After reading about and listening to the debate over giant wind turbines for a number of weeks now, it is the opinion of this writer that they are not a good idea for Garrett County, and we should do what we can to keep them out of here.
There are a variety of reasons to oppose these things, including the apparent destruction of birds and bats, light pollution, and noise pollution. So far we have not seen piles of dead birds and bats at the base of any of the wind turbines that are already in place, even though there is now evidently some pretty good data to show that they are indeed wiping out a lot of bats. (Bats are our friends, as they consume billions of bugs.) We all know that automobiles kill far more birds than wind turbines, and the levels of light and noise pollution are also not extremely significant.
However, there are two major reasons that we should oppose their erection here on the mountaintop. We have far too much at stake here, as we depend so heavily upon the tourist trade and, like it or not, the sale of real estate to folks who are looking for a second home or a retirement location, away from the hubbub of where they may reside right now. As impressive as those monsters are to look at, do we really want to have scores of miles of our horizons permanently lined with them? There is no question that property values are going to suffer. Their use in the vast areas of the West and Midwest makes more sense, as they can be positioned on tracts of remote land that are virtually worthless for any other use.
The second major reason to oppose the turbines is the fact that the amount of energy produced, even by dozens of them, is so tiny relative to the amount of electrical energy that is demanded. Their impact on the electrical grid is miniscule. We are all for harnessing energy and turning it into electricity with almost no environmental hazards to our land, water, and air as a result, but the investment – thousands of enormous wind turbines atop our mountain ridges – is simply not worth the return.
The county commissioners have so far generally endorsed the construction of the wind turbines because the county will realize a rather hefty check in return, but, gentlemen, it’s not worth it. Besides, we are no longer a poor county, and you guys are doing an excellent job of managing the county funds without allowing wind turbines.
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