On the heels of the recent American Wind Association meeting and a report that GE’s wind division is showing healthy growth, Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and John Warner (R-VA) have introduced a bill titled “Environmentally Responsible Wind Power Act of 2005” that would “…wipe out the availability of the [Production Tax Credit] to any wind project located within 20 miles of a coastline, military base, national park or other highly scenic area. It would also allow a neighboring state to veto any wind project proposed within 20 miles of that state’s border.” Professor Willet Kempton noted the timing of Alexander’s speech introduing this amendment to the Senate’s energy bill after GE’s “ecoimagination” announcement:
“Four days later, on May 13th, Sen. Alexander gives a speech blasting the wind industry, and introduces a bill removing subsidies for all offshore wind, the area which GE’s technologies lead the world,” Kempton said. “It is either very odd timing, or the fossil fuel lobbyists are quick at running their bills and speeches through friendly Senators’ offices.”
So, have at it. Is this politics as usual, or are Warner and Alexander making a principled stand?