Wind power projects of the magnitude proposed on our ridgelines would drastically affect the character of our state and do little or nothing to alleviate the problems of acid rain and greenhouse warming.
If there's an industry in the world that deserves to be stigmatised more than any other, it's the despicable, reprehensible, money-grubbing, mendacious, taxpayer-fleecing, bird-mangling, landscape-ruining, economy-blighting wind farm business. ...wind farms are not merely worthless but actively evil.
On the face of it I was in favour of the proposed wind farm at Thacksons Well, (between Long Bennington and Bottesford) but as with all government schemes, I find it better to do my own research before making a decision.
What I have found shocked me. Industrial wind farms are not CO2 savers and are not good for the environment.
If voters approve Initiative 937 in November, your utility bills will go up. That's enough reason to vote "no" on I-937, but the mandates in the initiative also are unnecessary for Washingtonians to enjoy clean, renewable energy. Here's why.
Much of upstate New York, from north of Albany to Buffalo, from the Catskills to the Adirondacks, is in danger of being transformed beyond recognition by industrial wind parks. Some 50 of these wind parks are being planned and even built.
All of this is being done in the name of clean energy and saving the planet. But it isn't clear that wind power is such a panacea in the battle against global warming that developers of these wind parks should be allowed to run roughshod over some of our loveliest land. What we need are statewide siting guidelines that take other environmental factors, including visual impacts, into consideration.
The citizens of Washington recently passed I-937 which requires the use of narrowly defined renewable energy sources by utilities serving over 25,000 customers. PSE is required to build generating resources to meet this requirement. Never mind that the legislation effectively creates a government-mandated market for basically only one renewable energy source (commercial wind power); we should all be happy that Washington is a "leader in becoming energy independent" and we are also solving the world-wide problem of climate change. To accomplish this goal requires large amounts of capital - in fact, PSE needs to spend $5.7 billion on infrastructure in the next five years - more than the company was worth last October!
But wait a minute, haven't we been told wind power is the cheapest, most cost competitive energy source available today?
Rumor had it, that the Noble Corporation had liens against it. At the Wyoming County Court House, there are 19 mechanics liens filed in connection with the Noble Wethersfield Wind Park, owned and operated by Noble Corporation. A mechanic lien is filed: "when a person or business doesn't receive payment for a service or material."
I wonder if the Wethersfield landowners who hold leases with Noble were aware that if Noble didn't pay debts, their property would have a lien placed on it?
Washington this week officially welcomed the newest industry on the hunt for financial and regulatory favors. Big CarbonCap may have the same dollar-sign agenda as Big Oil or Big Pharma, but don't expect Nancy Pelosi to admit to it.
Democrats want to flog the global warming theme through 2008 and they'll take what help they can get, even if it means cozying up to executives whose goal is to enrich their firms. Right now, the corporate giants calling for a mandatory carbon cap serve too useful a political purpose for anyone to delve into their baser motives.
The Climate Action Partnership, a group of 10 major companies that made headlines this week with its call for a national limit on carbon dioxide emissions, would surely feign shock at such an accusation. After all, their plea was carefully timed to coincide with President Bush's State of the Union capitulation on global warming, and it had the desired PR effect. The media dutifully declared that "even" business now recognized the climate threat. Sen. Barbara Boxer, who begins marathon hearings on warming next week, lauded the corporate angels for thinking of the "common good."
Abundant, reliable, affordable electricity is thus a critical priority for developing nations. Hydroelectric projects offer one solution, coal-fired power plants another. They aren't perfect ecologically, but neither are wind turbines, which require extensive acreage, kill birds, and provide inadequate amounts of intermittent, expensive electricity that cannot possibly sustain modern societies.
Now a revolutionary nuclear energy technology is being designed and built in South Africa, but with suppliers and partners in many other nations. The 165-megawatt Pebble Bed Modular Reactors are small and inexpensive enough to provide electrical power for emerging economies, individual cities or large industrial complexes. However, multiple units can be connected and operated from one control room, to meet the needs of large or growing communities.
Equally undemocratic is the revolution in local government brought about by the rules from Mr Prescott which allow "monitoring officers" to exclude any councillor from debates in which they are deemed to have a "prejudicial interest". This includes any councillor who has previously expressed any view on the issue, or even who can be shown to have discussed it with members of the public before it comes up for debate.
November 24, 2010
in West Marin Citizen
The stance of environmental groups against wind farms which so puzzles your last guest columnist is easy to explain. These environmentalists, like many others around the world, have done their own research and concluded that the wind farm business is an immense folly inflicted on a gullible public by big business, with the collusion of big government.
And yet the DPU - controlled by the pro-Cape Wind Patrick administration - determined that the contract is both in the public interest and "cost-effective," as required by the Green Communities Act. The court essentially confirmed that the state board had the legal authority and the expertise to make those determinations.
I welcomed zoning to Ellis County. It was supposedly established for the protection, safety and well-being of the citizens of Ellis County. Now I find out differently. The regulations written for the wind project were written in a way to favor commercial interest and not for the citizen's protection, safety or well- being. Now who should be scolded?
The final example was when one of the commissioners recalled his eighth grade science teacher's prescient thoughts concerning the role of sun and wind to help meet our energy needs.
Too bad he was not also taught about proper setbacks for turbines, sound travel, property devaluation for homes near turbines, and honesty in establishing industry in Ellis County.
Furthermore, I recently drove past Blaen Bowi when the weather was very still and misty.
Smoke was rising vertically, high into the sky, from a nearby chimney. Yet when I drove past the wind turbines , a mile along the road, the turbine located 120 metres from the road was turning very fast.
I was so astounded that I got out of the car. There was not a breeze.
It was obvious that the turbine was being motored by the fossil fuels of the National Grid, not wind.
Do people realise that a computer button can be pressed in Germany to spin wind turbines in the UK? That is real spin.
We're hearing a lot these days from the nation's capital about the coming "clean energy economy" and all the green jobs we'll get out of it. If truth-in-advertising laws applied to politics, however, you'd have to replace the word "clean" with "costlier" - which is why this agenda is actually very bad news for jobs and the economy.
Everyone, especially every energy company, loves renewable energy, but the conversion should occur as market conditions dictate, not forced by government in ways that lead to higher energy prices.......
Another reason to reject I-937 is this glaring flaw: It does not include hydropower with wind and solar as a “renewable source.” It’s impossible to envision the inexorable flow of water through turbines at our state’s dams as anything but renewable.
Gov. Carcieri's call for bids to develop a wind farm near Block Island, due in five weeks, came as a surprise to islanders, and apparently to most of Rhode Island and even, perhaps, the governor's administration. That's a little disturbing.
Is this a bold attempt to speed progress toward the governor's alternative energy goal, or a lurch into unknown quicksand? Does the state intend to lay the legal and scientific foundation for a huge enterprise, or is it trusting corporations to do the right thing? ...One hopes the governor's abrupt call for bids does not foretell a willingness to bypass the scientific studies and plunge ahead. In the push for action, we must make sure it is the right action.
What is to be done? With wind power, above all, we have entered the realm of the illogical: the environmental solution has become the environmental problem.
In the Wind
July 13, 2005
in Daily Press, Newport News (VA)
It raises a question Virginia and the nation must face: Should the wind industry continue to enjoy generous subsidies?