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Money is the carrot; Here is the stick

Pretty is as pretty does. If power from wind made any sense, it might strike some balance between its production value and its downsides.

Wind doesn’t blow enough or dependably. The usual energy generators must consistently back up wind turbine generators. The construction costs per turbine are several million dollars, subsidized by taxpayers. Getting energy from wind is a fool’s wasteful errand. Consumers will pay more for energy.

Two centuries ago, steam replaced wind power in the whaling industry, eliminating weeks at sea without a breeze – the “doldrums.” What do we get? We get a higher electric bill, very little energy and as much or more CO2.

What expenses would $220K cover in Savoy? That income would reduce the state’s grants to Savoy by $100K for its lottery money shares and aid to the school. And after various costs of added full-time police, firefighters, road workers and maintenance, what is left? Hardly anything.

Property values would decrease, causing a tax burden shift. Health risks would go up due to very short setback distances of houses from turbines. The World Health Organization sets a safe setback at a mile and a half. Is the town prepared for lawsuits?

What assurances are given that Savoy will see the money? Other towns across the country report they have been shortchanged. Developers are in it for the money only, not the energy.

Savoy’s town clerk reports that there are no firm money assurances from the developer, Minuteman Wind – no signed contract, not even a handshake.

Two hundred and twenty thousand dollars is an unfounded figure. It is the carrot. The stick is to trick Savoy into a very destructive deal: financial, environmental, as well as aesthetic ruin. The pot at rainbow’s end has a hole in it.

Preston McClanahan


North Adams Transcript

26 December 2007