A group of residents from the Green Bay area came to Madison Wednesday to tell the Wisconsin Public Service Commission that a wind energy farm is making them sick.
Republican Senator Frank Lasee (R-De Pere) accompanied his constituents and claims their illnesses are real. But, a wind energy advocate says there is no credible evidence to back that up.
The four people have all lived next to the Shirley Wind Farm and came to the PSC armed with multiple studies concluding that low frequency noise emitted by industrial wind turbines can have a negative health impact on humans.
“Shortly after the turbines started up, I was starting to feel unstable, unsteady, I had stomach issues,” said David Enz, who chose to move away from that area with his wife less than a year later.
“Three families moved out that’s for sure, but there are many others that are sick and living with different symptoms,” said Enz.
“It doesn’t affect all people, but it affects a significant number of people and we shouldn’t do that to people in their own homes,” said Sen. Lasee.
That’s why even though the State Senate rejected a bill in March that would have forced wind developers to put turbines further away from homes than they currently do, Sen. Lasee is asking the PSC to re-visit the issue.
“Sen. Lasee has been waging an ideological war against wind power for a long time,” said Michael Vickerman of the green energy group Renew Wisconsin.
Vickerman believes that is what is really behind Sen. Lasee’s crusade, adding that no credible studies have found what the people from Shirley are claiming.
“The one prepared for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health specifically says ‘we cannot find any foundation for a set of symptoms that is called Wind Turbine Syndrome,'” said Vickerman.
But, Sen. Lasee says many agencies won’t touch this issue for political reasons.
“If this was something connected with the oil industry that was doing this and making people move from their homes they’d be all over it and screaming bloody murder. But because its green energy, nope we can’t talk about it, there’s no scientific proof, forget it,” said Sen. Lasee.
Michael Vickerman said he is all for more study, but believes it will show the exact same thing the Massachusetts Department of Pubic Health found.
As for Sen. Lasee, he said the studies he’s citing were written by several different doctors and university professors.
He hopes the new commissioners appointed by Governor Scott Walker will take a fresh look at the issue.
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