It flies in the face of what McGuinty has said - that the only legitimate opposition to wind farms is for environmental and safety reasons and people who object over anything else - including aesthetics - are "NIMBYS" who just don't want the things anywhere near them for irrational reasons.
This argument has been constantly leveled at rural residents.
If the criteria were objective or the environmental protection standards were consistent, then either the towers would have to go or the cross could clearly stay ...Instead Vermont has created a regulatory climate in which the aesthetic impact of a project is decided by political favor.
Perhaps the most insidious damage has only just begun. In this small, close-knit community, divisiveness has already taken hold. Many residents fear that their neighbors will sign leases without realizing how it may affect the rest of the township. Friends, relatives and neighbors are taking sides. Citizens are losing faith in a local governing board that seems to have taken the dive without checking the dangers first.
Most people will agree that renewable energy is a wonderful thing. But wind turbines only produce energy when they are working, and the town should have a clear knowledge of the upcoming regulations before it decides to invest in any wind turbine project.
In summary, large-scale wind machines are a bad idea for the Town of Warsaw but great for offshore and remote areas. Large machines greater than (say) 125 rotor diameter should be prohibited. The Town might consider policies to foster small-scale wind equipment, other small-scale "appropriate" energy technologies and energy efficiency. The proposed regulatory framework amounts to a slippery slope. Please don't go there.
He says "Winston Churchill once said that we in England have a countryside worth dying for. And I'd be damn well wiling to do just that, to stop the turbines."
In reality, this project should generate for its investors about $2.46 billion over 20 years through the sale of power and Texas renewable energy credits, which are paid by Texas ratepayers. An additional $333 million in federal production tax credits will be added to the revenue stream, along with an anticipated county and school tax abatement (tax forgiveness) generally demanded by all wind project developers of between $125 million and $265 million, depending on the project cost.
With the project taking advantage of almost half a billion in tax abatements and credits (some directly out of school district funds and state school funds), lease royalties of only $34 million to $112 million to benefit the state education fund hardly add up to "a good deal."
Simply put, Texas public school children, and all Texas residents, will be harmed from a revenue standpoint if the Superior project is built.
I just finished reading the transcript of the "open session" the Public Utilities Commission hosted last month: the format included a lively conversation between moderator Maurice Kaya (project director for Hawaii Renewable Energy Development Venture) and lawyer/consultant/"guest presenter," Scott Hempling. I am now sorry I couldn't be there, for two reasons.
This needs to be said. The Free Press Editorial Board continues to strongly oppose wind turbines that damage and mar the state's ridgelines, and fervently hopes that state regulators agree and put Vermont's undeveloped landscape first in this matter. But this Editorial Board welcomes a thoughtful discussion about other options for turbine location -- the Searsburg towers prove that Vermont-scale opportunities exist -- and other methods of generating clean, renewable energy.
I continue to be amazed and perplexed by the thinking of some people who live in town, totally unaffected by the ravages this proposed wind turbine project will bring to the countryside and how they feel it is a sacrifice we, living in its footprint, should bear.
Let's be perfectly clear. The only way to "mitigate" problems associated with industrial wind turbines is to make sure the projects do not go up within residential areas in the first place.
As reported in a recent Daily News letter ("Think big on wind energy" by David Bassett, May 20, 2009) , the U.S. Department of Energy admitted when these immense machines were being developed that they were intended for placement in the remote, unpopulated areas of the Midwest, and offshore -- not amongst rural/residential areas like that of WNY.
In the town of Searsburg the private citizens own about 20% of the land and the rest belongs to the power companies,the state, and the National Forest. That extremely limits our growth as a town, yet they continue to destroy more forest land in the name of public good. ...This project is expected to cost over $60 million to build and destroy 80 acres of prime pristine forest land. How can you justify the cost with the return? Is there a price on our National Forests? Is there a price on the people's lives that live nearby that will surely be changed by the noise and lights? Is there a price on the many others who will see the nine to 12 red flashing lights from a distance in the night sky? They paint a rosy picture, but is it?
I ask you all, Is this in the public good?
GOV. Christine Gregoire just allowed an unelected commission known as the Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC) to preempt a local land-use decision by the Kittitas County Board of Commissioners. The issue of siting huge wind-turbine installations has been a bit under the radar screen in Western Washington, but the governor's action should raise alarms all over the state. ...No matter which side of the wind-farm issue people may be on, the precedent-setting actions of EFSEC and Gregoire should be anathema. The issue is as much about state authority (or the lack thereof) over county governments as it is about siting some misbegotten wind turbines.
If Environment Minister Trevor Mallard decides to call- in the consent application, it will be referred directly to a ministerially-appointed board of inquiry, or to the Environment Court.
And it seems certain that Mr Mallard will indeed decide to call-in the application. Last month, after an editorial in this newspaper opined that to do so would undermine the democratic process, Mr Mallard quickly fired off a letter to the editor in response. He wanted to "correct the misinformation" and defend the process that would be applied if the decision was called in.
It's time for the public to be heard. If we remain silent, we could open the door for exploitation: constant noise, day and night; irreparable damage to our groundwater resources and disruption of surface
landscape; human health and safety risks - and the list goes on.
We owe it to future generations not to sit idly by as the wind energy companies target Potter County.
We can act today, or we can spend decades wishing that we would have.
In response to Scottish industry's concerns that its lights may go out, Britain's power industry had to admit it would not make one iota of difference as wind power is too unstable to be included in any calculations of how much power is needed to satisfy the country's needs - whether or not the wind is blowing our power stations will still burn the same amount of fossil fuel.
Back in the 1950s, the standard Western movie would include a scene in which some dignitary from Washington would meet with an Indian chief and his council in the hope of resolving grievances that had sent the Indians on the warpath. The other day, we got a replay of that scene when a real-life government dignitary sailed into Nantucket Sound with a group of Wampanoag Indians for the ostensible purpose of resolving their grievances.
If you don’t have time to make the right decisions now, you will have plenty of time later to wish you did. Wisdom in this situation screams for a moratorium.
During the past year, several towns in the region have grappled with the issue of wind power, but none perhaps more contentiously than Meredith in Delaware County.
Regardless of how you stand on wind power, Meredith has become a great example of townspeople with the legal right to control their fate actually exercising their democratic powers to take charge of their lives.
A year ago, Meredith planners were working on an ordinance to regulate industrial wind turbines. After their work was completed, the town board made changes to their proposal, held hearings and passed a law many thought too lenient to wind-power developers.
So, in July, when it was time to file to run for town offices in the November election, the planning chairman and others who opposed the town board's action decided to use the ballot box to get the power to rescind the ordinance they opposed.
Every Ontario citizen should be outraged about wind turbines. Since Dalton's Green Energy Act was passed with little fanfare, we have lost the right to determine what happens in our communities. Many of us seem to be oblivious to the big picture. Whether or not you have any opinion about wind turbines, you should be aware of what's happening around us.