May 27, 2009
Action alerts, Law, Massachusetts, Petitions

Urgent! — Petition to preserve local control over industrial wind turbine siting

Eleanor Tillinghast


The governor and legislature are moving quickly to pass a bill to promote industrial wind development in every community within the Commonwealth. It targets the Berkshires and Highlands of western Massachusetts, and the coastal areas.

The legislation, titled the Wind Energy Siting Reform Act, will remove local zoning control and veto power over onshore wind power plants of 2 megawatts (MW) or more. This means that anyone who wants to construct a single 2 MW wind turbine or 100 wind turbines could be permitted to do so regardless of local bylaws. Associated roads and transmission lines on private and public property will also be exempt from local zoning.

Under this Act, the power to permit industrial wind turbines will shift from local zoning boards to the state Energy Facilities Siting Board, which has never turned down a power plant application, according to records in its online database.

This Act will also open constitutionally protected public lands to industrial wind development. These include state forests, reservations, and parks.

If enacted, this Act will have disastrous consequences for our regional economies, which depend upon tourists, second-home owners, and residents who choose these places for their scenic beauty, rural nature, and cultural character. Our communities will be hostage to every wind developer who wants to blanket our mountains and coastlines with massive turbines. In a few years, under the governor’s goal to build nearly 2000 MW of wind turbines in the next 11 years, we could see more skyscrapers on our scenic areas than in all the cities of New England.

This Act is an outrageous power grab by the state, and the only chance we have of stopping it is by bringing huge numbers of citizens together in strong opposition.

Please sign our petition at [1]

Just as important, please forward this email to everyone you know who might be alarmed by this power grab by the state.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me by email or phone, 413 528-9363.

We must act quickly! Please sign the petition now. Thank you.

Eleanor Tillinghast
Green Berkshires, Inc.

Click here to download the new language of the “Wind Energy Siting Reform Act”. [2]

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[2] Click here to download the new language of the “Wind Energy Siting Reform Act”.: