National Park Service Performs Major Disservice for Anti-Wind Power Activists

Thanks to NPS’s new sound level mapping, it is fairly clear that a 35 decibel sound limit isn’t just discriminatory to wind farms, it’s likely impossible to achieve under already-existing conditions in significant portions of the country. By enacting sound level regulations that are below existing, ambient sound levels, anti-wind energy activists are obviously attempting to ban wind farms.

How Communities Can Welcome Wind Farms

With new turbine technology, proposed wind farms projects are starting to emerge across the Southeast. With only one large-scale wind farm in the region, wind energy is typically an unfamiliar energy source for local communities. How can local leaders, policymakers, and clean energy advocates streamline the permitting process to attract wind farms to their community? How can they ensure future projects will be sited responsibly and safely?

Looks Like a Wind Farm Ban

A team of experts in the United Kingdom evaluated the risk of a wind turbine accident. Because actual, real-world wind turbine accidents are extremely rare events (once every 10,000 years per turbine per year), the experts ran millions of simulations of virtually all the possible ways a wind turbine blade can become detached and how far blade pieces could travel. The experts for the United Kingdom Health and Safety Executive summed up their research like this: “The risk of fatality from wind turbines (at 2 hub heights or greater from the turbine) is low in comparison to other societal risks. It is roughly equivalent to the risk of fatality from taking two aircraft flights per annum.” The experts also noted you’re also more likely to die by taking four fairground rides per year than from a wind turbine blade/fragment.

Time for North Carolina to Support Wind Power

Wind turbine technology has advanced significantly in the past few years, enabling wind farms to sprout up in new areas, particularly in the Southeast. Taller turbines and longer blades are capable of capturing more wind, which results in harnessing more electricity and reducing costs. Even as new wind development promises sustainable economic development in rural counties, in some cases new wind farm proposals are being met with hostility and resistance. North Carolina is a recent example of new turbine technology creating opportunities and opposition, as anti-wind activists use confusion and misinformation to press for wind farm bans that are disguised as regulation.

Alabama bureaucrats kill domestic energy jobs

Officials are confirming that two wind farm proposals in Alabama will not be moving forward. As such, Cherokee and Etowah counties will forego about $27-$43 million in combined new tax revenues – revenue that could have been used to build a new park near Weiss Lake or improve the quality of the lake, provide education scholarships for high school graduates, create a new tourism niche, or reduce local taxes.

EPA Agrees to Deadline for Coal Ash Rule

This week the Environmental Protection Agency agreed to finalize first-ever federal regulation for the disposal of coal ash, by December 19, 2014; settling a lawsuit brought by Earthjustice on behalf of SACE and other environmental and public health groups. While the settlement does not dictate the content of the final regulation, it confirms the agency will […]

Wind Energy Worth the Investment

To support this American-made industry and many other sources of energy, President George H.W. Bush passed the Production Tax Credit in the early 1990s. Every president since then has renewed this tax credit in order to reduce the overall tax burden on the relatively new wind industry, highlighting its wide bipartisan support. The Production Tax Credit for wind energy has historically been renewed on somewhat of an annual basis; but because of the dysfunction of the current Congress, the tax credit has recently lapsed.

Five years since Kingston: Cane Run, Kentucky still waiting for solutions

Two weeks from now marks the fifth anniversary of the Kingston coal ash spill, one of the worst environmental disasters in American history. In the weeks leading up to the anniversary, we are posting a series of blogs highlighting communities throughout the Southeast impacted by  coal ash and its detrimental effects. The rest of the series can be […]

Five years since Kingston: Communities still waiting for solutions

Six weeks from now marks the fifth anniversary of the Kingston coal ash disaster, one of the worst environmental catastrophes in American history. In the coming weeks, we will post a series of blogs highlighting communities throughout the Southeast impacted by  coal ash and its detrimental effects. The rest of the series can be found here. Thanks […]

A Very Scary Coal Ash Story

Looking for a scary Halloween story? Well you’ve come to the right place for a tale that will chill your bones and leave you questioning all you once thought true. While your typical ghost story always has a spooky setting (an empty stretch of highway in a rainstorm, or a cemetery at midnight…), hinting at the […]