I always liked folks who, when finding they screwed up, take the hit. No qualifiers, no excuses!
So, we’ve got one of this country’s largest utility in the process of constructing a $140 Million wind project which will plop more than two dozen 400-foot-tall turbines along an eight-mile stretch of beautiful Backbone Mountain in Western Maryland.
Well, all of a sudden reality checks in when the bulldozers and heavy equipment start ripping and tearing. After being notified by neighbors, environmental regulators discovered mud washing from the remote Garrett County mountaintop site into a tributary of one of the state’s wild and scenic rivers.
According to the Baltimore Sun, “We see some markers and the next day they’re in here ripping five trees out at a time,” she (Melisa Carrico) said. “They had 18-wheelers coming down this road [where] we have kids walking all the time.”
Shortly after, she and neighbor Eric Robison saw muddy water flowing from the site. Robison said he contacted the Maryland Department of the Environment, which halted the work early last week.
“The water was unbelievable,” said Robison, 49, a homebuilder. The ridge drains into a tributary of the Youghiogheny River.
So up steps Larry McDonnell, spokesman for owner Constellation Energy.
McDonnell called the episode “unfortunate.” Heavy rain worsened the problem, but “it should not have happened.” No, Mr. McDonnell, it wasn’t unfortunate, is was an error in planning and execution. Don’t try to mask the inept with qualifiers – “heavy rain worsened the problem.”
McDonnell said in an e-mail that he’s sorry Carrico is upset and noted that Constellation is acquiring the project from the California company that planned it, Clipper Windpower. Again, he’s sorry BUT they bought it from someone else. Well, Mr. Newbie to the wind power game, that’s how the vast majority of these wind scams are pieced together. An LLC slides into town, woos the inept local politicians and the fawning press, hires their own consultants to develop submissions for review by unqualified state officials who approve with little concern/understanding of environmental impact or whether there will actually be electricity produced by these unreliable Edsels of energy, all for the sake of meeting and an unscientific goal established by politicians at the instruction of the wind lobby, who fill their campaign coffers.
Citizens be damned!
McDonnell wrote in his email, “Obviously, when you’re building a renewable energy facility of this kind there is a necessary construction phase and we’re prepared to do all we can during this phase to minimize the inconvenience for residents.” Well, Mr. McDonnell, I don’t know if your message got through to Melisa Carrico, who has lived with her family for a decade on Eagle Rock Road.
Ms. Carrico said “We see some markers and the next day they’re in here ripping five trees out at a time. They had 18-wheelers coming down this road [where] we have kids walking all the time.” The article noted that Ms. Carrico, who always considered herself an environmentalist and favored wind as a clean, renewable energy now faces heavy trucks plying their dead-end road and she’s fearful of letting her 13-year-old son walk down the road or her 1 1/2 -year-old grandson play in the yard.
If a supporter of wind is this concerned Mr. McDonnell, you can imagine how those who recognize the wind energy scam for what it is, a non-producing tax shelter, feel when we see the mountains ravaged by organizations such as yours.
Oh, by the way … don’t count on the local authorities to jump to your aid. Simply read the Baltimore Sun article from which we gathered the comments to see their position on the issues from a local perspective. Here’s the money quote from the article: As for Carrico’s complaints about the substation being so near her house, (County administrator Monty Python) Pagenhardt said, “That’s property rights. … It’s in the middle of nowhere. They had their privacy for years, and that’s being disturbed and interrupted. But the county has done what it had to do.” Yes, I suppose there is a time limit on privacy, Monty. For the sake of the folks in Garrett County, I just hope there’s one on your job, as well!
Better yet … take a look at the letter to the Cumberland (Maryland) Times-News editor written by John Bambacus for his assessment of Garrett County’s finest and the wind shenanigans. Absolute must reading.
Then, you have to jump over to Garrett County resident Jon Boone’s excellent web site, Stop Ill Wind, for a comprehensive and informative review of the industrial wind business. Well worth your trip.