The program director for the local Sierra Club, Abel Collins passionately provided his position (“In support of a wind farm,” South County Independent, July 4) regarding why Deepwater Wind should receive full acceptance as Rhode Island’s energy supplier. I get the feeling from his impassioned commentary that Rhode Island deserves to be punished for energy gluttony and slovenly energy-use habits. It’s hard to disagree with much of what he says if you feel that we must be punished at all. I don’t.
Yes, many of our living habits produce telltale carbon footprints. If we follow them back to the source, we will find the oil wells, coal mines, perhaps our sacred outdoor grills – or even rotting skeletons from decommissioned wind turbines. We gulp energy, and we pay for it. Now Abel Collins and the local Sierra Club want us to pay even more, because they think we deserve to be punished. The cost of electrical energy production is going down every year as the availability of natural gas and green, renewable hydroelectric power all become more abundant.
However, as Sierra Club designated martyrs, we are obligated to pay more and take the punishment due others upon ourselves here in Rhode Island. This is perhaps why Rhode Island’s previous governor chose a Wall Street hedge fund to become our clean and green energy provider.
It seems that Rhode Island may possibly be stuck with an electrical energy provider that has never put up a utility pole or a wind-powered turbine, the business for which they claim expertise. We are asked to pay the price for its learning curve by providing it with our prized seaside children, Narragansett Pier and precious Block Island, as our sacrifice. Do we deserve it? Of course we don’t.
And here is why: Rhode Island should be praised for being on the bottom of the list of states for energy consumed per resident. We are also last on the list of states for total energy consumed. The data comes from the United States government as well as a private group.
We need to praise, not punish, ourselves. The Sierra Club just does not get it. We deserve electric rate reductions, not the proposed 250 percent increase that comes along with the acceptance of Deepwater Wind’s giant turbines just off the Block Island coast, destruction of our rich fishing grounds and electromagnetic poisoning of the beach along Narragansett Pier.
Today, Rhode Island does not deserve to become the classroom lab for a fully inexperienced energy company. 38 Studios was an experiment by a baseball player, and Deepwater Wind was a Midas dream by a Wall Street financier. It’s time for Rhode Island to engage proven professionals in their own fields, not in their dream fields.
Our group of concerned citizens, deepwaterresistance.org, includes investors, environmentalists, engineers, community leaders, housewives and grandparents. We know a bad deal when we see one. With Rhode Island’s current choice of a preferred alternate energy provider, we see a string of bad deals ahead. The results will be higher taxes, higher electric bills, loss of more energy-dependent industry and more of our cities and towns suffering from lower bond ratings or bankruptcy unless people become informed and take action.
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