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Green blight in Utah County

Imagine the brouhaha if an oil company built a series of 300-foot-high oil derricks along the foot of Mt. Timpanogas. Or if an advertising firm erected billboards as tall as the Statue of Liberty in front of Y Mountain. The fur would fly. But see how different it is with the Spanish Fork wind farm. State and local dignitaries line up to praise the turbines that are a visual blight at that end of Utah Valley.

Imagine the brouhaha if an oil company built a series of 300-foot-high oil derricks along the foot of Mt. Timpanogas. Or if an advertising firm erected billboards as tall as the Statue of Liberty in front of Y Mountain.

The fur would fly.

But see how different it is with the Spanish Fork wind farm. State and local dignitaries line up to praise the turbines that are a visual blight at that end of Utah Valley. The giant white blades are an awkward contrast with the natural beauty of the scene. Their very size makes them a distraction, even an eyesore.

And if the sight seems novel and exciting now, it is likely to grow less appealing over the 20 years (at least) that they'll be in action. Look back in an old newspaper at the cars, clothing and other fashions of two decades ago. You'll see how over time what once appeared new and exciting now seems old-fashioned and garish. Wind farms, now trendy, will eventually be recognized as blotches on the national landscape, just as they are in the Netherlands.

Meanwhile, modern natural gas and oil wells unobtrusively pump away at locales across the nation. They do their work in school yards, parks, cemeteries, golf courses and other sites without anyone even... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Imagine the brouhaha if an oil company built a series of 300-foot-high oil derricks along the foot of Mt. Timpanogas. Or if an advertising firm erected billboards as tall as the Statue of Liberty in front of Y Mountain.

The fur would fly.

But see how different it is with the Spanish Fork wind farm. State and local dignitaries line up to praise the turbines that are a visual blight at that end of Utah Valley. The giant white blades are an awkward contrast with the natural beauty of the scene. Their very size makes them a distraction, even an eyesore.

And if the sight seems novel and exciting now, it is likely to grow less appealing over the 20 years (at least) that they'll be in action. Look back in an old newspaper at the cars, clothing and other fashions of two decades ago. You'll see how over time what once appeared new and exciting now seems old-fashioned and garish. Wind farms, now trendy, will eventually be recognized as blotches on the national landscape, just as they are in the Netherlands.

Meanwhile, modern natural gas and oil wells unobtrusively pump away at locales across the nation. They do their work in school yards, parks, cemeteries, golf courses and other sites without anyone even noticing.

It's an odd contradiction that many of the same environmentalists and true believers in alternative energy who think a wind farm at the mouth of Spanish Fork Canyon is unobtrusive and visually acceptable are howling at the prospect that a single oil well might be placed somewhere in the 19 million acres of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.

In short, they're OK with placing visual blights where they can actually be seen, but not where they will hardly ever be seen -- and even then at some vast distance. The double standard is laughable.

When the same standards of visual acceptability are applied equally to wind turbines and natural gas pumps, then the nation can begin a rational dialogue on energy issues.


Source: http://www.heraldextra.com/...

OCT 12 2008
https://www.windaction.org/posts/17461-green-blight-in-utah-county
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