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Re: NYTimes.com Article: Windmills Sow Dissent for Environmentalists

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  • Randy Scott
    I ll bet those whining cry-babys have never seen Pasadena Texas. The people who live there have exploding refineries & chemical plants in their backyards.
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 20, 2003
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      I'll bet those whining cry-babys have never seen Pasadena Texas.
      The people who live there have exploding refineries & chemical plants
      in their backyards. [Literally "exploding" - twice in the last 2
      weeks - typically only once a year] I would rather have the windmills
      than a coal-fired power plant.

      In fact, you guys should be praying for me to win the lottery - if
      (when) I get my hands on all that dough I intend to buy a big piece
      of land in WTex and cover it with solar panels.


      --- In hreg@yahoogroups.com, cceenn@y... wrote:
      > This article from NYTimes.com
      > has been sent to you by cceenn@y...
      > I am send this text from the NY Times site. "Sorry" to those who
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      > cceenn@y...
      > /-------------------- advertisement -----------------------\
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      > Windmills Sow Dissent for Environmentalists
      > June 5, 2003
      > THOMAS, W.Va. - Vincent Collins, a lawyer from nearby
      > Morgantown, has been vacationing in this scenic area for 35
      > years. A few years ago, he bought a 1.2-acre lot near here
      > and planned to build a house on it. But once he saw the
      > windmills, and learned of plans for more, he scrapped that
      > dream.
      > Soaring above the treetops are 44 sleek white steel
      > cylinders, 228 feet high. Churning on each tower are three
      > glinting fiberglass blades, 115 feet long. Like quills on a
      > porcupine, they spike the emerald spine of Backbone
      > Mountain for six miles along the Allegheny Front.
      > They have also generated huge turbulence within the
      > environmental movement. Proponents of wind farms view those
      > who oppose them as heretics, obstructing the promise of
      > clean renewable energy, while opponents decry them as
      > producing insufficient power to warrant their blight on the
      > landscape.
      > For now, the wind farm here is the largest east of the
      > Mississippi, but the wind-energy industry, long a staple of
      > the California landscape, is blowing eastward. Unobstructed
      > winds, favorable economics and the absence of local zoning
      > laws are attracting developers, and soon more than 400
      > turbines could be sprouting across 40 square miles of West
      > Virginia's most scenic mountaintops.
      > "I can't believe how large and hideous they are," Mr.
      > Collins said. "When you hear the word `windmill,' you think
      > Holland and Don Quixote. That's wrong. They look like alien
      > monsters coming out of the ground."
      > The growing industry has caused a kind of identity crisis
      > among people who think of themselves as pro-environment,
      > forcing them to choose between the promise of clean,
      > endlessly renewable energy and the perils of imposing giant
      > man-made structures on nature.
      > To some environmentalists, the opposition to wind power
      > from within their ranks not only stifles the growth of a
      > new source of energy but also calls into question the
      > integrity of the environmental movement itself.
      > Charles Komanoff, a longtime economic consultant to
      > environmental groups, said the opposition by "well-heeled
      > environmentalists," stoked the preconception that they were
      > more concerned about their own backyards than about the
      > common good.
      > "They want to have it all and they won't brook any
      > trade-off, especially a trade-off that sacrifices their own
      > comfort," said Mr. Komanoff, who is based in New York.
      > At the same time, the wind farm developers appear to have
      > the environmental high ground.
      > "We believe in clean energy," said Steve Stingel, a
      > spokesman for Florida Power and Light, which bought the
      > rights to the wind farm here and then built it. The company
      > is the largest generator of wind power in the United
      > States, with 30 wind farms in 10 states.
      > Wind now accounts for less than 1 percent of all
      > electricity produced in the United States. But the American
      > Wind Energy Association, the industry's trade group,
      > predicts it will grow to 6 percent by 2020.
      > The case for wind has been fortified in recent years by
      > advances in technology that make it more efficient and a
      > federal tax credit that makes its financing more feasible.
      > But the reality for people like Mr. Collins is something
      > else. Windmill farms must be large to be financially
