A few weeks ago, I ran into a prominent employee of the Sierra Club who declared something to the effect of “we have to quit using coal, oil, and natural gas.” That, of course, is the official dogma of America’s “largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization.” The group says it is “committed to eliminating the use of fossil fuels, including coal, natural gas, and oil, as soon as possible. We must replace all fossil fuels with clean renewable energy, efficiency, and conservation.”
This same Sierra Clubber also expressed dismay about the difficulty of siting big renewable-energy projects and how they are being hindered by “NIMBYism.” Upon hearing this, I quickly interjected that I loathe that term, which, of course, is short for “not in my backyard.” I explained that everyone, everywhere, cares about what happens in their neighborhood, even out there in “flyover country” – that is, the places that are far away from the comfy confines of places like San Francisco, Princeton, Stanford, and other locales where fantasies about an all-renewable economy seem to proliferate.
I went on to introduce myself and explained that I have been tracking the issue of land use and renewables for many years. I explained that rural residents are objecting to wind projects because they don’t want to see the red-blinking lights atop those 50- or 60-story-high wind turbines, all night, every night, for the rest of their lives. They are also concerned — and rightly so — about the deleterious health effects of noise from the turbines, sleep disturbance, and potential decrease in their property values. I followed up by emailing this person — at their Sierra Club email address — a link to my April report for the Center of the American Experiment, “Not In Our Backyard,” which documents the widespread opposition to Big Wind and Big Solar in rural America. I included a link to the Renewable Energy Rejection Database. That database, which I have been maintaining myself, now lists 317 local communities or government entities from Maine to Hawaii, that have rejected or restricted wind projects in the US since 2015.
I didn’t get a reply. So I resent the email. Again, no reply.
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