UnSung Hero

An advocate rails against forced green energy

“Kristi Rosenquist has proven again and again that individual activists can make a difference in the never-ending battle against the regulatory power of the state. Her energy, attention to detail and courage have made this rural Minnesotan a power to be reckoned with.”

Kristi Rosenquist isn’t one to rest on her laurels.

This spring, for instance, she’s battling the wind industry yet again, trying to persuade members of the Minnesota Legislature that the state needs better noise standards for siting wind turbines because those spinning noise-makers are now allowed as close as 500 feet from residents’ homes.

The state uses noise standards not designed for turbines, Rosenquist argues. She said the state needs to eliminate the standard and create a new one.

“That means, in my opinion, they shouldn’t build any more turbines until they have new siting standards,” she told Watchdog.org.

The latest fight is just one of a long list of Herculean efforts by Rosenquist in the fight against big government and the green energy industry, which began with a personal battle to protect her own hobby farm.

                Kristi Rosenquist
 By state definition, that’s a farm of 50 acres or less, fitting the description of the one owned by Rosenquist and her husband, Bob. They planned to add an agricultural building on the land, and Wabasha County was going to require that the septic system for their home be reinspected, at great cost to the Rosenquists. The provision was in place because the state considered their property to be shore land because of an intermittent stream that flowed when it rained hard.

“I said, ‘That’s not happening,’” Rosenquist remembered.

She fought the law and got the county to change how it administered it. The victory was an eye-opening experience for someone who had never before been active in a political crusade. As important as anything, she learned that when someone leads, others will follow.

“The great news is there are plenty of people who will come when I need help,” she said.

Inspired by that first success, Rosenquist turned her attention to the proposed New Era Wind Farm in Goodhue County, one of many such projects slated for development to meet state and federal renewable energy mandates and take advantage of federal subsidies.

Residents questioned its location near homes and the impact on area wildlife, particularly eagles. Local opposition stymied the project and Texas billionaire T. Boone Pickens pulled out. Despite $15 million spent on permits and other miscellaneous costs, the project died.

Rosenquist continued to fight against wind farms, working with lawmakers to craft legislation to change Minnesota turbine siting standards in 2011 and continuing to push the issue at the local and state levels.

READ MORE:  http://watchdog.org/266370/unsung-hero-kristi-rosenquist-tilts-wind-farms/

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