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State’s energy bill poses threat to pristine landscape  

Credit:  The Boston Globe, www.boston.com 7 January 2011 ~~

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.

Sue Bass

Source:  The Boston Globe, www.boston.com 7 January 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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