"I am so concerned for the health of my children and my husband and myself. I'm afraid that the wind tower sounds and vibrations that they make will be unbearable for my family," says Heidi Emery, who lives in Highland Plantation in Somerset County, where developer Highland Wind plans to clear several hundred acres to build its $230 million project.
She's among The Friends of Highland Mountains who gathered to Portland to call on other Mainers to protect the ridgelines where the turbines would be sited -- views cherished by hikers on the Applachian Trail. "It's the lakes, and the ponds and the nature and the feeling of being somewhere pure and natural," Emery says. "But there's nothing pure or natural about wind power. And it feels like the death of Highland is coming, and I feel so helpless. Highland is the way life should be."
"Vibrations"? "Nothing pure or natural about wind power"? As opposed to the bucolic charm of a nuclear reactor?
What do you people want?!?!? Do you think electricity comes from elves in trees? Are you hopeful that the Department of the Interior will harness the unbridled power of unicorns? What could possibly be more pure or natural than wind power?
I'm notably skeptical that we're going to windmill our way to energy independence. But for people who are adamantly opposed to burning fossil fuels and nuclear power (I'm all for the latter), I wonder what suggestions they have if they're also going to oppose putting wind turbines anywhere pretty. Over to you, Gov. King:
For his part, wind developer King says that he welcomes a public hearing on the project, which he says creates renewable energy and lessens reliance on foreign oil. "It's not good enough to say I'm for doing something about global climate change but just not near me. If the worst thing that results from this project, is that people look out from the top of Mt. Bigelow and they see some windmills, I think that's a fairly low price."