Why does the entire windmill process bother me to the point of calling the vice president of renewable energy for the oil company to sit down and dialogue with the oil company project and site manager, to put up homemade protest signs and to write this letter?
There are bothersome parts to the process and each has a level of impact.
The lack of early, clear planning guidelines by federal, provincial and local governments regarding industrial wind turbines is one part. Because of the above, many decisions were made “on the fly” and required reconsideration. The delays and changes to plans caused expense and a lot of hard feelings on all sides.
The lack of constructive dialogue between all stakeholders is another part of the process.
Stakeholders are the lease signing land owners, the surrounding land owners, the local, provincial and federal government, and the turbine company involved.
With a professional and informed mediator or leader, prior to the signing of any lease, a round table on issues would have eliminated some of the anger which is felt by those left out of the planning.
As a land owner with two turbines 808m and 887m (federal guidelines are 1200m setbacks) This is too close to my family, my livestock and my property. I am left with many uncertainties to experience over the next 21-42 years.
It is extremely frustrating to know that myself, my family and other non-lease landowners were not respected enough by other stakeholders to be included prior to the lease signing. Note: Let it be known that despite a very busy schedule, this oil company’s project and site managers have made time for two dialogues with concerned land owners. Yet the lease-signing land owners have not made any time for dialogue regarding wind turbines.
The final part of the process is the lack of concern for the global and local environmental carbon cost. It does not take a degree in anything except common sense to know that the amount of carbon needed to manufacture, transport, site prepare, set up and maintain and take down one, let alone 34 – 38 industrial two mega-watt turbines will greatly impact the local and global environment for more than the proposed wind advantages.
The two questions to be asked are: Does the carbon cost of all aspects of each two mega-watt turbine within a 34-38 turbine project become balanced by a projected 66,000 tonnes/year carbon dioxide offset? And why are wind turbines even built?
The answer to the first question, according to the oil company project manager is there is no documentation.
The answer to the second question is money. Windmills provide oil companies with carbon credits. The more carbon credits from one part of the country can counter the large carbon pollution in oil extraction and refining in another part of the country.
The wind turbine companies which are not backed by an oil company are in business strictly for the profit.
Landowners who do not sign leases should be given a big pat on the back and congratulated for, in my opinion, not ruining their land and for not adding to the local and global carbon pollution and horizon pollution by industrial wind turbines.
Each landowner should ask politicians why the start-up money for wind turbines was not offered to them to develop renewable energy instead of free light bulbs.
18 July 2007
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