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What we are witnessing on wind farm front is not democracy

  • Published in Letters
To the editor,
A remarkably consistent picture is emerging from the Groton Wind Farm survey online, combine that with a growing number of residents, pro-wind proponents and visitors that are speaking out against future wind developments. They're showing that the public's attitude toward additional wind developments in the region are strongly leaning in the oppositions corner.
Their Groton message, their findings and their photos are running rampant through out the foothills of Grafton County. This community is very upset and it is taking action. Besides sharing personal experiences, people are attending all local and state meetings, they're educating themselves and they're lending a helping hand to neighbors who feel helpless with these new proposals.
Those living near proposed developments are happy to have such strong community support and backing. However, this stands in marked contrast with the impression conveyed from their state politicians, which typically portrays our massive grassroots opposition campaign in a negative light. And the press, it seems, is ignoring the Lakes Region Wind Farm topic all together.
Giving disproportionate emphasis to the silent minority while ignoring the vocal majority that opposes additional wind development is currently a hot topic in our region. We voted to oppose future projects around the lake, we have organized and we will vote again.
Our opinions have been formed by broken promises at the Groton Wind Farm, they've been formed by attending local/state meetings and by how developers have been conducting business. Residents feel that developers are now buying their way into the community via: institutions, companies and residents alike. In other words their drumming up support and shutting up opposition threats to their plans.
The preservation of valued landscapes motivates many around here. Much of the noisy debate over wind farms comes down to the location, site selection and scale are crucial, and these cumulative impacts must be considered. Another opposition to wind development is a reaction to the unseemly rush to development (also known as a gold-rush effect) — which I felt made a strong case for a moratorium. Unfortunately, Concord politicians did not.
This green energy business model represents a new kind of divide for our community — a divide on peoples voting rights. Why didn't our votes count. Have we lost our right to vote? Have we lost our voice? Do we have no right to be concerned? Do our kings and queens in Concord know what's best for us? for them? Or is it simply about a new tax revenue stream?
It's a fact: public attitude toward existing and proposed wind developments around the Newfound Lake are: (a) that local people become less favorable towards wind farms after construction; (b) that the degree of acceptance decreases with proximity to them; and (c) that safety issues are a real concern for all in our community -— relating to emergency training, year-round access, boater safety, watershed concerns, wildlife issues and deforestation concerns.
What you are witnessing and experiencing is not democracy.
Ray Cunningham