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MONTPELIER, Vt. -- When it comes to wind power, Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas and Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie don't always agree.
The state's top two elected officials, who are up for re-election in November, have different ideas about using mountaintop windmills to harness wind and convert it into electric power.
Dubie is all for it. Douglas supports it in theory but opposes the installation of wind turbines on ridge lines, saying the amount of energy they could generate isn't worth marring mountain vistas.
The Republican governor stood in his ceremonial Statehouse office and explained to reporters exactly why he opposed a major renewable-energy bill supported by environmental groups that was on track to be approved by the Vermont House.
"I strongly support renewables, but we can't do it in a way that adds to the cost of living in this state," said Douglas
Wind Turbines drew a big contrast. Parker supports large scale wind projects. "The other thing we need is a governor who isn't opposed to large scale wind development. The state of Vermont is losing tax revenue, it's losing the opportunity of having a part of its portfolio from wind energy."
Douglas does not support large wind projects. "This is a very controversial topic, lets face it, I think its very important as we move forward we respect everyone's point of view and have a civil discussion about the role of wind in our energy future."
Wind turbines, those domineering and swooping machines of clean energy growing in both numbers and popularity, are being noticed by lawmakers.
Rep. George Eskridge, R-Dover, introduced legislation Tuesday that would relieve commercial wind farms of paying property taxes and instead require a form of excise tax - a “production tax,” he said - through 3 percent of their annual gross revenue.
Eskridge and energy lobbyists said the owners of the turbines rarely have enough capital to pay property taxes immediately. The law would give them additional time by taxing their energy output, as well as give investors a chance to make steadier payments and provide counties up to 10 percent more money for 20 years.
A similar measure passed in the House last year but stalled in the Senate.
The Town Board and Plan Commission on April 16 directed town staff to begin amassing information from communities throughout the state that have enacted controls on such towers. Gromacki says the intent is for Dover to adopt its own ordinance.
The impetus for Gromacki was a recent return trip from a town government convention when he happened upon part of the We Energies wind farm project in northeast Fon du Lac County east of Lake Winnebago. ...
Gromacki said he does not believe the state Legislature has taken sufficient steps to regulate wind turbines.
After the meeting, residents questioned appeared to be overwhelmingly against the project.
"I am opposed to the project," Rollie Wellington said. "I am opposed from the standpoint of the economic and environmental impact and the loss of control of the land and our land value. I support this organization fully."
Maine's quest to become a leader in developing an alternative energy industry has plenty of support in Augusta and Orono, but along the shoreline people are more wary.
While some see the development of offshore wind energy as a powerful engine for economic growth in Maine, many in the state's beleaguered lobster industry fear that wind farms will be just one more item on a growing list of obstacles to fishing in the Gulf of Maine.
Last month, the state's Ocean Energy Task Force tentatively identified four sites along the Maine coast as potential locations for testing offshore wind generators.
Madison, Wis. - Gov. Jim Doyle today proposed a joint public-private initiative to allocate $80 million in state funds for the development of renewable energy programs in Wisconsin.
Doyle said the money - which includes tax credits, low-interest loans, and grants that would come from business development fund allotments and the sale of state bonds - would leverage an additional $370 million in private investment to marshal economic resources around biofuels.
Four University of Wisconsin campuses are taking part in a pilot project to become energy independent by 2012, Gov. Jim Doyle announced Wednesday.
The campuses in Green Bay, Oshkosh, River Falls and Stevens Point will become the first state-owned facilities capable of acquiring or producing sufficient renewable energy to meet their consumption, Doyle said in a release.
Today Governor Jim Doyle and four other Midwest Governors announced the creation of a regional transmission planning effort that will promote regional electric transmission investment and cost sharing.
The Upper Midwest Transmission Development Initiative will identify wind generation resources, transmission projects and infrastructure needed to support those resources in a cost-effective manner.
Gov. Jim Doyle's panel on global warming completed 16 months of work Thursday and now faces the challenge of cutting greenhouse gases as the economy sours and energy prices soar.
Doyle's bipartisan panel voted 26-3 for a series of measures, including a big expansion in wind power, to reduce emissions 22% by 2022. ...
But the package faces an uncertain future because Republicans control the Assembly and concerns about the economy are mounting.
State Rep. Phil Montgomery (R-Ashwaubenon), chairman of the Assembly Energy and Utilities Committee, said Thursday that he isn't opposed to expansion of renewable power but called on Doyle to include nuclear power in the state's energy mix.
He said a target of 25% for the state's power could be difficult to attain and could be costly to electric ratepayers if they are mandated.
Despite advances in renewable technology, wind turbines don't rotate when the wind doesn't blow, and solar panels aren't effective when the sun's not shining, Montgomery said.
Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle said Friday that his support for exploring nuclear power is in line with the position of presidential candidate Barack Obama and not a reversal from his previous stance.
But state Assembly Speaker Mike Huebsch, R-West Salem, said Doyle told him in 2003 he would veto any bill that lifted a moratorium on building new power plants. Huebsch said Doyle's position had "thawed" by 2007, when the governor said he'd be open to studying nuclear power as an option.
The change in Doyle's position comes as he's been actively campaigning for Obama. Both presidential candidates spent this week talking about energy, which is shaping up to be one of the biggest issues of the race.
Gov. Jim Doyle's announcement today that Wisconsin will stop using coal at its power plants in Madison was hailed as a pivotal victory for the environment that makes the state a leader in seeking clean energy alternatives. ...Doyle said the state needs to lead by example by moving to eliminate coal use at its three plants in Madison.
The announcement means that a 1950s-era plant and one built in 1902 will have to be shut down and refitted to burn something other than coal, Feyerherm said. She expected work at the plants to begin within months.
The state's energy conservation program for homes and businesses will be fully funded next year — after years of raids by Gov. Jim Doyle and lawmakers — under legislation Doyle signed Friday.
The unscientific yet entertaining survey has a question this year about building wind turbines on Vermont ridgelines. Utility-scale wind power has been the focus of explosive debates in the last year, particularly when it comes to a project in Lowell being developed by Green Mountain Power.
There are no wind turbines in West Grey - yet.
Dozens of people who packed a council meeting yesterday want to keep it that way.
Backed by a petition with 177 signatures, spokesman Mike McMurray called on West Grey council to support a decision of by Grey County council last month. County councillors passed a motion Nov. 24 calling for a moratorium on wind energy development.
More than 60 concerned locals last night attended a council meeting to voice their opinion about a proposed wind farm near Beaufort.
The Beaufort Community Development Centre was packed, with some people forced to stand, as council chaired a consultation meeting between residents and representatives of Future Energy.
Further research will be done on recommended setbacks and other issues of public concern prior to the passing of Central Huron's proposed zoning bylaw to regulate wind-energy facilities.
More than 25 taxpayers and area residents gathered at the Holmesville community hall on Saturday morning to discuss the proposed zoning bylaw, which county planner Susanna Reid called "the final piece of the land-use planning framework for wind-energy facilities in Central Huron."
"If this bylaw is passed, applications will be reviewed one by one. It's not a slam dunk, we're setting up guidelines to follow," explained Coun. Pamela Stanley, who chaired the meeting because Reeve Bert Dykstra and Deputy Reeve John Bezaire were unable to attend.
"Right now we're a little too loosey-goosey in my opinion. We want to have as much control as possible here at the municipal level."
Protesters that marched and chanted in front of construction equipment Saturday said they felt like they won the day, stalling work on a wind farm in the area for a time.