Over the next few weeks, courtesy of Jon Boone’s Stop Ill Wind web site, we’ll count down the windpower industry’s “top ten” illusions.
To begin, since many of us who continue to ask questions are considered such, we present:
Number 10 – “Locals who oppose the wind industry are NIMBYS”
One of the most persistent hypocrisies from corporate wind and its supporters is the accusation that locals who resist the industry are selfishly holding back progress. However, many politicians who vote to enable industrial wind do so fully aware that windplants will be built in someone else’s back yard, realizing they would not survive the political backlash if one were constructed in their district. Wind investors—and the politicians who enable them—live hundreds of miles away from the results of their handiwork. Although there are many areas of good wind potential available, the industry focuses on rural, often economically depressed areas which don’t have much money or political influence. In Maryland, for example, the Chesapeake Bay has the best overall wind potential in the state. Yet the wind industry, aware of the probable political repercussions, avoids this region, preferring instead to target Appalachia and the mountains in the far western region of the state. It is the old story of colonialism, with distant capital exploiting the people and resources of the hinterlands to give the illusion of progress.
Nedpower, one of the most aggressive wind companies in the country, is in the midst of constructing a huge 200-wind turbine facility along a 14-mile strip of the Alleghany Front east of Mount Storm Lake in West Virginia. Frank Maisano, a Washington, DC lobbyist and media spokesman for Nedpower and who lives near the Bay, said that any allegation that a wind-powered project will be an “eyesore” is generally a claim without merit.” However, when asked by a reporter, he declined to say if he would want such a project built within two miles of his home. “I’m not living next to one, so I’m not going to answer hypothetical questions for you just for the sake of answering them,” he said. (Charlotte, WV Gazette, November 30, 2005.)
As has been shown, there are legitimate, unselfish reasons for locals to be concerned about how massive windplants will affect their lives.
Related links – “A Conversation with Jon Boone – Toward a Better Understanding of Industrial Wind Technology” … “West Virginia’s Pinnacle Knob Wind Project – So many questions, so little time!” … “The Allegheny Highlands – Where eagles dare!” … “Agencies sworn to protect must not permit the kill.“