"The Ronan Report" provides insight about the activities at the Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Maryland, and about the changes taking place in healthcare today from a CEO's perspective.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Wind Power is No Longer the Panacea

I had the opportunity to drive to and from Somerset, PA, yesterday afternoon and evening to attend an Allegany College of Maryland board meeting on the Somerset Campus.  Once I got into Pennsylvania, my drive consisted of seeing wind turbines in every direction for miles and miles.   Every time that I now go to PA, there seem to be more and more of them. 

At one point, I thought that wind power was a great way to pursue alternate sources of energy; and since our region had been labeled "the Saudi Arabia of wind," it made sense.  Now, not so much.  What has happened is that there is now comparison to what power plants using nuclear energy, coal or gas can generate versus wind.  Wind pales by comparison.  It was recently reported by former Sen. Phil Graham that wind power has been subsidized over the last ten years to the tune of $24 billion by the federal government.  The Audubon Society estimates that wind turbines kill over one million birds per year.  Then, there is the little known fact that if there are high winds in the area of the turbines, they must be shut down due to potential damage to the blades.  Seriously? 

In addition to the preceding, I also have a problem with the aesthetics.  Since virtually every mountaintop is now lined with these turbines, you can no longer get a decent photo of the beautiful vistas in our area.  And, if you think it's bad now, wait until the energy subsidies run out and there is no money to dismantle the wind turbines.  Having rusted, semi-bladeless turbines populating the mountain tops will really be an eyesore.  

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