Conservation a Disaster with the Wind Energy Siting Bill

There are some real concerns on the Commonwealth’s move to take local control away from Giant Wind Turbine siting when it comes to the protection of our ecology and in particular the Common Pasture.
 
I will take some excerpts from an editorial that appeared in the Boston Globe by Tad Ames, Executive Director, Berkshire Natural Resources Council, January 20, 2010.      
"Good news for a greener Massachusetts? Not entirely. Rather than a comprehensive set of siting standards for onshore wind farms, the bill assaults the integrity of the Commonwealth’s environmental regulations and conservation legacy….recognizes that wind power, in the right places and at the right scale, is one potential component in a larger strategy to address climate change. But we deplore the bill’s willingness to sacrifice generations of environmental progress to satisfy an agenda that is as political as it is scientific. [my italics]
 
"The bill punts on the central question: What constitutes an appropriate site? That is, how much environmental degradation is tolerable in the name of creating " green" power to run our 47-inch TVs?
 
"Is appropriate siting all about a location’s wind speed? What about the site’s proximity to caves that support bats under pressure from white nose syndrome? Is a site’s historic or economic context pertinent? What about state forests? Are those the first place we should look, or the very last?"
 
"Instead of grappling with these questions, the administration has pushed a " fast-tracking" bill based on the specious premise that developing wind power in Massachusetts is made too darn difficult by obstructionist local authorities and irresponsible NIMBYists exploiting regulations."
 
Wind development is essentially the industrialization of sensitive ecosystems. As graceful as they may look from afar, wind turbines stand on massive concrete blocks sunk deep into mountain ledge. To build these machines, 18-wheelers climb up to and along remote ridgelines. Powerline cuts further fragment the surrounding forest….But the bill instead would let wind projects avoid laws like the Wetlands Protection or Endangered Species acts by getting a one-stop permit from the Energy Facilities Siting Board."
 
"the bill gives the siting board the power to waive or relax those standards."
 
"the bill shuts the public out of meaningful participation in the process."

 
See this article at:
http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/green/articles/2010/01/20/wind_site_bill_misses_the_point_of_conservation/?s_campaign=8315
As you can see, it is important to call today and into tomorrow morning before we see another example of local home rule taken away for the sake of a special interest or lobby group.      
 
If you don’t believe this new siting review board will be a travesty, just look how unresponsive and affective DEP has been to the Crow Lane Landfill and to abutter and City concerns.
 
Enough said!
 
-P. Preservationist
 
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About P. Preservationist

Dedicated to the Enrichment & Preservation of Newburyport
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