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Click to see a simulation of the proposed wind plant atop Backbone Mountain in Western Maryland
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Notable Quotes


"It would take thousands of these clean-energy, landscape-marring machines [wind turbines] to generate only a slice of the region's [Maryland's] power needs." "Consider a recent Department of Energy Study. It shows that nationwide, moving to 10 percent renewable energy would still see coal burning increase substantially—because of rapidly growing electrical demand."

—Tom Horton, staff environmental writer of the weekly column, On the Bay, The Baltimore Sun: "Wind farms a problem, too," February 27, 2004.

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Notable Quotes on the Siting of Industrial Windplants

"Renewable energy (hydropower, for example) can have horrendous impacts on fish and wildlife. But I can think of no proposed project more devastating to fish, wildlife, and the local economy than plunking a wind farm in the middle of Nantucket Sound."
—Ted Williams, Audubon Magazine (May 5, 2004).

"I'm a strong advocate of wind farms on the high seas. But there are appropriate places for everything. We wouldn't put one of these in Yosemite, and I think environmentalists are falling into a trap if they think the only wilderness areas worth preserving are in the West. The most important are the ones close to our cities, where the public has access to them. And Nantucket Sound is a wilderness, which people need to experience. I always get nervous when people talk about privatizing the commons. In this case, the benefits of the power extracted from Nantucket Sound are far outweighed by the other values our communities derive from it."
—Robert Kennedy Jr., E Magazine (November/December 2003).

"It would take thousands of these clean-energy, landscape-marring machines [wind turbines] to generate only a slice of the region's [Maryland's] power needs." "Consider a recent Department of Energy Study. It shows that nationwide, moving to 10 percent renewable energy would still see coal burning increase substantially—because of rapidly growing electrical demand."
—Tom Horton, staff environmental writer of the weekly column, On the Bay, The Baltimore Sun: "Wind farms a problem, too," February 27, 2004.

"I favor renewable energy sources, including wind turbines, if they can be located in situations away from major migration pathways, and if scientific, peer-reviewed on-site studies of degree of hazard to migratory birds are conducted prior to construction." If a facility does go up, Robbins added that "a fine system should be in place for each bird killed or wounded by the turbines."
—Chandler S. Robbins, Maryland's preeminent expert on migratory birds (Maryland Public Service Commission testimony, 2002).

"You asked if the Service is studying the possible cumulative effects of the expanding domestic wind industry on migratory birds and other wildlife. In our letter... dated July 13, 2004, we indicated that the Service is not currently conducting independent studies related to wind energy impacts on migratory birds or bats in the Northeast. Instead, we have been requesting information from project proponents on the temporal and spatial use by migratory birds and bats of commercial grade wind energy sites in the Northeast. However, the wind industry has been generally reluctant to conduct studies and provide such information. Without such pertinent information, and adequately trained field staff, project impacts on migratory birds and bats are difficult to adequately assess, and we are not able to perform our regulatory and advisory roles in licensing domestic wind energy projects on land in the Northeast."
—USFWS Regional Director Marvin Moriarty.

"Fragmentation of forests via wind turbine erection can impact interior nesting birds in a[n] adverse manner. The size and number of wind power developments in the future are also of concern with respect to habitat loss and fragmentation. This may become the primary ecological consideration in future wind power developments in these habitats."

"A question that remains open is risk to birds that migrate at night at very low altitudes. Virtually no studies have been conducted, in any area, of night migration at altitudes below 200-250 feet. Hence, the potential for risk to nocturnal migrants flying at these altitudes is not known. Most previous studies using radar and ceilometer strongly suggest that only a small percentage of nocturnal migrants fly below 250 feet above ground, but those techniques usually have limited abilities to detect low-flying birds and to discriminate birds at different altitudes. Until technology allows researchers to quantify the low-altitude migration, risk cannot be assessed."
—Paul Kerlinger, avian consultant for industrial windpower, 2002, 2000.

The Prince of Wales believes that wind farms are a "horrendous blot on the landscape" and that their spread must be halted before they irreparably ruin some of Britain's most beautiful countryside. Prince Charles, who has an abiding interest in environmental issues, has told senior aides that he does not want to have any links with events or groups that promote onshore wind farms.
—(news.telegraph, October 25, 2004).

"I am delighted to learn of the Prince of Wales's views. His Royal Highness's support on this matter would be invaluable. He understands there is nothing incompatible with being green and being opposed to wind turbines. We oppose the huge, dominant use of wind farms onshore because they won't do the job. I am sure the Prince is concerned by the aesthetics of wind farms. The great thing about the Prince is that he doesn't just shoot from the hip. He studies the facts and makes carefully formed judgments."
—Campbell Dunford, chief executive of the British Renewable Energy Foundation, 2004.

"Not only are we sacrificing the beauty of our landscape, but our wildlife as well. As you are aware, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service has expressed concern about the suitability of the Allegheny Front for wind farms due to its use by migratory birds and raptors as well as bats." High wildlife mortalities recently recorded at a recent wind installation in West Virginia "underscore the fact that this area has serious drawbacks as a suitable site for wind farms."
—Rep. Alan Mollahan, West Virginia, in a January 21, 2004 letter to the West Virginia Public Service Commission.

"I was asked to open the windfarm at Delabole. At that time nobody was talking about a gigantic programme, getting 15 or 20 per cent of the country's energy from wind turbines. It was a kind of nice green gesture. I think, now that I know as much as I do, I wouldn't have touched it with a bargepole."
—James Lovelock, the founding historical and cultural leader of environmentalism for environmentalists around the world and originator of the GAIA concept.

"The trouble with wind farms is that they have a huge spatial footprint for a piddling little bit of electricity... ."
—Sir Martin Holdgate, former chairman of the British Renewable Energy Advisory Group.

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