Walker says Wisconsin is NOT open to wind turbine businesses, but gives special exemption to campaign donor to develop wetlands

Well, there’s one more industry we can add to Walker’s list of businesses and industries that AREN’T open for business in Wisconsin: wind turbines.

But, his latest move does prove that if you’re a big campaign donor, you can have whatever you want! Develop wetlands? Sure! Don’t want to be accountable for your products giving people cancer? No problem! Make it impossible to be sued for neglecting or abusing someone’s grandma in your nursing home? Absolutely!

From today’s MJS:

A regulatory reform bill proposed Tuesday by Gov. Scott Walker would place new restrictions on wind development and calls for a special exemption for a Neenah-based businessman and contributor to Walker’s gubernatorial campaign….

The special exemption involves water quality requirements for a wetland in Brown County owned by businessman and automobile dealer John Bergstrom….

Bergstrom has been a big campaign contributor for years to state candidates and committees from both parties, donating $16,700 since July 2008, records show.

Walker has proposed lowering standards and liabilities for nursing homes, doctor malpractice, businesses and drunk drivers to allegedly make the state more “business” friendly, yet wind turbines suddenly get more restrictions? Shouldn’t people be more important to the Republicans than businesses, and wouldn’t a robust wind turbine industry in Wisconsin be beneficial to our economy, both in terms of luring companies to Wisconsin to build turbines and create jobs, and to generate more wind power to reduce our need for expensive non-renewable energy?

More from the MJS:

The wind firms said proposals that would make wind siting more restrictive could send wind developers, and the construction and manufacturing jobs linked to wind power, out of state.

“Repealing or modifying the wind siting law will send a message to manufacturers, developers, and investors that Wisconsin is not open for this particular business, which can which can be a key contributor to Wisconsin’s manufacturing renaissance,” a coalition of wind developers and suppliers said in a letter to the administration and legislative leaders….

Bill Rakocy, a partner in the development firm Emerging Energies of Wisconsin, said his wind farm, the state’s newest wind development, would have only one turbine instead of eight if an 1,800-foot setback were imposed.

The Shirley Wind project opened in November in southern Brown County.

“If the setbacks are expanded further than they already have been, it would create a major obstacle to wind, and the construction jobs and manufacturing opportunities that could go with it. It would be an unfortunate turn of events,” he said.

Businesses, hear that big sucking noise coming out of the east wing of the Capital? It’s Walker’s campaign account — if you really want this administration to be friendly to you and your industry, better grab your checkbooks and start writing checks.

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