The Ungreening of Windpower: Dina Cappiello (AP) Blows the Whistle on Big Wind (and others are following)
“[The Obama] administration has never fined or prosecuted a wind-energy company, even those that flout the law repeatedly. Instead, the government is shielding the industry from liability and helping keep the scope of the [bird] deaths secret.”
– Dina Cappiello, “Obama Administration Allows Wind Farms to Kill Eagles, Birds Despite Federal Laws, Washington Post, May 14, 2013. [Note: WaPo scrubbed the article where the link does not work.]
“By accepting the compromises of the real world and enthusiastically supporting the establishment of the wind industry, [environmentalists] entered the devil’s bargain that now prevents them from fighting the power companies. . . . Here in the almost wilds of Altamont Pass, the environmentalists and Kenetech have reached the point where solutions become problems–the point at which there is blood on the answer.”
– Amy Linn, “Whirly Birds,” SF Weekly, March 29-April 4, 1995.
The Shared Narrative of windpower as ”green” is under assault. What was relegated to the shadows in years and decades past is coming out as never before.
Earlier this month, AP environmental writer Dina Cappiello’s exposed the federal government’s double-environmental standard towards windpower. As such, she ’mainstreamed’ the work of wind critics Robert Bryce, Paul Driessen, Sherri Lange, James Rust, Tom Tanton, Jim Wiegand, among others.
Is it open season and catch-up time regarding what is politely called windpower’s “avian mortality” problem? In Sunday’s New York Times, Felicity Barringer’s Turbine Plans Unnerve Fans of Condors in California quoted Kelly Fuller of the American Bird Conservancy (ABC) about how the U.S. Department of Interior’s new wind-turbine/bird policy ”blindsided folks.”
Fuller explained in a press release:
January 7, 2013
Today in Haldimand County, HDI (Haudenosaunee Development Institute) ordered Capital Power to remove their equipment and workers from 2 wind turbine sites and workers from their Hydro One substation site as well as giving NextEra a message at NextEra’s substation of their outrage regarding the removal of the bald eagle’s nest in their project. The traditional people joined HDI in the action. A Haldimand resident blockaded a wind turbine blade in the area of NextEra’s substation today as well.
January 20, 2012
The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) is calling on the provincial government to suspend the invasion of rural Ontario with industrial wind turbines.
Earlier this week OFA took a hard look at our own concerns with wind turbines. We have always been concerned with the price paid for wind power and the fact that it is not dispatchable – it is not stored for use during peak demand periods, making it highly inefficient. This was noted by Ontario’s Auditor General in his recent Annual Report in December 2011.
In addition, our technical concerns with regard to setback issues, induced current and noise impacts remain unaddressed.
OFA believes that the amendments to the Planning Act made under the authority of the Green Energy Act are not having the desired effect of providing for good planning. Removal of municipal input into industrial wind turbine projects has alienated the rural population and ignored competing community needs and policies.
All of these issues have been emphasized clearly by our members. Over the past few weeks we have clearly heard OFA members tell us of health concerns, concerns over the loss of farmland, encumbrances on their farm properties and many more issues related to the imposition of wind turbines across our rural landscape.
Most disconcerting of all is the impact wind turbines are having on the relationships across rural communities. When wind developments come to a community neighbours are pitted against neighbours. The issue of industrial wind turbine development is preoccupying the rural agenda.
OFA is telling the Ontario government our members have had enough. Rural Ontario cannot continue to be torn apart by wind turbines. The province needs to immediately suspend any further developments until our farm families and rural residents can be assured their interests are protected.
On behalf of rural Ontario, OFA needs to see the government enable community involvement in wind developments to ensure local planning issues and priorities are addressed. We need wind power to be priced right and made dispatchable so it can be used when we need it, rather than selling it at a loss during the nighttime. We need health and nuisance concerns addressed immediately and we need serious studies done on reasonable setback distances for the newer and larger turbines being planned.
The onus is on our provincial government to ensure the interests of rural Ontarians are protected. Our members are clearly telling us now that they are not. There are very serious concerns with wind energy as it is currently rolling out.
OFA supports green energy – Ontario needs a reliable, affordable source of renewable energy for our future. But we all need to work to ensure that green energy projects will respect concerns for noise, community involvement and price, balanced against the effective provision of that power.
Courtesy of Mark Wales, President, Ontario Federation of Agriculture