On Wednesday, the N.C. House Commerce Committee voted to pass H-298, the Affordable and Reliable Energy Act, which would repeal Senate Bill 3, legislation mistakenly passed by the 2007 General Assembly that would raise electricity prices in North Carolina, and more importantly, result in job losses and environmental degradation.
SB3 would do this, as we said Sunday, through a Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (RPS), forcing North Carolina utility companies, i.e., Duke Energy, to supply all its customers, businesses and home owners, with a percentage of renewable energy.
The state’s utility companies would be forced to buy whatever wind turbines might produce because they would ultimately provide the majority of the renewables mandate.
There is an identical bill in the Senate, S-365. In the House, H-298 must still navigate through three more committees. The House Environmental Committee, which Rep. Pat McElraft, R-Carteret, chairs, is next.
In anticipation of the next hearing, John Droz Jr., a physicist living in Morehead City has written a
comprehensive, eye-opening environmental assessment of H-298, which we, because of space, only highlight.
Mentioning the problematic consequences of Rare Earth Elements (REEs) because each wind turbine uses some 4,000 pounds of REEs, Mr. Droz says few are aware that an investigation concluded that the manufacturing of wind turbines produces more radioactive waste material than results from the operation of a comparable nuclear facility for 20 years.
Mr. Droz includes a superior new map by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service showing how almost all of the “suitable” wind locations in North Carolina are environmentally problematic.
On top of that, he superimposes the low-level flight patterns of three major North Carolina air bases – Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Base and New River Marine Corps Air Base – with the result that there is essentially zero “suitable” land left in the state for wind turbines.
He also touches on annual agricultural losses because wind turbines, effecting areas as much as 15 miles downwind, have adverse environmental and economic costs by reducing ground level humidity by approximately 30%, which results in less crop yield and dries up wetlands.
Aside from the impact on human health, for those living in the vicinity of wind turbines, Mr. Droz lists the estimated bird and bats deaths turbines would cause in each county (bats are voracious eaters of insects and very effective crop pollinators), which just on their own usually exceed the unguaranteed promises made by wind developers.
For the good of North Carolinians, it’s in the state’s best interests to promote and support low cost, reliable energy sources that will result in more net jobs being created and more net economic development. Wind turbines do just the opposite.
Totally inefficient when the wind isn’t blowing or totally inefficient when the wind is blowing hard, wind turbines would raise costs to businesses and home owners in North Carolina by forcing utilities to buy what they supposedly generate, forcing the utilities to pass the costs along to their customers, resulting in higher costs and job losses.
Quite obviously, H-298 in the House, and its companion bill in the Senate, S-365, should be passed, repealing SB3 as soon as possible.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding