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Windmill profits portend an atrocity for Blue Mountain

Now, there are people who think it may be a good idea to build wind turbines on the Kittatinny Ridge (Blue Mountain). On Monday, a letter to the editor from Donald Heintzelman of Zionsville talked about the first such proposal. Lower Towamensing Township, he noted, is considering a request to put windmills around the Blue Mountain Ski Area. Heintzelman said that would place them in the path of America's most spectacular migratory route for eagles, hawks and other raptors. "As an ornithologist involved in raptor migrations ... I am unconditionally opposed to the installation of all wind turbines on this internationally famous ... migration corridor," he wrote. I am unconditionally opposed to it for other reasons, as well.

In 1979, a math teacher in Roseville, Calif., fretted over a nephew named after him and two nieces.

News coverage about the accident at Three Mile Island had reached hysterical levels in California, and the three youngsters lived only seven miles from the plant.

When Neal Carpenter finally reached me -- I had spent 36 straight hours at the accident site -- he demanded that I get my family far away from TMI.

I was not worried because our house was upwind and I knew enough about nuclear dangers to know that everything depended on the wind. As for me spending time at the TMI plant, I was then employed by The Associated Press and I was covering the biggest news story of my life. You could not have pried me away from that story with a crowbar.

I could think of only one thing to say to my brother, which he recalled when we were talking this week.

"You were delighted to inform me that there was a twin to the Three Mile Island plant -- and it was Rancho Seco," Neal said.

The Rancho Seco plant had one of only a few operational reactors that were identical to the reactor that was melting at TMI, and it was near Neal's house and his children. So there.

Actually, Rancho Seco was... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

In 1979, a math teacher in Roseville, Calif., fretted over a nephew named after him and two nieces.

News coverage about the accident at Three Mile Island had reached hysterical levels in California, and the three youngsters lived only seven miles from the plant.

When Neal Carpenter finally reached me -- I had spent 36 straight hours at the accident site -- he demanded that I get my family far away from TMI.

I was not worried because our house was upwind and I knew enough about nuclear dangers to know that everything depended on the wind. As for me spending time at the TMI plant, I was then employed by The Associated Press and I was covering the biggest news story of my life. You could not have pried me away from that story with a crowbar.

I could think of only one thing to say to my brother, which he recalled when we were talking this week.

"You were delighted to inform me that there was a twin to the Three Mile Island plant -- and it was Rancho Seco," Neal said.

The Rancho Seco plant had one of only a few operational reactors that were identical to the reactor that was melting at TMI, and it was near Neal's house and his children. So there.

Actually, Rancho Seco was safe because it was not being operated with criminal ineptitude. That is not hyperbole; the corporation that ran TMI was convicted of criminal charges for the misconduct that preceded the accident. No corporate officer, alas, was ever required to do any time in prison, but TMI was one of two grotesque anomalies, the other being Chernobyl.

Other nuclear power plants are run skillfully and safely. I have heaped praise on PPL for the way it operates its reactors, although I have bashed PPL for its transmission line proposals.

In any case, Rancho Seco's distinction as a TMI twin was not lost on California's hysterical voters, so a state referendum, 10 years after TMI, shut it down when it still had nearly 20 years to go on its license.

On energy issues, I often discuss California, which, for Pennsylvania, is the best example of what not to do.

And that brings up another, even older, memory.

As a boy, I traveled with my family (Neal was not yet born) on fabled Route 66 past the world's most spectacular scenery, including San Gorgonio Pass, with the San Bernardino Mountains on one side and the San Jacintos on the other.

Much of that beauty has been destroyed. Thousands of wind turbines, some 200 feet high, corrupt the San Gorgonio mountainsides. They cover 70 square miles in that section alone, and San Gorgonio is only the third largest wind turbine field in California, which has 200,000 acres devoted to the monstrosities.

Rancho Seco? It had room for a second reactor (PPL has two reactors on 115 acres), which could have produced more electricity than all of California's wind turbines combined .

Now, there are people who think it may be a good idea to build wind turbines on the Kittatinny Ridge (Blue Mountain). On Monday, a letter to the editor from Donald Heintzelman of Zionsville talked about the first such proposal.

Lower Towamensing Township, he noted, is considering a request to put windmills around the Blue Mountain Ski Area. Heintzelman said that would place them in the path of America's most spectacular migratory route for eagles, hawks and other raptors.

"As an ornithologist involved in raptor migrations ... I am unconditionally opposed to the installation of all wind turbines on this internationally famous ... migration corridor," he wrote.

I am unconditionally opposed to it for other reasons, as well.

To make as much electricity as a single 115-acre nuke plant, they'd have to denude a mile-wide swath on Kittatinny Ridge for its entire 250-mile stretch through Pennsylvania.

Think of it. All the beauty and wildlife of our Blue Mountain ruined when the same amount of juice could be generated from a site the size of a ball field. You can grasp the potential ugliness of it only by visiting San Gorgonio Pass today.

It will be beautiful only to those who make billions by building windmills.


Source: http://www.mcall.com/news/c...

AUG 6 2008
https://www.windaction.org/posts/16378-windmill-profits-portend-an-atrocity-for-blue-mountain
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