Impact on People and Energy Policy
The 29th Congressional District is ground zero for wind farm development with more than 1,200 turbines ultimately planned for the region, according to U.S. Rep. Eric Massa, D-Corning.
Massa was in town Monday night to discuss his opposition to the federal health reform act, during a 1.5-hour long town hall meeting, saying the act would impose a higher surcharge on New Yorkers and undermine Medicare.
Minnesotans soon can tell state officials what they think of a plan to add hundreds of miles of electric transmission lines across the state.
A group of 11 utilities, led by Xcel Energy and including Otter Tail Power Co., has proposed building three high-voltage transmission lines in Minnesota, claiming they are needed to improve service and prepare for growing electricity demands in areas such as the Red River Valley. ...Red Wing attorney Carol Overland has tracked the CapX 2020 proposal and operates a Web site that attempts to debunk the utilities' claim about needed transmission expansion.
Overland said a better alternative would be to add generation facilities close to where the electricity is needed.
"We're dealing with this false justification of need," said Overland, who will challenge the utilities' claims at the upcoming meetings.
Appalachian states lack strong and detailed guidelines to regulate the continued growth of wind power facilities along the Mid-Atlantic highlands, according to a new study by the National Academy of Sciences.
A team of academy experts concluded that wind power can help offset the greenhouse emissions caused by coal and other fossil-fuel energy sources, but the projected growth of wind power in West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania creates potential threats to bird and bat populations that are not fully understood, the academy study found.
Windmill "farms" also can cause other environmental problems and create legitimate aesthetic concerns for local communities - ranging from damage to scenic vistas to noise and "shadow flicker," a strobe-like effect created by rotating turbines, the report found.
"The United States is in the early stages of learning how to plan for and regulate wind-energy facilities," says the report, compiled by the National Academy's National Research Council.
The report said the cumulative effects of continued growth in wind power are unclear, and that further study is needed.
Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Murdoch announced yesterday he will call for a provincewide moratorium on wind turbine projects later this month.
Murdoch said in a news release yesterday he will introduce a resolution, which he expects to be debated on Oct. 29, that calls on the province and its chief medical doctor to state whether or not wind turbines cause health problems for people who live near them.
Murdoch said the government has a responsibility as well as a mandate to investigate such claims.