Library from Pennsylvania

Turbine law considered in Butler

Marguerite Woelfel, a valley resident who used to sell wind turbines in California, said the ordinance tilted slightly in favor in companies that helped draft it. She suggested sharpening language in the ordinance, which the supervisors tabled so they can study her recommendations. ... Asked by Supervisor Robert Shelhamer if she favored or opposed wind turbines, Woelfel said she thinks the machines have their place. But she believes they are overrated as a way to break America's dependence on foreign oil because of their cost and life expectancy, which is 25 years.
16 Sep 2007

Wind Power Development on Public Lands - It Isn't Worth It

... because wind energy development has associated environmental costs, wind energy development should only be instituted on state lands if the environmental benefits can be demonstrated to exceed the environmental costs. ... The environmental benefits of wind energy development, in the mid-Atlantic area in general and on Pennsylvania state lands in particular, are small relative to the negative consequences, which include habitat fragmentation and mortality to birds and bats.
14 Sep 2007

Pennsylvania Biological Survey position statement re: wind power development on public lands

... because wind energy development has associated environmental costs, wind energy development should only be instituted on state lands if the environmental benefits can be demonstrated to exceed the environmental costs. ... The environmental benefits of wind energy development, in the mid-Atlantic area in general and on Pennsylvania state lands in particular, are small relative to the negative consequences, which include habitat fragmentation and mortality to birds and bats.
14 Sep 2007

Not a serious approach

Why don't we just admit that there is an energy crisis in the world and set about finding real solutions to our problems? Many of those opposed to wind energy development in Pennsylvania would drop their opposition, if wind energy were a serious approach to global warming and energy deficits. ...Unregulated wind turbine placement will lead us to massive deforestation and environmental damage, with energy benefits so small as to make a mockery of the entire approach.
13 Sep 2007

Protect Eagles by Stopping Shaffer Mountain Wind Project

"Common sense dictates that erecting wind turbines in the path of migrating birds puts the birds at greater risk, and frankly, we are stupefied that the proponents of this project can't see that and are clinging stubbornly to their plan", Ciarlante said. Thousands of migrating raptors including American Bald Eagles, Eastern Golden Eagles and Hawks transit the Shaffer Mountain ridge every spring and fall and would be put at great risk by the whirling blades of the GAMESA wind turbines.
11 Sep 2007

Wind power: There's a place for it, but not at the expense of environment

Wind needs to be part of that solution. But a critical question is this: How far do you go in trying to save the planet by destroying it? We appreciate the urgency, but ravaging the planet in the name of saving it doesn't constitute an alternative-energy strategy as much as an alternative environmental calamity. There are many places where windmills would work fine without impact, but the entire effort is wasting valuable time trying to develop the optimum wind sites at the expense of every other consideration. That's an impediment to rigorously confronting climate change, not a solution.
8 Sep 2007

Hearing to tackle amendment

The commissioners will consider whether to accept a recommendation by the county Planning Commission to allow commercial wind farm development by right in resource protection, agricultural and countryside districts. The current ordinance allows wind farm development in agricultural and countryside districts by right, and in resource protection districts by a special exception permit issued by the county Zoning Hearing Board.
7 Sep 2007

Windmill ordinance scheduled for vote by Noxen supervisors

Supervisors agreed Tuesday to vote at the Oct. 2 on a "wind energy facility ordinance." ...On Tuesday, solicitor R. James Kamage said that the township's proposed ordinance would give the township the ability to have input on the company's project. He added that the township cannot stop BP Alternative Energy, which is looking at leasing land from Deer Park Lumber, from building a wind turbine facility. However, an ordinance would help the community better understand what the company is doing.
5 Sep 2007

Study needed on turbines, environment

The National Academy of Sciences concluded that long-term research is needed on the ecological impacts of wind turbines prior to their establishment on mid-Atlantic ridges. The academy recommended a minimum of three years for impact studies and that the results be made available for public and scientific scrutiny. Full results of industry-funded research at the Shaffer Mountain site are kept under lock and key and are therefore of dubious scientific value. ... The most reasonable compromise for the state Department of Environmental Protection and the state game commission is to place a moratorium on wind-turbine development in biologically important sites until the environmental impacts are fully understood.
5 Sep 2007

