The Transcript article of Jan. 16, “Wind project awaits bylaws,” read like a press release for the developer Minuteman Wind. Lots of opinions from corporate spokesman Don MaCauley but very few facts.
Unfortunately, the media and the politicians have given these heavily subsidized projects a free pass. They have been sold as economic development and the solution to small-town financial problems, resulting from 16 years of Republican fiscal leadership.
Mr. MaCauley is quoted as saying, “I think it’s a really good project.” Good for the developer and landowner. No mention of the fact that on Jan. 5, the Transcript reported that a majority of the written comments received from Savoy residents were “overwhelmingly against” wind power.
“It will help the area’s energy obligations.” Translation: In order for the developer to reap taxpayer subsides and generate profit, it is the area’s obligation to destroy the beautiful Berkshire landscape, to feed more power into the grid, to satisfy society’s insatiable energy appetite and save the planet.
“It will help improve the economy in the area.” Short-term construction jobs for long-term ruin of the landscape. The blades for huge GE wind machines are made in Brazil and shipped to project sites. Low-wage labor and foreign steel in a country with little or no environmental controls? Burning more fossil fuels and creating more emissions just to transport them here? Why are we subsidizing this, instead of real job creation?
“I think it will be an overall enhancement to the area.” The perpetration of this myth continues to go unchallenged. Research has shown that the so-called “creative class” is attracted to areas with unspoiled natural landscapes.
The people we need to grow and sustain our economy are drawn to areas near the seacoast, lakes and mountains for the superior quality of life that nature’s beauty provides. This is where they want to live, work and play. Many educated and talented people are fleeing areas where the landscape has been exploited by industrial structures, constant motion and flashing lights 24/7.
Where are the facts and the data used to determine that constructing massive machines and flashing lights are what is best for our communities and economy?
Sadly, the combination of the Savoy Wind project and the 20-turbine Hoosac Wind project will turn the summit of Mount Greylock (and the Greylock Glen) into an observation platform for a beautiful landscape trashed by visual pollution, with flashing lights that will never go out.
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