With Mr. Boone’s permission, we post his letter to the Editor, which is currently awaiting publication at the Cumberland (Maryland) Times-News.
Garrett’s commissioners were the LAST agency to oppose massive wind projects on public lands, well after Senator Edwards, the Chamber of Commerce, the county Board of Realtors, and both the Democratic and Republican committees. They did so begrudgingly. From the beginning, the commissioners sought to become business partners with a limited liability wind company, browbeating the Sanitary Commission to change its mind about permitting wind projects on county land (a move helped at the time by Denny Glotfelty, who served on the Commission). Indeed, when the original agreement with the Sanitary Commission was about to expire a few years ago, Ernie Gregg signed a longer-term extension. The public record shows that Fred Holliday chaired an economic development committee (that included developer Karen Myers) on wind and public lands. This committee stridently urged that wind projects be built on state lands.
The county commissioners unanimously supported all three limited liability wind projects targeting the county, including the new Synergics project along Roth Rock a few months ago, a project headed by a fundraiser for the state Democratic Party who worked, with wind lobbyist Cas Taylor, to pass a law “deregulating” the wind industry in the mountains of Maryland–but not along the Chesapeake Bay, the state’s richest wind area. This law predictably now subverts another law requiring the state through its Department of Natural Resources to protect endangered wildlife species, an issue rightly identified by the Republican.
Last year, the commissioners insisted that the county development plan include language about the importance of wind technology in the county, despite not having a clue about its performance as a source of energy. Not once in eight years of cheerleading for wind have they held a public inquiry about the impact of massive wind projects on health, safety, property values, viewshed protection, revenue potential, vulnerable wildlife, hunting, or energy effectiveness.
Their trollish support for this daffy, environmentally treacherous technology is a shameful commentary about how poorly led this beautiful county is. Both their pretentious words and harmful actions join with the Obama Administration as it attempts to make people believe, across many issues, that pigs can fly.
Garrett Countians know better—and deserve far better.
Jon Boone, Oakland, MD
Jon Boone is an Environmentalist, Artist, Author, Documentary Producer, Former University Administrator and Formal Intervenor in Wind Installation Hearings.