iowa, and Kansas are open for business, just like Walker says Wisconsin is – and those states are enjoying the job benefits of wind power. But Theresa Lark, who’s helping to fight a large wind farm south of Green Bay, says there are very few jobs after the turbines are built – and they’ll discourage development in those places for years. The PSC rules set standards for high-tech windmills that included setbacks from neighboring homes, and limits for noise and shadow flickers.