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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Don't blow back on wind power

From an editorial in the Wisconsin State Journal:

More government regulation and tighter restrictions?

That's the wrong path for Wisconsin to take on promising wind energy projects.

Gov. Scott Walker and the Legislature should instead stick with the reasonable and uniform rules that the state Public Service Commission has approved.

Wisconsin is already falling behind its neighbors in the push to use wind as a clean, renewable energy source. At the same time, Wisconsin imports a huge portion of its power from out of state.

That's why the PSC was smart to adopt standard rules for siting smaller wind operations as well as bigger wind farms. The PSC, after listening to public testimony, health experts and industry officials, wisely streamlined and replaced a hodgepodge of local restrictions.

The PSC standards now protect public health and safety while permitting well-designed wind farms on appropriate sites. Besides more home-grown energy, Wisconsin gains jobs related to the manufacturing of parts for turbines. Farmers also benefit from the additional income they receive for allowing turbines of varying size on their land.

Walker's welcome mantra since his election last fall has been that Wisconsin is "open for business." But Walker's proposal for more regulation and restrictions on wind projects runs counter to that promise.

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