The future of wind turbine giants Vestas and Gamesa have been called into question because of slumping financial conditions. Read about it here.
It seems that the public has finally discovered what a scam wind "power" is and is voicing concerns to politicians who failed to renew federal subsidies for wind last year. Without the ability
to feed off of our tax dollars, wind company parasites cannot finance their environmentally destructive businesses. Even their legions of $500 an hour lobbyists with all their dinners, wine,
women and "free trips" for our politicians, have been unable (thus far) to convince Washington to waste further tax dollars on this ridiculously inefficient and environmentally destructive
technology. Could it be that the fact that America is $14 trillion in debt is finally beginning to sink into the blockheads in Washington? We'll see, but in the meantime here's to hoping 2012
brings an end to public funding of all industrial wind development and that Gamesa and other wind scammers simply dry up and blow away.
The wind power fantasy exposes itself in Texas.
Wednesday brought yet another unspeakably hot day to Texas and, alas, it was yet another day when wind energy failed the state's consumers.
Click to read the complete article here at National Review Online.
SPAIN, BIRTHPLACE OF GAMESA AND THE WIND INDUSTRY, AMENDS IT'S CONSTITUTION TO LIMIT DEBT AS IT STRUGGLES TO AVOID DEFAULT
Spain is the home country of Gamesa. Over the past decade, its socialist government plunged the Spanish people into catastrophic debt in part by subsidizing the wind turbine industry.
It literally handed billions of borrowed Euros to Gamesa and other wind developers to subsidize wind projects - much like the U.S. is doing now.
About 18 months ago the Spanish government learned that they were had. After looking closely at the economic realities of wind power the Spanish government
realized that wind turbines produce very little power - only a fraction of the power Gamesa and other developers claimed. When they looked a little closer
they discovered that wind turbines also failed to appreciably decrease greenhouse gas emissions. A further independent study showed that the wind industry
not only failed to produce any additional jobs but actually caused jobs to be lost in the Spanish economy. Spain quickly cut subsidies to the wind industry
when these facts became known. But a little too late as the damage to the Spanish economy and Spanish taxpayers had already been done.
The Spanish socialists were duped - lied to by the wind industry. This cost Spanish taxpayers billions and has contributed to the economic
catastrophe that is unfolding in Europe. The ability of the Spanish government to pay its debts has been called into question because it's broke and
its citizen taxpayers have had enough. The price of Spanish government bonds have plunged placing the stability of European banks (who hold billions of
Spanish debt) and U.S. bank money funds (who hold trillions in European bank short term bonds) into question.
Now Spain's economy is collapsing. As a last resort the Spanish socialists have agreed to a Constitutional Amendment that will limit the amount of
debt the government can take on, thereby limiting (or hopefully ending) the handouts and subsidies flowing to the wind industry. Read about it
Will the United States learn from the Spanish mistake? Or will our socialists continue to hand out tax dollars to the scam wind industry? The waste
is appalling. Will our economy collapse as well? Will it take an economic catastrophe in the U.S. to expose
the billions WASTED on wind development?
Look at your retirement fund, the value of your house, the value of our dollar -- evaporate while our government continues to
hand your money to a scam artist.
ACS Energy Technology Group & Pittsburgh Section AIChE
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Speaker: Bradley S. Tupi
Spaghetti Warehouse, 26th & Smallman Streets, Strip District, Pittsburgh PA
Wind Energy Is Not the Answer
Wind energy is not the answer to climate change concerns and cannot do the heavy lifting required by the modern American economy. It would take hundreds of thousands of wind turbines to make a substantial contribution to America's energy needs. Building so many turbines inevitably causes conflicts with human and animal habitats. Wind turbine noise is a serious problem for those who live in the vicinity of so-called wind farms.
Brad Tupi is an attorney with Tucker Arensberg, P.C., one of Pittsburgh's 10 largest law firms. He holds Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor degrees from Columbia University in New York City. Admitted to the bar in 1978, his practice includes environmental and general litigation. Since 2007 Mr. Tupi has handled cases involving wind energy projects in Pennsylvania, New York and Delaware. He has spoken on the subject of wind energy at meetings and conferences in Pennsylvania and Texas.
The views expressed in this presentation are those of Mr. Tupi and are not intended to reflect the opinions of Tucker Arensberg or its clients.
Spaghetti Warehouse, 26th & Smallman Streets, Strip District, Pittsburgh PA
Free parking behind the restaurant
Social Hour 6:00 pm, Dinner 6:30 pm, Talk 7:30 pm
For reservations, please contact Elliott Bergman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our meetings are open to all.
