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LTE – Brenda Salseg

Emerging Energies of Wisconsin, LLC, developers of Highland Wind Farm proposed for the Town of Forest, WI, released a press statement on Friday, October 5, 2012.

The private company stated “…District Judge William M. Conley ruled that the claims against EEW by leaders of the Forest Voice (plaintiffs named) and their attorneys (attorneys named) were “frivolous.” Sanctions in the amount of $1000.00 and $500.00 were ordered against the former attorneys of the Forest Voice. The ruling was not levied against the Forest Voice plaintiffs. Additionally, Judge Conley did not see fit to allow the former town board defendants to “piggyback” on the judgment.

While EE may feel a level of vindication, I would like to remind the Emerging Energy partners Bill Rakocy, Jay Mundinger, and Tim Osterberg that those of us opposed to the Highland Wind Farm are people; not a project. We are a town majority not willingly to give up everything that we love and own for the mistaken ideology of free, clean and green renewable energy when it is irresponsibly developed. We are working parents, farmers, tradespersons, truck drivers, employees of or business owners, homemakers, and retirees. We do what we can to make ends meet.

I often wonder, what would have been the outcome if Emerging Energies had been visible and forthcoming about the wind energy plan to all town residents, not just those they courted for wind leases. What if our former town board had been transparent about the proposed Highland Wind project? Perhaps, together through the public hearing process and shared research, the town board and potential hosting landowners would have realized the consequences of industrial wind on their neighbors, their community, and themselves. I would like to hope that if the potential hosting landowners would have known then what they know now, there would have been far fewer eager participants.

The federal lawsuit brought by the Forest Voice was based on the violation of constitutional rights “nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of the law.”  Emerging Energies, is a private company, not a utility, yet current state laws exempt the developer from the stringent requirements of utility developed projects because of its corporate status. Still, the Forest Voice and its supporters will continue to fight for our Constitutional Rights — and we will fight to protect those same rights for everyone.

Brenda Salseg
Town of Forest