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Wind farm? Goodbye neighborhood  

Credit:  Ron Fink, www.lompocrecord.com 30 August 2011 ~~

Anyone who knows George Bedford knows that when something irks him he doesn’t keep it a secret. Bedford and his wife bought a ranch in Miguelito Canyon several years ago so that they could enjoy a rural lifestyle and now he is getting a bothersome neighbor.

Since he bought his ranch, the environmental coalition has convinced all too eager Democrats in Congress to lay out huge sums of cash for “green projects” and entrepreneurs have rushed in to claim their share of your tax money; one has decided to build a wind farm next to the Bedford spread. This project will put 65 wind turbine towers on both sides of Miguelito Road just south of the Celite mine entrance road, stretching down the canyon to the borderline of Vandenberg AFB.

Bedford isn’t being just a NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard), because when they wanted to build their single-story ranch house, which can’t be seen from anywhere, the county Architectural Review Board demanded that he re-engineer the roof and lower the crest 18 inches to avoid obstructing the view!

No wonder they are upset. Suddenly their low profile ranch will be surrounded with a forest of 400-feet-tall wind turbines, but that doesn’t seem to bother the ARB. According to the graphics in the certified Environmental Impact Report, these towers, unlike George’s house, will be easily visible all over the Lompoc Valley and as far away as 25 miles!

To put the scale of these towers in context, consider that the average distance between floors in buildings is about 10 feet; therefore these towers are equivalent in height to a 40-story building; the old missile support tower at Space Launch Complex 4 was only 25 stories high and it could be easily seen from many miles away.

Wind farms rely on sustained winds above 20 mph and less than 60 mph in order to function; wind is unreliable at best. George says that these conditions rarely exist for extended periods and mostly occur during the winter months, which means that these huge towers will be idle for long periods.

Even Robert Kennedy, who normally supports every environmentalist’s dream for America, is skeptical of the claims of wind-farm operators.

According to the Santa Barbara County Planning and Development department website, “Pacific Renewable Energy Generation (PREG), intends to finalize the project plans and obtain all required permits from state, federal, and local agencies by early 2012.”

PREG is part of Pacific Renewable Energy Generation LLC which is a California Limited Liability Company. They have developed a new division named “PAER AG” which is focused on sourcing and procuring non-alternative energy commodities with a particular focus on California agriculture products.

In other words they want to convert strawberries and artichokes to fuel, another popular theme of liberals. Of course, this only drives up the cost of our food; and, bio-fuels such as ethanol, just like wind farms, have proven to be both costly and inefficient.

The wind farm project is located in the 3rd Supervisorial District and in Lois Capps’ congressional district; they are supportive because the current mantra of the Democrat party to improve the job market is “green jobs.” Ironically, the Environmental Defense Center, Sierra Club and Audubon Society are noticeably silent even though this project will cause a giant scar on the land, has impacts on many bird and animal species and will clearly impact the scenic vistas. You have to be suspicious when politicians and groups who normally oppose all growth would support this project.

Well, I guess because it’s in Lompoc it won’t bother anyone in Santa Barbara (Who would want to block the view of the bums on State Street?) and secondly it just feels so good to “save the environment.”

Will this project be built? Probably, since none of the regulatory agencies have raised any red flags yet.

Should it be built? The answer is no.

Source:  Ron Fink, www.lompocrecord.com 30 August 2011

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

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