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Those of us who support wind power must raise our voices soon

  • Published in Letters

To The Daily Sun,

After my article in several papers about a different perspective on the wind industry, I have heard many great comments from people who seemingly support the turbines in N.H. In this letter I will point to some common sense reasons why so many seem to support it.

A small group of people from the N.H. Wind Watch group seem to be making all the racket and causing all the uproar. Often those who hate to see changes are the ones who cause the most trouble for the rest of us. On so many occasions I see articles in several of the local papers opposing the turbines and more often than not they are by the same person or persons. Did I mention that some of these individuals do not even come from N.H. yet head up the Wind Watch group because they own some land here. They are exports or imports, not sure which, from our lovely southern neighboring state of Massachusetts. I have no problem with Massachusetts, but I really do not think that persons who work or live elsewhere should be making choices for those who have lived and worked in N.H. most of their life.

Recently I read an article where they were harping about Mass., Vermont, and Maine needing energy from our state for Massachusetts. Isn't that a double standard? Where do they get their information might I ask? Here I will put to rest some of the rumors and twisted truths with mere common sense.

Turbines do not kill dangerous amounts of birds. I often hear how the turbines will kill tons of birds as if the birds do not know how to fly elsewhere or know how to maneuver through possibly strong wind currents. I am sure some birds do fall victim to getting struck on occasion. Birds have very good survival skills and some types of animals will benefit if one does get struck. I like birds too. How many wildlife animals, fish, and other living things have been killed by the oil industry or others? What if they drilled oil in the hills of Groton or Lempster and 206 million gallons of oil were spilled there (like BP in the Gulf of Mexico)? Would that be better? It sure makes me glad we don't live in the ocean. We do have fuel trucks though and I understand they're necessary.
Wind power isn't cheap. Compared to what it takes to operate almost any other energy industry, wind is relatively inexpensive. With about 8000 components in a turbine, they create and require local maintenance, transportation, and regulation jobs. Gas and oil has to be drilled to get deep from the ground, transported and processed giving it plenty of hazardous situations. Coal has to be mined in other peoples backyards, and in other states and countries (not ours) and also transported. Nuclear can be dangerous and hazardous waste results from being used which also needs to be disposed of. Hydro-electric is good as long as water is plentiful and available, but creates challenges for some fish species. Wind power is relatively local produced and self reliant.
Wind power creates local tax revenue. Wind power companies usually give a portion of the power profits generated to the local towns they reside in. This is a decent alternative to an income or sales tax here in N.H. More money saved from property taxes means more money used in our local economy.Wind does not cause pollution. Other than some slight annoyance at night from the safety lights, there are no emissions or water pollution that happens from wind. A well maintained and efficient turbine will create an environmentally friendly source of electricity for our state and/or our communities.Even though we see the truth in the benefits, we still may sit back and say "I am not opposed to the turbines but... I don't want to get into a argument over them." Well I personally feel it is time for us who support renewable energy such as wind to take our place and speak up to those who would have us intimidated or feeling non-controversial and let them know to "sit back down". We aren't stupid or ignorant but they (the opposers) will tell us whatever they want because we may feel it is too much fuss for us to become educated on our own. Thanks to all of you who have expressed your approval of my point-of-view either personally or electronically but without the addition of your voice, our voices will soon just be a thing of the past. It's your call!

Scott Patten