Wisconsin bill would grant wide latitude to sue wind farms

(Midwest Energy News, November 13, 2013)—Wisconsin legislators are scheduled to take up a bill next week that would make it easier for people to sue for perceived health symptoms and property value impacts they attribute to wind turbines.

Under the proposal, anyone living within 1.5 miles of a wind turbine could sue for damages related to physical or emotional suffering, loss of property value, moving expenses, or lost profits, and the wind farm owner or operator would be forced to pick up the tab for the plaintiffs’ attorney fees.

It would also prohibit as a defense the fact that a project has already been legally permitted to operate by the state or a local government.

Opponents say the bill (SB167), if passed, would effectively put an end to wind development in Wisconsin and potentially drive up electricity rates in the state.

“The real intention of this is to kill wind [energy] in Wisconsin, and I would say it would do that,” said Joe Sullivan, regional policy manager for Wind on the Wires, a nonprofit that advocates for policies that support wind energy and transmission development. Continue reading “Wisconsin bill would grant wide latitude to sue wind farms”