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Monday, January 17, 2011

Wisconsin is Blowing It

From a news release issued by the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters:

Illinois Stands to Benefit from Walker’s Excessive Wind Regulations

Madison - Just days after appearing on TV and radio in Chicago to remind Illinois that Wisconsin is open for business, Governor Walker introduced a bill that would essentially ban wind development in Wisconsin. The move would leave Wisconsin dependent on other states, including Illinois, to meet our energy demand.

In the bill introduced for consideration in the special session, Governor Walker suggests placing regulations on wind development that are so restrictive, they would essentially prohibit the development
of future wind projects in Wisconsin, and even stop some already on the docket. If passed, it's estimated that Wisconsin will immediately lose $1.8 billion in new wind power investments and jeopardize eleven currently proposed wind projects. Illinois has no restrictions on wind siting.

Wisconsin currently ranks fifth in the nation in the portion of its electricity derived from imported coal. Wisconsin sends more than $850 million out of state every year to places like Indiana, Wyoming, and Illinois to purchase coal.

"While other states are moving forward with their own energy independence, it appears Governor Walker wants Wisconsin to remain dependent on places like Illinois for our dirty coal habit. This move is sending a very dangerous message to the global wind industry. From those who install wind turbines to those who manufacture them, Governor Walker is suggesting they take their business elsewhere," said Kerry Schumann, Executive Director of Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters.

There is growing concern that Governor Walker's rejection of twenty-first century energy projects is becoming a pattern.

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