Sunday, February 13, 2011

Residents Hate Wind Turbines. Politicians Keep Forcing Them Onto the People

On Feb 8th, Gov. Chris Christie both vetoed the liquified natural gas project off the coast of New Jersey, and enacted a law to allow wind turbines on Atlantic City piers.

I'm not even gonna go into killing the LNG project, and the savings in heating costs that he refused. But why is he so adamant to get more wind turbines at the Jersey Shore? Residents have recently strongly opposed windmills in Union Beach and in Sea Girt, this last one prompting legislation to restrict building of turbines near residential areas.

It's very trendy to advocate wind turbines to save the planet, when it's not in your neighborhood. But what happens when wind mills COME to your backyard? Michele Francese lives in Ocean Gate, NJ, near one of the first New Jersey wind turbines. Here's what she tells us:

I live directly across from a wind turbine in Ocean Gate. It has completely destroyed the quality of life that we once enjoyed in our quiet little town. Not only is the noise deafening at times, the reflection in our windows makes you feel like you have a disco ball spinning from your ceiling. I'm all for green energy, but more studies must be done before any more are located in residential neighborhoods. Unfortunately, another one is being constructed as we speak in Ocean Gate. I'm very disappointed that what could have been a positive thing has become an albatross around my neck. The concept is great but the result has failed terribly.

Andrew Walden just wrote a great article for the American Thinker, titled Wind Energy's Ghost. There, he discusses all the failed wind project throughout the US, including the abandoned farms in Hawaii and California. Most of them have been abandoned. Hundreds of wind turbines lay unused because keeping them up cost more than the energy they produced. Wind turbines have to run all the time to keep the oil running, so if they get wind 20% of the day (which would be a very big number), they actually have to use energy from the power grid the rest of the 80%.

Ben Lieberman, a senior policy analyst focusing on energy and the environment asked the key question:

If wind power made sense, why would it need a government subsidy in the first place? It's a bubble which bursts as soon as the government subsidies end.

Walden describes the reality of the wind industry:

The new paradigm created by the generation of 1968 is more political and less economy. Without government intervention, utilities normally avoid wind energy. Wind's erratic power feed destabilizes power grids and forces engineers to stand by, always ready to fire up traditional generators.

So as all evidence points to wind turbines being non efficient and destined for failure, while residents near such windmills complain about lost property value and decreased quality of life, why do politicians keep pushing these bad policies?

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