Duke Energy Disappoints – Offers No Solutions
On January 20th, the Brown County Board of Health held a Special Meeting to give Duke Energy and the public the opportunity to share pertinent information regarding the Shirley Wind project operating in the Town of Glenmore. Despite being specifically asked to do so, Duke failed to address the health concerns or offer solutions. Duke only presented their legal opinion opposing the Board’s October 14th declaration of the Shirley Wind turbines as a ‘Human Health Hazard'. All others who spoke supported the Board’s action with the exception of two UWGB colleagues.
Brown County Citizens for Responsible Wind Energy (BCCRWE) is committed to truth, education concerning wind energy, and victim advocacy, which is why we are compelled to respond to the testimony of UWGB Professor Patricia Terry and her colleague, alumnus Jacob Eggert. Had they simply testified as others did as regular citizens, we would not feel compelled to respond, but both used their academic credentials to bolster their testimony.
Mr. Jacob Eggert spoke first. His testimony consisted largely of what many viewed as an attack on a local Professional Engineer who has donated countless hours of his time over the last six years attempting to get to the root of the issues that families are having around Duke's Shirley Wind turbines. Brown County's attorney ultimately redirected Mr. Eggert’s speech by saying "This isn’t an inquisition… ".
Professor Terry then spoke, introducing herself as "an environmental engineering professor at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay ... a scientist in academia".
Professor Terry’s Testimony: "I understand the need for and the importance of a peer-reviewed process in conducting and gathering any kind of scientific information... Having said that, I have in front of me, I teach classes on renewable energy, and I have in front of me a report that was conducted by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection in collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health". Following this clear implication that the Massachusetts report is itself peer-reviewed and a credible source, Professor Terry occupied much of her speech quoting from it.
The Truth: The Massachusetts study is first and foremost NOT peer-reviewed. In fact, even the very pro-wind majority of the Wisconsin Wind Siting Council voted to relegate it to an appendix with other non-peer-reviewed government reports and would NOT cite it in their wind health report. Beyond that, the Massachusetts opinion-based review of other studies has been largely debunked as 'junk science' by experts around the world. For one example, see www.bccrwe.com/hartman
Professor Terry’s Testimony: She states about wind development; "… in Germany, when a community sites a wind turbine, everyone in the community has the opportunity to invest...the saying is 'Every flicker is a Euro'. What they found is that there is no such thing as wind turbine syndrome in Germany. The conclusion that was made, comparing the two countries, is that wind turbine syndrome in the United States is mainly the Green Eyed Monster of Jealousy when your neighbor is making money from wind turbines and you are not.”
The Truth: This statement seems to demonstrate Professor Terry's ignorance of, or bias concerning, the subject matter. Over 80 citizen groups have been organized in Germany to campaign against industrial wind turbine development policies that fail to protect human health, the environment, or private property. For a list of organizations, see www.bccrwe.com/grassroots
This grassroots opposition to wind development in Germany is DESPITE having some of the most stringent audible noise regulations which limit nighttime sound levels to 35 decibels in purely residential areas. Wisconsin regulation allows 50 decibels during the day and 45 decibels at night. Since decibels are logarithmic values, Wisconsin's nighttime regulation allows TWICE the perceived noise level that is allowed in Germany. It is also important to mention that many German state governments recommend a 3,281 foot wind turbine setback from residences whereas Wisconsin only requires 1,250 feet.
And for anyone to suggest jealousy is the main cause of the reported health issues in Glenmore, or anywhere else, is offensive and void of compassion. Three families from Glenmore have vacated the beautiful homes they still own. There are dozens more who cannot afford to leave their homes that continue to suffer from the effects they attribute to the operation of Duke’s turbines. Many have submitted sworn affidavits and have testified numerous times at Town, County, and State hearings. Families are suffering and they need solutions.
It was apparent that Professor Terry and Mr. Eggert may have lacked the knowledge of the extensive research and studies on which the Board based their decision. It is BCCRWE's hope that they have the intellectual honesty to become better informed and present the complete truth of the impacts of industrial wind development through community outreach and an unbiased curriculum.
The Brown County Board of Health is to be commended for basing their decision on scientific evidence and the study of it, NOT indoctrination, politics, propaganda, or profit.
[photo: Left to Right - Shirley Windpower Project Manager Ben Jordan and Duke Energy attorney Edward ( Ned ) B. Witte of Gonzalez Saggio & Harlan LLP]