91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.3 Port Huron 89.7 Lansing 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Two freshman lawmakers hoping to ban wind farms in the Great Lakes near Michigan

A wind farm off the shore of the United Kingdom pictured in 2006.
Creative Commons
A wind farm off the shore of the United Kingdom pictured in 2006.

A bill introduced in the state house would ban wind farms in the Michigan’s portions of the Great Lakes.

The bill was co-signed by Republican State Representative Jon Bumstead. His district includes communities along the Lake Michigan shore, north of Muskegon.

“I got to meet a lot of people through Pentwater and along the lakeshore and I base my decisions on their wants and needs and they were against the wind farms. And the more studying and looking into it that I did, I wasn’t for them either.”

Bumstead says there are three main reasons he rejects supporting offshore wind in the Great Lakes.

  1. He doesn’t think the up-front investments will pay off.
  2. He thinks property values and tourism along the lakeshore would go down.
  3. He’s worried turbines would hurt the environment.

Bumsteads district includes Oceana County. The county firmly rejected an off-shore wind farm proposed by a private developer last summer. Hundreds of people organized against the proposal there.

Bumstead says he’s not against wind farms on land.

“You know I have nothing against studying the wind farms and coming up with new technology, I think that’s all good but I don’t think Lake Michigan is a good place to practice. There’s just too many unknowns.”

Bumstead believes the bill will pass the state house and senate and says he has hopes Governor Rick Snyder will sign it.

Lindsey Smith is a Peabody Award-winning journalist currently leading the station's Amplify Team. She previously served as Michigan Public's Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.
Related Content