On a 6-1 vote, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Utilities, Energy, and Rail passes SB185, wind siting reform

Date: August 4, 2009
Contact: Noah Seligman, 608-310-3338

The 7-member Senate Committee on Commerce, Utilities, Energy, and Rail voted 6-1 to advance SB 185 (Assembly companion AB 256), wind siting reform, to the full Senate.

The vote was bipartisan, with four Democrats and two Republicans on the committee voting in favor of the bill.

Wind siting reform has 20 cosponsors in the Assembly and 11 in the Senate, with support from both parties.

A substitute amendment was added on a unanimous vote that would require the PSC to hold two public hearings outside of Dane County as part of its rule-making. The amendment also provided additional wildlife protections, technical changes, and responsible consideration of Smart Growth planning in regulating wind energy projects.

“The bipartisan committee approval demonstrates strong consensus on the need for wind siting reform,” said Curt Pawlisch, spokesman for Wind for Wisconsin. “Wind siting reform will be an engine for economic activity in Wisconsin, attract new investment opportunities, and support current state energy policy.”

Wind for Wisconsin is optimistic that a floor vote in the Senate would garner the same strong bipartisan support demonstrated in committee and among cosponsors.