In defending their quest to erect wind turbines in scenic places, First Wind writes: "Fishermen can orient their boats away from the turbines or situate themselves in one of the many coves if views of the turbines become undesirable. Or they may recreate at other nearby lakes with fewer views of turbines, if preferred."
Are they serious? Can you think of a more grating arrogance?
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Let’s be honest and admit that wind power plants on mountains will amount to an industrialization of the fragile high landscape of Maine. These plants cannot fail to change forever the character–including the ecosystems–of some of the most beautiful parts of our state.
"There was a lot of 'Here, here, here and here' and 'No, no, and no,' " according to task force member Rep. Stacey Fitts, R-Pittsfield.
A Maine Audubon Society member said the process involved a lot of, "I want this in, I want this out."
So, two years later, Maine is left with a map and only hazy recollections of how it came to be.
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If Highlanders put their faith in the owner of Independence Wind, they are choosing to trust a man who either knowingly tells untruths or doesn't know enough about his subject to speak with any degree of expertise.
It's easy to spread misinformation when no one challenges you on it. It's easy to spread feel-good propaganda when your listeners are easily led. But those days are over.
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Doug Rooks is correct about at least one thing (May 9). There is a growing backlash to industrial-scale wind turbines on Maine's mountains. People who care about Maine's present and future are refusing to roll over for the short-term interests of the wind industry and its largely unfounded claims.
Xcel says wind power will mostly supply intermittent and peak power - energy demands that fluctuate day to day or even hour to hour. Unfortunately, that means it still must rely on coal, the most polluting fossil fuel, supplemented by natural gas, the most expensive fossil fuel, for its base load (the kind of electricity that's always on).
For years, we in Lewis have witnessed with disgust the unedifying and unsavoury spectacle of certain individuals pursuing the aims of private developers hell-bent on the destruction of our natural environment in the hope of a completely unsubstantiated monetary gain. An independent report commissioned by Western Isles Council in 2005 cast serious doubt on the financial benefits and job creation prospects the Amec/British Energy scheme would provide for Lewis. It did accept, however, that the developers would make a killing, mostly from public subsidy levied on electricity consumers. ...For the record, 9859 representations have been received by the Scottish Government opposing the Lewis Wind Power scheme. A paltry 77 representations have been received in favour.
I and other farmers and landowners try to get help in fighting this wind farm company, but we get no help. We've lived here for more than 60 years, but a big, rich, communist Chinese company comes in and, in 3 months, runs over the rights of we, the people.
Sometime this century, world oil production likely will reach its peak as developing economies gulp a finite supply at an ever-increasing rate. Some experts think that Iowa could be a leader in producing the world’s next generation of fuels, transforming the state’s abundant natural and agricultural resources into fossil-fuel replacements. In “Fueling Iowa’s Future,” an occasional series of special reports during 2006, the Register’s editorial-page staff will examine the potential for Iowa to lead the renewable-fuels revolution and address the public-policy questions that such an undertaking would pose.
REGISTER EDITORIAL BOARD
AWEA CEO Denise Bode seems mildly disappointed by the numbers. Citing a slowdown in manufacturing of turbine components, Bode described the industry as "swimming upstream."
The contrary current may get even stronger if my recent visit to upstate New York is any indication. Arriving for a family visit, I found that I'd landed in the midst of an uproar over wind farms, both built and proposed.
If climate change is the Big One, let's start with energy policy. We must do more to support renewable energy, and Scotland is well placed to lead the way, for example, with marine technologies. But the newly elected Executive must also make sure that renewable energy developments avoid the most sensitive locations, such as the Lewis peatlands, whose future is threatened by a huge wind farm right in the middle of an area safeguarded under European law for its wildlife.
Renewable developments that cause irreparable damage to such precious places make no sense. We can make the shift to greener energy, and create jobs, without sacrificing such places.
Backers of the bill say that it would not place any restrictions on the Cape Wind proposal for a wind farm in Nantucket Sound. The Cape Wind turbines are beyond the 3 miles under state jurisdiction, and the underwater connecting cable of the project, which has received approval from the state Energy Facilities Siting Board, is grandfathered under the terms of the bill. The proposed wind farm for Buzzards Bay would, however, be subject to the management plan if the plan is in place before the project's developer completes certain regulatory steps.
The state's utilities, which are funded by ratepayers, are already seeking alternative energy sources because it's good business.
The Pacific Northwest, with it's clean, inexpensive electric power created by the dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers, is the envy of the nation.
Why then should it be necessary to approve Initiative 937, which mandates that the larger utilities in Washington state obtain 15 percent of their power from other clean, renewable sources?
It's not. This state is already ahead of the nation.
Who knows when the onslaught of blasting and earth gouging is to resume on the Record Hill Wind project in the quiet little community of Roxbury?
The Department of Environmental Protection doesn't know and former Gov. Angus King isn't forwarding any information, while the campers and camp owners of Roxbury Pond sit nervously silent.
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Massachusetts has an ambitious goal for renewable-energy development but no realistic plan or guidelines to reach it. The result is a free-for-all with the state lavishing money on wind-power development in the Berkshires, investors and other states benefiting from the largess, and Berkshire towns and residents left in the dark as to the real consequences for our community, our economy, and our beautiful mountains.
Editor's Note: Eleanor Tillinghast is head of Green Berkshires, Inc., an environmental
group based in western Massachusetts.
Most people's understanding of wind turbines, as those gathering signatures for the petition realized, is that of "closed" systems promoted decades ago. You had wind or sun; it collected the energy and stored it in batteries in your basement to be used as needed. Industrial wind turbines are, comparatively speaking, an "open" system whereby the energy is distributed immediately. This sounds wonderful except for one significant issue.
The industrial wind turbine process is intermittent.
Numerous other issues were raised and questions remain unanswered. A common question emerged, and has always been a question of mine since we first heard about this proposed project. Why are we making any decisions according to Horizon's time-line when so many unanswered questions remain? What's the rush? Oh, yeah - the incentives offered by our government, using our tax dollars to sell us out to these multi-billion dollar corporations, are due to run out by a certain date. As the Town Supervisor from the Tug Hill area told us when he was in Warsaw on Oct. 4, the wind companies couldn't exist if it wasn't for these subsidies. Thus, the rush by corporate developers to acquire access to our most valuable U.S. asset - our countryside.
Your land is a finite resource. God isn't making any more of it. Better think twice before signing it all away!
Thank you to Art Kruegger for raising the question about whether big wind turbines built on Vermont's mountaintops will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. That is a question Vermonters for a Clean Environment has been attempting to answer for seven months, and we are still looking for answers.
This is why renewable energy is such an essential plan for the future. And conservation. And conservation is a much more intelligent solution. We have the technology to stop global warming- but wind turbines are not the answer. They are the problem. Wind energy is a flawed technology that is only viable by political intrusion into what should be the province of engineers who understand the science. Wind Turbine tax subsidies are a poorly considered attempt by the federal government to look “green.”
Some people perversely claim to like the appearance of the turbines. That reflects the rise of a kind of anti-aesthetic, fostered by the urbanisation of society, brutalist architecture and the excesses of modern art. Anyone who prefers Lewis, or Perthshire, or the Borders covered with turbines has lost that spiritual connection with his native landscape that is the heritage of the true Scot. This vandalism must be halted or the consequences will be total degradation of our countryside. Look thy last on all things beautiful...