Don’t rush to embrace unproven wind energy
Credit: Marie Stamos | Patriot Ledger | 11 August 2012 ~~
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Regarding, “Clean Energy, legislative bill benefits all; Beacon Hill vote strengthens Green Communities act, boosts state’s economy” (Ledger July 30, 2012.
I believe the bill referred to is S.2395, a compromise and hybrid of two bills H.4225 and S.2214. Funny how bills just morph into other bills; confusing too. The wind turbine graphic, whether the Ledger’s or the writer’s set the stage for the interpretation of the message.
There are too many unknowns regarding the health, safety, economics of Industrial Wind Turbine technology for it to be pushed along at this time. Health issues are cropping up in various cities that have prematurely, without proper research, placed Industrial Wind Turbines too close to humans; talk to the people of Kingston, Falmouth, Fairhaven and then tell the public why the agenda moves forward and why it is good for them.
I agree with Mr. Saunders comments about efficiency and conservation: “Energy efficiency is the state’s first fuel.” This is not my comment but attributable to DOER (Department of Energy Resources) Commissioner Mark Sylvia earlier this year. And, it appears that the Saunders Hotel Group is doing all the right things and taking advantage, too, of the Commonwealth’s largesse when it comes to energy incentives and that is a good thing. Be efficient, conserve.
However, there are other aspects of the S.2395 that bear scrutiny as does the Labor Department’s definition of “Green Job.” The 64,000 figure is not what it appears to be. Included in the 64,000 “jobs” are antique dealers, resale shops, gas stations that pump gas into hybrid cars and assorted other questionables, because the average mind is thinking wind, solar and other renewable energy technologies; so, green jobs is not what it appears to be. Bus drivers (just how many does the MBTA employ?), bike repair shop clerks, floor sweepers in solar related industries, waste management positions, the estimate is 8,600 such in the Commonwealth. A bit misleading in terms of “clean energy sector in the Commonwealth equates to 64,000 jobs and growing”.
As far as S.2395 is concerned: Long-term contracts is what wind developers need in order to get the financing for their very expensive projects (ratepayers/taxpayers will be obligated to cover the costs). Long-term contracts will be locked in for 10 or 20 years; consumers will be forced to pay above-market costs. The lavish subsidies from federal and state governments for renewable energy does not change the fact that it is still more expensive than natural gas which is offered at historically low prices and is in abundant supply, domestically, or large-scale hydroelectric, neither of which is included in the Renewable Portfolio Standard.
Efficiency and conservation efforts are one thing, industrial wind turbines are another.
Marie Stamos is a resident of the Squantum section of Quincy
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