Thursday, October 24, 2013

Massachusetts Voters Keep Rejecting Wind Turbine Restrictions

Turbine, river and wildlifeIt's happened again, this time in Plymouth. Once again, an effort to limit wind turbines was put before voters, citing hazy "health" concerns, and once again clean energy has won in a landslide.

The Plymouth Town Meeting on Saturday rejected a de facto ban on new wind turbines:
If approved, this article would have limited the construction of wind turbines to two overlay districts – one at the Camelot Industrial Park, the other along Commerce Way – and would have modified the required setbacks and the total height allowed. Opponents of the article suggested that if it were approved no additional wind turbines could be located in town.

Town Meeting Rep. Simon Thomas, part owner of the Camelot Wind turbine, said that Plymouth was already the toughest place in New England to try and get a permit for a new turbine.
The article would've required a two-thirds supermajority to pass, but didn't even come close to a simple majority, losing 49-68. The clear defeat for turbine opponents comes just weeks after the Plymouth Zoning Board rejected Stop & Shop's request to build a wind turbine, citing the dangers of an I think I might be able to hear it pandemic and don't forget deadly shadows.

The Plymouth vote comes on the heels of similar election results over the last few months in the nearby towns of Fairhaven and Falmouth. Falmouth elected officials put a plan to tear down the town's wind turbines before voters, who rejected it by a nearly 2-to-1 margin. And in Fairhaven, voters chose a pro-reality candidate for Board of Health over an turbine hysteria candidate, also by a nearly 2-to-1 margin.

While elected officials keep trying to pander to the vocal handful of wind hypochondriacs who show up to complain at meetings, Massachusetts voters continue to strongly support local wind energy projects. How many times to do they have to send that message at the ballot box before it sinks in?

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