Litigation Stalling Crystal Lake Wind Park

Litigation has stalled the construction of the Crystal Lake wind park, when the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court struck down Luzerne Court of Common Pleas Judge Conahan's decision to overturn the Bear Creek Township board of supervisors' rejection of Energy Unlimited's (EU) submission for a 25- turbine section of the Penobscot wind park. The Commonwealth Court also upheld the Bear Creek supervisors' denial of EU's application for a variance for the construction of 9 additional turbines in the vicinity of Crystal Lake, Mountaintop's water supply. These 9 turbines would have been located at distance of 50 feet from the shore of Crystal Lake. Pennsylvania's Supreme Court refused to hear EU's appeal.
5 Sep 2007

RELEASE: Groups across PA speak out against industrial wind projects on forested ridges

A Press Conference has been scheduled for 12 noon on Monday September 17, 2007 in the rotunda of the Capitol in Harrisburg to protest the statewide push by the Rendell Administration to turn hundreds of miles of Pennsylvania's forested ridge tops into industrial wind facilities. Groups from across the state will be addressing the various concerns that wind power facilities pose to Pennsylvania's wild areas, wildlife, tourism, historical resources, and viewscapes.
5 Sep 2007

Somerset wind farm proposal generates a tempest over birds

Opposition to the Shaffer Mountain project turns on the old Realtor's mantra of "location, location, location." The wind turbines would be built near the Bedford County line and in the watershed of Piney Run and Clear Shade Creek, two of the state's 28 exceptional value streams -- a designation reserved for creeks with the highest water quality and biological diversity. ... The project [..] also raises hard questions for environmentalists and regulators about the expected expansion of wind-power projects and the need to balance their benefits against potential environmental harm.
4 Sep 2007

Wind power potentially closer in Lycoming County

Development of wind power in northern Lycoming County took a potential step closer to reality Wednesday at the Lycoming County Planning Commission's meeting. At that session the commission voted unanimously to recommend that the county commissioners approve an amendment to the county zoning ordinance that will allow electricity-generating wind turbines in so-called resource protection zones.
30 Aug 2007

Wind-farm foes speak out at hearing

State officials got an earful and more on opposition to Gamesa Energy USA's proposal to site 30 turbines on Somerset County's Shaffer Mountain at a public hearing Tuesday night. A crowd of more than 450 heckled, cheered and jeered as speakers took the stand at a packed Shade High School gymnasium....A busload of about 40 employees from Gamesa's Ebensburg plant arrived in Gamesa ballcaps to sit together and provide most of the company's backing in the tough crowd.
29 Aug 2007

Noxen re-examines windmill ordinance

BP Alternative Energy business developer Kevin Davis, who spoke during a Noxen supervisors meeting Wednesday, Aug. 22, about a wind turbine ordinance, said that his company plans to put up additional testing towers in Forkston, Noxen and Eaton townships. "If we don't have the wind, we won't do a project," he said. The special meeting Wednesday was attended by around 50 people and was called by supervisors to discuss a proposed windmill ordinance, which was tabled in May after BP expressed concerns. ...Solicitor R. James Kamage said that supervisors discussed legal issues raised by BP's letter. Although he added that BP hasn't threatened or pursued litigation, he also said that if Noxen had passed its proposed ordinance then BP might have threatened litigation.
29 Aug 2007

More investigation needed

I have read Gamesa's Mr. Michael Peck's and Mr. Tim Vought's articles in the Daily American. I would like to comment on a few of Mr. Peck and Mr. Vought's observations. Mr. Peck stated, "Any claim made that Gamesa did not provide accurate information to the Windber Area Authority to review is false." The real truth of the matter is the Windber Area Authority did not receive any useful information concerning this project that anyone could make a qualified decision on given the massive scale of this project until our March 14 meeting, when we got the plans from a private citizen who obtained them from the Somerset Conservation District. If anyone says anything differently then they are speaking with a forked tongue.
25 Aug 2007

The industrialization of rural America

An objective analysis of windmills as even a partial solution to our energy needs just isn't cutting it. The numbers just don't add up. It maybe time to use the old adage, "Liars can figure, but figures don't lie". Obviously, the American Wind Energy Association is a powerful lobby taking us in a direction that will only result in that warm and fuzzy feeling, but our lights may not come on. From the Rocky Mountains to Texas to Maine people are finally beginning to question the logic and effectiveness of wind energy.
24 Aug 2007
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