Impact on People or Colorado
Now a new community-level movement is arising in Michigan and across the Great Lakes region. This time, established green groups may be separating themselves from it. As Michigan and other state and provincial agencies move to authorize wind farms in the Great Lakes, enviros outside the affected communities are not likely to join offshore wind opponents in any significant numbers.
But there are many unanswered questions on these projects.
First off, the government doesn't have any regulations pertaining to offshore wind projects.
It begs the question: why has the government approved a project for which it admits regulations must be created. This creates an unfair process.
At the time it seemed clearly the right thing for a progressive little town to do in these times of concern over climate change, especially if it makes the town a bunch of money. ...So what's changed? A persistent group of opponents, mostly nonresidents, seem to have been successful in reminding us that some land is better used when not used at all in the practical sense. That sometimes aesthetic and recreational value trumps even a virtuous, green use
There is growing opposition to the installation of utility wind turbines in the United States. Citizens have learned that living among these enormous structures has a negative impact upon their personal well-being and the social fabric of their communities.
Public officials, quick to approve these structures, were blinded by potential revenues.
What has happened is the color green. There have been some well intentioned folks that have had their vision clouded by money. Industrial wind is not about electricity. It is about power! The power of money! Green Mountain Power came to Lowell and conducted an expensive political campaign to get good people to say yes to allow GMP make money from destroying our ridge line by installing 440-foot monsters on our ridge line!
As Buffalo considers the "benefits" of erecting wind turbines within city limits, it must openly and objectively assess the negative consequences. The presence of 400-foot-tall towers will impact community character and scenic vistas. The noise created by wind turbines will be a nuisance. Most troubling, however, is the growing body of medical research establishing that infrasound produced by wind turbines ...adversely affects human health.
What unites these localities in our long nation? Yes, wind power opposition. Sometimes it's the residents who protest, but all the more frequently even the municipalities themselves resist, and say no to planned wind power construction.
Earlier this spring, Tingsryd municipality halted, for the time being, plans for a wind power station south of Växjö. In Klippan, the Conservative politicians put the brakes on. In the north, in Ragunda and Strömsund, the municipality, the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, a Sami village [translator note: Sami are Laplanders; many make a living by raising reindeer], and several private individuals joined to block a planned wind power park consisting of 450 turbines.
Last November I drove across the country, mostly along back roads. In the middle of Iowa, I came upon a fascinating spectacle. Giant windmills filled the fields in every direction. I watched them turn slowly in the breeze. They looked like an army of giant robots marching across the middle of nowhere.
And that's exactly where they belong. Stick one of these things in crowded New Jersey and it's a different story. I learned that the other day when I witnessed a windmill in Ocean Gate, a pleasant little community at the mouth of the mighty Toms River.
The judge overseeing the CPCN proceedings decided the PUC should consider additional testimony before making a decision. The additional testimony will focus on the impact of Colorado's recently passed Renewable Energy Standard (RES) that requires 30% of the state's energy to come from renewable sources by 2020 and encourages a shift toward pursuing distributed generation.
I'm responding to a letter that Dick Hill from Collingwood wrote to tell me about how so many rural people want turbines and how wonderful it is in Melancthon, specifically Dufferin County Road 17.
Dick describes this area in Melancthon as being representative of ideal harmony between rural people and industrial wind. Currently Royal Lepage in Orangeville has a house listed for sale on County Road 17.
Companies applying for wind farms require only two things: Renewable energy approval from the Ontario Ministry of Environment and a power contract with Ontario Power Authority.
What isn’t apparently required is any sort of health study examining the effects of living beneath several of these behemoths; even though the province openly admits more needs to be known.
Building wind farms and "protecting" the environment do not sit comfortably together, as she claims. When remnant native vegetation is in the way of turbine sites and their extensive associated infrastructure, wind power companies simply blast or bulldoze their way through it. (If you remain unconvinced, go and look for yourself at what is happening along the Waterloo Range).
Our governor is proposing emergency legislation mandating the installation of what would amount to thousands of wind turbines within three miles of our Maine coastline (L.D. 1810: An Act to Implement the Recommendations of the Governor's Ocean Energy Task Force).
This has been referred to as "offshore" wind development. It is actually "near-shore" wind development that would displace fishermen and disturb the treasured views of Maine's fantastic coastline.
My grandmother, Agnes, lived in Monterey Township at the turn of the 20th century. Her favorite saying was, “a place for everything and everything in its place.” What do you think she would say of the placement of gigantic wind turbines on the hillsides and in the fields of her beautiful Monterey? ...would she say, “Go for it. It’s progress and it is for the good of the country?” I don't believe that she would.
Thanks to Colorado's renewable portfolio standard, wind power is a "must take" resource for Public Service, meaning the utility must incorporate wind power into the grid even if it means ramping down a coal-fired plant.
Now, Gov. Ritter and Democrats in Denver want to increase the renewable portfolio standard by 50 percent through House Bill 1001, without considering the consequences for Denver's air quality. Despite the $2 billion worth of new wind turbines installed since 2004, Denver's air quality has not improved.
Recently Gov. John Baldacci scoffed at the Citizens' Task Force on Wind Power when we asked him to issue a moratorium on industrial wind power projects until adequate noise regulations are implemented. The Bangor Daily News backed Baldacci in an editorial titled "Wind Ban Wrong." The Feb. 25 piece did acknowledge how right we are on several wind power issues, yet it still concluded that giving the state time would be wrong. We disagree with this, with the conclusion that noise is our primary consideration and with the common assumption that wind power's supposed benefits outweigh its costs.
Imagine how you would feel if turbines were built in your neighborhood and suddenly you were forced into an unimaginable situation? There are so many families in Maine that are overwhelmed trying to deal with problems related to wind farms because the Maine state noise regulations are outdated.
Imagine this scenario: The oil and gas industry launches an aggressive global drilling program with a new type of well. Thousands of these new wells, once operational, emit a noxious odor so offensive that many of the people living within a mile of them are kept awake at night. ...Now substitute wind for oil and gas and consider the noise complaints being lodged against wind projects around the world.
I am writing to dispel misinformation presented as fact by a representative of Farm Bureau Insurance to Goodhue County officials on the behalf of 484 families that belong to Goodhue County Farm Bureau.
That letter is untrue and not endorsed by all those members. In fact, they are almost entirely unaware of this representation.
This letter was written last fall by one of more than a hundred people (to date) in Ontario who have reported adverse health effects from wind turbines.
They are people who are genuinely suffering like many from around the world - Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Europe, United Kingdom and United States among other countries. All live near wind farms (within 2.5 kilometres) and share one thing in common: they have symptoms when they are in their homes and get better when they are away for a few hours. The wind farms are too close to residences.