2011-10-27 / Letters to the Editor

Turbine isn’t only option to be ‘green’

Dear Councilman Bowen,

At your last Town Council meeting, the status of $175,000 in grant monies to fund more studies of the wind turbine was discussed.

Remember almost five years ago when you were elected vice chairman of the Wind Energy Committee and commenced upon a goal of starting an electrical energy business for our town?

You have endured countless surprises, as with any new sophisticated business venture. Consultants and studies have solved and answered many of the problems and questions, but not all. You may be wiser now and have a new respect that launching new business entails considerable more risk than when you started in 2007. Your ongoing and relentless pursuit may be justified because of the prospects of considerable profits from the start of your new business. However, is starting a new and risky business the appropriate role of the Town Council?

Engaging in a “green” business might be another perceived plus. The Jamestown Press has been encouraging this business startup and said last December: “Most islanders favor building a wind turbine as long as it makes money for the town. Even should the project break even, it would do a small part in helping alleviate our reliance on fossil fuels.”

Today, there is an alternative to spending the $6.5 million the voters approved last year.

There are a number of “green” companies in the solar and wind business whose common stock is attractively priced. A financial consultant could be hired for just a few thousand dollars (saving R.I and the U.S. $170,000) who could recommend to the town specific investments in 10 or 20 “green” energy companies.

There is the opportunity to make considerable profits in energy companies at present depressed prices and also be in the forefront of the “green” business. Our $6.5 million could be diversified in at least 20 different companies rather than one electric-generating business at Taylor Point. At the right price even Solyndra could be a prize investment for your constituents.

If you seize the opportunity you could be viewed as the Warren Buffet of New England. As an aside, some would be relieved of the absence of an eyesore next to our magnificent bridge.

Nicholas Schaus

Walcott Avenue

Jamestown

The above was a letter addressed to Town Councilor Robert Bowen on Oct. 21 and copied to the Jamestown Press.

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