At the crack of dawn on March 13 with snow and ice on car windows and a thermometer reading of 27 degrees, fourteen members of the Cumberland Mountain Preservation Coalition began their journey to the Cordell Hull Building in Nashville. Their mission – to observe Tennessee lawmakers and support House Bill 1731.
They listened to witnesses, debates, and questions and answers on the responsible wind energy legislation proposed by Representative Cameron Sexton and Senator Paul Bailey.
HB 1731, which sets forth regulations for the wind energy industry, had been amended and agreed to by all concerned parties: Tennessee Dept. of Environment and Conservation, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Municipal Technical Advisory Service, County Technical Assistance Service, Tennessee Farm Bureau, Apex Clean Energy, Cumberland Mountain Preservation Coalition, and other stakeholders. This particular hearing was for the final vote by the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.
The bill successfully received a majority of votes from the committee and was referred to the House Finance, Ways, and Means committee for a March 21 hearing. It will then proceed to a full house hearing and a vote to determine if the bill moves to the senate for consideration.
Tennessee is one of only four states that has no regulations for wind energy. However, Tennessee does regulate other forms of energy. Cameron Sexton pointed out to the Ag. and Nat. Resources Committee that the regulations set forth in the bill are in line with other states.
The bill specifics and schedule for upcoming action in the legislature will be shared in a future article.
To receive information on CMPC activities and the legislation, please send your contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org.