As we go to the gas pumps and pay record-breaking prices, many well-meaning people in our community sincerely believe that the construction of a collection of industrial wind energy installations in various townships throughout Potter County will eliminate our dependence on foreign oil and lower the high cost of gas.
To the contrary, this will do nothing to resolve the current oil crisis.
In 2007, only 1.5 percent of our nation’s electricity came from burning oil and most of that usage came from a tarry residual oil, or coal-like petroleum coke, both otherwise almost useless byproducts of refining.
In 2007, the U.S. exported significantly more than twice as much oil as we burn to make electricity. These facts, among others, prove that wind-generated electricity has absolutely nothing at all to do with U.S. oil dependence.
Wind can never provide reliable power on-demand. It is simply the electricity version of the ethanol scam. It costs more energy to make a gallon of ethanol than it provides.
Because there was money to be made in the name of “green energy,” politicians supported the effort. Now we’re left with the consequences of the rising costs of food and anything else associated with corn. The ethanol craze did nothing to alleviate our dependence on overseas oil.
It is sad to me that wind developers have created a campaign of misinformation extolling wind as a fabulous source of energy in every state in the United States.
That is simply not the case. Wind installations are not “wind farms”; wind turbines are not “windmills.” These installations are industrial – pure and simple – and should not be built in close proximity to residential homes.
Furthermore, wind is not equal in all parts of the country. Potter County’s wind speed is marginal, classified as a No. 2, while Altoona and other areas south of us are far windier. The state of Texas is probably the best location for industrial wind activity.
The presence of hundreds of 410-foot-high industrial wind turbines within the borders of Potter County will have absolutely no impact on the high cost of gasoline at the pumps. For that matter, these turbines will have no significant impact on the electricity generated into the Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland Grid. Their presence here will not save the world from extinction, as some people claim.
Wind, as a source of energy, is simply not reliable. Building 410-foot-high industrial wind turbines within the borders of Potter County will simply scar our magnificent and precious countryside forever, while only rewarding that evil called corporate greed.
Joan Hendershot Miller
19 July 2008
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