The cost of the dinner is $16 including tax and gratuity.
Please specify your preference from the following menu choices:
Spaghetti with meatballs, 15-layer lasagna, Four-cheese manicotti, Fettuccini Alfredo, or
Grilled chicken Caesar salad
Also indicate special needs such as vegetarian, gluten-free, etc.
T.Boone Pickens losing shirt on wind turbine investment. Wind jobs in Texas cost taxpayers $1.6 million each.
After 30 months, countless TV appearances, and $80 million
spent on an extravagant PR campaign, T. Boone Pickens has finally admitted the
obvious: The wind energy business isn't a very good one.
The Dallas-based entrepreneur, who has relentlessly
promoted his "Pickens Plan" since July 4, 2008, announced earlier this month
that he's abandoning the wind business to focus on natural gas.
Two years ago, natural gas prices were spiking and Mr.
Pickens figured they'd stay high. He placed a $2 billion order for wind turbines
with General Electric. Shortly afterward, he began selling the Pickens Plan. The
United States, he claimed, is "the Saudi Arabia of wind," and wind energy is an
essential part of the cure for the curse of imported oil.
Voters and politicians embraced the folksy billionaire's
plan. Last year, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he had joined "the
Pickens church," and Al Gore said he wished that more business leaders would
emulate Mr. Pickens and be willing to "throw themselves into the fight for the
future of our country."
Alas, market forces ruined the Pickens Plan. Mr. Pickens
should have shorted wind. Instead, he went long and now he's stuck holding a
slew of turbines he can't use because low natural gas prices have made wind
energy uneconomic in the U.S., despite federal subsidies that amount to $6.44
for every 1 million British thermal units (BTUs) produced by wind turbines. As
the former corporate raider explained a few days ago, growth in the wind energy
industry "just isn't gonna happen" if natural gas prices remain depressed.
In 2008, shortly after he launched his plan, Mr. Pickens
said that for wind energy to be competitive, natural gas prices must be at least
$9 per million BTUs. In March of this year, he was still hawking wind energy,
but he'd lowered his price threshold, saying "The place where it works best is
with natural gas at $7."
That may be true. But on the spot market natural gas now
sells for about $4 per million BTUs. In other words, the free-market price for
natural gas is about two-thirds of the subsidy given to wind. Yet wind energy
still isn't competitive in the open market.
Despite wind's lousy economics, the lame duck Congress
recently passed a one-year extension of the investment tax credit for renewable
energy projects. That might save a few "green" jobs.
But at the same time that Congress was voting to continue
the wind subsidies, Texas Comptroller Susan Combs reported that property tax
breaks for wind projects in the Lone Star State cost nearly $1.6 million per
job. That green job ripoff is happening in Texas, America's biggest natural gas
Today's low natural gas prices are a direct result of the
drilling industry's newfound ability to unlock methane from shale beds. These
lower prices are great for consumers but terrible for the wind business. Through
the first three quarters of 2010, only 1,600 megawatts of new wind capacity were
installed in the U.S., a decline of 72% when compared to the same period in
2009, and the smallest number since 2006. Some wind industry analysts are
predicting that new wind generation installations will fall again, by as much as
50%, in 2011.
There's more bad news on the horizon for Mr. Pickens and
others who have placed big bets on wind: Low natural gas prices may persist for
years. Last month, the International Energy Agency's chief economist, Fatih
Birol, said that the world is oversupplied with gas and that "the gas glut will
be with us 10 more years." The market for natural-gas futures is predicting that
gas prices will stay below $6 until 2017.
So what is Mr. Pickens planning to do with all the wind
turbines he ordered? He's hoping to foist them on ratepayers in Canada, because
that country has mandates that require consumers to buy more expensive renewable
Shaffer Mountain opposition groups join together to promote public education. Speakers bureau organized.
Today Shaffer Mountain opposition groups SOAR (Save Our Allegheny ridges), Sensible Wind Solutions, Save the Mountain and The Shaffer Mountain Protective Society announced a public education initiative to dispense FACTS about wind power to the general public. As part of this initiative, FREE COPIES of the award winning book THE WIND FARM SCAM by noted British ecologist John Etherington will be distributed. To get you free copy of this book of FACTS about wind power
The groups also announced the formation of a SPEAKERS BUREAU that will provide speakers on FACTUAL ISSUES surrounding industrial wind power to school and government or civic groups. To request a speaker for your group,
New Film Exposes The "Inconvenient Truth" About The Industrial Wind Industry
Click here to read "Windfall in New York", an article from Stanley Fish and the New York Times.
