Articles from Alabama

Panel passes wind farm bill

A bill regulating wind farms in Alabama was approved Wednesday by a House committee and will head to a vote in the full chamber. The Wind Energy Conversion Act, proposed by Sen. Phil Williams, R-Rainbow City, was passed unanimously by the House Commerce Committee.
19 Mar 2014

Talk of Cleburne County’s exemption from wind farm regulations dominates commission meeting

Commissioner Laura Cobb said the issue was never discussed in a commission meeting. She said she only found out about it when she ran into one of the Terra-Gen representatives, Cobb said. Commissioner Emmett Owen said he had spoken to some people about the wind farm and asked them to come to a commission meeting to talk about it in public. “I think it should have had the backing of a resolution,” Owen said. “I think if they’re pushing legislation or an agenda, as far as the commission is concerned, it needs to start here.”
18 Mar 2014

Is this kindergartener Alabama’s most effective political activist?

It has only taken Lillian “Lilli” Coker, 6-year-old kindergartener from Gadsden, Ala., three days to get almost 600 Alabamians to sign a petition encouraging the Alabama legislature to “Say ‘no’ to wind turbines” ...If you would like to help Lilli reach her goal of 1,000 signatures before she presents her petition to the Alabama legislature on Wednesday, CLICK HERE TO SIGN, and take a moment to SHARE this story with your Facebook, Twitter and email friends.
16 Mar 2014

Pioneer Green files brief in lawsuit

Pioneer Green Energy has filed a brief disagreeing with the assertion in a lawsuit filed by Cherokee County residents’ lawsuit that its wind project will cause a litany of problems for the residents and the adjacent area.
3 Mar 2014

Senate passes Williams’ wind energy regulation bill

Williams said the bill is supported by a myriad of state and local agencies, such as the Public Service Commission, Alabama Department of Environmental Management, the governor’s office, the League of Municipalities and utility providers such as the Tennessee Valley Authority and Alabama Power Co. The bill sets up bonds on the projects, institutes property setbacks with decibel limits and places wind energy under the PSC, like other modes of power production.
1 Mar 2014

Wind energy companies hire lobbyists to fight bill that would regulate them in Alabama

The most concerning part of Williams’ research may have come from the realization that the State of Alabama has no laws on the books to protect citizens and communities when it comes to wind energy production. While regulations on coal mining require an almost unimaginable amount of research, proposals, permits, reclamation plans, insurance and numerous other safeguards overseen by independent government entities, wind farms are largely free to do as they please without any real oversight to speak of.
25 Feb 2014

As turbine technology steps up, new obstacles to development arise in Ala.

In Alabama, a Senate energy panel reviewed a measure to regulate turbines yesterday, moving the bill forward favorably late in the afternoon with a 5-1 vote. Wind projects are proposed for eight counties, said bill sponsor state Sen. Phil Williams (R) of Rainbow City. ..."There is absolutely no regulatory authority in Alabama regarding wind," Williams said. "We aren't saying you can't come here, but if you're going to come here, our citizens have to be protected."
6 Feb 2014

Wind farm bill advances in Alabama Senate

Under Williams' bill, wind farm projects would need approval by the state's Public Service Commission and the local government. Turbine-building companies would have to create a plan to have the windmills dismantled if the project went belly-up. Furthermore, windmills would have to be set 2,500 feet back from the property line and would be allowed to generate no more than 40 decibels of noise at the property line.
6 Feb 2014

Birmingham Audubon Board has 'serious reservations' about proposed wind farm regulations

In a statement, the Birmingham Audubon Society posted to its Facebook page, the board stated that it is "not opposed to all wind turbines," but that it is "absolutely necessary to properly site" the developments to avoid bird pathways and wildlife habitats. "As the Alabama Senate considers SB12, we encourage Birmingham Audubon members to ask their legislators to require guidelines that wind turbines be planned, sited and operated in a manner to reduce threats to habitat, birds and other wildlife."
4 Feb 2014

Rethinking Wind Power

The uncertainty in the U.S. may encourage some developers to take their projects abroad. Walt Hornaday, president of Cielo Wind Energy in Austin, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram last month that he is hopeful the tax credit will be renewed but added his company is making plans for the credit’s demise. “Canada, Mexico and South America are pretty busy right now,” Hornaday said.
20 Jan 2014

Monstrous machines sucking taxpayer dollars

Wind was the largest recipient of taxpayer dollars and other energy generators don’t even come close. Coal, oil and gas can survive without subsidies. Wind and solar cannot. Take the subsidies away from wind energy and it is no longer financially viable. The question the wind energy industry will not answer is, “Can the wind industry survive if taxpayer subsidies disappear?”
17 Jan 2014

Cherokee residents file suit to block wind farm

Cherokee County residents have filed a lawsuit to block the proposed wind farm on Lookout Mountain, according to official court documents. This is the second suit filed against the developers, Pioneer Green Energy. Etowah County property owners who live near the proposed sites filed a similar lawsuit Aug. 1.
22 Oct 2013
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