Impact on Landscape or Wyoming
A proposal to build Maine's largest wind complex in Highland Plantation, at the doorstep of the Bigelow Preserve and the Appalachian Trail, is under review by the Land Use Regulation Commission.
Prior to 2008 changes in site laws, this project would have had slim chance of being permitted, given its proximity to important Maine scenic assets. Under the new law, it could slide through in a process that has been greatly abbreviated.
Recently Gov. John Baldacci scoffed at the Citizens' Task Force on Wind Power when we asked him to issue a moratorium on industrial wind power projects until adequate noise regulations are implemented. The Bangor Daily News backed Baldacci in an editorial titled "Wind Ban Wrong." The Feb. 25 piece did acknowledge how right we are on several wind power issues, yet it still concluded that giving the state time would be wrong. We disagree with this, with the conclusion that noise is our primary consideration and with the common assumption that wind power's supposed benefits outweigh its costs.
In just under nine months, the residents of several Somerset county communities might see our beloved landscape and soundscape changed drastically for the remainder of our lives. Likewise, all the people of Maine could lose the scenic value of some of the state's finest natural treasures, and few even know of the threat.
Under recently amended state laws, all could occur with little consideration to the wisdom or long term implications of such a move.
All one has to do is look at the impact of the Kibby TransCanada industrial wind operation in the remote boundary mountains of western Maine. This is nothing more than industrial wind mountaintop removal. It is being driven by dollars and cents, not ecological sense.
To call mountaintop wind operations "farms" is nothing more than public relations. Farms suggest a positive relationship with the land.
Mountaintop wind is both an ecological and economic boondoggle. It is time to take a step back from industrial mountaintop wind power and to develop an energy policy that is not driven by the profits to be made from federal subsidies.
After this mountaintop gold rush has played out, Mainers will be left with a despoiled landscape and the magic of the mountains will be gone forever.
Proponents of wind energy state that blade failures, fires and collapse are small in relation to the number of turbines and we should not consider those failures when siting. How does that protect abutting businesses and residents?
I witnessed the process steamroll through to develop Port's standards — decreased from what the state models recommended for safe setbacks to property lines for ice throw, blade throw and collapse. Ours is only 150 feet, not even the minimum of 1x turbine height (Mass DOER recommends 1.5x).
The opponents to wind power are concerned with the pace at which its development is occurring in the state of Maine. Skepticism and caution are necessary anytime new industries and possibly lucrative business opportunities develop. There are big bucks and big questions now associated with wind power.
A proposed excise tax on wind energy in Wyoming was improved by the House Revenue Committee, which trimmed it by two-thirds and delayed the tax's implementation by a year. Both moves should help allay critics' fears that such a tax will make the fledgling industry choose other states to build wind turbine projects.
Certainly no one in South Dakota should be against wind power development, but the city and county also can't ignore concerns and questions raised by individuals who will live close to the modern-day version of the windmill. One or two turbines might not be an issue but what happens in months and years to come if more and more requests are made to allow individual wind turbines in residential areas?
The decision by the federal gvernment in 2007 to recognize the Mashpee Wampanoag as a historic Indian tribe documents tribal efforts to preserve their rights. The decision relies on extensive evidence, including census records from 1694 ...Gov. Deval Patrick is now pressing President Obama to break this promise and to ignore the federal rights of the Aquinnah and Mashpee Indian tribes.
The law still weighs heavily in favor of industry and against landowners. The fact is, in Wyoming it's still not just the government that can take private land -- private companies can as well. And it's not just for major power lines, roads and other things that can be construed as benefiting the general public. Improving a company's bottom line can be reason enough.
In the past couple of years, a new wrinkle has been added to the eminent domain debate: wind energy.
Poor wind farmers, they say if they are taxed it will kill their industry. I say so be it, let it wither and die, the wind industry is so heavily subsidized that it cannot stand on its own.
We do not have state income tax, because oil, gas, and coal pay so much in taxes. Wind energy equals higher taxes, does that make anyone feel better?
Cape Wind's staking a claim on Nantucket Sound seems to belong to the oil wildcatters' era ("There Will Be Wind?"), not the modern age of cooperative development that calls forth a nation's resources not just from its corporations but also its government and research institutions.
This is not to say Cape Wind failed to do its homework. It identified and exploited a loophole in the Sound's protection from industrialization, and its scientists made their case that they could produce energy at that site without significant environmental damage.
Today, we are confronted by the crisis of climate change. Descriptions are so fearful, confusing, and occasionally contradictory that it's hard to know what to think. We each try to do what we can to reduce our personal impact on the earth, and ponder how to preserve the planet from a catastrophic fate that could be imminent and irreversible.
For many people, renewable energy has become the panacea: producing power from wind, trees, grasses, and the sun.
This isn't a "clash of cultures" between "longtime ranch families" and "wealthy newcomers," and it's pure fantasy to say that anti-wind sentiment in the oil and gas industry motivates opposition to industrialization of the Northern Laramie Range. ...Industrialization of these mountains will destroy the business opportunities and property value of an unsullied Western mountain landscape, and the nonmonetary value of open space, silence and a black sky at night.
I spotted one potential straw in the wind in the hearing officer's decison: She rejected GMP's assertion that the temporary towers would have no "adverse" aesthetic impact.
"Given the facts of this case, it would be difficult to find that the three proposed towers do not have an adverse effect on the aesthetics of the area," she wrote. The mountains and ridgelines in the Lowell area are classic Vermont forested mountaintops with little or no sign of man's hand.
A great disservice will be done to the people of Massachusetts and all others who enjoy the pristine scenery, water sports and solitude of Nantucket Sound by placing an industrial plant in its heart, as intended by Cape Wind and politically correct politicians who want wind energy there regardless of the cost and its effect on national treasures and National Natural Landmarks.
To drive through the Minnesota countryside is to drive through contradiction. Those vast rolling fields -- are they busy engines of production for the agriculture industry? Or are they places of natural beauty, serenity and tranquility?
It's harder nowadays to have it both ways. The rapid advance of wind farming, for example, has transformed the rural landscape.
The numerous wind farms being built should make apparent to everyone that southern Ontario will be covered with wind turbines from Lake Huron to Lake Erie & Lake Ontario. That is provincial government policy and the Green Energy Act "streamlines" the approval process to the benefit of the wind turbine companies.
I oppose the Cape Wind project, which seeks to despoil and rob us of the pristine nautical legacy bestowed by our forefathers. As a result of the profound damaging regional financial, ecological and public safety consequences Cape Wind would have upon us all, it should not proceed to fruition.