Home > Environment, Safety & Health > Wind farms across country stopped by political maneuver

Wind farms across country stopped by political maneuver

May 31, 2006

WASHINGTON, May 31, 2006 (UPI)—The U.S. government has ordered work stopped on more than a dozen wind farms, saying the giant turbines might interfere with military radar.

Not buying that for a minute.  The new wind turbines are about 310 feet tall.  How low does military radar need to go?  I suppose a threatening plane could fly 200 feet off the ground in a circle around the turbines…

But supporters of wind power say the reason for the actions is political and has little to do with national security, the Chicago Tribune reported Wednesday.

In one instance, critics say, a group of wealthy vacationers believe a proposed wind farm off the Cape Cod, Mass., coast would spoil the view of the ocean from their summer homes.

Ah.  Call me cynical, but that, I can believe.

The attempt to stop the planting of 130 turbines in Nantucket Sound has led to a moratorium on new wind farms across Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, the Tribune reported…
- Post Chronicle: Government blocks wind farm plans

Great.  A bunch of wealthy people (including Ted Kennedy) are whining about the Cape Wind Project and it puts a stop to a part of our national energy portfolio. 

Yes, some people don’t like windmills.  Are they the same people who want action on global warming?  Wonder how their precious cape will look after sea level comes up five feet or so?  What will it do to their tourism industry if their quaint New England towns are under water?  Will they be petitioning the government for levees?  How quaint will that look?

It’s the 21st century now.  We need a more diverse energy portfolio, and not just for environmental reasons.  We especially need to take advantage of environmental energy differentials.  By their nature, such differentials are more diffuse than concentrated energy sources like coal or oil, so will necessarily require large structures to harvest.  If they’re waiting for the environmentally perfect (and concentrated!) energy source to come along, it’s going to be a long wait.  We just don’t have that kind of time.

  1. June 1, 2006 at 17:46 | #1

    These are the same people who hate Jet Skis. I’d rather be a hammer than a nail, and I’d rather be looking at windmills than “Nookular” Reactors. The oil cartel and the rest of the control freaks are just worried that there are lower barriers to entry in the wind market, and they can’t keep it all for themselves. As for Jet Skis, fuel-guzzling luxury yachts and personal aircraft piss me off a lot more.

  2. June 2, 2006 at 10:21 | #2

    Strange, why is the federal government involved at all,this should be a state project.

  3. June 3, 2006 at 09:03 | #3

    james: That’s a good question.  There are, however, areas of federal responsibility involved.  As noted, FAA and EPA regulations, probably more.  If you look at this article you’ll find that one of the concerns in Cape Cod was shipping lanes, over which is under Coast Guard authority.  (Also note that Kennedy changed his stance on the issue.)

    Still the method used to halt the wind farm projects, a poison pill provision in an unrelated piece of legislation, is a despicable political tactic.

  4. zilch
    June 3, 2006 at 13:41 | #4

    “These are the same people who hate Jet Skis.”
    That may well be, breakerslion, but there are also pro-windmill people who hate Jet Skis, such as myself.  Why?  Because they’re loud and dangerous to swimmers.  Just try taking your little kids into the water with a bunch of teenagers tearing around on Jet Skis.

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