Bills Heard Before Joint TUE Committee
The hearing room before the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy was filled with opponents of a comprehensive siting proposal for onshore wind plants on December 3, 2013 in Boston. From Peru to Wellfleet, residents expressed their concerns about wind development and supported a fund to compensate for wind turbines’ adverse impacts. (Read more about the bills Wind Wise supports and opposes).
The Boston Globe posted “Wind energy bill returns to Beacon Hill” (12/3/13). According to reporter Colleen Quinn from the State House News Service,
Rep. Timothy Madden, a Democrat from Nantucket, opposed the [siting] bill, saying it takes away a “great deal” of local control.
“My opposition on this bill has not changed over the last several years,” Madden said.
Madden filed a bill (H 2957) that would allow coastal communities to create exclusion zones for wind turbine development.
Comments by siting bill sponsor Rep. Frank Smizik, that agriculture was one area that would benefit from expedited rules, were challenged by Michael Parry of Shelburne.
Michael Parry, a sheep farmer who owns 220 acres in Shelburne, said he would never put a wind facility on his property after researching the effects of turbines.
“I would never subject our neighbors to that. I wouldn’t subject my family to that, and I wouldn’t subject my livestock to that,” he said.
Parry mentioned a wind facility located near a dairy farm in Glenmore, Wisconsin where the farmer reported reduced milk production from his cows after the turbines went up. Parry said he favors renewable energy, but feels environmentalists are pushing projects before the impacts are understood.
Reporting for GateHouse News Service, Frankie Barbato’s piece ran in Acton’s The Beacon and appeared in the Wicked Local “Wind turbines proposition faces resistance” (12/3/13).
“This bill is disgraceful,” Neil Andersen, a Falmouth resident who lives near a wind turbine told a Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy hearing… “There are other ways to obtain energy efficiency, and it’s not this way.”
Andersen began to choke up when he said he suffers from headaches and ear pressure on a daily basis. He said the wind turbine by his house has “turned his life upside down.”
Andersen offered his porch for lawmakers to see and hear for themselves, and both Senate Co-chair Ben Downing and House Co-chair John D. Keenan seemed interested, according to one person present.
Both news reports noted that few siting bill supporters were present and no one from the Patrick administration testified.