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“Gale of Opinion” Unleashed in DPU Hearing

February 8, 2014
The Cape Cod Times headline on Patrick Cassidy’s report (“State hit with gale of opinion on wind turbines” 2/7/14) captured the fervor of the Mass. DPU’s hearing at Cape Cod Community College onFebruary 6, 2014. The written comment  period extends to February 20th.
Lilli-Ann Green (left) joined 40 other individuals who read, spoke, or submitted written testimony, most calling on the DPU to put its plans to develop siting “guidance” on hold.
Over four hours of testimony included comments from residents of Falmouth, Wellfleet, Bourne, Plymouth, Harwich, Nantucket, Quincy, Kingston, Fairhaven and other communities. Neil Andersen captured the attention of the DPU panel and the audience with the recording he asked permission to play. Cassidy reported:Neil-Andersen_DPUHearing_CapeCodCommunityCollege

Andersen said he hoped state officials would visit the homes of people living near wind turbines but, because he didn’t expect that to happen, he had brought a speaker to replicate the “infrasound” from the turbines near his home in Falmouth.

Andersen said the inaudible sound would likely cause people in the auditorium to become sick, but that he would like to let it run during the remainder of the hearing.

“One thing I can guarantee you is that nobody is going to fall asleep,” he said.

After a quick consultation DPU hearing officer Robert Shea said he was worried about the liability of making people sick if what Andersen said was true.

“I’m not by any means minimizing the complaint you report here,” he said. Watch the video.

“Thank you,” Andersen said. “I don’t have any recording.”

The fact that the mere threat of experiencing the same symptoms as turbine neighbors worried Shea and the other state officials in attendance was enough, he said. Watch another clip.

The WXTK-95 newsradio program  hosted by Ed Lambert discussed the hearing. Listen to the 10-minute clip. Lambert believes

The “regulators” at the DPU have already come up with the guidelines. All this is eye-wash, in my opinion, because they’ve already come up with the guidelines. They’re just doing this to make people feel good, and “oh yes, we’re listening to you: the pros and the cons.”

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One Comment leave one →
  1. February 15, 2014 7:33 am

    At the hearing I shouted “OUT of ORDER” in response to several people who spoke of the huge benefits of cheap wind power and the need to fight Global Warming for the sake of our children and grandchildren.

    In response I made the following points:

    – We are all aware of the potential benefits of wind power
    – The state is aware. The Governor passed the Green Communities Act and the Global Warming Solutions Act mandating 30% renewable energy by 2030 that is forcing utilities to buy wind energy independent of need.
    – The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs is aware. They published a flawed Wind Turbine Model By-law adopted by most communities and is now responsible for the widespread complaints in Falmouth, Fairhaven, Kingston, Scituate, and Hoosac.
    – The MassCEC is aware. They are funded by surcharges on our electric bills and are generating flawed feasibility studies for municipalities across the state. In addition, they are financing projects like Falmouth that are harming Neil Andersen and others across the state.
    – The DPU is aware. Deviating from the long practice of using price as the primary metric for judging competitiveness, the DPU approved the Cape Wind multi-year power purchase agreements at more than 4 times the going rate with a 3.5% per year escalation clause. So much for cheap wind power!
    – But, there is a fly in the ointment. In the absence of grid scale energy storage, wind power is an impotent add-on that not only will more than double the cost oh electricity, it will not avoid any carbon. It needs a more polluting form of fossil fuel backup to maintain grid stability.
    – We are forcing utilities to abandon coal and nuclear leaving us solely dependent on natural gas for heat and electricity. Shortages are inevitable. Wind and solar are not diversifying the fuel supply as the DPU claims. Just the opposite is taking place!
    – For the first time ISO-NE is projecting insufficient capacity to address peak demand because Wind and Solar have a capacity value next to zero. They cannot be depended on when the chips are down!
    – The bottom line is that the health impacts on folks like Neil Anderson, the ecological damage to the Berkshire mountains, and the killing of birds and bats is for nothing in return!
    – NOTHING!!!

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