Everybody wants sustainable, eco-friendly energy. But nobody wants to live next to a clanking, science-fictiony wind farm.
That’s the problem in St. Cyprien de Napierville, where Montreal-area investors want to build a $68-million for-profit wind farm. Local farmers will make sites available -for a price -but village residents are upset.
At first glance this is the classic “not-in-my-back-yard” reaction generated whenever modern pieties about renewable energy clash with the genteel values of country living. The same phenomenon has stalled, for almost a decade, plans for wind turbines in Nantucket Sound, off the prestigious resort area of Cape Cod, Mass.
What makes this case different is that the “Montreal-area investors” are led by the Kahnawake Economic Development Commission, and that aboriginal projects of this nature do not require municipal approval.
Some of the opposition to the project has been tinged with racism, which is unfortunate, because the real culprit here is the regulatory regime.
There’s nothing wrong with native organizations finding a good business deal, but we can’t see why an entity like the Kahnawake Economic Development Commission should qualify for a special exemption so far from Kahnawake. “Not in my back yard” seems to be one policy everyone can agree on.
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