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Lions hear about troubling side of wind energy  

Credit:  By LIZ BEAVERS, News-Tribune | www.newstribune.info 15 June 2012 ~~

KEYSER – “Industrial wind is good politics, but it’s poor public policy.”

With that thought, former Mineral County Commissioner Dr. Wayne Spiggle opened the program on wind energy at a recent meeting of the Keyser Lions Club. He was accompanied to the meeting by Richard Braithwaite, the Green Mountain resident who has led the protest of the noise emitted by the wind turbines at the Pinnacle Wind Farm, and Mike Morgan, a Lions Club member who is also concerned about wind energy.

Spiggle told the club members that he was at the meeting in hopes that his comments would “lead you to take another critical look at wind.”

Noting that European countries led the push toward wind energy across the globe, Spiggle told the crowd that those countries are now beginning to realize that wind energy is not as feasible as once believed.

“Spain has now either eliminated or cut way back on the public subsidies they gave to wind,” he said. In the United states, “ without public subsidies, wind cannot exist,” he said. “Wind costs too much. It receives more than half of its capital costs from the American public.”

According to Spiggle, “the subsidy amounts to $23.34 per megawatt with wind,” as compared to “34 cents per megawatt for coal, 25 cents for natural gas, 67 cents for hydroelectric, and $1.59 for nuclear.”

In addition to that, Spiggle said “the land mass that wind power consumes is predicted to exceed that of strip mining.”

Morgan talked about the unreliability of wind power, stating that “the power grid doesn’t know how to deal with it … you can’t wait for it to show up when the wind blows.”

He also stated that the purpose of their program was to be proactive in regard to any future wind power projects. “We can’t resolve Pinnacle. It’s done and we can’t do anything about that … but we can be smarter the next time around.”

Braithwaite spoke a little bit about Edison Mission’s pledge to place mufflers on each of the wind turbines, noting that once his appeal to the Public Service Commission was denied, that pledge will no longer be honored.

“The noise is so loud that at times it reads over 80 decibels,” he said. “Inside my home, it’s at 60 decibels most of the time. It even rattles the windows.”

The program by the three men led to a discussion of public subsidies, with club member and newly-elected Keyser City Councilman Terry Liller noting that “any green technology that got a government subsidy went away as soon as the subsidy went away.

“As soon as you see a government subsidy involved, that tells me the technology is not reliable, because if it was, the private sector would have jumped on it,” he said.

Source:  By LIZ BEAVERS, News-Tribune | www.newstribune.info 15 June 2012

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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