While few would argue that our nation needs alternative, renewable sources of energy to support a healthy environment, a proposal by U.S. Wind Force to lease 400 mountaintop acres in the Savage River State Forest and Potomac State Forest so it can install about 100 wind turbines the size of the Washington Monument may be one of the most destructive and dangerous policy proposals ever to confront the citizens of Garrett County.
Therefore, it is requested that Senator Edwards and Delegate Beitzel, along with the Allegany County delegation, should propose legislation prohibiting these monstrosities on public lands located in state forests and parks in Garrett and Allegany counties.
Garrett County is one of the few places left in the state that has not been overtaken completely by over-development and greed. It’s ironic that the same argument being used for energy independence through the use of wind turbines can also be used for the devastating mountaintop removal of coal.
It is very troubling that Governor O’Malley is even considering this proposal, while at the same time promoting tourism and economic growth in our coun-ty. This is good stewardship of our natural resources and an improvement to our public land? This is government working for us?
At the Mountain Maryland PACE legislative breakfast held earlier this year, our governor said, ” …we are preserving our heritage – protecting our forests, …and promoting tourism.” Really?
“What’s good for one part of our state is good for our entire state,” he further stated. So that being the case, why not build these wind turbines around the Baltimore and Washington beltways in central Maryland? If sustaining our quality of life is a hallmark of his administration, how does destroying our pristine state forests protect them for our children?
You can be sure that these 500-foot-tall turbines would be visible from our most popular tourist recreation areas, Deep Creek Lake, and the Savage River Reservoir, in addition to most of the rest of the county.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources will be holding public hearings on this matter on January 23, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., in Grantsville.
John N. Bambacus
Note: Mr. Bambacus is a former state senator representing Garrett and Allegany counties.
13 December 2007
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