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Turbine opponents in St. Lucie County meet fundraising goal  

Opponents of Florida Power & Light Co.’s plan to put wind turbines on Hutchinson Island have exceeded their goal in raising enough money for a legal defense fund.

The Save St. Lucie Alliance started the fund last week with the goal of raising $10,000 by Friday in order to hire a land-use attorney who could represent them in opposing the six wind machines planned for FPL property at the St. Lucie Nuclear Plant. The group has an account set up through the Yahoo! groups Web site to raise funds and pass on news.

Julie Zahniser, who leads the alliance, said in an e-mail message Friday they exceeded the goal by “a wide margin” and will continue to collect funds if the County Commission does approve the plan and they need to challenge it in court. Opponents believe they have grounds to challenge the project based on land use objections and possible threats to birds and fish in the area.

“People understand that this is a false green boondoggle designed to transfer wealth from the tax and rate payers of Florida to FPL and have contributed generously to ensure that FPL is not permitted to get away with this tax avoidance scheme,” Zahniser wrote.

The county has not set a date for the first public hearing in the project, but it could go before the Planning and Zoning Commission sometime this summer. FPL has disputed claims made by opponents of the project, saying there is enough wind for the project to work, the turbines pose no danger to the nuclear plant, residents, wildlife or the environment and they will not hurt property values. 


24 May 2008

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