A bill to make it easier to sue for health damages or property value declines from wind turbines had a hearing in a Senate committee Wednesday.
Bill sponsor Sen. Frank Lasee (R-De Pere) says the bill will allow people who live within a mile and half of a wind farm to file law suits for damages against both the land owner where the turbine stands and the utility company that erected it, regardless of whether the utility company has a valid permit for the project.
“We have families that have moved out of houses and are paying two mortgages,” says Lasee. “We have farmers whose cows have died. I’d like to give financial redress to these folks who are having these financial impacts, these health impacts, these pain impacts, the loss of their property values.”
Homeowners who live near Wisconsin wind farms testified they have suffered severe migraines, sleepless nights and muscle aches due to low-frequency sound waves the turbines generate.
Chris Kunkle, a government relations project manager, says the bill will destroy a growing industry in Wisconsin that is currently employing more than 3,000 people in the state.
“It’s targeting one industry that is a proven job creator in Wisconsin and elsewhere, and saying the state of Wisconsin doesn’t want their business,” says Kunkle.
Kunkle says wind energy is one of the cheapest sources of electric power, but backers of the restriction say it has survived on government subsidies and doesn’t hold the promise that natural gas does, now that the fracking industry has found more sources of the clean burning fuel.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding