U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey isn’t a big fan of the wind turbine project proposed on the land surrounding Bethlehem’s water supply in the Poconos.
The Republican legislator let residents opposing the project know that Thursday when his campaign staff passed out 100 fliers before the zoning hearing Thursday evening in Penn Forest Township, Carbon County.
The flier says the company behind the project – Iberdrola Renewables – stands to get up to $3 million a year in federal subsidies, and that Toomey has fought to end them for “inefficient, unwanted wind farms.”
What may have helped draw the U.S. senator’s interest in a local zoning battle?
Toomey’s Democratic opponent, Katie McGinty, previously served on Iberdrola’s board, a connection they highlighted in the fliers. Toomey’s camp noted she was compensated $100,000 for that position, and said she supported $14.5 billion in taxpayer subsidies for wind energy. McGinty is no longer on the company’s board.
“The proposed Iberdrola windmill farm in Carbon County is nothing more than crony capitalism run amuck, as it would not be possible without the millions of taxpayer-funded subsidies,” Toomey campaign spokesman Ted Kwong said.
McGinty’s campaign spokesman Sean Coit said McGinty has always championed cleaned energy projects.
“But she of course believes strongly that communities play a critical role in deciding whether a local project moves forward or not,” Coit said. “It’s pathetic that Sen. Toomey is trying to play politics with this.”
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