Tuesday, April 27, 2010
To imply that wind farms cause the same environmental toll as mountaintop removal is illogical. Wind energy is a proven technology that works, and has a relatively light environmental impact. A study conducted by Appalachian State University showed that wind energy development on a small percentage of North Carolina ridges could produce enough clean energy for 195,000 homes, create 350 green jobs, and have a net economic impact of over one billion dollars.
That is precisely the issue: Wind energy is a mature technology, but it has yet to show meaningful benefit. This is underscored by the study they cite, which concludes that wind development could produce a certain amount of energy. What is needed, however, is a study showing that wind has produced a certain amount of energy, and — crucially — that the contribution reduced greenhouse gas emissions, pollution, coal mining, deforestation, or anything.
In fact, studies of existing wind on the grid show little, if any, beneficial effect. Therefore, although wind’s roads and clearcutting may be seen as less than those of mountaintop removal for coal, those impacts are in addition to those of coal. Wind does not replace or even meaningfully reduce coal. There is very little, if any, benefit to justify wind’s environmental impacts.
Appalachian Voices admits supporting the blowing up of mountains in western North Carolina to ram in wind turbines. Their defense fails, however, because it depends on a false premise.
Now I will add the information on blasting that was done to the Appalachian Mountains in Boone. But first, read this T-shirt by Appalachian Voices. It is being worn by their wind shill, Austin Hall.
NOW I WOULD LIKE FOR APPALACHIAN VOICES TO STOP DESTROYING MY BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS TO RAM IN WIND TURBINES!
This is what Appalachian Voices supports! Maine Drilling and Blasting carefully discloses what it has had to do for wind turbine sites located at over 3000 feet. From their web site: http://bit.ly/9IOI3g Please note what I have placed in BOLD lettering for emphasis.
SCOPE OF WORK:
Forty-four wind turbines on the boundary of mountains with roads and foundations across two ridge lines, 10 miles into the Maine woods. Foundations for these towers require MD&B to install 616 rock anchors. This infrastructure is an alpine climate unique to this elevation of 3,000 feet.
Road construction to fill-in valleys often utilizes rock from the next peak. Drilling and blasting for these remote peaks requires equipment, material, and crew across valleys of industrial forests with steep terrain. Between weather and rugged terrain, it takes extraordinary efforts to achieve 5,000 cubic yards of rock blasted every day for fills in the valleys.
The team met the challenge by blasting through huge topographical features to create both the material needed and the grades required.Rock anchors for the foundations are designed with a larger diameter anchor than previously utilized. Testing these anchors to 679,000 lbs has proven the bond passes all PTI specifications.