HARRISBURG — Sponsored by Rep. Kathy Rapp (R-Warren/Forest/McKean), a resolution directing the Joint State Government Commission to conduct a study on the use and overall impact of wind turbines was overwhelmingly adopted by the Pennsylvania House on Wednesday by a margin of 181-11.
“With the ever-growing number of reports confirming that on-shore wind energy facilities are directly responsible for the clearing of large areas of forested land and the deaths of thousands of migratory birds, endangered bats and even eagles, we can no longer just assume that wind turbines are absolutely harmless to our environment or even a viable source of alternative energy,” said Rapp. “The time has come for a comprehensive, reality-based study and report on the actual impact of wind turbines across the Commonwealth. Today’s final passage of House Resolution 925 will ensure that the necessary research is conducted before these and other negative impacts on Pennsylvania’s wildlife and natural resources become irreversible.”
Specifically, House Resolution 925 directs the Joint State Government Commission to conduct a study on the use of wind turbines in the following areas:
• Number of wind turbines operating in Pennsylvania and their owners.
• Agencies that oversee the operation of wind turbines.
• Sources and amounts of subsidies for wind turbines.
• Wind turbines’ imprint acreage and effects on wildlife.
• Wind turbines impact on the electric grid.
Rapp’s resolution also directs the Joint State Government Commission to report its findings to the governor’s office and the Pennsylvania General Assembly no later than Sept. 17, 2015.
The full text of the resolution is provided below and can also be accessed here.
HOUSE RESOLUTION No. 925
Session of 2014
INTRODUCED BY RAPP, OBERLANDER, SANKEY, MUSTIO, COHEN, MURT, BLOOM, BENNINGHOFF, FLECK, R. MILLER, WATSON AND MOUL, JUNE 26, 2014
AS REPORTED FROM COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES AND ENERGY, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AS AMENDED, SEPTEMBER 15, 2014
Directing the Joint State Government Commission to conduct a study and report on the scale and impact of wind turbines in this Commonwealth.
WHEREAS, Wildlife conservation and energy efficiency should be major considerations in the development of viable sources of alternative energy; and
WHEREAS, Wind turbines were once assumed to have no adverse environmental impacts, however, onshore wind energy facilities have been reported to kill thousands of bats and birds and require the clearing of large areas of land; and
WHEREAS, Many onshore and offshore wind energy facilities are being planned and constructed without adequately considering the potential or actual effects on wildlife; and
WHEREAS, Research and guidance are required before potentially negative impacts on wildlife become severe and irreversible; therefore be it
RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives direct the Joint State Government Commission to conduct a comprehensive study on the use of wind turbines in this Commonwealth; and be it further
RESOLVED, That the Joint State Government Commission include in its study the number of wind turbines in this Commonwealth, who owns them, which agencies oversee wind turbines and what happens to them when they are decommissioned; and be it further
RESOLVED, That the Joint State Government Commission list sources and amounts of subsidies for wind turbines, AS COMPARED TO OTHER SOURCES OF ENERGY, SUCH AS COAL, NATURAL GAS, NUCLEAR
AND OIL; and be it further
RESOLVED, That the Joint State Government Commission include in its study wind turbines' imprint acreage and their effects on wildlife, AS COMPARED TO OTHER SOURCES OF ENERGY, SUCH AS COAL,
NATURAL GAS, NUCLEAR AND OIL; and be it further
RESOLVED, That the Joint State Government Commission study wind turbines' impact on the electric grid; and be it further
RESOLVED, THAT THE JOINT STATE GOVERNMENT COMMISSION REVIEW ANY CURRENT REGULATIONS, PERMIT PROCESSES, SETBACKS, FEES AND END OF LIFE CYCLE DISPOSAL REQUIREMENTS RELATED TO WIND ENERGY REQUIRED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AND OTHER STATE AGENCIES; AND BE IT FURTHER
RESOLVED, THAT THE JOINT STATE GOVERNMENT COMMISSION REPORT ON THE PROGRESS OF WIND ENERGY IN RELATION TO THE ACT OF NOVEMBER 30, 2004 (P.L.1672, NO.213), KNOWN AS THE ALTERNATIVE ENERGY PORTFOLIO STANDARDS ACT; AND BE IT FURTHER
RESOLVED, That the Joint State Government Commission report its findings to the Governor's office and the General Assembly within one year of the adoption of this resolution.