If Windmills Are Clean and Green, Why Are They Blowing Up A Storm?

Vic Furman - American PrideVictor Furman
Upstate New York Landowner, Shale Gas Activist

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Andrew Cuomo’s push for more windmills Upstate is blowing up a storm of controversy as locals say they don’t want them and are fighting back, town by town.

Politics don’t start with the President and work their way down to us. No, real politics start at the town level. When you realize your vote locally is more important than nationally, you’re on your way to preserving and protecting yourself from extremists who seek to gain office to push their personal agendas. And, by the way, politics is where the crap actually flows upstream, especially when it comes to windmills.

windmills

Propose Sanford/Windsor windmill locations

Let’s look at Guilford and New Berlin, New York and the Windsor/Deposit/Sanford area, for example, where several town boards are all being subjected to windmill propositions. The Town of Sanford just put a moratorium on industrial wind energy facilities. to take community input, a responsible approach and one that will allow elected officials to serve the people’s interests.

Then, we have New Berlin and Guilford, where town board members sought office on green energy platforms and their only qualifications were that they were opposed to natural gas and had traveled the state promoting bans in favor of supposedly clean and green energy. These two towns are perfect examples of why you must vote. Energy matters — and it matters a lot. If you allow fanatics to take over you surrender your community to a future of noisy, bird-killing, view obstructing, towering industrial facilities that will be with you for at least a generation..

Imagine your neighbor, who has several friends on your town board, puts up an illegal 15 feet high wall obstructing the view from your window. You go to the board and appeal to them to cite the neighbor for a zoning violation and have the wall removed only to find you “can’t fight city hall.” You are exasperated and start canvassing people in the town with a view toward finding someone to replace the bums.

Too often, however, you will learn most of the people on town boards get elected simply because not many people vote for town offices. Perhaps out of apathy stems from a belief their town boards have no power over state or even federal laws. Well, that’s not true. Home rule is real in New York, as green zealots taught us during debaters over natural gas.

The fact is many small town board members are elected by very few voters because of low voter turnout. Often elections are decided by family members and friends of candidates due to this low turnout. Town boards have lots of power. Not voting in local elections often gives too much power over residents to special interest types who have taken it upon themselves to decide what is best for the rest of us.

Let me use New Berlin and Guilford again for an example. If you drive on Routes 23, 32 and 34, you will see hundreds of signs where the residents are taking a stand against the proposed windmills the town board decided to shove down their throats. I’ve been to meetings where opposition against the wind farms has been much greater than the support. Yet, the town boards are acting against the majority of people who do not want these industrial wind facilities. This is simply because low voter turnouts gave the elected anti-gas zealots power over them. And the latter are determined to use that power come hell or high-water.

Could it be Town of Sanford board members know something New Berlin and Guilford town board members don’t? Here’s what I think has been missing from discussions in  Berlin and Guilford; clean and green energy is not so clean when it comes to windmills.

  1. Each windmill (and there are lots of them) removes five or more acres of carbon sucking vegetation.
  2. Each windmill takes tons of plastic and fiberglass made possible by fossil fuels.
  3. Each windmill uses many tons of steel that take tremendous energy to produce and requires mining of iron ore.
  4. One windmill takes 120,000 tons of coal to melt iron ore into steel.
  5. Each windmill requires between several thousand pounds of copper, which means more mining.
  6. Tens of thousands of gallons of diesel are used in the mining process and transportation of each windmill from build to site location.
  7. Mountaintop removal for access roads to deliver and place the windmills is standard procedure.
  8. Given their relatively short lifespan and the intermittent energy they do provide, windmill energy produced never exceeds with the fossil fuel energy required to make them.
  9. Decommissioning windmills costs over one-half million dollars each.
  10. None of this is even possible without taxpayer subsidies and government demands to use the often useless power.

This doesn’t add up to clean or green in my book, but because many don’t vote in town elections a few decide for the rest of us what direction our community will go. If our town board members have a fixed agenda…facts don’t matter.

windmills

Be a responsible citizen and research the people you’re voting for. Whether it’s wanting a stop sign at a dangerous intersections, or something you personally rely on like energy, ask them by phone or in person their thoughts and vote yours. It’s essential. Energy matters and so does your vote!

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11 thoughts on “If Windmills Are Clean and Green, Why Are They Blowing Up A Storm?

  1. We have 53 sites of steel and toxic emissions on dozens of acres in my county that obstruct the view and are constantly noisy called gas compressor stations.

    Tons of steel to construct them and loads of diesel to being the materials and workers to the sites..

    Up to 160 acres used to house one station.

    Each station requires loads of mining to get out the materials needed next to our homes and schools so they can operate.

    And none of this is possible without taxpayer subsidies and government demand..

    We need to vote and ban Vic’s beloved gas extraction industry..

    • There may be a 160 acre parcel involved but there’s no 160-acre site consumed by a compressor station, of course. And there are no significant subsidies or government requirements to use gas. Sheer nonsense yet again, Vera.

      • Ah yes – as if the government subsidies that your buddy Mr. Desrosiers confessed (back when I bothered to listen to his radio show a few times, before GEM-104 changed the time of it) were necessary for making gas competitive with wood or whatever for certain Tunkhannock-area consumers, doesn’t count as a “significant subsidy”.

  2. The Sanford/Windsor project is especially hypocritical because the project straddles the watershed divide of the Delaware River and the Susquehanna River. Some of the wind turbines are located on mountain tops in one watershed and the others are located in the other watershed. These are head-water areas. As such they are some of the most sensitive eco-systems in the State of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland (all these states are down stream from these wind turbines). Any spill or environmental disaster will effect those downstream as well as Sanford.
    Of course the area is in the flyway of eagles and bats. But no matter, we will allow the wind company to ‘take” endangered golden eagles. How many are there? Oh that is confidential and the Administrative Law Judge won’t allow that information public because it is a ‘trade secret’ of the Wind Company. Right.
    What about ‘environmental justice’. The 2700 people of Sanford will have to suffer infrasound, flicker, electromagnetic interference, bird and bat kills, destruction of its scenic views and mountain tops, and a host of other maladies and environmental impacts generated by the Turbines. Each turbine structure will be 675 feet high! That is two-thirds the height of the Empire State Building. The reason for the monstrous height is that the area is a poor wind area! Low rated. But NYS, Cuomo, the PCS and NYSERDA all are pushing for this project. Not to mention that the town will receive none of the power (NYC areas will get it, what a surprise), but the town’s people, the town’s ecosystem, and its current mountain top scenic beauty will suffer all the consequences. This project is already destroying their real estate values and as a consequence their tax base. “Environmental Justice”? What a lie, what a fraud!

    PS New York City’s special watershed district is located in the next town to the east of Sanford. It has tens of thousands of acres of mountain tops and is closer to NYC. If this project is so environmentally compatible, why doesn’t NYC locate a wind turbine on every one of the mountains in their watershed district where all local development is prohibited anyway?

    • When building my home in 1996 I approached NYSERDIA to give me information on windmill power. They brought up a wind map of NYS and made note that most of the state has poor wind flow for making it worthwhile.

      And Vera…

      So you are saying in your reply above steel bad for compressors good for windmill.(basically) funny how in the past you argued changing 1 evil for another is a losing proposition. But hey… that compressor station gets guaranteed energy to the consumer unlike your blow hard windmills

  3. Come and see our largest compressor station on Potter Rd. , Kingsley or Brooklyn, Pa.

    And see how most of the land is consumed and find yourself wrong..

    But of course, Tom, won’t check this out because he needs to be right .

    Don’t forget to give only facts during your upcoming deposition…

    • Vera,

      Using Google Earth, it appears to me that the polygon tool can surround the compressor station on Potter Road in Kingsley, PA with a 5,200′ perimeter, with a surface area of about 40 acres. And that’s being pretty generous: I included the access road on the southeast corner.

      For the Brooklyn compressor station (I assume you mean the one with access from W Road), again using the polygon tool, I get a perimeter of about 4,250′ with a surface area of about 28 acres.

      The Brooklyn compressor station appears to be about 2.6 miles southwest of the Kingsley station.

      Susquehanna County is listed as having 823 square miles of land surface, which is 526,720 acres.

      Together these two compressor stations appear to occupy about 68 acres, or

      68/526,720 = 0.000129 of the county. That’s 0.0129%.

      And the Zick compressor station over in Hop Bottom has a perimeter of 2,900′ and covers an area of 12.3 acres.

      As a comparison, the Montrose Area High School facilities have a perimeter of roughly 6,000 feet and a surface area of about 51.6 acres. And the Golf Course just north of Dallas, PA has a perimeter of about 13,000′ and covers over 170 acres.

      Which puts more pollution into the environment: a compressor station or a golf course (all that fertilizer and herbicides and pesticides, don’t you know)?

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