Legislators ponder new rules for wind turbines

Nebraska legislators are considering a bill that would establish more ground rules for wind power development while protecting landowners.

Senator Annette Dubas, of Fullerton, says many landowners were unprepared and unprotected as wind towers started to pop up on the landscape. She says the legislation puts parameters in place, like placing a ten-year allotment on easements.

Dubas says they looked to existing resource leases as a guideline. Some of the mineral leases on which this bill was modeled go for 50 years while it also has a recording of the documents at the courthouse so residents will be able to have some way of finding out what’s going on in their neighborhoods. It aims to create transparency, she says, and better understanding.

Dubas says there is not much expertise available on the legal issues surrounding wind power development. The university is working at conferences and workshops for attorneys so they’ll know how to read and assemble the agreements.

She’s been working on the bill since last year and hopes it’ll pass this year before the legislative session wraps up.

Thanks to Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton