Last spring we toured the Baltic Sea. As our cruise ship entered the seaport of Copenhagen, Denmark, we were treated to the sight of hundreds of wind turbines surrounding the entrance to the harbor. It was surreal - like stepping into another world. The old world charm is radically affected. Now we have the debate in Maryland over wind turbines on our state owned lands.
The newsletter dated Jan. 14, 2008, of the Deep Creek Lake Property Owners Association details the actual scope of the plans for 100 or more of these obnoxious beasts on state owned land. The windmills are industrial turbines, 40 stories tall. The plan is to lease 400 mountaintop acres as each turbine requires that 4 to 5 acres be stripped. We are vehemently opposed to this plan on public property. ...It is our opinion that these proposed windmills would have a negative impact upon Garrett County's landscape and would create a terrible eyesore.
U.S. Wind Force, a Pennsylvania-based company, has made a request of the state of Maryland to lease some 400 acres of state forestland to place 100 turbines atop Backbone and Meadow mountains. These would, of course, be in addition to dozens of other turbines tentatively scheduled to be erected on private property on Backbone. ...because this proposal calls for the use of "protected," state-owned (that is, technically, citizen-owned) lands for these projects, we have a whole new ballgame, and every single resident of Garrett County - even those who generally support wind-produced energy - should vehemently oppose it. If Governor O'Malley and the other two members of the Public Service Commission approve this (and the governor is really the only individual who has the power to stop it), it will be an absolute travesty. It would amount to our own governor selling us out here in Garrett County by opening this particular door that will lead to the degradation of our most pristine land; a door that would never again be closed.
This is a letter of concern about wind energy farms coming to Western Maryland from the Allegany/Garrett Sportsmen's Association. We are conservation and sportsmen's association that represents multiple clubs in the western region. Our membership ranges between 4,000 and 5,000 members and their families. We are also a partner of the Wildlife Division and have worked with them over the years on many issues regarding wildlife, wildlife habitat, hunting, fishing, and game land management.
Our organization is not totally against "wind energy" as an alternative energy resource. However, we are adamantly opposed to "wind energy turbines being installed on all state lands."
Offshore wind is too risky. It's too expensive even as advertised and will probably cost more than that. Although they won't make for flashy talking points if O'Malley runs for president, there are far better and cheaper ways to meet Maryland's energy and environmental goals.
After reading about and listening to the debate over giant wind turbines for a number of weeks now, it is the opinion of this writer that they are not a good idea for Garrett County, and we should do what we can to keep them out of here.
Having been an intervenor in the original Synergics hearing before the Public Service Commission (PSC) several years ago, I am deeply troubled that this issue is back before us again. ...Thanks to the work of Wayne Rogers, Cas Taylor, and Senate President Mike Miller, the PSC was all but written out of the permitting process. So now the PSC is holding yet another meaningless hearing on a resubmitted Synergics wind proposal.