      > viable. Critics worry that beyond the blemish on the
      > natural landscape, these industrial-sized towers can chop
      > up migratory birds. One farm in California was dubbed the
      > "condor Cuisinart," and the ornithologist monitoring the
      > wind farm here just reported that at least two dozen song
      > birds winging their way north had been killed.
      > Another complaint is that wind farms can do little to
      > reduce overall dependence on fossil fuels, because of the
      > unreliability of constant wind and the inability to store
      > its power.
      > "They put out such a minuscule amount of electricity," Mr.
      > Collins said. "It's nuts."
      > Similar complaints, coming from prominent environmentalists
      > like Robert F. Kennedy Jr., have stalled installation of
      > the nation's first off-shore wind farm, proposed for the
      > waters of Nantucket Sound off Cape Cod. And they have
      > forced the Long Island Power Authority to scrap its plan
      > for wind turbines off the eastern tip of Long Island. But
      > the utility has now proposed putting up to 50 turbines,
      > each 488 feet high, off Long Island's south shore between
      > Fire Island and Jones Beach, two immensely popular summer
      > resort areas.
      > Mr. Kennedy, for one, said he found "zero" irony in the
      > fact that he had devoted himself to environmental advocacy
      > and yet opposed the wind project on Cape Cod, his Kennedy
      > grandparents' summer home.
      > "There are appropriate places for everything," he said in a
      > telephone interview. "You would not want a wind farm in
      > Yosemite, and you wouldn't want one in Central Park."
      > Mr. Kennedy added: "I love wind energy, but let's develop
      > some rules about how you divide up the commons. You're
      > essentially giving the commons over to a profit-making
      > enterprise."
      > It is not only homeowners with nice views who object to
      > wind farms, but business owners as well. Indeed, it was
      > Wayne Kurker, owner of the Hyannis Marina, who first
      > notified Mr. Kennedy about the proposed project in
      > Nantucket Sound.
      > "I didn't like the idea that what we consider our Grand
      > Canyon was all of a sudden going to be industrialized," Mr.
      > Kurker said of the wind farm, which would consist of 130
      > turbines over 24 square miles.
      > Mr. Kurker founded the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound
      > and has been joined by scores of local politicians,
      > chambers of commerce worried about the effect on tourism,
      > and celebrities like Walter Cronkite in opposition to the
      > project.
      > The main reason wind is taking off now is the huge
      > financial incentive provided by government subsidies. While
      > critics argue that these subsidies are only making
      > developers rich, supporters say they are peanuts compared
      > with subsidies for fossil fuels and they provide
      > much-needed revenue to ailing rural economies while also
      > delivering clean energy.
      > The main subsidy is the federal tax credit, which is set to
      > expire at the end of the year but is likely to be renewed
      > by Congress. The credit allows windmill companies to deduct
      > 1.8 cents from their tax liability for every kilowatt hour
      > they produce for 10 years. The savings are huge.
      > For example, Jerome Niessen, president of NedPower, which
      > has received permission from the West Virginia Public
      > Service Commission for a 200-turbine wind farm near here in
      > Grant County, said he expected to generate 800 million
      > kilowatt hours per year, for a tax savings of $16 million a
      > year for 10 years, or $160 million - on a wind farm that
      > will cost $300 million to build.
      > NedPower is to pay $500,000 in local taxes, making it the
      > fifth-largest taxpayer in the county. (That is far less,
      > however, than the $3 million the company would have paid
      > just two years ago, before wind energy lobbyists persuaded
      > the government to tax towers and turbines at a lower rate.)
      > The company has also developed a public-private partnership
      > with two local schools, which will earn royalties from the
      > wind farm of about $75,000 a year.
      > The company will pay local landowners $2,000 to $4,000 an
      > acre to lease the necessary 8,000 acres for the towers. And
      > putting up the towers, which will rise 330 feet high and
      > extend across 10 to 12 miles of mountain ridges, will
      > provide 200 construction jobs for a year and 15 permanent
      > technician jobs.
      > "Fifteen jobs might not sound like much," Mr. Niessen said.
      > "But if one coal mine after another has closed and if
      > another chicken-processing plant has closed, 15 jobs is a
      > lot."
      > http://www.nytimes.com/2003/06/05/national/05WIND.html?
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