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People’s column: No facts to back turbine opposition

Editor, OBSERVER:

The most striking feature of the OBSERVER article (Nov. 19), “District opposes wind turbines on Lake Erie,” is its failure to offer evidence in support of its arguments.

What facts did the Water District rely on to determine that a wind turbine project on the lake will pollute our drinking water? I raise this issue because NYSERDA has undertaken a feasibility study regarding wind turbines in Lake Erie, but that study has not yet been completed. It seems only logical to have the results of this comprehensive study before making a decision that may be based on inaccurate information.

Furthermore, the public has a right to transparency regarding the reliability of the author and Citizens Against Wind Turbines in Lake Erie as sources opposing wind turbines. I raise this issue because in other states, Massachusetts and New Jersey in particular, some wind power opponents pose as residents but are in fact front groups for fossil fuel interests. For example, Protect Our Coast, NJ, is actually an arm of a conservative think tank, the Caesar Rodney Institute, which receives much of its funding from the oil and gas industry. This may not be the case here, but we don’t know. That’s why the public should be able to examine the credentials and funding sources of those in opposition.

For close to two decades, Sweden and the Netherlands have successfully installed lake-sited wind turbine electricity generation without undermining safe drinking water or harming wildlife.

New York state has seen its share of climate change disasters in the last thirty years. The unprecedented 77 inches of snow in Buffalo this November is another reminder that Mother Nature is no respecter of “the normal.” The transition to renewable energy is urgent. If lake-sited wind turbine projects prove to be safe and feasible, we should support them.

LISA MERTZ,

Mayville

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