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North Carolinians should pay attention to wind turbine controversy  

North Carolinians should pay attention to the wind turbine controversy in Ashe County. Today, the N.C. Utilities Commission will consider issuance of certificate for wind turbines. This decision may forever destroy the beauty and serenity of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Besides violating the N.C. Ridge Law, there are other reasons for opposing turbines.

Wind turbines work only at 30 percent capacity because of fluctuating wind, meaning it is necessary to keep idling backup fossil-fuel plants ready to take over.

Installation requires surrounding degradation, with tension lines, access roads, pool-size irremovable concrete bases and substations, causing decreased property values and lost wildlife habitat.

They’re visible from at least 20 miles, degrading the scenery of 1,256 square miles. California reports 35 turbine fires annually from short circuiting and lightning. Researchers counted 49 dead birds from one turbine during one night of migration.

The mountains of Northwest North Carolina are the only points in the Southeast suitable for wind turbines. Should we sacrifice a national treasure for an expensive, inefficient and insignificant contribution to an ill-conceived attempt to solve a global problem?

Tonya Bottomley

West Jefferson


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