Monday, September 04, 2006

Enviro Law: Wind Power

The most challenging questions in land use and environmental law right now appear to be related to the placement of wind turbines. The debate has even caused friction within the usual alliances of environmental groups. Some support the expansion of wind power-generating "wind farms", where turbines are clustered, as an attempt to generate more renewable energy. Other environmental interests are concerned with the impact of the turbines on viewsheds and the placement of towers/access roads in sensitive areas. SmallTown Lawyer, based in an area which went through controversy on the issue recently, has good continuing coverage, but the story that prompted today's story was about the ongoing debate in Vermont.


Blogger Tom Gray said...

If built, the UPC project could power 15,000 to 20,000 homes. Bryant said that's not enough of a benefit to warrant the unsightly presence of 26 towers dotting the surrounding mountaintops.

"It's not a good tradeoff," he said. "It's not worth what you're trading off to trade four montaintops (for) this little amount of power."

Can't agree. The wind machines would generate electricity indefinitely, with no mining, drilling, or water use, and no air pollution, no water pollution, and no global warming pollution. They would increase Vermont's energy security and reduce volatility of natural gas prices (a growing amount of natural gas is used for electricity generation, and that causes price pressure on gas for home heating).

Vermonters need to think long and hard before abandoning this potential energy source.

Thomas O. Gray
American Wind Energy Association

8:55 PM  

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