2012-03-01 / Letters to the Editor

Turbine consultant should tell both sides

After reading several of Mr. Harvey Lee’s articles it has become clear that he may have been hired as a consultant but I feel it was more to be the leader of a propaganda campaign. I am not a proponent of this wind turbine at all. I feel it is a great waste of taxpayer money.

I also have done some research and have found that there is another side to these “green “ monsters. A consultant hired by us should be giving both sides of this picture so we can make an educated decision. Not the case so far. I find it totally outrageous that this consultant has been given his own column in the Jamestown Press, and has also gotten involved in our schools to brainwash our youth into believing all is good about wind turbines. Not the case.

Perhaps we should hire an independent consultant to tell us the bad parts. Save the money, I’ll do it. Maybe it would be too much for us to handle to have a junior high student paint a picture of a 400- foot turbine engulfed in flames, or maybe one with the blades shattering off in an explosion that sends debris out a half mile and onto the bridge or the wastewater treatment plant when the brakes fail.

What about ice throws? Yes, they happen. The sensors that are designed to detect ice on the blades fail, the turbine keeps spinning as ice forms on the blades and then it breaks free, throwing ice at incredible speeds and in completely unpredictable directions.

Do we plan on buying firefighting equipment to reach the turbine head? Will we have insurance to cover such a disaster? How much is the policy? What are the potential health risks to the neighbors? Some research shows it to be significant – sleeplessness, headaches, anxiety and heart trouble.

I’m not trying to be a doom and gloom person here, but these things are known to happen. Maybe not often, but they happen. If we don’t build a turbine they will never happen and I like those odds better. Don’t spend my tax dollars on something we can avoid.

If private businesses want to build turbines and take the risk somewhere, fine. But I’m an investor in this town and I don’t see the upside return here. So stop spending my money and our money on consultants that don’t give both sides of the story.

This is not the place and it is not the time in our history to be spending. We can contract a rate with National Grid and have a guaranteed number to budget on for at least the next few years. Let’s do that and put this turbine to bed. When this country, this state and this town are all fiscally sound, we can look into alternatives. But for now we need to budget – this is not the time for risk!

Paul D. Sprague

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