I have followed with great interest the recent commentaries and news reports concerning the proposed wind turbine projects off of LBI’s coastline. It should be noted I am neither an engineer nor a marine biologist, but simply a homeowner and citizen who is trying to digest the information at hand. I generally favor the concept of clean energy-producing projects; however, I am also very conscious of the beauty of our island and the impact industrial projects can have on the environment.
What spurred me to write this letter was a recent trip to Lake Erie for a family reunion. Our family rented a lakefront Airbnb home. On day one as we surveyed our beautiful location we could distinctly see the outline of a substantial number of wind turbines built on the Canadian side of the lake near Port Colborne, Ontario. I do not know the height of the turbines, but they were clearly seen with the naked eye at a distance of 20 miles.
To put it in terms LBI residents can relate to, they were as visible as the Atlantic City skyline from the Causeway Bridge. Any study that tells you the turbines will not be visible at 10/20 miles out to sea is not credible.
Of greater concern is the view at night. As darkness fell, the turbines all had red lights at the top, blinking in unison every three seconds, and they stretched on for miles. It reminded me of approaching an airport runway at night.
I am strongly against the concept of industrializing one of our great natural resources and areas of natural beauty under the guise of creating jobs or cheap energy. As one of my neighbors so aptly put it, would we ever consider wind turbines in the Grand Canyon or in Yellowstone National Park? Well, our beaches and the Atlantic Ocean are our equivalent of those landmarks of natural beauty.
It has been my experience that when government attempts to rush a project to approval, the end result is rarely positive and does not take into consideration many unintended consequences, such as the impact on marine life and fishing industries. I am also concerned that by the time the turbines are constructed and operational, they will be considered old technology. We have all seen corporations suddenly go bankrupt and abandon their responsibilities to the public (just Google environmental Superfund sites). I fear these turbine hulks could one day be abandoned and unattended on our horizon – and yes, the expectation would be that taxpayer dollars would be responsible for the cleanup.
I am in favor of at minimum slowing the approval process down until all questions have been studied and answered. If the project does move forward I also believe that the turbines should be constructed over the horizon, as the many yard signs (including the one on my front yard) call for 35 miles out.
And finally, the corporate entity should be required to post a sizable bond ensuring that if the technology ages and the company faces financial duress or failure, the bond will be in place to deconstruct the turbines as quickly as they were constructed.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding