Friday, October 18, 2013

As WHO Declares Air Pollution Causes Cancer, Some MA Towns Fight Clean Energy

Massachusetts Maritime Academy (660 kW)As the World Health Organization declares definitively that air pollution causes cancer, the Massachusetts town of Shelburne has declared the real threat to the public is looking at wind turbines.

Shelburne is just a few miles up the road from the infamous Mount Tom coal-fired power plant, one of just three coal plants left running in the state that still kill an estimated total of 22 people a year. Among the town's recommended anti-wind turbine measures:
  • "Maximum electricity capacity should be limited to 10 kilowatts for homes and up to 30 kilowatts for farms or businesses." Capping capacity is the tell that these rules aren't serious. If someone designs a more efficient turbine that can generate more than that at the same height, it's banned, because everyone knows efficient wind turbines give off INVISIBLE DEATH RAYS.
  • "Noise is not to exceed 5 decibels above ambient noise levels." Planes, trucks and motorcycles can rattle your windows all they want, but if a wind turbine makes so much as a whisper, it's HOLD YOUR BREATH KIDS TIME TO FIRE UP THE COAL PLANT.
  • "The setback recommendation from any roadway, structure or property line is to be twice the height of the turbine." Because god forbid a car should have to see a wind turbine as it goes by at 45 miles an hour, amirite?
Meanwhile, Kingston is spending $22,000, enough to hire a new teacher or cop or fireman for the rest of the year, on a consultant to study the insidious effect of deadly shadows. That amount is on top of the taxpayer money being spent on acoustical consulting to study the poisonous near-silence.

As Michael Novinson reported in the Worcester Business Journal this week, small distributed wind energy projects are taking off in Massachusetts. But added up, these NIMBY battles can have a big negative impact. Even with wind energy being so economical and so healthy, the added red tape and expense may serve as a deterrent to those considering proposing new wind projects.

Want to show your support for wind energy? Go like the Better Future Project and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center on Facebook.

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