Saturday, February 8, 2014

Victory is Possible!

John Droz, Jr.,  Physicist & Environmental Advocate, Morehead City, NC

(Editor's Note: There is a broader message here.  This is a model that can be used for more than dealing with energy issues.  This demonstrates those who claim we can't stop the EPA and the greenies because they control the media is false.  We win the battle of facts, we always have.  The greenies win the battle of emotion, they always have.  In order to win the war we need to win the battle of facts and emotion. This is how its done.  But it starts with  the most crucial element in any war - guts!)

In October of 2013, a major wind project was targeted for coastal North Carolina. I decided to use this as a test case for AWED’s model wind ordinance.
 
The results were excellent from the get-go.
 
For example, with no money and no organization behind this, we were able to:

·         setup an informative website,
·         get the media to oppose the project,
·         get the majority of local citizens to oppose the project,
·         get several major local organizations (e.g. Chamber of Commerce) to oppose the project,
·         get essentially all our local and state legislators to oppose the project.
·         get the two involved communities to draft comprehensive ordinances.
etc.

Note that none of this was easy, as there were numerous substantial obstacles to overcome. For example the Sierra Club conducted a major statewide campaign to support the wind project, and to discredit me and our efforts.

Despite the challenges we persisted.

This coordinated effort was too much for the developer, and last night they officially threw in the towel. (Here is a newspaper article.)... It took just 3± months of a focused campaign to win.

This came about because of two fundamental reasons:

1.       the developer realized that the involved communities would impose quality protections for citizens, businesses, the environment and the military, and
2.      the developer saw that there was very strong community (and thus legislative) support for those protections. 

The protections (and the words for them), are spelled out in AWED’s model wind ordinance:

·         1 mile setbacks to property lines,
·         35 dBA turbine sound limits, at property lines, 24/7,
·         a simple but powerful Property Value Guarantee,
·         community controlled environmental tests,
·         proper decommissioning funds and conditions, and
·         an escrow account to pay for town expenses, maintained at $50k for the life of the project 

Probably the greatest frustration in my 35± years of environmental/energy work, is that when faced with such intrusions, that almost every community worldwide seems to basically try to reinvent the wheel.

I’m passing this on to you because I hope you can profit from our experiences. This was a community victory, and a superior example of what can be done elsewhere, when citizens work together in a constructive, productive way.

Consider this final thought: NC passed an RPS in 2007 mandating renewable (wind) energy. A half dozen major wind projects have been proposed since then. We have aggressively fought each of these, using AWED methodology — with no money. As of today there is not a single industrial wind turbine in the entire state.

Draw your own conclusions. See MUCH more at WiseEnergy.org.

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