Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander warned Tuesday that utility bills could jump dramatically in the state and that its mountains might be threatened if a proposal to require every state to generate a certain amount of wind power is included in an energy bill being considered by the Senate.
Alexander sent out a release and called a news conference to decry a proposal by Sen. Jeff Bingaman, even though the New Mexico Democrat’s amendment requiring each state to generate a certain portion of its energy through renewable methods has not even been offered.
Bingaman is chairman of the Senate Energy Committee and will manage debate on the bill.
Alexander said the Tennessee Valley Authority estimates the proposal would add $410 million a year to utility bills in the state. Alexander said building large wind farms would deface the beauty of the Smoky Mountains.
Most of the wind energy potential in the country is west of the Mississippi, Alexander said. The energy bill, H.R. 6, already has passed the House.
Alexander has long been a critic of wind energy, saying that the gigantic modern windmills scar the landscape and that the production of wind energy is not feasible without government subsidies.
By Bill Theobald
Tennessean Washington Bureau
12 June 2007
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding