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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Shortsighted energy plans just won't cut it; renewables needed

From an editorial in the Sheboygan Press:

President Barack Obama has twice in the last year called for the nation to reduce its dependence of foreign oil by embarking on a multi-faceted plan on energy.

Obama's first call for energy independence was followed less than a month later by the Deep Water Horizon oil rig disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

We hope that the president's latest energy initiative is followed not by a disaster, but by a commitment from Congress to develop a national energy policy. A commitment from the American people to be receptive of alternative energy sources would be nice, too. . . .

Until recently, we thought Wisconsin was poised to become a leader in helping the nation reach that goal.

Wind power was one area where Wisconsin was setting the pace.

The state had sensible rules on where wind turbines could be located in relation to residential properties and the state was on its way toward making progress on using this renewable energy resource. But those rules are on hold and are likely to be changed to the point where it will be impractical for companies interested in locating wind farms to do business in Wisconsin.

This is not only shortsighted in development of renewable energy sources, it is also a job-killer because the companies that now make wind turbines in Wisconsin are already talking about relocating to states where wind power is welcomed.

The easy thing to do is to keep relying on oil and coal to power our cars and heat our homes. The wise thing is to develop a long-range plan that relies on renewable energy.

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