March 9, 2008
Law, Letters, Wisconsin

State seeks to override local control of wind turbine siting

Evansville, Wisc., Observer

Wisconsin is attempting to bypass any new model ordinance by passing SB544 to make PUC the decision point.

Op-Ed, Evansville Observer, March 7, 2008 [1]

If you click here [2] you can listen in as the Town of Union Board discuss the current situation of the Wind Turbine draft ordinance and the possible options for moving to enactment in consideration of the possiblity of the State of Wisconsin moving to make the Public Utility Commission the key entity in reviewing permits.

The irony: As you will recall the study committee had found in its research that the State of Wisconsin had literally conducted zero legislative inquiry into the health and safety effects of set backs of wind turbines despite the fact that the WHO and the world community had plentiful data on these matters.

Responding to that egg on the face, the state moved quickly last week in meetings that were called on short notice and as described by Kendell Schneider, Town of Union board chair, the lobby representatives were given ample time to speak and then with the time expiring in the open hearings, the public was given a few minutes – most left unheard and in disgust.

The conclusion made by the folks from Union who had endured the week of meetings: Why would the towns bend over backwards to give extensive public input, when the State acts in such disregard.

At the end of the day nobody gets it. The problem was that in haste errors were made. Now to compound the error, more haste and closed decision making is embraced by the state … and now possibly by the towns.

How will these matters all be decided? By the PUC over a three martini lunch?

You make the call.

Reply by Tom Alisankus

When the wind energy proponents realized that the proposed Union Twsp. large wind turbine ordinance was supported by unimpeachable scientific and medical research – and thus completely defensible in court–they took their well financed lobby to the Wisconsin Legislature to stop us. They realized that our ordinance – the product of hundreds of hours of hard work–would likely become the REAL ‘model’ ordinance for local communities around the state, which would mean that the wind companies would not be able to put these turbines where ever they wanted, thus losing thousands of dollars. And you’ve already detailed the rest. Funny how fast the Legislature can move when it wants to.

This is government at its worst. It highlights how morally bankrupt some of our representatives in government actually are. And it all has to do with money. In other facets of society, they have a name for people who trade something immoral for money.

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[1] Op-Ed, Evansville Observer, March 7, 2008:

[2] click here: