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Turbines generate criticism, rationale

A former state senator believes the current District 1 legislative delegation is abdicating its constitutional responsibility by failing to "understand the notion of separation of powers and the role of a legislative body as an independent branch of government." At issue is the delegation's decision last week to put on hold a request by John Bambacus of Frostburg for legislation that would have codified Gov. Martin O'Malley's prohibition of commercial wind turbines in Maryland's state forests and parks.

Legislators discuss multifaceted issue, including aesthetics

CUMBERLAND - A former state senator believes the current District 1 legislative delegation is abdicating its constitutional responsibility by failing to "understand the notion of separation of powers and the role of a legislative body as an independent branch of government."

At issue is the delegation's decision last week to put on hold a request by John Bambacus of Frostburg for legislation that would have codified Gov. Martin O'Malley's prohibition of commercial wind turbines in Maryland's state forests and parks.

A second bill advocated for by Bambacus would ban industrial wind turbines on mountain ridges in Allegany and Garrett counties regardless of whether the property is owned by government or private land-owners.

Sen. George Edwards questioned criticism lodged by Bambacus that the delegation has no desire to protect the aesthetic views of Mountain Maryland. Ed-wards said he and Delegate Wendell Beitzel submitted half a dozen bills in the 2009 session of the Maryland General Assembly. None of them went anywhere, Edwards said, because they didn't have the governor's support.

The question is, "Do you believe this governor... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Legislators discuss multifaceted issue, including aesthetics

CUMBERLAND - A former state senator believes the current District 1 legislative delegation is abdicating its constitutional responsibility by failing to "understand the notion of separation of powers and the role of a legislative body as an independent branch of government."

At issue is the delegation's decision last week to put on hold a request by John Bambacus of Frostburg for legislation that would have codified Gov. Martin O'Malley's prohibition of commercial wind turbines in Maryland's state forests and parks.

A second bill advocated for by Bambacus would ban industrial wind turbines on mountain ridges in Allegany and Garrett counties regardless of whether the property is owned by government or private land-owners.

Sen. George Edwards questioned criticism lodged by Bambacus that the delegation has no desire to protect the aesthetic views of Mountain Maryland. Ed-wards said he and Delegate Wendell Beitzel submitted half a dozen bills in the 2009 session of the Maryland General Assembly. None of them went anywhere, Edwards said, because they didn't have the governor's support.

The question is, "Do you believe this governor would come back and put them on state land?" Edwards said to Beitzel and Delegates Kevin Kelly and LeRoy Myers on Thursday during the delegation's annual meeting to discuss all legislative requests.

"The realities are, none of those bills passed last year ... you really think this administration would support (legislation) to take flexibility away from the governor on this?"

Kelly said he would support a bill that would put into law O'Malley's voluntary prohibition of wind turbines on state land. Beitzel seemed to agree.

"I'm vehemently opposed to windmills on state land," he said. "The governor has really indicated he's not (interested in that), and we're thankful ... (but) a future governor could do that."

Kelly said he understands Bambacus' concern of maintaining ridge tops, public or private, but "we have always stood by property owners' rights ... we are not enamored with these things, but if a property owner (wants to), he should be afforded the right to contract" and erect a wind turbine on his land.

Delegation members also said the term "mountaintop ridge" would have to be defined. Frostburg resident Stephan Dollinger provided an example used by government officials in Transylvania County, N.C., in its "Mountain Ridge Protection Ordinance."

Mountaintop: "All mountain ridges whose elevation is at least 500 or more feet above the elevation of an adjacent valley floor."

And ridge: "The elongated crest or series of crests at the apex or uppermost point of intersection between two opposite slopes or sides of a mountain, and includes all land within 100 feet below the elevation of any portion of such line or surface along the crest."

Edwards said Brandon Butler, an assistant to the delegation, is looking into similar laws in Wisconsin.

Edwards made a distinction between Allegany and Garrett counties - the former has zoning and the latter does not, "except in certain places."


Source: http://www.times-news.com/l...

JAN 12 2010
https://www.windaction.org/posts/24097-turbines-generate-criticism-rationale
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