Government and Political Roundup: State Senator wants to halt the construction of wind energy farmsWisconsin News
-- A state senator wants to halt the construction of new wind energy farms, by freezing the renewable energy requirements for Wisconsin utilities.
MADISON - A state senator wants to halt the construction of new wind energy farms, by freezing the renewable energy requirements for Wisconsin utilities.
Sen. Glenn Grothman of West Bend is going to bat for residents in the Sheboygan County town of Sherman, who are trying to stop a four-turbine wind farm from being built. The project is in Grothman’s district. And he’s encouraging town officials to delay the approval process as long as possible, in the hopes that lawmakers could reconsider limits on wind farms next year. Grothman said it was a mistake to force Wisconsin utilities to get 10-percent of their power from renewable sources by 2015. He says the utilities are mostly using wind turbines to meet the standard. And Grothman claims those wind farms have raised electric costs and lowered nearby property values – and they might be causing health problems for residents. Grothman says windmills are quote, “divisive.” And he says his bill to freeze the renewable energy standard would put an end to the market for wind power in Wisconsin. An effort to further restrict the locating of wind turbines was killed in the most recent state Legislative session. Back then, industry officials said it would reduce jobs in the Badger State not only by stopping turbine construction – but by forcing Wisconsin firms that make wind power equipment to move elsewhere.
From Milwaukee to Tomahawk and beyond, Wisconsinites are remembering the 9-11 terrorist attacks on this day 11 years ago. Governor Scott Walker spoke at a ceremony at Milwaukee’s War Memorial. Walker said he took his two sons on a trip to New York so they could see Ground Zero. He told them to think about those who survived, as well as the three-thousand-plus who died. In the governor’s words, “The best way we can honor the dead is to serve the living.” Gurmail Singh, the head priest at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, asked people to end ignorance and hatred. He called them the breeding grounds for violence – which the Sikhs know first-hand after last month’s shooting massacre in Oak Creek. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett was a member of the U.S. House at the time. He said the Capitol was quickly evacuated – and when members returned that night, members of both parties truly came together. And Barrett said quote, “I believe we can do it again.” There was also a ceremony in Tomahawk at the hour of the first attack, 7:45 a.m. A parade was also held which featured veterans. And in Wisconsin Rapids, a Freedom Walk was planned. It was to end at the Wisconsin State Fire-fighters’ Memorial in Rapids. Walker has ordered all flags to fly at half-staff today in remembrance of the 9-11 tragedy.
Seven more citations have been given for protests yesterday at the State Capitol. And unlike a dozen others issued last week, the new ones were served at the alleged offenders’ homes. Administration spokeswoman Stephanie Marquis did not say why. She said three protestors each received a pair of citations for displaying protest signs without permits, and protesting without a permit. A fourth person was only cited for the latter offense. The new State Capitol police chief announced a crackdown on protestors last week in an effort to bring what he called “normalcy” back to the statehouse. Officials say they’re enforcing a long-standing policy first highlighted last December, which requires permits for planned activities at the Capitol involving four-or-more people. Protests continue on a daily basis, a year-and-a-half after the massive demonstrations against the new law which virtually ended most public union bargaining.
Vice President Joe Biden will speak at UW-Eau Claire on Thursday morning – and he plans to tell what he and President Obama plan to do about the national debt. The Obama campaign calls it a “grass-roots event” which seeks to tell middle-class families what’s at stake in November. Biden is scheduled to appear at Zorn Arena on the Eau Claire campus at 11 a-m on Thursday. It will be his second visit to Wisconsin in 11 days, after he appeared at Green Bay’s National Railroad Administration a week ago Sunday. Meanwhile, Republican vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan has a rally planned tomorrow in De Pere. That event begins at 11:45 at the Cornerstone Community Ice Center. It will be Ryan’s third such Wisconsin event after Mitt Romney named the Janesville congressman as his running mate a month ago today.
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says Wisconsin dairy farmers would lose a lot if Congress does not approve the proposed five-year Farm Bill by September 30th. Vilsack tells the Wisconsin Ag Connection, a farm news Web site, that a host of federal farm aid programs will expire at the end of the month if they’re not renewed. Vilsack, a former Iowa governor, says there would quote, “no further drought relief, no dairy safety net payments, and no protection for specialty crops.” And he said extensions of the Conservation Reserve Program would not happen, either. G-O-P House leaders held up the massive federal farm package before leaving on their August recess. They say they’re against the proposed spending on food stamps. Vilsack said he’s convinced there would be enough votes to pass the Farm Bill if the present version comes up for a full House vote. He noted that a bi-partisan committee has already endorsed it. Vilsack said the national farm sector has seen record commodity prices and strong exports in recent years – and he does not want to risk a reversal of those trends. Vilsack said he was looking forward to a rally in Washington this week, where over 40 farm groups are expected to press lawmakers for action.