HYPOCRITICAL, ‘GREEN ENERGY’ POLITICIANS—‘WE NEED IT…BUT NOT IN MY DISTRICT’

Nothing grinds The Shad’s gears quite like politicians who constantly bemoan the country’s dangerous and increasingly expensive (in money and in lives) dependence on foreign oil but are unwilling to endure the relatively small sacrifices renewable energy may require.

Case in point—wind turbines. The late US Senator Ted Kennedy steadfastly opposed a “wind farm” in Nantucket Sound off the coast of Massachusetts. Much was made of environmental concerns but the cynic in me says he and his well-heeled friends on Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket didn’t want the turbines spoiling the view. And yet Sen. Kennedy was the first to espouse environmentalist views as long as it didn’t impose any inconvenience. When fully operational, the wind farm is said to be capable of powering three-fourths of the electricity needs of Cape Cod. Wind power is a $60 billion-a-year business worldwide.

The same could be said of some lawmakers here in Connecticut. State Rep. Vicki Nardello (D-Prospect) is co-chair of the legislature’s energy and technology committee. Seen as a champion of alternative, renewable, energy, she opposes the construction of two, 492-foot wind turbines on a 67-acre wooded tract in her town.

At a meeting of the state Siting Council in Prospect back on February 22, Nardello was quoted as saying, “The presumption was that wind projects would be sited on a ridgeline or off-shore, not near residences,” said Nardello. There is now a bill kicking around that could halt any wind farm projects until regulations can be written as to the siting of wind projects.

There is strong debate as to whether the turbines are “noisy” or what to do about so-called “flicker,” the flashing of shadows as the turbines’ blades rotate. Reasonable regulations are fine. But the process for such projects should not be stopped in its earliest stages because supposed environmentalists don’t want the projects in their backyards.

If the country is going to try to break the stranglehold of its dependence on foreign oil, then people need to realize that alternatives are not inconvenience-free by any means. It’s worth the inconvenience.

The same could be said of some lawmakers here in Connecticut.  State Rep. Vicki Nardello (D-Prospect) is co-chair of the legislature’s energy and technology committee.  Seen as a champion of alternative, renewable, energy, she opposes the construction of two, 492-foot wind turbines on a 67-acre wooded tract in her town. 

At a meeting of the state Siting Council in Prospect back on February 22, Nardello was quoted as saying, “The presumption was that wind projects would be sited on a ridgeline or off-shore, not near residences,” said Nardello.  There is now a bill kicking around that could halt any wind farm projects until regulations can be written as to the siting of wind projects.

There is strong debate as to whether the turbines are “noisy” or what to do about so-called “flicker,” the flashing of shadows as the turbines’ blades rotate.  Reasonable regulations are fine.  But the process for such projects should not be stopped in its earliest stages because supposed environmentalists don’t want the projects in their backyards.

If the country is going to try to break the stranglehold of its dependence on foreign oil, then people need to realize that alternatives are not inconvenience-free by any means.   It’s worth the inconvenience.