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W.Va. residents also worry about turbines  

I would like to share my letter to the West Virginia Public Service Commission with your readers. I am very much concerned at the lack of information publicized concerning the pros and cons of wind turbines:

I would like to express my objection to the erection of up to 65 wind turbines on Laurel Mountain. We have visited areas in our mountains where turbines are already erected and found so many problems. Once they are erected, West Virginia residents will have to live with the damage that will result for the rest of their lives.

One of my big concerns is that the publicity I see on television and in newspapers does not really reflect both sides of the issue. It makes the average viewer/reader who does not do his own investigation believe that there are no real problems other than that people don’t want to look at them across our mountain tops. If the average person really understood the effects of the turbine installation and operation, there would be a lot more people objecting.

Perhaps it sounds inappropriate for someone who lives in another county to be objecting to the turbines on Laurel Mountain. As the projects being proposed involve at least 8 counties, there will be a cumulative negative impact if they are approved.

First of all, we are all working to promote tourism; and that tourism, in a large part, relates to the beauty of the mountains and outdoor recreation … hiking, camping, rock climbing, caving, fishing, hunting. I believe that our attraction to tourists will drop drastically if they lose the beauty, peace and quiet of the mountains and if they are bothered in their activities by the noise and strobe-light effect of the turbines.

There are well documented records of bird and bat kill. Birds and bats help keep the mosquito and gnat populations down, and these insects are known to spread a number of diseases. In areas where there are endangered species, they may be wiped out.

Getting to the tops of the ridges with heavy equipment will require a lot of road building and widening of existing roads. With the loss of so many trees and shrubs on the turbine and transmission line sites, land preparation for the turbines and significant road increases, I cannot imagine that there will not also be significant erosion which will damage land and may affect streams.

I cannot see how significant jobs will be given to our residents. At a meeting which I attended in Pendleton County, labor union representatives attended to promote the turbines; however, when the question was raised as to how many jobs would be offered in Pendleton County, the company admitted that the companies they hire to do the building like to bring in their own employees.

We all fear the results of global warming and recognize the need to develop alternative energy sources. I do not feel that wind turbines will provide enough electricity to make a difference if you take into consideration that they will require electricity from other sources to operate and that the time when peak energy use occurs is the time when the winds that would turn the turbine blades are not adequate. Significant attention does not seem to be being paid to other alternative energy sources and to managing the use of electricity.

Carol J. Kosup

Franklin, W.Va.

Cumberland Times-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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