Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Sen. Warner Fighting Wind Power?

I've been trying to make sense of a strange story I just learned about today. According to a recent US News & World Report article, "2006 was supposed to be a banner year for wind power. Instead, experts say, the industry is faltering while it awaits the results of the study mandated in this year's defense authorization bill by [Virginia] Senator John Warner, chairman of the Armed Services Committee."

Obviously no one wants to put national security at risk. But this "study" has gone beyond cautiousness to the point of blatant foot-dragging.

The Sierra Club reports Donald Rumsfeld and the Dept. of Defense have not only missed a deadline for completing a study on the issue, they've just missed a deadline for explaining why they missed the deadline for completing the study:

According to media reports, at least 15 wind farm proposals in the Midwest have been shut down so far. The list of stalled projects includes one outside Bloomington, Illinois, which would have been the nation's largest source of wind energy, generating enough electricity to power 120,000 homes in the Chicago area. Coal and natural gas will likely replace the lost wind generation, resulting in higher energy costs and increased soot, smog and global warming pollution.
No one's pretending wind power is going to replace fossil fuels as our main power source anytime soon. But at a time when Republicans are so furiously pushing "energy production" (a.k.a. drilling for oil & natural gas), I don't understand why they would block new sources of energy.

Please email Sen. Warner to ask why he's helping block important new sources of renewable energy, and forward this information to your environmentally-minded friends! Just use the little envelope thing at the bottom of this post.


Tom Gray said...


Thanks for passing this info along!

The radar issue is a legitimate one--wind turbines do show up on radar screens--but it is site-specific and can usually be dealt with by relocating some turbines or by upgrades to the radar hardware or software. A blanket "freeze" on all new installations is inappropriate.

Also, the language calls for studying impacts of wind on radar, but not ways to mitigate those impacts. Obviously, that is a wrong-headed approach and potential solutions should be thoroughly studied and publicized as well.

Tom Gray
American Wind Energy Association

Mosquito said...

Thanks so much for getting the word out on this...."any" excuse will do for this republican party to block alternative energy sources....Bush talked about supporting alternative energy in his SOTU speech and then sent a budget to Congress cutting the budget for alternative energy.....

This is why the Republicans will continue to lose seats.....they have "their" agenda for the rich and powerful elitists and "their" status quo....and the people have "our" needs and agenda....