Since 1980, I have spent every summer in Elkins and have made a lot of friends in Randolph County and at the Augusta Heritage Center. I have been honored by the townspeople by their treating me as a local.
So, it’s not difficult for me to keep up on area events, the most controversial being the proposed wind-turbine project, of which I have already heard an earful.
From what I have learned, I, too, have to oppose this project.
These are not small “windmills,” but giant wind turbines, the installing of which will lead to a surprising amount of ecological damage to the area. This includes destroying springs and creeks at their sources, cutting of access roads, deforestation of sites including ground-cover, and more, which means that this is really “dirty” energy.
One question that I’ve not gotten answered is just how much benefit will this project be to Elkins and Randolph County? What small recompense will they get out of it? From what I hear, not much. Allowing this project to proceed allows outside developers to come in, build their stuff, and leave the local communities with the mess afterwards. The developers have consistently refused to answer direct questions about this. Yes, times are difficult, but their imposition and destruction really don’t seem to be worth it.
It would be another story if this project were to directly benefit the Elkins area, in supplying an alternative energy source to what is already there. But that won’t be the case. This electrical supply will not be for our area, but will go elsewhere requiring more lines with even more land destruction.
Coming originally from Tucson, Ariz., and moving to Concord, N.H., I have personally experienced the destructive costs of uncontrolled “development” imposed on communities by outsiders. And I have also learned that when a developer promises you the moon, that is precisely what it will cost you in the end.
12 July 2008
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