Antrim proposal sparks broader debate over value of wind power - 306 responses

Dec 09, 2014

Some hail it as an eco-friendly solution to today's energy woes. Others call it an inefficient scam pulled over on taxpayers. Either way, wind power continues to be a hotly debated issue in the Granite State, as evidenced by the responses to a recent question put to Facebook members by the Live Free or Die Alliance (LFDA). The post asked members to weigh in on whether they supported developer Aeolian Renewables' intention to resubmit a modified version of a rejected proposal for a wind farm in Antrim, NH.  However, responses to the question went far beyond whether the NH Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) should agree to re-consider the proposal, evolving into a lively debate about the potential value of wind power in New Hampshire. 

A 66% majority of members directly answering the question disagreed with giving the Aeolian proposal another chance, many also expressing broader opposition to wind power in general, while 34% percent countered with support for the Antrim project. Fifty-four percent of the total number of respondents opted to address their comments to broader issues. All in all, there were 95 specific comments with 211 concurrences, for a total of 306 citizen responses.

Those opposed to the SEC re-considering the project argued that wind power is not cost effective without government subsidies and negatively impacts both local wildlife and the health of those living nearby. "Industrial wind projects are not clean, not green and not cheap no matter where they are sited," one respondent summed up. "Do your research," another wrote. "Wind turbines are a green-washed scam."

Supporters of the Aeolian proposal stated that wind power should be embraced as a form of clean energy, and countered arguments of environmental and health impacts by comparing them to the effects of conventional energy sources such as fossil fuels. "No source of energy comes cost-free," one commenter noted. Others addressed criticism of the visual impact of wind power projects on the New Hampshire landscape. "I think these look graceful and majestic," one poster insisted.

A majority of respondents elected to use the question as a platform for broader debate over the efficiency of wind power and the relative merits of other energy sources such as solar or geothermal. Significant discussion also centered on whether government subsidies should continue to be offered for projects like the Aeolian proposal.

Click here to see the full Facebook discussion of this question.

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