Illinois Republican introduces 'Let's Start With You Act' mocking left's green energy hypocrisy

Law signed by Democrat Gov. J.B. Pritzker last month removes local control over wind and solar power facility zoning — while leaving it intact in Democrat-dominated Chicago.

Published: February 13, 2023 10:16am

Updated: February 21, 2023 11:15pm

An Illinois Republican state senator has introduced a bill mocking a law signed by Democrat Gov. J.B. Pritzker that removes local control over wind and solar power facility zoning — while leaving it intact in Democrat-dominated Chicago. 

State Sen. Chapin Rose told Just the News that he introduced the "If This Is Such A Good Idea, Let's Start With You Act" not as legislation intended to pass but as "political sarcasm designed to shine light on the hypocrisy of the left."

The parody legislation proposed turning Chicago tourist mecca Millenium Park into a solar energy facility, with the exception of the park's iconic Cloud Gate sculpture, on which the city "must mount one wind energy turbine." The bill would also require every Cook County forest preserve to have multiple wind energy facilities.

Rose introduced the legislation after Pritzker signed a bill last month stripping county governments of authority over renewable energy zoning. Before he was reelected in November, Pritzker had said local governments should be in control of zoning decisions.

"They've exempted Chicago from this law," Rose said. "They're going to throw these up [and] take away the rights of local communities to ... make their own decisions."

Under the new law, if a person does not agree to have a solar farm on their property, the nearest solar facility can be placed 50 feet off their property line or 150 feet from their home. A person who does not agree to have a wind farm on or near their property under the law can have a wind tower placed "2.1 times the maximum blade tip height of the wind tower to the nearest point on the outside wall of the structure."

The average height of a turbine, including the wind blades, is just under 500 feet, according to the U.S. Energy Department. The regulations mean that a wind turbine could be placed about 1,000 feet from someone's home or even closer if a smaller turbine is used. The turbine could also be placed about 500 feet from a property line. 

Both solar and wind energy are linked to bird and bat deaths, The Atlantic reported. Bats are apparently attracted to wind turbines and sometimes are struck by the blades. Birds are known to swoop down and crash into solar panels, likely thinking that the glass is water. The solar panels can also singe birds flying too close.

Turbines may have adverse effects on human health as well. Some people living or working in close proximity to wind turbines report experiencing sleep problems, headaches, anxiety, depression and similar issues, also known as "wind turbine syndrome."

Some researchers believe the disease is a sociological phenomenon, but in 2021, a French couple won nearly $120,000 in compensation for turbine syndrome. They said they experienced health issues after six wind turbines were constructed about 2,300 feet from their home, The Guardian reported at the time. 

"We've got plenty of wind in downstate Illinois," Rose said. "That's not the issue. We've got plenty. The local county boards were siting wind farms, they were. They're just doing it in places where people could live with them." 

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