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Rural areas no place for huge wind projects

Watertown Daily Times|Tom Castrovinci|October 15, 2009
New YorkGeneral

Iberdrola is threatening to pull out because Clayton is considering very reasonable requirements that will preserve the prized qualities of the town. Iberdrola's statement is mind-boggling to me. According to the article, "Iberdrola spokeswoman Jan Johnson said the company will use Maple Ridge as the example of responsible development ...Maple Ridge is a massive, visually dominating wind project in an area that is much different in character than the St. Lawrence shore towns.


I have no basis for questioning Kevin Forkey's intention to donate any lease income he might derive from a wind plant in Clayton, ("Changes irk wind farm backers," Watertown Times, Sept. 21), but his promised generosity is beside the point.

Iberdrola is threatening to pull out because Clayton is considering very reasonable requirements that will preserve the prized qualities of the town. Iberdrola's statement is mind-boggling to me. According to the article, "Iberdrola spokeswoman Jan Johnson said the company will use Maple Ridge as the example of responsible development when asking town officials not to adopt the new, tougher regulations in Clayton. The zoning law currently in place in Clayton would allow development much as it was done in Martinsburg, Lowville and Harrisburg for Maple Ridge."

Maple Ridge is a massive, visually dominating wind project in an area that is much different in character than the St. Lawrence shore towns. How even the most zealous climate-change warrior can think that planting Maple Ridge style/scale ... more [truncated due to possible copyright]

     

I have no basis for questioning Kevin Forkey's intention to donate any lease income he might derive from a wind plant in Clayton, ("Changes irk wind farm backers," Watertown Times, Sept. 21), but his promised generosity is beside the point.

Iberdrola is threatening to pull out because Clayton is considering very reasonable requirements that will preserve the prized qualities of the town. Iberdrola's statement is mind-boggling to me. According to the article, "Iberdrola spokeswoman Jan Johnson said the company will use Maple Ridge as the example of responsible development when asking town officials not to adopt the new, tougher regulations in Clayton. The zoning law currently in place in Clayton would allow development much as it was done in Martinsburg, Lowville and Harrisburg for Maple Ridge."

Maple Ridge is a massive, visually dominating wind project in an area that is much different in character than the St. Lawrence shore towns. How even the most zealous climate-change warrior can think that planting Maple Ridge style/scale wind farm(s) along the shores of the St. Lawrence would be a good environmental decision, I just don't get. Have you seen Maple Ridge?

Another irksome thing keeps popping up in this controversy and again in this article. Mr. Forkey said, "It's better than a coal plant or a nuclear plant." Now there is an example of a classic false dichotomy. This is not a choice between a coal plant or a nuclear plant and a wind plant. Who is proposing to build a coal or nuclear plant in Jefferson County or anywhere in New York?

All over the Eastern U.S. and Canada, there are proposals on the table to build wind power plants of a small enough size to make them something less than visually dominating in all directions. Wind projects calling for turbines of about 15 to 30 in number in rural areas perhaps can be situated so as not to be altogether imposing on the landscape.

But for reasons that can only be attributed to local pressure from large landowners for more lease income, and to wind developers who want to maximize return on investment without regard to anything else, there seems to be an insistence on huge wind projects.

I am truly dismayed at what some people are willing to spoil. But perhaps there is hope. Unlike Cape Vincent, big wind development proponents in Clayton now appear to be on the defensive.


Source:http://www.watertowndailytime…

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