Impact on Wildlife
Note: counts do not include items in sub-categories
There is no doubt in my mind that the Brolga, and many other birds, are at a great risk and would be killed by the Macarthur wind farm if it were to go ahead. Its time to give our native companions a fair go.Editor's Note: This letter has appeared in several Australian papers.
Haven't we learned anything from Mars Hill and Vinalhaven about sound and human impacts?
What kind of energy is really going to be produced to mitigate the impacts stated above?
The applicant offered to put 1,000 acres into conservation. The 1,000 acres just happens to surround the turbines and roads. Gee, thanks.
Concerns about this project need to be expressed to the DEP soon.
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.
This task force abandoned the very idea of stewardship and capitulated to temporary commands of a very temporary administration. LURC has become foot soldiers for developers and surrendered the near-sacred trust placed in them by former legislators, and the people of Maine, who have a field of vision broader than what is either convenient or politically correct.
It is lonely at the top of the mountain, standing against the tide of state policy, public opinion, public interest groups and deep pockets willing to exploit mountains as sacrificial areas in trades and arrangements to benefit their interests.
LURC has made a bad decision. Generations from now will look back and shake their heads at these piles of metal and wonder why.
Before everyone becomes too hyped up about the wind turbines, we need to take a serious look on how they will affect local wildlife.
It is no secret that the spinning turbine blades have been responsible for killing birds and bats worldwide. Bats have been especially prone to colliding with the blades - thousands are believed to be killed annually in the U.S., with the majority being threatened species.
It is believed by some experts that the wind turbines emit an ultrasonic frequency that confuses bats and predatory birds, possibly even attracting them to the turbines.
More recently, bat biologists have reported that the turbines have been placed in migratory paths, further increasing bat kills.
Studies have revealed that the deaths in question occurred only when the turbines were in operation.
Although my research started with the visual and spatial aspects of WECSs, and continues to be focused on WECSs effects on “landscape character” i.e. impacts on the spatial environment, with implications for cultural values and social systems of our region. I am equally concerned about the predictable negative effects of WECSs on the natural systems of the Flint Hills. I am concerned about serious cumulative effects and the degradation of:
the visual character of our environment;
the social fabric of communities that are facing the prospect of WECS-C;
the health of biological, ecological components of our regional ecosystem; and the
long term viability of our local, increasingly “nature-based” economy.
Bats serve important ecological functions that keep natural systems in balance, especially insect control. Their diminishment could impact humans in ways ranging from decreased crop yields and increased use of pesticides to greater incidence of insect-borne diseases.
There is a risk that the public will accept wind energy as an easy solution to global warming without understanding the necessity of monitoring and mitigation requirements. It is important for the public to recognize that while the proposed development could produce up to 39 megawatts of power under ideal conditions, eastern turbines average less than a third of that amount over the course a year, and much less than a third during the summer when electricity demand is highest.
Rep. Alan Mollohan is proving refreshingly thoughtful and farsighted on one of the emerging issues facing West Virginia - the pros and cons of wind power.
He makes a persuasive case that the state should regulate its newest energy industry now.
On Tuesday, the 1st District congressman told a congressional subcommittee he is very concerned about the impact wind farms could have on the wildlife and natural beauty of the state......Mollohan is right. It's time to slow this heavily subsidized stampede.
My basic position on wind energy in our state is that before decisions are made on building industrial turbines across our mountain ridges, we should have a good idea of what the costs as well as the benefits of those projects will be to West Virginians, both now and in the future. There can be honest disagreements about what those costs and benefits will be, and how they should be weighed. But I hope no one would disagree with the proposition that the decisions to be made on wind turbines - which raise the prospect of permanently altering the face of our State - should be made in a fully informed, considered way.
To that end, I believe the immediate need is for there to be a serious, public discussion of wind energy in this State. Members of the news media can play an important part in this discussion, but only to the extent that they report the facts, study the issues carefully, and issue thoughtful commentaries -- rather than merely publishing industry talking points.
In AES' application to the Public Service Commission for a siting certificate, in the second volume page 5, they state, "there is a demonstrated need for additional generating capacity in the region as well as the PJM (grid managers) power markets which include West Virginia." Maybe AES isn't aware that West Virginia already exports 70 percent of the power produced in the state. We certainly don't need the power. West Virginia being a huge exporter of power has transmission lines running everywhere, providing wind developers easy access to the grid. With no real sitting regulations, no mass population to deal with, and armed with tax credits and incentives, both federal and state, once again West Virginia is ripe for exploitation. ...Hopefully our mountains and wind will always be here. Wind developers want to cram these wind turbines down our throats and act as if this is the only chance we'll ever have to take advantage of this so-called "wonderful opportunity."
There seems to be no good way to properly site these turbines on unspoiled Appalachian mountains without causing irreparable damage. The State Corporation Commission has an opportunity to do the right thing by heeding the growing warnings about negative, cumulative effects its own experts are offering.
If the 1,800 turbines were constructed, as much as 50,000 acres of carbon-sequestering forest would have to be clear-cut. In addition, the turbines require electricity to run, which does not come from the turbines and must be generated on site by diesel generators or brought in on separate power lines.
One study done in Colorado actually determined that wind power increased carbon emissions by 10 percent.