Hundreds of people showed up Tuesday for a hearing on a bill that would put a moratorium on wind farm projects in the state.
Those supporting the moratorium heavily outnumbered those opposed to the bill. Many traveled from northern parts of the state to explain why they think the wind turbines aren’t a good fit for their communities.
“When does a private company in search of profit have more rights than the private citizen who owns property in the state of New Hampshire?” said bill supporter Paul Simard said. “That is the question.”
“This could be the death of our mountaintops and our tourism,” said bill supporter Pamela Charron.
Supporters of HB 580 wore orange in solidarity. They said new wind farms need to be halted until a comprehensive energy plan is established in New Hampshire.
“When you are dealing with planning – how do you locate it, set-backs, the noise, how many meters from a home – these are things that need to be worked out before New Hampshire jumps in and gets involved and starts destroying the scenery of many areas, especially up north,” said Rep. Al Baldasaro, R-Londonderry.
Some opposed to a moratorium said it would hurt their livelihood.
“It seems that in this economy, my earning power is shrinking over the past three or four years,” said electrician Douglas Bounds.
“It will stop investment in our state and kill jobs for the people I represent,” said Tyler Eaton, who represents union workers.
An attorney for Trans Canada, which owns local hydro dams, said the bill goes against New Hampshire’s own 2007 law that said the state should move toward renewable forms of energy to improve air quality and public health and mitigate climate change.
But many testified that the power lines and windmills will reduce their property values.
Another bill under consideration would require a public vote to allow such projects.