Connecticut has the dubious distinction of being the only state in the region that does not have regulations for wind turbines and therefore no turbines. The legislators who are standing in the way are the same people who are the first to squawk about gas prices and gas taxes. Their hypocrisy is an embarrassment.
As CTMirror.org reports, the legislature’s Regulation Review Committee failed for the fourth time in a year to approve rules for wind power. The state now is in danger of missing an end-of-the-year deadline or federal tax credits for wind projects. The credits are an incentive to get wind projects off the ground. Connecticut is a leader in many areas but a failure in this one.
Technically speaking, the regulation review committee refused to act on guidelines for wind turbines submitted by the Connecticut Siting Council. The top Republican on the committee, the usually reasonable state Sen. Len Fasano, says he objects to a waiver process included in the proposed rules. He told CTMirror.org, ““I know I would not want a 427-foot tower one mile away from my property line.” Well, at least he’s honest about his Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY) problem with wind power. In his defense, he says he is not opposed to wind power in general.
It would be one thing if opponents came right out and said they don’t want a wind turbine in their district. But that should disqualify them from grandstanding against the gas tax or oil prices. Last time the gas tax was scheduled to go up, Republican state Sen. John McKinney and state Rep. Larry Cafero railed against it even though they voted for the schedule that resulted in the increase.
Democrats are not off the hook on this issue either. Former state Rep. Vicki Nardello, a self-described supporter of renewable energy, was moved to act when two wind turbines were proposed in her hometown of Prospect. She introduced the bill that placed the moratorium on the turbines. NIMBY at its worst.
If legislatures truly believe in renewable energy, they should quickly move to approve the Siting Council’s recommendations and allow wind power to flourish in Connecticut.