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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


"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.

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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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