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Bills Heard Before Joint TUE Committee

December 4, 2013

Louise Grabowski and Rep. Bruce Ayers at table, center

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.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 5, 2013 9:11 am

    Peculiarly absent were any Town officials from Falmouth! The absence of any Town of Falmouth representative was dishearteningly noticeable. Not just to me, but to all those other state and municipal lawmakers and Commonwealth citizens in the audience. It would seem reasonable to expect, given the town’s admitted perils of spiraling over the wind project fiscal cliff, that someone from town administration should have officially ‘stood’ for our community, backed our state representatives and urged the Committee’s support of bill H.2987 petitioned by town son David Vieira.

    What message does Town Hall send to the Committee, to our State Representatives, and most importantly, to Falmouth Taxpayers?

  2. December 4, 2013 1:51 pm

    As a neighbor of Hoosac Wind I can say from experience they are the neighbors from Hell. If anyone should have a say on siting these projects it must be the people that will live with them. We live in small rural QUIET communities and don’t want of need these industrial projects in our neighborhood. Or should I say used to be quiet. People are suffering, and just the sleep deprivation has health consequences and no studies are need to understand that. It’s not just the people but Hoosac Wind is an environmental disaster with the way the ridge was blasted and filled in including swamps gone along with much of the wildlife. Now the watershed is altered and whenever it rains the streams all flash only to be down to a trickle days later. As if that wasn’t enough all for a small amount of electricity after millions of tax dollars spent to a multinational corporation. What we need is to invest in local and community based power systems that benefit communities, not corporations. Anyone that thinks these industrial wind projects are a good idea needs to come and stay in one of the homes that are impacted. You have an open invitation, but you’re probably too busy with your wheeling and dealing to do that.

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