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NY Congressman on wind farm noise in his district

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This one is a bit old (from last spring), but seems worth pointing to because it provides a somewhat new perspective on the wind farm noise debate.  US Congressman Eric Massa represents a district which is at the center of public concern about noise issues, thanks to a proposed wind farm in Plattsburg, not far from an existing wind farm in Cohocton that has spurred quite a lot of complaints.

In this interview with a local radio station, the Congressman describes some of the stories he’s heard from constituents, as well as his larger questions about the logic of building wind farms in areas like this that have only marginal wind resources (winds are strong enough to produce electricity only 30% of the time).  He also frames the issue as one of small towns being over-powered by the interests of foreign companies.

Two of the more compelling tidbits come in a brief moment of the interview, when Massa speaks of a constituent who “agreed to have a lease on his property and now he is saying – I have to move out of my property. It’s quite amazing. Not to mention the fact that as we talked about, hunters are now coming up and telling me that there’s no wildlife anywhere within distance, and I’m talking three to four miles, of any of these wind turbines because these wind turbines emit low frequency vibrations that drive the deer away.”

2 Responses to “NY Congressman on wind farm noise in his district”

  1. Michael K Says:

    Great. You eco guys preach about how we have to get off our dependency on fossil fuels and get into ‘alternative energy’ like wind farms, and then when somebody actually tries to build a wind farm you bitch about how ‘Oh, it’s too NOISY!’. Well, what DO you want? It’s obvious your agenda is not ‘alternative energy’ but ‘zero energy’: ultimately we should all live ‘off the grid’ on substinance farms with candles to light our nights and just shut up about it. Well, excuse me: civilization needs energy, not phoney alternatives, and this story about wind farm noise pollution just reveals your true intentions: block any realistic effort to provide energy, in order to force a decline in our ‘excessive’ prosperity and standard of living in the name of ‘saving the planet’. Right. Nice agenda.

  2. aeinews Says:

    Hi Michael,
    Your perspective on this is one that is quite widely shared, but seems to take a fairly tricky situation and paint it very simplistically. My guess is you’ve never spent a few nights within a couple thousand feet of a wind farm. But in any case, no one (well, except a few of the nutcases on the other end of the spectrum from you) is pining for subsistence farming and candles. I think that the Congressman here makes a decent point that in some areas like this one, it may be wind that’s a “phony alternative”–why build wind farms close to homes in anything less than class 4 or 5 winds? the electricity generated will be too marginal to be worth the trade-offs.

    I do want to stress, though, that I’ll be right by your side when rural folks get all up in arms about new transmission lines. We DO need to build wind farms, and solar parks, etc, and they should be mostly in the “wide open spaces” of the west, so we WILL need a lot more transmission capacity. I won’t have much sympathy for people who don’t want to SEE the infrastructure that we will need (including seeing wind turbines–big wind turbines can be look pretty big and imposing from even two or three miles away). But I do understand that these things are noisy (the wind off the blades tops out at around 100dB, about like a chain saw or loud stereo, so you DO need some distance), and appreciate that some people are more sensitive to this than others. We just have to not push them so close to homes, that’s all.

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