An effort to push forward with new rules for siting wind towers in Wisconsin has failed.
On a largely party-line 60-30 vote, the Republican-controlled Assembly on Thursday voted down an amendment that would have cleared the way for an expansion of wind generated electricity here.
The rules for siting of wind turbines were approved by the state Public Service Commission under former Gov. Jim Doyle. But implementation of those rules has been suspended under a directive from Gov. Scott Walker.
Walker and others, including Rep. Frank Lasee, R-Ledgeview, have said the rules should be reviewed again, with more consideration given to those living near wind farms. Some residents have complained of noise and visual impacts from wind turbines, which can be up to 300 feet tall.
Rep. Gary Hebl, D-Sun Prairie, had co-sponsored the wind amendment that was attached to a bill that allowed for larger trucks on Wisconsin highways, including trucks that carry equipment for electric transmission lines.
In a statement, Hebl said it was ironic that the wind amendment was shot down just as new figures showed Wisconsin lost more jobs in September.
“On a day when we learned Wisconsin lost 12,400 jobs last month, it is unacceptable that Republicans would reject a Democratic amendment that would have helped create hundreds or possibly thousands of jobs in wind energy,” he said.
The bill and proposed amendment are available here.