by David Schnare, General Counsel
Jefferson Policy Journal
Why would a putative environmental law center choose to put wind on trial? As director of the law center prosecuting the State of Colorado, arguing that the State’s renewable energy mandates, ostensibly requiring wind energy, are unconstitutional, I have been asked this question by colleagues, by the news media, by family members, and my dog has been looking at me funny too. So, why did we do it?We are putting wind on trial because we are an environmental law center. We are committed to using the law to promote environmental quality. Assuredly, we have other purposes too. For example, we advocate economic liberty – a traditional American value. But in this case, the only value we need to have as a public interest law center is an interest in the environment.
And, why publish this essay in a Virginia policy publication; after all we are suing Colorado? In part, because while 31 states have mandatory renewable energy standards, 30 of which we believe are unconstitutional, the rest of the states, including Virginia, have voluntary standards that the public has been led to believe make sense. Because Virginia seems to be going down the “all of the above, including wind energy” path, Virginians also need to understand how Colorado made its mistakes – in part to make sure Virginia doesn’t do so as well. And, I live in Virginia, so I admit, it’s personal to me.