To borrow a phrase from the opening of Mr. Frank Maisano’s most recent letter to the editor: “There he goes again.” The “he” I refer to in this little post is, however, Mr. Maisano.
Rapidly becoming my one of my favorite sources of “windbaggisms” (no, it’s not in the dictionary), Mr. Maisano takes Mr. John Bambacus to task for “scaring supporters away from another important wind project in our backyard.”
Well, that must be one hell of a backyard you have there in Gambrills MD Mr. Maisano, if it butts against the proposed Pinnacle site some 170 miles away. Heck, I didn’t even know we were neighbors.
I’ve got to admit, that description about Mr. Bambacus and other members of the “no crowd” who “parachute in at the 11th hour to stop a project” was pretty funny. Luckily, not being a skinny fellow, I didn’t have to “parachute in” and my 11th hour started in the spring of 2009 after finding US WindForce couldn’t, or wouldn’t, answer serious questions regarding the worthiness of industrial wind as an energy source. Lacking any credible counter from USWF to dispute the “naysayers,” I began to read about industrial wind from sources other than my local papers and the AWEA. Needless to say, I spun over to the dark side quicker than one of your blades.
So you see, having learned industrial wind adds little of value to the energy needs of the future, I don’t buy your hype about jobs and tax revenue as a reason to fund your group. I agree, of course, there will be temporary jobs in the short run, but is there any guarantee that, say, 60% will be “local?” Oh! That would be “local” by normal standards, not as defined by you and your 170 mile long backyard. Our local leaders have bought into the various numbers of jobs allowed to float in conversation by USWF. My preference is to quantify by labor hour content, but that would be too defining and perhaps bring reality to bear that wouldn’t serve the USWF folks well. Besides, USWF has been trying to tell folks here they have no responsibility for construction anyway, so maybe they really don’t have any idea what the labor content will be.
The few permanent jobs? Sure, we’ll be happy to have them. If only we didn’t have to experience the potential wildlife and environmental issues that come along with these inefficient tinker toys.
As far as the tax revenue, how about convincing your group to commit that the new project owner and the existing and future land owner(s), whoever they may be, will not apply for, or even consider reductions in any of their tax commitment? I know I’d feel a lot better if they just decided to guarantee payment of the $433,000 you claim will come. I would be tickled pink, in fact, if the project owner’s would commit to no future state or federal subsidy of any kind. Because, as you and I both know, receiving subsidies from taxpayers to pay taxes is one card short of a three-card Monte scam.
While I’m making a wish list, how about these:
- How about if you convince your industry to publish user friendly and readily accessible hourly electricity generation reporting, by location, as is done by our IESO neighbors to the North.
- Perhaps you could explain to your “neighbors” why it is necessary to consume the land and air space of 23 massive turbines to hopefully produce the equivalent of maybe 6 turbines if the wind blows just right.
- Perhaps you could name one fossil fueled plant closed as a direct result of industrial wind, anywhere!
- Perhaps you could provide clear, empirical evidence, other than AWEA gibberish, that the installation of thousands of industrial wind turbines has actually reduced the level of CO2 or, in fact, the level of coal consumption. We tend to believe this is not the case.
These are the real benefits we naysayers are looking for. If we just wanted temporary jobs and income by marring our mountain ridges, we would just do as John Droz Jr. suggested in the presence of US WindForce management a while back – allow a company to put up 23 huge billboards above Keyser, WV and rent the advertising space. (Not a peep from the USWF audience, by the way.)
I’m not one who objects to the view-shed issues. I certainly don’t think these clunkers add to the beauty of the Allegheny Ridge-line, as some of our tour-guide wannabes seem to think. But, I gotta tell you, that $10,000 scam deal you folks pulled off with the WV desk jockeys in Charleston to “mitigate” historic site view-shed issues is not something I’d be bragging about. Admittedly, coming in at around the price of a Hostess Twinkie for each Mineral County resident, that stunt has garnered far more promotional publicity than a full page add each time the local press picks up the John Beresford Tipton portrait you folks like to paint. But other than publicity, we know the money was simply a buy-out of no consequence to the historic sites impacted.
But now, as I often do, I’m wandering off topic. So, let’s get back to Dr. No or, as you like to portray him, “eleventh hour Bambacus.” I did a little checking on your claim that he just stepped into the mix.
If you survey your huge property lines you’ll note that Garrett County shares the Allegheny Mountains with Mineral County. Many of us here, including our Mr. Bambacus, realize that 3 or 4 or more slightly separated wind farms along the migratory flyway known as the Allegheny Front, become effectively one long stretch of 747 size deadly barriers to our endangered and migratory species. The phenomenon is commonly called, by those truly concerned with habitat, the cumulative impact or, forest fragmentation. While hiding wind farms under separate tags may offer protection to the scads of LLCs promoting them, calling them by different names serves no purpose to protect the wildlife. Claiming that the migratory birds will find a way around the installation only works until there is no “around” available. At the desired pace the AWEA is pushing, that saturation would not be far into the future.
Point being, when John Bambacus speaks for the Allegheny Mountains, which he has been doing far longer than many, the state border which seems so clear from your distant vantage point, is not a consideration. Amazingly, the wildlife which inhabits the Alleghenies has no clue if they’re in Garrett County or Mineral County.
Which beings me to my next point. Mr. Bambacus is my neighbor, you are not! Mr. Bambacus has served and contributed greatly to the welfare of our neighboring community over many years and, as a result, made the region a better place to live. The only time I see your name in our papers, frankly, is when you’re hawking the wind business.
So, before you weave another plot line for the masses about parachuting naysayers, get your facts straight. In just the past year or so that tiny Allegheny Treasures has existed, Mr. Bambacus has been noted in several posts. And that’s just here!
I realize Mr. Bambacus doesn’t need my help. He didn’t even ask for it! But when someone paid to promote a product attacks someone destined to live with the results of that promotion because they have differing opinions of the product’s worth, it deserves at least a mention.
Mr. Bambacus is, after all, my neighbor.