I attended the wind developer meeting held in Ripley last month.
I don’t think the Babcock & Brown representatives read Editor Jim Rush’s call for dialogue and debate on the wind issue that was published in the Westfield Republican that day. Babcock & Brown did all the talking and audience participation was carefully controlled.
The way Babcock & Brown handled the question and answer period was like foreign investors taking over Rural America. No dialogue was wanted; people had to write their questions on an index card to hand in. Some questions were read, and others were put aside without explanation. One gentleman went up afterward to ask why his question was not answered, and they walked away from him.
One question concerning Babcock & Brown’s project on the Gulf coast of Texas in an Important Bird Area lit a fire under the wind salesmen. Babcock & Brown insisted that the controversy stemmed from disgruntled neighbors who weren’t invited to take part in the project.
An audience member attempted to read from a report by EDM International cautioning against putting wind projects on the Gulf Coast in a major flyway, showing that the potential for avian mortality is the issue, not greed. However, the B &B spokeswoman became very rude and started talking over the audience member, denouncing EDM as a company that no one in the wind industry even knows! In fact, EDM is a major consulting firm for the electrical generation industry and is currently testing a remote bird and bat collision sensor for wind turbines- see http://www.edmlink.com/environment.htm
Babcock & Brown wouldn’t even listen to a different viewpoint. They showed a lack of respect for the truth and for the rights and concerns of others. If they build their project how will they treat someone who has a problem with noise or other issues?
Will they either ignore them or run roughshod over them too? Think about how you want to be treated if you are that someone with a problem. Don’t invite trouble into the community!
26 February 2008
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