Impact on Wildlife or Maine
I wonder what it will take before the world truly wakes up to the horror, the corruption, the expense, the pointlessness, the total wrongness-in-every-way of the wind industry. My guess - and it will happen - is the decapitation, by a rogue turbine blade, of an innocent passer-by.
Because wind power is a preferred pet of the green movement, the government is allowing it to get away with things that other companies cannot. The effective result is that the White House is creating two sets of laws: a harsh one for the oil and electricity plants that provide the majority of energy in the nation, and a loving one for its preferred class of wind-energy farms.
The death of these beautiful birds is a great loss to nature but it is against the law. So how is it that no one will be punished?
Blame the Obama administration. The Interior Department has never prosecuted or fined a wind energy company.
Gov. Paul LePage is withholding support for a compromise bill being worked out by the Legislature's Energy Committee that's aimed at expanding Maine's natural gas infrastructure, boosting funding for energy efficiency, directly lowering businesses' electricity costs and making it more affordable for residents to abandon oil heat.
As federal wildlife officials turn a blind eye to the wind industry's slaughter, they exercise strict enforcement when others run afoul of the law.
This opinion piece by a recently retired endangered raptor specialist at New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation does not make specific mention of wind energy, but the message directly applies.
The Associated Press published a thorough article ...highlighting the Department of Interior's unwillingness to hold the wind industry accountable to laws meant to protect wildlife. With over 573,000 birds killed by wind turbines each year, according to the Wildlife Society Bulletin, as well as a significant number of bats, the Department of Interior can only point to superficial and voluntary guidelines that the wind industry continues to ignore.
Eliminating unrealistic statewide wind energy capacity goals, as Woodcock suggests, would be a start toward revamping Maine's wind energy policy to reflect the progress that's been made and the best route to capitalize on it in the future.
It stands to reason that if you build a wind turbine in a bird's flight path, the result will be lethal. If birds maintain a predictable flight path, such as an annual migration route, then it should be possible to avoid that flight path. But what if you want to build your wind farm between a bird's breeding place and its regular hunting grounds? That is more difficult.
Clive Hambler, a Lecturer in Biological and Human Sciences at Hertford College, University of Oxford, writes about the serious impact of wind turbines on bird populations in the United Kingdom, the United States and elsewhere. Other related essays at the source newsletter published by the Scottish Wild Land Group can be found at the link at the bottom of this page.
Once the Rollins project was built, Rainer and Gaby Engle of Switzerland, who bought their "American dream getaway," faced 21 turbines -- the sounds and sights of which dominated their lakeside experience. They lost their enjoyment in the property and listed their property for sale.
Mainers have a right to know about fires or other potentially hazardous situations at large-scale industrial facilities like wind farms. A simple change to wind farm permitting rules to require that operators report fires at their facilities in a timely manner would help public safety and industry officials compile data that could be used to mitigate future hazards.
The [Maine] RPS law limits the amount of energy we can use from renewable sources, such as hydropower, solar, tidal, biomass and geothermal. But in 2009 legislators lifted the cap for wind power, which is expensive to build and produces a minimal amount of our electricity.
In 2011, we got only 4.5 percent of our electricity from wind. While it produces only a fraction of energy, it is some of the most expensive electricity we buy.
If another golden eagle is killed a Technical Advisory Committee - comprised of biologists from federal and state agencies - will meet and make recommendations to the BLM about what mitigation to take, which could curtail operation of turbines or even shut down turbines.
The federal government's disparate treatment of various industries whose operations have resulted in the deaths of eagles or migratory birds has become an issue of late.
The truth is that the project's benefits to Maine are ambiguous, while the costs to our state are clear and real -- nearly $200 million will need to be subsidized by Maine families and businesses. This is the wrong direction for developing a new industry and antithetical to improving Maine's business climate and reducing the energy bill burdens on Maine families.
Biodiversity that takes centuries to evolve cannot be reinvented overnight, neither can the bald eagles that nested in a 100 year old cottonwood tree at Fisherville be expected to accept a Tupperware nest platform on a pole somewhere, when their instinct tells them they should be in a natural tree somewhere else. Legislation is purportedly in place to protect species at risk - that's why it is there. Legislation that can be bought, and then twisted to serve the needs of development is not legislation. It smacks of a corrupt system of the worst possible kind perpetuated by money and greed.
This home to nature is shortly to be under attack, not from hunters or foragers but from a Government approved industrial wind developer. Those of us throughout the province who admire and want to protect nature stand in disbelief at the carnage that will unfold and that is a result of the Green Energy and Economy Act (GEA) passed by the GTA centric Liberal Party.
By using mathematical formulas derived from these studies, the average distance of a large bird carcass found under the 2.3 MW turbines at Wolf Island would be 101 meters from their towers. This average is far outside the search areas used. The Wolf Island mortality studies used search areas of only 60 and 50 meters. These studies clearly missed most of the carcasses. It also does not account for wandering cripples and wind personal interference.
This gut wrenching poem tells a true story.
We shouldn't dynamite our mountain ridgelines to build a tool that can't achieve our carbon reduction objective. We shouldn't build power plants in the Kingdom when the demand is in Chittenden County. We shouldn't ignore the clear-cutting of hundreds of acres of trees that are our best carbon vacuum cleaners. We shouldn't allow runoff from miles of mountaintop roads and dozens of massive concrete base pads akin to any Wal-Mart parking lot. We shouldn't use a tool that kills off wildlife. How can anyone possibly justify such a tool receiving a permit to take endangered species?