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Need planning policies for energy projects  

Editor’s note: This letter is in response to Jim Desat’s letter, “Benefits of wind turbines far outweigh any risks,” March 1.

Sir: Mr. Desat, you asked:

“Are we to believe that the companies involved in these projects did not do any research before selecting the sites?”

In some cases, yes. The residents’ health and safety is not their first concern. Their first concern is profit, like any business. This is really about tax avoidance and an overly generous subsidy grab.

“If the turbines are unsafe, are they not unsafe no matter where you put them?”

No, flying ice is unlikely to hit a building from a mile away. Sound levels increase with proximity.

“If there is a danger to birds, do the birds get smarter the farther back you get from the lake?”

Birds breed and migrate close to shorelines. Due diligence should prevail.

“Are the people living three or five kilometres inland not as important as the people by the lake?”

The shoreline restrictions have nothing to do with people. A mile or more setback should be in place to protect all families and children.

Wind never has nor ever will replace any coal-fired plant. Even the wind companies will admit that. The variability of wind requires fossil fuel backups at all times.

In Germany, nearly 19,000 wind turbines cover the country, generating five per cent of its electricity. Yet 26 new coal plants are still planned, and six are on a fast track. Emissions continue to grow, because the grid has to continue operating as if the wind is not blowing – because more often than not, they aren’t generating electricity when there is an actual need.

Essex County has hired a consultant to research local planning policies that reflect local physical, social, economic and environmental sensibilities which will play a key role in the responsible siting of renewable energy projects. Chatham-Kent council would be foolish not to do the same.

Maureen Anderson Essex County Wind Action Group, Amherstburg

The Chatham Daily News

8 March 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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