Re: “The rest of Somerset’s wind energy story,” Oct. 28
I am responding to Paul Harris of Pioneer Green. Harris alleges the educational forum sponsored by Safe for Somerset at the Somerset County Civic Center was biased. This is far from the truth.
First, there was an open invitation extended in our mailings, our newspaper advertisements and on our Route 13 billboard. Special invitations were extended to the County Commissioners, members of the Planning Board and elected state representatives and candidates. The County Commissioners were noticeably absent.
Second, this was a forum, not a debate. The purpose of the forum was to educate the public about public health and safety issues that have been raised in the United States and around the world where wind farms have been constructed. The speakers were unpaid experts who presented well-researched facts covering real issues.
All the public hears from Pioneer Green’s spokesmen is wind farms are cash cows, having no impact on the environment and the public. Attendees were asked to do their homework and look at the pluses and minuses of industrial wind turbines placed close to residences. Had Harris and his minions chosen to attend the forum, they would have been able to ask questions of the presenters.
Harris implies, without any factual basis, possibly 99 percent of the people living near the proposed wind turbines were “either in favor of them or had no opinion.”
This is false. I have been going regularly to County Commissioners and Planning Board meetings since July. The only supporters at these meetings are leaseholders and their relatives. The opponents are nonleaseholders who understand they will be affected by the turbines. People with no opinion are those who do not believe they will be affected in any way by the construction.
At the forum we had a display of county maps showing the locations of leases we have been able to uncover. This display probably attracted the most attention. Once people saw there were leases anywhere near their properties, they voiced negative views of the project.
Harris states wind turbines have no impact on the environment, public health and safety, property values and the quality of life in Somerset County. Yet new studies conducted by universities, economists and health professionals are continually being published worldwide in scientific journals and respected magazines that document all these issues – plus the unfavorable economics of wind turbines.
Pioneer Green does not design or construct wind turbines. It will be long gone before the turbines are built, leaving the resulting problems in the hands of leaseholders, county residents and attorneys.
This is not the way we should go.
Harvey A. Kagan is a resident of Somerset County and member of Safe for Somerset.
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