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Wind Legislation Faces Public Hearing

The first ever state regulations on wind energy could become law soon.  The legislation has already passed in the Senate and a public hearing is scheduled for tomorrow in the House.  Texas-based Pioneer Green Energy is charging the legislation is intended to stop two of their wind farms from being built.  They’re proposed for Cherokee and Etowah Counties – the counties of both the Senate and House sponsors.  And both sponsors are strongly opposed to the projects.  Representative Becky Nordgren is bringing the bill in the House.     

Rep. Becky Nordgren: “If there was legitimately enough wind to generate enough wind energy to make a hill of beans, this legislation would not stop them.  But the problem is there’s no validity in the production of wind in this state.”

Pioneer Green says they’ve been considering the site for more than a decade and have done studies determining the level of the wind at the sites.  They say they’re falling victim to the politicization of green energy because it’s something the Obama administration is pushing.

Nordgren: “It’s ludicrous for anybody to say that the wind industry should step foot in Alabama and us have not any kind of rules or regulations regarding the responsibilities that they should have.  That is crazy.”

Senator Phil Williams is the original sponsor of the bill.  It would cap decibel levels on wind farm and limit what are called "setbacks" - the distance a wind farm can be from a neighboring property.

For more you can listen to interviews conducted previously with Sen. Williams and a conference call conducted with Pioneer Green Energy representatives.

Conference call with Pioneer Green Energy President Andy Bowman, Development Manager Patrick Buckley, and property owner Steve Shaneyfelt

Interview with Sen. Phil Williams

Jeremy Loeb is a reporter and former APR host of Morning Edition. He joined the station in December of 2013 and stayed with us until November 2014.
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