Not in MY backyard.
That's what former Green Independent Party candidate Jonathan Carter says to a proposed Maine wind farm that's being backed by Angus King, a former Maine governor and his opponent in the 1994 gubernatorial race. The 48-turbine farm would provide enough energy to power about 54,000 homes and would be situated in Somerset County in northwestern Maine. Carter is upset because his home is one of a handful in the area where the turbine farm could be located. He says he supports wind farms but not when they're situated on mountains.
Carter went as far as comparing the wind turbines to mountaintop removal mining in West Virginia. King responded with an offer to buy him a ticket to West Virginia so that he can see "where they're tearing mountains to the ground to feed our fossil fuel addiction".
Carter's comparison is ridiculous. The footprint of a wind farm is minimal and consists of a service road and small platforms where the turbines sit. Mountaintop removal mining is a repugnant practice that destroys landscapes. It's truly an evil operation. I visited a wind farm in Wyoming a few years ago and was amazed at how minimal the impact was — gazelle grazed under the softly swishing blades while rabbits hopped around the grass. Carter's house is one of just a handful of homes in the area of the proposed wind farm, and I don't think it's a stretch to say that he's been infected with a serious case of NIMBYism.
The fact is that we need to create our energy somewhere. I'm sure Mr. Carter would prefer that we keep creating energy where he doesn't have to look at it, but the world doesn't revolve around him. The wind farm would be a source for clean energy and though it will impact the natural views Mr. Carter has grown used to, it's far from the ugly blight that your average fossil fuel plant is on the land. Most of our nations energy is produced from coal, a terrifically dirty source of energy that is ripped out of the ground at the cost of our environment and often the lives of the miners. We need a diverse portfolio of renewable energy so we can wean ourselves from powering our lives with dirty energy. If that means some people like Mr. Carter have to look out the window at a bunch of wind turbines, then they'd better get used to the views.
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