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Legislature gets offshore wind farm rules proposal

By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network


LANSING, MI – Governor Granholm's administration has sent its proposed standards to the Legislature for where to locate wind turbines in the Great Lakes. Critics say the proposed rules don't do enough to protect the shoreline from a glut of unsightly windmills.

A state commission recommended a six-mile buffer between Great Lakes shorelines and wind generators that can tower hundreds of feet into the sky. But the draft law simply says wind turbines should not be allowed to ruin "scenic vistas."

That leaves plenty of room for locating wind generators within sight of Great Lakes beaches. State Department of Energy, Labor, and Economic Growth Director Skip Pruss says it would be a mistake to pass offshore wind regulations that are too restrictive.

"Clean energy technologies are a huge opportunity for Michigan and, in fact, we are in race against other states," Pruss says.

Pruss says New York, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and other states are all trying to get a head start in locating wind turbines off their Great Lakes shorelines. It's not known when legislative hearings will begin.

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