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Tomorrow are the Nevada caucuses, and Nevada Democrats are hoping for them to run far more smoothly than the ones in Iowa. Candidates battle for that top spot and voting continues.

Bill Could 'Knock the Wind Out" of Energy Policy, NM Ranchers' Incomes

June 4, 2007

A new bill in Congress could "knock the wind out" of national energy policy by making it harder to build new electricity-generating wind turbines. Robert Lumpkin of Tucumcari sees it as bad news for New Mexico farmers and ranchers looking to make some much-needed extra money from their land.

"The overhead keeps going up and the cost of the commodities hasn't kept up. If they have an opportunity to diversify, selling wind energy, they're all for it, and rightfully so."

The bill would put strict environmental regulations on turbine owners and impose tough penalties for those that don't comply, including fines and possible jail time. Former state land commissioner Jim Baca says the bill's author comes from a coal producing state, and therefore has a stake in keeping wind power down.

"This is just old time resource power doing its worst for this country. For them to try and put more environmental regulations on to wind power - it's just beyond the pale, I mean, it's just, it angers me."

The bill's sponsor, Democrat Nick Rahall of West Virginia, believes the rules are necessary to protect wildlife.

Eric Mack, Public News Service - NM