As a longtime resident of Somerset, I have watched for months as numerous yellow signs against the proposed wind turbine project have gone up in front of concerned property owners’ homes. Within the last several weeks, white signs supporting the project have appeared primarily on open farm land leased by Apex Clean Energy.
One phrase on these white signs includes “Fear Not the Wind.”
I don’t fear the wind, I fear the potential health and environmental impacts, the slaughter of migrating birds and bats, and property devaluation with the loss of our bucolic landscape.
Another line reads “Harvest the Wind.”
I support harvesting the wind by micro turbines with smaller footprints and I support the use of solar panels, geothermal systems, hydropower, and actually conserving energy so less power needs to be generated. The only thing to be harvested by these proposed 570-foot tall monstrosities is our tax dollars. They are not profitable to construct and operate without tax subsidies.
I noticed a new version of these white signs a few days ago that I find offensive. They include the phrase “Support Our Farms.”
Seriously? If we don’t support industrial wind turbines, we don’t support farms?
In 2005, the Town of Somerset adopted a policy which made this a right-to-farm community. A portion of this policy, as posted on the town’s website, reads, “It is the purpose of this article to reduce the loss to the Town of Somerset of its agricultural resources by limiting the circumstances under which farming may be deemed a nuisance and to allow agricultural practices inherent to and necessary for the business of farming to proceed and be undertaken free of unreasonable and unwarranted interference or restriction.”
The town’s comprehensive plan states repeatedly how important agriculture is to our area and I support the town’s efforts in this regard. Does “Support Our Farms” imply that our local farms cannot be successful without wind turbines?
It is wonderful to see that several local farms have enjoyed dramatic expansions in recent years and represent a bright spot in our rural economy. I understand that farm commodity prices are very volatile, but that has always been inherent in any agriculturally based business.
I don’t know who is responsible for producing these white signs, but if it’s Apex Clean Energy, I suggest they hire a new PR firm. They’ve really missed the mark on this one.