Read this article from the July 14, 2010 edition of "The American Hunter" for a hunter's perspective on wind turbines.
My Oh My... Just Look Where Former Pennsylvania DEP Secretary, Katie McGinty, Ended Up
Reid Abandons Cap & Trade in Face of Bipartisan Opposition
The demise of the cap and trade tax on every American will slow the flow of our tax dollars (corporate welfare handouts) to the environmentally destructive wind industry which cannot survive without these handouts. Wind power is unreliable, inconsistent, inefficient and does not decrease emissions. The environmental damage this industry has done in Pennsylvania, where indiscriminate development has been permitted on our untouched mountain ridges, is unfathomable and inexcusable. The American people have gotten wise to the lies spewed by Gamesa's Mike Peck, DEP Chief and former wind lobbyist John Hanger, "Environmental Ed" Rendell, and other wind industry PR people -- lobbyists and politicians -- looking to line their pockets, directly or indirectly, with taxpayer cash. It is time this game STOPS.
The parasitic wind industry is going to have to find another host to suck the life out of. The American people have had enough.
Gamesa - get off Shaffer Mountain - NOW.
Health effects from wind turbines confirmed... again!
Read this. Maybe Rendell and his stooges Wozniak and the Somerset County Commissioners -- who are running from this issue -- should be made to live near wind turbines. Once they experience the adverse health effects and cannot sell their homes perhaps they will not be so quick to ignore their constituents who are experiencing these problems and seeing up to 70% of their property values taken without due process of law. Put these arrogant bureaucrats in the same position as the common folk and watch how quickly things change.
The rage is building. Just keep ignoring us.
Army Corp of Engineers and US Fish and Wildlife Service refuse to enforce Endangered Species Act on Shaffer Mountain
Bats are killed by the thousands by wind turbines, a fact the wind industry denied for years. Please watch the brief Oregon Public Television documentary below. This video explains how and why bats are being killed and why bats are so important to have around. It also refers to a wind plant "back east" that killed two-thousand (2000) bats in six weeks; that plant is in Meyersdale, PA -- 12 miles south of Shaffer Mountain.
Please also note that the US Army Corps of Engineers recently posted a notice advising that it intends to ignore the Endangered Species Act on Shaffer Mountain. That's right -- it refuses to enforce this federal law that would protect the critically endangered bat from death by GAMESA wind turbines. The Army Corps of Engineers, which is the federal agency reviewing the Shaffer Mountain project, has received unprecedented political pressure to approve it before Rendell leaves office in January 2011 (not soon enough).
Shaffer Mountain wind plant would pose hazard to air travel into Johnstown - Cambria County Airport
According to the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration), Gamesa's 404 foot tall industrial wind turbines on Shaffer Mountain would be built directly in the ILS (Instrument Landing Approach into the Johnstown - Cambria County Airport). If built, the wind plant would destroy the approach from the east into the Johnstown - Cambria County Airport as it would require a much steeper, unsafe glide path into this airport which experiences unpredictable, notoriously bad weather conditions.
As usual, Gamesa is trying to hush up this latest obstacle to their Shaffer Mountain plans. Rendell is calling his friends in Washington to "work something out" with the FAA...you know... get them to change their minds. If he is successful the end result will be that the air travelers of the economically distressed Cambria-Somerset metro area will be placed at risk of an air tragedy just so a foreign corporation can reap taxpayer subsidies. There is a lot of money at stake on Shaffer Mountain - taxpayer money - that Rendell promised to Gamesa when he lured them to place their US headquarters in Philly several years ago. Gamesa's plans for Shaffer Mountain have ZERO to do with producing "green" energy - that is total hypocrisy. It is about harvesting subsidies funded by our tax dollars. Will Gamesa be allowed to play games with the lives of air travelers so it can harvest subsidies??? -- STAY TUNED
And they wonder why nobody wants to fly into or out of the Johnstown - Cambria County Airport. Guess what - it's about to get worse.
Here is a flight chart showing the Johnstown IAF in the upper left corner and the proposed location of the wind turbines. See for yourself.
WIND TRUBINE SYNDROME HEALTH PROBLEMS DOCUMENTED
Nina Pierpont, MD PhD has completed a study of people who experienced severe physical symptoms after wind turbines were built in the area where they lived. This scientific study scientifically documents, for the first time, that low frequency noise from wind turbines can harm human life. The study was peer reviewed and has been published in a book entitled "Wind turbine Syndrome... a report on a natural experiment". This book is available on amazon.com and should be read by anyone living within a mile and a half of any industrial scale wind turbine.
It is not bad enough that foreign wind developers can come into poor rural areas, rape and pillage the land, destroy our property values and fracture communities with the blessing of Ed Rendell and the Pennsylvania Legislature. But apparently these foreign developers have enough money that they can get away with causing local residents physical harm. That was until now.
Anyone living within a mile and a half of an industrial wind turbine who has experienced physical symptoms since the turbines have begun operation should purchase this book. If your symptoms are similar to those documented by Dr. Pierpont's study, you may wish to contact a lawyer. You should not have to live with these physical issues. No wind developer (or neighbor who leased his land to a wind developer) has the right to make you sick and ruin your life.
Endangered Indiana bat killed by wind turbines - CONFIRMED
The wind industry, including Gamesa and their "experts" have consistently claimed that the has never been a instance where an Indiana bat has been killed by a wind turbine. This claim can no longer be made as this federally listed endangered species has been confirmed KILLED by wind turbines in Indiana. Read about this for yourself here.
White Nose syndrome decimating PA bat populations - Gamesa files for permit to KILL critically endangered Indiana bats on Shaffer Mountain.
Gamesa is seeking a permit to kill endangered Indiana bats on Shaffer Mountain. In seeking this permit, Gamesa ignored the fact that a new disease - White Nose syndrome - is nearly wiping out entire populations of bats. It does not discriminate between bat species. So the Indiana bat - a critically endangered species that is threatened with extinction - is being killed with the rest. Gamesa wants to kill the healthy remnant population of Indiana bats that remain on isolated Shaffer Mountain. Just what you'd expect from a "GREEN" company. What utter HYPOCRICY.
Read about how White Nose syndrome is wiping out bats in Pennsylvania here. See for yourself.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has ruled that Gamesa's proposed wind turbines on Shaffer Mountain pose a hazard to aviation.
Will Gamesa proceed with this ill conceived project and place air passengers at risk? There's a lot of taxpayer money at stake here, just ready to be shoveled into Gamesa's pockets. Will they go for the money by proceeding with this project and risk an air catastrophe OR will they do the right thing and abandon it. A summary of the FAA ruling and a map showing those turbines deemed hazardous to aviation is attached. As always, SEE FOR YOURSELF BELOW
Gamesa Shaffer Mountain wind plant would chop up Saw Whet owls
The Saw Whet owl uses Shaffer Mountain as one of its major migration corridors each fall. Gamesa wants to build an industrial wind plant directly in the path of this migration which will result in the annihilation of this lovable little creature. See for yourself here.
Another Gamesa lie exposed
Gamesa claims it cannot build its industrial wind plant on the strip mined property of Berwind - 1.5 miles South of Shaffer Mountain - because strip mined ground is too unstable and would lead to increased costs. Just today (November 19th, 2009) E.ON Climate and Renewables announced the completion of its Stoney Creek wind plant - built mostly on strip mined ground. Read about it here.
Wind power might blow a hole in bird populations
When Rendell appointed his political cronie, and wind lobbyist, John Hanger to the top position in the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources, he sent the message that the environmental review process for industrial wind plant construction would now be a political process. The inherent conflict of interest of having a wind lobbyist head the governmental agency that issues permits to wind power developers is evident. The fact that Rendell would make such an appointment is appalling and just plain wrong.
But there is hope. Shaffermountain.com has just learned that groups opposing Gamesa's destruction of Shaffer Mountain have recently received a significant donation to be used to fund litigation over any permit issuance by the politically controlled PA DEP in connection with Gamesa's Shaffer Mountain project. Could it be that the facts about wind power in our mountains will finally be brought out for all to see? We at Shaffermountain.com certainly hope so. We believe that once the public becomes aware of the severe, irreversible environmental destruction caused by industrial wind development in the wrong places, the public will stop this project.
Maine Medical Association adopts resolution regarding wind energy development and public health.
Much like what happened with the tobacco industry and asbestos, this is the beginning of the recognition of the serious health problems caused by industrial wind turbines that are built too close to people who are sensitive to low frequency sound waves. Can't you just see the plaintiffs lawyers lining up for this one? Read about it here.
North Carolina bans industrial wind turbines
North Carolina Legislature bans industrial wind turbines from state's ridgelines; recognize wind power for what it is: wasteful, inefficient, unreliable and a destroyer of rural life and property values. Read about it here.
Green energy jobs myth
One of the biggest reasons cited by Rendell and the wind industry for allowing unregulated wind development in Pennsylvania is that wind development will create lots of "green" jobs. This claim is FALSE. Read here to learn the TRUTH.
This is what we are up against.
Governor of Philadelphia, Ed Rendell, recently appointed John Hanger as Secretary of DEP. In his previous job, Mr. Hanger was the head of a wind power lobbying group -- Penn Future. The poster above, which desecrates the American Flag, was displayed at the State Capitol by wind industry lobbyist Hanger on several occassions. Now Mr. Hanger heads the state agency that is deciding whether Gamesa will be able to build their wind plant on Shaffer Mountain.
The Allegheny Plateau area of Pennsylvania, where Shaffer Mountain lies, has been economically exploited and despoiled repeatedly in the past. The Shaffer Mountain area has been spared because of the Exceptional Value waters of Piney Run and Clear Shade Creek. PA DEP is required, by Article 1 Section 27 of the PA Constitution, to conserve and maintain the pure water and natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment for the benefit of all the people. In the past DEP and other state agencies have neglected their constitutional responsibility to our region, while allowing economic and political interests to run roughshod over us. NO more.
The question is this --- Can opponents of the Shaffer Mountain wind project receive a fair shake from a DEP headed by a wind industry lobbyist? Or can we expect more of the same? Certainly the rank and file DEP employees want to do their jobs fairly, professionally, based on science and free from political interference. But will they be able to? Stay tuned.
Turbine noise is real and can have real consequences
Wind turbine noise suspected of killing 400 goats
TAIPEI (Reuters) - Late-night noise from spinning wind turbines on an outlying island of Taiwan may have killed 400 goats over the past three years by depriving them of sleep, an agricultural inspection official said on Thursday.
After the eight turbines were installed in the notoriously windy Penghu archipelago in the Taiwan Strait, a neighbouring farmer reported that his goats had started dying, Council of Agriculture inspection official Lu Ming-tseng said.
"If noise at night can keep people awake, then it could also keep the goats awake, and when the wind kicks up it makes a louder noise," Lu said.
Agricultural authorities would make tests to rule out any other causes of death, Lu said, adding that if the giant power-generating turbines proved to be at fault, Taiwan Power had promised to compensate the farmer.
Wind developers abandon plans to develop wind turbines at three Pennsylvania sites because of presence of Indiana bats.
Politically "connected" and environmentally irresponsible GAMESA refuses to abandon Shaffer Mountain site even after its experts discover Indiana bat roosting sites and maternity colony in the middle of the Shaffer Mountain project area. Read here to find out what responsible wind developers are doing.
Rendell strongarms Tyrone Mayor
Rendell strongarms Tyrone Mayor Jim Kilmartin to approve destruction of Tyrone borough watershed - Makes him an offer he can't refuse. Read about it here. Blatant influence peddling - Isn't this a crime??? Who's going to say anything about it? You have a problem with that? If so, talk to these guys.
Gamesa is Rendell's ticket -
He brought them to Pennsylvania and he is pushing hard to give his friends free reign to build their industrial facilities in the last, best wild places in the Commonwealth - free reign to destroy these natural treasures while bypassing the 25% of Pennsylvania that has been strip mined or otherwise previously disturbed. And to think its all being done using our tax dollars.
Appointing a wind industry lobbyist (John Hanger) as head of DEP is one thing. Bribing a mayor to change his vote against a Gamesa wind project is another. Can you say Ed "Blago" Rendellovich?
WAKE UP PENNSYLVANIA - Before it's too late.
Here's a guy from the city that gets it. Earth to Rendell --- are you listening???
Wind project development moratorium called for in Europe.
A recent international conference in France has issued this timely report calling for a moratorium on wind projects in Europe. Read about this here. The European community has been dealing with industrial wind development for 20 years and is seeing the destruction wind development causes when built in the prong places. Will we learn from their mistakes???? Or will politics and greed continue to quash public debate on these important issues???
Blue Knob wind project owner asked to liquidate all assets because of severe financial problems.
