These states are blocking rural counties from preventing a massive green energy takeover

Jan 2, 2024

The efforts to “go green” are increasing every day.

And state governments are using every dirty trick in the book to force green technology on all Americans.

Now these states are blocking rural counties from preventing a massive green energy takeover.

A number of blue states around the country are actively depriving rural counties of the ability to reject massive green energy projects that corporations want to place in their communities.

Green political money from green energy conglomerates

This comes at a time when massive green corporations and radical environmentalist groups are pouring ever more money into state capitals.

California, Illinois, Michigan, and New York have all passed legislation that gives authority over land use issues and rules to state-level bureaucrats.

This legislation is at the expense of local governments that were trying to change their own zoning codes to slow the flood of industrial green projects like solar and wind farms. 

These new state policies deprive rural residents of their freedom and local autonomy.

They also hugely benefit the big corporate interests that in turn line the pockets of the states’ Democrat Governors, and state lawmakers.

“Much of the renewables business and movement has been co-opted by big corporations,” which “are spending millions” on politics “because this is a matter of billions for them,” Edward Ring, a senior fellow for the California Policy Institute and the organization’s co-founder, told the Daily Caller News Foundation (DCNF). 

“What we are seeing, for example, with the ‘Inflation Reduction Act,’ is one of the biggest gifts of money to corporations that we have ever seen in this country,” Ring told the DCNF, referring to the IRA’s subsidies that prop up the green energy effort.

Going green at the expense of freedom

The new state powers are in response to the more than 350 local restrictions or rejections of solar and wind projects across the country since 2020, according to energy expert Robert Bryce’s Renewable Rejection Database.  

In Michigan, Democrat Governor Gretchen Whitmer recently enacted a green energy mandate, which sets a target for 100% green energy generation by 2040. 

H.B. 5120, one of the bills Whitmer signed into law as part of the package, specifically gives the Michigan Public Services Commission the power to exercise permitting authority for large green energy projects instead of leaving it up to the localities.

The move was made after several local governments in rural localities were able to stop major green energy developments in their communities. 

California, another state dominated by the Democrat Party, passed a similar law in June 2022 that allows state bureaucrats to bypass local restrictions in order to permit large-scale green energy projects.

Politicians are raking in the dough from green schemes 

Like Michigan’s statute, the new California law is specifically designed to empower the state’s goal of 100% zero-carbon energy generation by 2045.

“The Democratic lawmakers themselves, along with a lot of Republicans even in red states, are just getting so much money from these companies,” Ring told the DCNF regarding the green energy lobby’s influence in politics. 

“There is a reason we have eminent domain for some purposes, such as building pipelines and streets. Now, we have an abuse of eminent domain, and also an overriding of zoning—the problem is when you use it for something that relies on hype, without a proven and compelling public interest,” Ring added.

New York state established the Office for Renewable Energy Siting (ORES) in April 2020, under former Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo. 

ORES has the ability to not apply “any local law or ordinance” that is “unreasonably burdensome” for a proposed green energy facility. 

The bulk of new solar and wind projects are located in upstate New York, a more rural region of the state. 

“New York’s land-use policies and practices are far from perfect, but these are projects that wouldn’t be coming to areas if it weren’t for considerable public subsidies,” Ken Girardin, New York-based Empire Center’s research director, told the DCNF.

Cuomo and his successor, Democrat Governor Kathy Hochul, each received considerable contributions from green companies and interest groups. 

In February, Democrat Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker enacted H.B. 4412, which “prevents counties from enacting preemptive local ordinances that outright ban local wind and solar projects, hindering the state’s new climate goals.” 

Illinois wants to reach 100% green energy generation by 2050. 

“These new energy companies, many of which are owned by large, out-of-state venture capital firms receiving massive tax breaks, are now able to remove local control against the wishes of the community,” Republican Illinois State Senator Terri Bryant told the DCNF. 

“This bill is especially dangerous in heavily agriculture counties that have limited zoning and large spaces of land used for crops . . . removing local control in favor of new energy companies, many of which are out of state and out of the country, is not just a threat to property rights, but to our national security and food supply chain,” Bryant added.

Hot Take Politics will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.

Latest Posts: