Why is the West Virginia press corps missing in action in the current battle raging in neighboring states over the proposal of industrial wind projects on public lands? In neighboring Maryland, there have been articles in the Annapolis, Baltimore and Cumberland newspapers, as well as many local papers across the state.
West Virginia has many acres of public land – acreage that belong to us. These same acres bring many millions of dollars into the state through hunting, fishing, hiking, tourism, etc. According to David W. Bott in a Feb. 5 commentary, a ripple effect of $2 billion is derived from these outdoor activities. Many of these millions will vanish if industrial wind projects are built on public lands. Habitat fragmentation on the mountaintop will impact hunting. Water runoff from clear-cutting and the cement pads for each turbine will impact trout streams in the valleys. In addition, public land on the mountaintops will be closed to the public, as in FPL’s Mountaineer Wind Farm in Tucker County.
Are the citizens of West Virginia expected to cede our usage and enjoyment of our public lands to enrich private wind energy companies who are already receiving subsidies from our tax dollars?
Rebecca K. Thomas
17 March 2008
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