After only a month into the Gov. Scott Walker administration, the Republicans have added over $100 million to the deficit, turned back the future by denying high speed rail, and now are planning to ignore wind energy generation and job creation. Thanks for the heads up, Uppity Wisconsin:
Bizjournal: In response to Walker’s wind energy regulations proposed Jan. 11, the Illinois Wind Energy Association is inviting wind power developers to “Escape to Illinois.”Walker’s proposed legislation would require wind turbines to be constructed with a 1,800-foot setback from neighboring property lines, a mandate IWEA’s executive director said “would effectively ban wind development from the Badger State,” in a press release.
Illinois is already outpacing Wisconsin in wind energy development, having an installed wind capacity of 2,146 megawatts compared to the 469-megawatt capacity in Wisconsin, according to American Wind Energy Association statistics. Walker’s “counter-intuitive” policy will cause this gap to grow, Borgia said.
“If you’re supporting policy platform that is reliant on low-regulation and open markets, you shouldn’t simultaneously promote regulations and closed markets,” he said.
Borgia said the property tax base created by wind farms has proven critical to rural Illinois communities with low property values, providing much-needed funds for schools, roads and other public commodities. “Their budgets are supported by wind,” he said regarding such towns. “It’s a real value to the community.”
Wind developments have provided $18 million in annual property taxes and generated $8.3 million annually extra income for Illinois landowners leasing their land to farm developers, according to a recent Illinois State University study. Furthermore, the projects support about 500 permanent jobs and a payroll of more than $25 million.
Conservative rural areas are about to live out their often touted family and fiscal values. Good luck with that.