Negotiating the Wind: A Framework to Engage Citizens in Siting Wind Turbines

Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 12, p. 327, 2011

Vermont Law School Research Paper No. 11-19

47 Pages Posted: 30 Jul 2011 Last revised: 22 Mar 2015

Sean F. Nolon

Vermont Law School

Abstract

Electricity generated from wind turbines must be a central part of any renewable energy regime. The build out of any wind energy infrastructure policy relies on facility siting decisions at the local and state level. Local opposition in some areas has created an implementation impasse that is best addressed from a systematic perspective, recognizing that citizens play a central role in making significant land use decisions. Through this article, the author explores the nature of citizen opposition to locally unwanted land uses like wind turbines and proposes a suite of collaborative mechanisms to address concerns through effective citizen engagement in policy development and during local siting decisions. The author proposes a federal structure that provides incentives to encourage collaborative governance at the state and local level. The framework leaves state siting structures in place and provides resources to improve decision-making processes and the outcomes. By involving citizens effectively at the policy and siting level, the hope is that wind turbine siting decisions will be more effective. Instead of encouraging divisions among the levels of government, this model builds on their strengths and supports their weaknesses.

Keywords: wind turbines, wind power, mediation, environmental dispute resolution, environmental conflict resolution, negotiated agreements, public participation, deliberative polling, negotiated rulemaking, reg-neg, regulatory negotiation, alternative energy, environmental mediation

Suggested Citation

Nolon, Sean F., Negotiating the Wind: A Framework to Engage Citizens in Siting Wind Turbines. Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 12, p. 327, 2011; Vermont Law School Research Paper No. 11-19. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1898814

Sean F. Nolon (Contact Author)

Vermont Law School ( email )

68 North Windsor Street
P.O. Box 60
South Royalton, VT 05068
United States

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