The Wind Energy Siting Reform bill, which the Globe supports, might add a few windmills to Central and Western Massachusetts, but at great cost (“In clean tech, governor has led, but more needs to be done,’’ Editorial, Jan. 4). This bill offers a shortcut around the state’s Wetlands Protection Act to encourage building windmills on virgin mountains.
The spectacular landscapes of Central and Western Massachusetts entice tourists because so many mountains remain untouched. Erecting and servicing windmills would require major truck routes winding around each mountain. Since lovely streams run down the sides of these virgin mountains, windmill farms want special treatment under the Wetlands Protection Act for their roads to cross and recross those streams.
Windmills should go on mountains that already have roads, principally ski resorts. It’s true that ski resort owners would expect compensation and noise control. Those are reasonable demands. The wind industry should not be encouraged to evade them by destroying virgin mountains.
The Globe touts municipalities’ right to object, not realizing that municipalities are often in bed with developers. A poor town will do anything for a buck, ignoring the concerns of its neighbors and its own long-term interest in preserving the scenery.
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