Residents living near wind turbines could be allowed to sue turbine and land owners for physical and psychological damages if a Republican senator’s bill proposal plan gains support.
Sen. Frank Lasee, R-De Pere, has repeatedly said wind turbine operations harm residents in close proximity to these facilities. He said some families have been forced to move because of the noise and ground vibrations created by these turbines.
“It is unconscionable for a family that has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in their home that they have lived in for years to be forced to move because an industrial wind tower is built nearby,” Lasee said in a statement. “Or wish that they could move and just can’t afford it.”
Lasee said he urges the Public Service Commission, a body which oversees telecommunications and energy industry in the state, to complete an Environmental Impact Statement, which could discern whether the wind turbines are harmful to residents and if side effects such as dizziness and nausea exist.
The commission “deliberately hide[s]” important information and lies to the public to cover up these detrimental effects of living too close to wind farms, according to Lasee.
“It is unfortunate that once again, bureaucrats within the PSC have chosen to ignore real problems of real people in the interest of continuing to protect an industry that is subsidized by taxpayers and electric users through higher utility rates,” Lasee said in a March 18 statement.
When Lasee proposes his bill, residents would be able to retaliate legally for any negative personal issues the turbines may have caused them, according to the statement.
Democratic legislators do not care about these children and families who are driven out of their homes solely because wind turbines provide green energy, Lasee said.
“If these problems were caused by a ‘fossil fuel’ they would be up in arms and want it stopped. Because it is for green energy, they could not care less,” Lasee said. “I wish the Democrats would put people before their ideology.”
Michael Vickerman, program and policy director of RENEW Wisconsin said she opposes Lasee’s plan for the bill.
Wisconsin is the only state where these kinds of “anti-wind” bills are proposed, he said in an email to The Badger Herald.
“You won’t find in other states a state senator who devotes 100 percent of his website to anti-wind propaganda,” Vickerman said.
He said he does not believe wind turbines are hazardous to nearby resident’s health.
Vickerman also said Lasee’s argument against wind power is “baseless” and many of the sources used to support anti-wind claims and negative health effects of wind turbines are not backed by science.
There are numerous side effects associated with living near wind turbines, including sleep disturbance, vertigo, nausea, irritability, memory and concentration problems and panic episodes, according to a statement from National Wind Watch, a coalition working to prevent wind farm development.
NWW also said Wind Turbine Syndrome is relieved when residents leave the wind farm area. The organization, as well as Lasee, said wind turbines are detrimental to nearby residents.
“I will continue to fight for the protection of the health and safety of constituents from the debilitating effects of 500-foot tall wind turbines,” Lasee said.
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