With climate change an important issue, I have found your coverage of the Wind Siting Reform Act to be inadequate. I, like most anyone, look forward to alternative energy sources, but in the Berkshires, what is at stake? You have reported that there are 58 sites where more than 700 wind turbines can be placed in the county. That’s 700, 400-foot structures potentially on our mountains and ridges. That, plus miles of new access roads through forests and connecting power lines. You would do everyone a service by publishing this study as to exactly where these sites are.
It was reported that Governor Patrick wanted these industrial machines in state parks but that was removed from the bill. Does that mean that DCR state forests and fish and wildlife lands are still in play? You should clarify these points.
Rep. Denis Guyer opposes the bill because it gives local communities only 120 days to study and formally oppose the placement of new wind turbines and because of the huge corporate interests behind them. He calls that window a “joke” and an affront to true democracy because small towns do not have professional legal staffs to oppose these powerful, monied interests. Your editorials and Sen. Downing’s comments never address Guyer’s reasons for opposition. Also, what are the positions of the candidates running for Guyer’s seat? How about some comments from county environmentalists?
The Berkshires are special for many reasons. Our natural environment rewards us with a high quality of life. It is also instrumental to our economy. Tourists come for the beauty. From what I can ascertain, the defeated legislation calls for the industrialization of the wind places in our county. [The bill may be brought before the Legislature again next session – editor.]
If this is not the case, your paper should elucidate on how as many as 700 wind turbines are going to benefit the county without marring our environment.