Read about this here. Just one more example of the flim flam speculative financial underpinnings of the wind industry. You see, wind power projects are not being developed to produce significant quantities of reliable electricity. They are being built mostly to create complex tax shelters for huge corporations who take advantage (and avoid paying taxes) of the numerous subsidies and tax breaks our misinformed legislators have granted the wind industry. Wind turbines operate intermittantly and only to 15% of rated capacity -- they produce very little power in our area of the US. But 70% of the cost to build them is paid for by our tax dollars -- that's right, developers recapture 70% of what it costs to build them through government handouts and subsidies funded by taxpayer money. AND THIS IS HAPPENING WHILE WE ARE IN THE MIDST OF WHAT MAY VERY WELL BE AN ECONOMIC DEPRESSION !!! THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS. Yet Rendell continues to fraudulently promote wind turbines as significant, reliable power producers and trades the natural heritage of the Commonwealth for a few hundred jobs and the opportunity to make a "name" for himself as the "environmental governor" in the eyes of a very misinformed public. This fraud must be exposed and stopped.
DEP denies GAMESA'S permit on Shaffer Mountain -- FOR THIRD TIME!
For the third time in just over a year DEP has refused to issue Gamesa a permit to begin its destruction of Shaffer Mountaiun, It's two Exceptional Value Streams, an identified endangered Indiana bat maternity colony and roosting sites, miles of roadless mountaintop forest, rare upland wetlands and a world renowned raptor migration corridor on the Allegheny front. Read DEP's denial letter here. Gamesa has made 3 refilings of information to try to meet DEP's standards but is unable to do so. Instead Gamesa has filed silmilar information each time hoping thet DEP, with its new Secretary John Hanger, a former wind industry lobbyist, will rubber stamp the permit. DEP refuses to do so --- not yet at least.
The DEP letter identifies many areas of concern that Gamesa has failed to address. Some of these areas of concern -- pure water resource degredation and endgangered species killing, are unable to be addressed. They will occur absolutely and with certainty if Gamesa builds this huge industrial wind power plant as proposed on Shaffer Mountain. These issues will keep Gamesa out of this -- one of Pennsylnvanias last and best Biological Diversity area of Exceptional Significance.
Facts will now be presented and the TRUTH EXPOSED for all to see. This is the absolute LAST THING GAMESA WANTS because it will be unable to control the press and spin facts in its favor through its public relations firm that is paid for by your tax dollars. Read about this historic lawsuit and how Blair County judge Milliron refused to bend to Gamesa's pressure. Next up -- a call to Judge Milliron from Ed Rendell? Ask Tyrone Mayor Killmartin about his call from the governor and how he bowed, like a coward, to Rendell pressure and reversed the Tyrone Council vote thereby granting Gamesa permission to destroy the Tyrone watershed Ice Mountain.
How unregulated industrial wind development can ruin lives.
"If you live anywhere near a wind turbine and have been feeling ill, you could be the victim of wind turbine syndrome, a medically recognized condition caused by low frequency sound waves." See for yourself.
GAMESA SUED OVER BLUE KNOB WIND PLANT.
Gamesa's environmentally destructive industrial wind plant at Blue Knob (above Portage, PA) is facing a court challenge by nearby residents. Respected local physician Dr. Todd Stull and his wife Jill are suing Gamesa in Blair County court because the noise created by six wind turbines that ring their farm is ruining their lives and depriving them of the enjoyment of their idyllic mountain farm. The noise is so bad that Dr. Stull is treating for sleep deprivation induced anxiety -- a common symptom associated with wind turbine noise syndrome. Watch the news piece below.
Gamesa's lies exposed by ABC NEWS
Gamesa has steadfastly claimed that wind turbines produce little if no noise. They also claim that wind turbines cannot be built on previously disturbed ground. ABC NEWS recently exposed these lies in a little publicized piece that is attached here for you to view.
ADDITIONAL INDIANA BATS DISCOVERED AT GAMESA'S SHAFFER MOUNTAIN PROJECT SITE . . . PROSPECTS FOR PROJECT APPROVAL GROW DIM
This summer, Gamesa's bat "expert" captured two additional Indiana bats in the middle of their proposed Shaffer Mountain wind plant project area. Also discovered were several Indiana bat roosting sites. Not only is Shaffer Mountain a confirmed Indiana bat maternity area, it is now also proven to be a roosting site for this endangered species. The endangered Indiana bat is reproducing and living on Shaffer Mountain - there is no question as to this fact.
Instead of changing their plans and moving the wind plant to a strip mine a couple miles down the road, Gamesa is trying to obtain a special permit from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to kill the endangered Indiana bat on Shaffer Mountain. Great stewards of the environment - aren't they?
Other responsible wind developers are developing wind plants on strip mine sites where they will have little effect on the land, water and wildlife resources. Airtricity is building a wind plant five miles south of Shaffer Mountain on a strip mine and EverPower is doing the same in Dunlo, eight miles north of Shaffer Mountain. Read about what these responsible wind developers are doing here.
Why does Gamesa refuse to build on the strip mine? Two reasons: first, Rendell has promised them free reign in Pennsylvania. In exchange for bringing jobs, Rendell, through his politically controlled DEP, rubber stamps permits to build wind plants anywhere Gamesa wishes. PA DEP has never denied a permit for a wind developer - ever. Now that Rendell has appointed John Hanger, a wind industry lobbyist, as the head of DEP, look for more permits to be rubber-stamped.
Second, Berwind is pushing Gamesa hard. Berwind is the second largest private land owner in Pennsylvania. If Gamesa wants access to any other Berwind land for wind development, they must get their industrial development approved on Shaffer Mountain, in the heart of the Crumb Bog - Piney Run Natural Heritage Area of Exceptional Significance. Why, because Berwind owns this area. And they want to eventually get at the minerals under the project area. But they cannot do so why Piney Run and Clear Shade Creek have Exceptional Value status. If Gamesa is allowed to build their massive industrial facility on Shaffer Mountain, the Exceptional Value water quality of Piney Run and Clear Shade Creek is doomed. When the waters are degraded by erosion and sedimentation, and they lose their Exceptional Value status, Berwind will be able to obtain a permit to mine the area.
This isn't rocket science, nor is it a difficult decision. Why destroy one of the highest quality wild areas remaining in south central Pennsylvania when there is a destroyed strip mine available down the road?
DEAR GAMESA . . . Legislation is coming.
You asked for it, Gamesa, with your arrogance and refusal to discuss the many serious issues surrounding your proposed Shaffer Mountain project.
NOW YOU'RE GOING TO GET IT . . . statewide legislation will be introduced to stop you from destroying the last wild places in Pennsylvania. You thought that with Rendell in your back pocket and his wind lobbyist shill, John Hanger, now heading DEP you could block any attempt to introduce legislation to rein in your environmentally destructive activities. But you miscalculated.
Now there will be legislative hearings where issues such as tax subsidies, turbine inefficiency, headwater stream degradation, killing of endangered species, and your refusal to build on strip mines will be exposed to the public for all to see. The public is going to be able to learn the truth about just how little electricity your turbines generate, how their tax dollars are funding the destruction of our last wild places, and how Rendell is using you to further his political career at the expense of rural Pennsylvania. And to think that you brought this on yourself by the condescending ignorance and contempt you have shown toward the many good people of Central City and Shaffer Mountain. You will no longer be able to hide behind your political connections with Rendell. You will be exposed. And there's nothing you can do about it.
GAMESA, a great place to work..... as long as you are a young Spaniard.
Three PA men allege bias, sue wind turbine maker.
Three Cambria County, Pennsylvania men have filed a federal lawsuit against Gamesa, saying that they were illegally replaced by younger workers. The three also claim the company gave Spanish workers preferential treatment. Kevin Wagner, of Johnstown; Paul McElhenny, of Hastings; and Rick Williams, of Lilly, say they were wrongfully fired by Gamesa/Fiberblade LLC in May 2007. Their federal lawsuit filed in Johnstown says the men were all replaced by younger employees and that two of the three replacements were also Spaniards. The men want their jobs back, along with back pay and benefits, and an order barring Gamesa from future discrimination.
Gamesa is yet another example of outside interests coming into your back yard to take advantage of an economically disadvantaged local populace. Much like mountain top removal where coal companies provide a few jobs in the poorest parts of West Virginia in exchange for the freedom to rape the land, so does Gamesa try to buy the loyaly of the people of the Cambria/Somerset region by providing some jobs in exchange for the right to destroy the last untouched ridge tops in the Southern Alleghenies. The faces may change but the song is always the same - money, lies, disrespect and destruction . . . CARPET BAGGER.
GAMESA fined $639,161 by DEP for Environmental Pollution.
Read about it below. Looks like "clean" energy has an environmental footprint. This is mild compared to the gross environmental destruction Gamesa does when building it's industrial wind plants on our remote mountain ridges. Go to Blue Knob and see for yourself the destruction Gamesa has wrought on a formerly mostly roadless area. See for yourself how the EV headwaters of Bobs Creek have been degraded. See the erosion and sedimentation first hand.
