What telephone companies can teach wind farmers

One of the dozen of so things I do to make a living involves tracking news in the cable television business. And in that industry, the biggest news of the year has been the entry of telephone companies into the TV business. Cable companies such as Time Warner and Comcast suddenly find themselves competing with companies like Verizon and AT&T to deliver TV to your home.

The whole thing has happened quickly, because telephone companies have fought hard to bypass the franchise system that cable companies have had to use. Whereas cable companies have had to negotiate with every little town and hamlet on an individual basis, the telephone companies have lobbied to replace local franchise laws with statewide systems. Recently the phone companies have taken to pushing for a nationwide franchise system. If you want to learn more about this fight, click here.

I expect that the wind farm industry will have to adopt a similar approach — pushing for statewide or even national “franchise” laws that bypass local lawmakers. And there are indications that companies such as Horizon Wind Energy have begun to do exactly that. Click here to read about an attempt in Texas to get around local naysayers.

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