Editor’s note: This commentary is by Steve Thurston, of Ferrisburgh, who is a retired general contractor and home builder committed to energy efficiency and conservation as the critical path to reducing fossil fuel consumption. He was a founding member and co-chair of the Citizen’s Task Force on Wind Power in Maine. In 2011 he helped initiate a successful citizens petition to create a special section in Maine’s noise regulations to address wind turbine noise.
Due to federal and state subsidies for wind projects, which reimburse about two-thirds of the construction and operating costs of these projects, over 80 miles of New England’s mountain ridges have been clear cut and blasted for the two lane highways that must be built to the top of the mountain and along the ridgeline to transport the enormous components of wind turbines to their destinations. Upon completion these machines rise hundreds of feet above the treetops with blade tips that move through the air at Class 5 hurricane force speeds – creating instant death to any bird, bat, or raptor that strays into its path. The roar created by the blades ripping through the air travels down the mountain to homes in the valleys below and at night, when all is quiet, many people who are sensitive to the pulsating low frequencies emitted by these enormous machines experience chronic, debilitating sleep disturbance.
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