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Wind turbines on private property a flash point for Iowa lawmakers  

Credit:  O. Kay Henderson | Radio Iowa | August 3, 2020 | www.radioiowa.com ~~

Three GOP members of a key committee say they plan to block state regulators from expanding their authority to turn over private property for wind energy developments.

Some Iowa counties have passed local zoning ordinances restricting where wind turbines may be placed. Critics say those restrictions would be overruled by the proposed Iowa Utilities Board regulations – because if the board approves a wind farm project, eminent domain authority could be used to convert private property for the public use of renewable energy generation.

Senator Zach Whiting of Spirit Lake, a member of the Iowa Legislature’s Administrative Rules Review Committee, said he has a number of concerns about “the dramatic expansion of eminent domain authority the Utilities Board appears to give itself.”

Private property rights and utility development have been a flash point for lawmakers from both parties for years. In 2006, then-Governor Tom Vilsack vetoed legislation that limited the power of local governments to seize private property for commercial development through the eminent domain process – and 87 percent of the Iowa legislature’s members voted to override that veto.

A year ago, Governor Kim Reynolds said she favored local control and opposed statewide regulation of where wind turbines may be located.

Source:  O. Kay Henderson | Radio Iowa | August 3, 2020 | www.radioiowa.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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