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House debates streamlining wind power plants

statehouseforwebpix House debates streamlining wind power plants

Massachusetts House lawmakers are weighing a bill designed to streamline the permitting process for wind energy facilities.

Lawmakers debated the bill for about four hours Tuesday before putting off a final vote until Wednesday.

About three dozens protesters gathered inside the Statehouse to press lawmakers to reject the measure, which they said takes local control over the projects away from cities and towns.

Supporters say the bill preserves local control.

They say it’s easier to permit a fossil fuel power plant in Massachusetts than wind turbines. Backers also say making the permitting process more predictable will help boost the state’s reliance on renewable energy.

Gov. Deval Patrick said the bill is designed to reduce red tape.

The Senate has approved their own version of the bill.

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