Congressman Tom Tiffany reintroduces bill repealing wind and solar subsidies on farmland

Today, American Experiment policy fellow Isaac Orr will join Congressman Tom Tiffany in Chippewa Falls, WI as he reintroduces legislation known as the Future Agriculture Retention and Management Act of 2023, or FARM Act. If enacted, this new legislation would prohibit the use of federal taxpayer subsidies for wind and solar installations on American farmland.

This legislation would benefit our country because federal subsidies are currently distorting our land-use decisions by subsidizing wind and solar projects that may not be the highest value for our farmland. It’s important to note that nothing in this legislation would prohibit wind or solar developments in the United States, it would simply make them compete on a level playing field with our food producers.

Last year, American Experiment produced a report estimating the cost of achieving Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers’ plan for Wisconsin to obtain 100 percent of its electricity from carbon-free sources by 2050, and we found that this would require a massive increase in power plant capacity to meet Wisconsin’s electricity needs.

Our report found that a total of 127, 850 megawatts (MW) of capacity would be needed consisting of 48,081 MW of wind, 35,726 MW of solar, and 41,702 MW of battery storage.

These wind, solar, and battery storage facilities will consume huge tracts of land. The table below shows that building this much wind, solar, and battery storage would require over 325,000 acres of land, assuming we are only counting the concrete base of wind turbines.

The average farm size in Wisconsin is 220 acres, which means even in the best-case scenario, the Evers Plan would take 1,477 farms’ worth of food production off the table.