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Testimony on industrial wind siting bills–Hancock–9/7/11

September 8, 2011

Thanks to all the WWMA members and many others who opposed the wind siting bills at the hearing before the joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy in Hancock on September 7, 2011.

Leading off was Richard Pierce of Granville who said the siting bills create a clear mandate to provide wind energy and an “unprecedented consolidation of power” in the executive branch of state government. This was the first of many calls for preserving “Home Rule” and local control of wind siting decisions.

Elizabeth Smola, MD of Brimfield offered sobering medical testimony, reporting the pathological effects of vibro-acoustic disease associated with industrial wind turbines. She pointed out that European countries are adopting the standard of keeping turbines at least one and a half miles from residences. Watch the Brandon Walker piece from Your News Now: Public hearing on wind bill

Jane Pinsley and Linda Smith of Blandford offered thought-provoking testimony. Pinsley told the committee they are witnessing a revolution in progress. When the townspeople of Blandford defeated a proposed bylaw amendment by a vote of 139 to 12, it served as an example of the “thoughtful deliberation that characterizes small town government at its best.” She went on to say that people “stood two inches taller after that vote. Quality of life became a salable item in the town” and has brought in new business. “Where does the money come from? People made it elsewhere and choose to spend it here.” Turbines would ruin the quality of life people seek in rural Massachusetts.

Linda Smith objected to the characterization offered by Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Richard Sullivan that state government should “move at the speed of business.” She said that “businesses sell a product and government represents people,” and she asked, “if Governor Patrick is not choosing to represent us, is he choosing to sell a product?” which in this case is industrial wind energy. She noted that a product with the meager 10% efficiency of wind turbines could not qualify for an Energy Star rating, but would destroy mountain tops and clear cut 40-foot-roadways.

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 11, 2011 2:56 pm

    We need to review what happened in Falmouth , Massachusetts and the history of the two turbines installed to close to homes in Falmouth.

    The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC) was stuck with two commercial wind turbines in 2005 at $3300.00 per month in a warehouse in Texas. They were out of warranty and were holding a contest to try and sell these two politically embarrassing turbines to some town in Massachusetts. The two turbines were repurchased in 2010 by the Town of Falmouth somehow using federal stimulus funds.The turbines icluding electric upgrades cost over five million each.

    The MTC paid for the Preliminary Wind Turbine Financial Analysis and all the favorable reports to install these two wind turbines in Falmouth as they were stuck with millions of dollars worth of old turbines. The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative is the state’s economic development agency for renewable energy.

    The towns of Fairhaven and Mattapoisett fought their own towns over the setbacks to these same turbines that were being used in the contest to see which towns in Massachusetts would receive the turbines first prior to 2008.

    Two citizens groups in Mattapoisett and Fairhaven used local zoning bylaws and state general rules to bring up the negative impacts of installing these types of turbines in their local towns. The commercial wind installations were dropped in these two towns as a result of the citizens groups.

    The result of the battle against the two turbines in these two towns is the proposal by the state of Massachusetts to vote in the WESRA,Wind Energy Siting Reform Act. This act is not a “reform act” but a means to end local zoning bylaws to install commercial wind turbines in our back yards! Why else would the state want the Wind Energy Siting Reform Act unless it was to bypass local zoning.

    Gov Patrick has a goal of renewable energy quotas in Massachusetts and has to take our residential property rights in the areas of the state that have the highest wind speeds.

    We will never forget the testimony Gov Patrick gave in convicted Ex Speaker Sal Dimasi trial : Memo to “Sally Reynolds”: When did this deal begin to smell? It was one of the stranger moments in the federal court testimony by Gov. Deval Patrick, called as a witness in the corruption trial of former Speaker Sal Dimasi. Gov Patrick used a fake email name with wind turbine contractors “Sally Reynolds”!

    Ex Speaker Sal Dimasi met in secret on Beacon Hill with wind turbine contractors on October 18,2007 – He has denied this meeting !

    The state wants to take our residential property rights to site commercial wind turbines and take our local zoning bylaws away from local government !

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