As Benefits Become Clear, More Conservatives “Get it” on Clean Energy

April 7, 2021

Conserve. Conservative. It says so right in the name.

Above, my friend Ed Rivet…

Energy News:

The Land & Liberty Coalition is the latest chapter of a regional group trying to change the narrative on renewables.

A conservative promoter of clean energy has launched an initiative in Iowa to help counter local opposition to wind and solar developments.

The Iowa Land & Liberty Coalition, a project of the Iowa Conservative Energy Forum, will focus on building support for renewables in counties that have either rejected large renewable projects or considered adopting restrictions.

“We’re protecting private property rights,” sais Nick Boeyink, Land & Liberty’s Iowa field operations director. “There are lots of landowners that, with bad policy, wouldn’t have the freedom to receive income on their land. They should be allowed to do with that land what they please.”

Land & Liberty chapters are operating in several Midwestern states: Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana and now Iowa. Boeyink said several Iowa counties are moving toward restrictive ordinances or moratoriums that could serve as blueprints for other counties. That was a large factor in the decision to establish a Land & Liberty chapter in the state now, he said.

Hardin County last fall unanimously approved an indefinite moratorium on wind farms. Today the county’s board of supervisors is expected to consider modifications that would include a half-mile setback from any neighboring dwelling. 

Madison County’s board of supervisors last October approved the state’s first moratorium on wind and solar projects. It will expire in October, at which time county supervisor Aaron Price expects passage of a new law that would outright or in effect outlaw wind turbines.

 My name is Matt Johnson and I am a field director at the Wisconsin Land and Liberty Coalition. We are a nonprofit effort focused on protecting the private property rights of farming families who recognize the benefits renewable energy projects can bring to their communities.

In the past few years, the Wisconsin Public Service Commission and local governments have approved several wind and solar projects. Not only do they provide clean and affordable power; renewable energy projects are a significant benefit to local communities across the state. Every large-scale renewable energy project creates hundreds of construction jobs, boosts local businesses and increases economic activity in rural areas. Additionally, land lease payments can help farmers keep their land in the family by providing a guaranteed revenue stream for decades.

Farms go out of business every week in Wisconsin and renewable energy projects are a way to help farming families stay operating through difficult economic conditions. If farmers want to voluntarily participate in a renewable energy project, who is to say they shouldn’t be allowed to? It is their land and they know best how to take care of it.

Large renewable energy projects also provide shared revenue payments to local communities. Projects can vary in size, but they often bring in several hundred-thousand dollars in new revenue per year for counties and towns that host the project facilities. These projects can be a lifeline that provide decades of stable revenue for schools, roads, fire departments and essential public services.

One Response to “As Benefits Become Clear, More Conservatives “Get it” on Clean Energy”

  1. Keith McClary Says:

    From Energy News: “arguments he typically hears against wind turbines in Iowa are that they’re ugly; they’ll cause property values to plummet; and they cause health problems.”

    Whereas normal agricultural operations are stinky, noisy and dusty. Are windmills uglier than (modern industrial) barns and silos?

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