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Hoosac Wind does not hold promise

Nice dreams, Mr. Montgomery [letter to the editor, Friday, Sept. 7]. Yes, I am one of those who detests everything that big wind power represents, from their obsolescent and pretentious machines to the way their promoters have hijacked the American desire to find the panacea of clean, abundant energy.

If you believe, as so many do, that the array of wind turbines of the Hoosac Wind Project will be the economic turn-around that post-industrial North Adams has been yearning for, you will be bitterly disappointed.

You’ll get a firsthand chance to realize this when wind plants, like this one and Cape Wind, begin to be reflected in a sharp rise in your monthly power bill. Businesses, and what few industries survive in this state, who must constantly watch the “bottom line,” seeing their power bills double and triple, will be forced to scale back, “down size,” and to, in the end, bail out for greener pastures, where the energy costs and necessary social taxes are more forgiving. They will gag on the double irony of having to finance the corporate welfare free ride of the wind developers and then the obligation of paying their former employees unemployment benefits. And by the way, every one of us will be asked to “stand and deliver” to help pay for the wind power boondoggle.

And what is this trade off for? Ravished ridge tops, wrecked upland hydrologies, batteries of propagators of physiologically toxic vibrations called
ILFNs (infrasound and low frequency noise) that will keep physicians puzzled and overwhelmed with a stream of patients presenting chronic insomnia to suicide, and a budding industry for attorneys bringing personal injury and nuisance suits against towns, developers and state government.

All this, for a technology that can never deliver a quarter of the power it purports to install, but one that is responsible for massive social dislocation, people fleeing their homes to escape the noise and blade flicker and pollutants leaching into their rural water sources.

It is a nice dream to think about the Dutch love of their windmills. Those windmills have been pumping the seawater out of the lowlands for hundreds of years. Those windmills have been creating land where Hollanders have lived, made their farms, and built their lives. They are not the 400-foot-plus technological devices that big wind power calls windmills. These modern wind-driven contraptions destroy wild lands, make residents sick and impose a cost shadow that will be yoked onto generations to come, long after they join the over 14,000 standing dead wind turbines in this country.

So, Mr. Montgomery, I wish I could tell you that that rank of huge wind turbines on Bakke Mountain and Crum Hill was the answer to your dreams, but I cannot.

Marsh Rosenthal

Savoy, MA

Sept. 9