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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


"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.

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# 7. The wind industry will create many local jobs.

This is a cruel untruth, especially in economically depressed areas. Very few permanent jobs will likely be created—perhaps a couple of low wage maintenance employees. According to a report by the National Renewable Energy Lab on windplant jobs, the national average is one maintenance employee for every 12-15 turbines. A 20-turbine windplant in Meyersdale, Pennsylvania now employs only two maintenance employees. Forty miles south, the Mountaineer wind facility in West Virginia, with over 45 turbines, employs three to four workers. For two windplants proposed for Western Maryland (Clipper Windpower and Synergics Wind Energy, both LLCs), the developers have pledged to pay each of their maintenance employees little more than $18,000 annually, less than a living wage for a family of four in this country. The collective capital value of their facilities, however, is projected to be in the neighborhood of $350 million...

During windplant construction, a few security guards and some local earth moving crews will be hired for a few months, while the bulk of construction is typically completed by primarily foreign labor, since the turbines are often manufactured in Europe with warranties serviced by the manufacturer. A recent study by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources on the "Top of Iowa" windplant showed that, of the 200 total construction jobs, only 20 were local—and all disappeared within six months.

< Back to List   |   Claim #8 >

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