As it did last year, the Patrick administration is pushing alaw regarding the regulation of land-based wind turbines. It's called the Wind Energy Siting Reform Act. Last year, this act passed the House but diedin the Senate when the session ended before it was considered.
According to today's Cape Cod Times, the following is a highlevel summary of this bill:
The debate comes down to where control over the approval ofturbine projects should reside. Supporters of the bill argue that somecontrol should be delegated to the State. Opponents argue for complete local control. To wit:
Consider where this country would be if it had left allcontrol for the construction of highways, long distance transmission lines, reservoirs,etc. at the local level. We'd have precious fewof those things today.
On the other hand, if we'd left those large projects completelyin the hands of the State, important local considerations would have beenignored. It goes without saying that localopinion is very relevant and that localsknow the local situation best.
It's important to remember that this should NOT be an all ornothing debate. That is, we need not actas if there are just two alternatives available us: Total local control and total State control. In fact, as the above summary shows, the proposedbill would divide control between local boards and the State.
Perhaps the bill should be altered to give local boardsadditional control. But the bill DOES NOTeliminate all local control as some are saying. Nor is total local control appropriate.