What is appalling about Gamesa is that they probably paid this $639,161 fine with tax subsidies -- that's right .... they probably used our tax dollars to pay this pollution fine. Ironic, isn't it? Clean energy? Better think again.
Wind-turbine maker fined for emissions, poor records
By Sandy Bauers
Posted on Sat, Aug. 30, 2008
A wind-turbine company that has been credited with bringing green jobs to Pennsylvania and restoring an abandoned Bucks County steel plant has been fined $639,161 by the state Department of Environmental Protection for problems that included emissions violations and "substantial" record-keeping lapses.
The agency announced yesterday, before a holiday weekend, that Gamesa USA had paid the fine. DEP spokeswoman Lynda Rebarchak said the agency was confident that the company was taking "the steps needed to be in full compliance. . . . They accepted the responsibility for the oversights and worked with us cooperatively in outlining this agreement."
Other than the record-keeping problems, one of the biggest issues was with emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the paints, solvents and adhesives used to make the giant blades and other components of the turbines.
Rebarchak said the emissions did not "pose any health issue for employees, neighboring businesses or area residents." The concern, she said, was that volatile organics contributed to the formation of ground-level ozone, or smog, and Southeastern Pennsylvania does not meet national ozone standards.
Scientists discover reason for huge bat kills at wind turbine sites.
It has been well known for years that industrial wind turbines attract and kill bats by the thousands. In fact, before they were thrown off the Meyersdale, PA wind farm site by the developer, scientists documented the highest bat kill ever recorded at any wind site in the world. That's right...in Meyersdale...15 miles south of Shaffer Mountain. Now that Gamesa has discovered an Indiana Bat maternity colony and numerous I-bat roosting sites on Shaffer Mountain, the very existence of this federally endangered species is threatened by Gamesa's proposed Shaffer Mountain wind plant. As a result it has become more important than ever to determine how and why bats are killed by the thousands by wind turbine blades.
Recent scientific research has revealed that many bats that are killed never come into contact with the blades at all. Rather, they appear to be killed by internal hemorrhaging caused by a sudden drop in air pressure experienced when they fly close to the blades. In many cases they are actually missing the blades only to fall victim to what we know as the "bends". Read about this fascinating research, which has been published by National Geographic, here.
Ignoring this scientific research, Gamesa continues, in the face of opposition by the wind industry, to obtain a permit to kill the federally endangered Indiana Bat on Shaffer Mountain. That's right, the wind industry itself has recognized that wind plants should not be built in areas where bats are at risk. According to Laurie Jodziewicz of the American Wind Energy Association in Washington D.C., where the turbines are placed is the key. "Bats are not being killed at all the wind projects all over the country -- it is happening in some places and not others. We're trying to determine before construction what areas might be risky"
The US Fish and Wildlife Service has advised Gamesa that Shaffer Mountain is a high risk site for bat mortality should wind turbines be built there. Read it for yourself here. Gamesa has IGNORED this warning from USFWS and is proceeding with an attempt to obtain a "Takings Permit" that will allow Gamesa to kill large numbers of bats, including the federally endangered Indiana bat, on Shaffer Mountain. This is not some theoretical threat. Indiana bats have been physically found BY GAMESA'S OWN BAT "EXPERTS", on Shaffer Mountain. Gamesa's action in proceeding in the face of this finding to knowingly and intentionally kill this federally endangered species shows Gamesa's total disdain for wildlife, conservation and the environment in general. Federal subsidies are what Gamesa is after. It's that simple.
Ever wonder why the wind turbines at the forward wind plant on Buckstown Road aren't turning? They are built by Suzlon. This wind plant is a white elephant. Read on.
Hey Rendell let's get more money from Pennsylvania Taxpayers so we can put up more wind turbines that don't work. What a joke.
Sensible Wind Solutions is presenting "SINGING FOR SOLUTIONS" on Sunday, July 20th at the Boulevard Grille Warehouse from 4-8 pm. The event will be hosted by Bo Moore and will feature three local musical acts, including Jenny Drummey, Rachel and Bo and Mike Ferencak. It will be followed up by Pittsburgh band, The Patty Spadero Band.
Sensible Wind Solutions is a non-profit organization that advocates proper siting for industrial wind facilities by advocating their placement from high quality forested areas (as defined by conservation and wildlife groups) to fallow fields and strip mines.
The event is open to the public. Tickets cost 10:00 and an all you can eat buffet is available for an additional $5.00.
For information on event contact Kim Moore at (814) 418-3964 or email@example.com
Wind tax credits in limbo.
The federal government has yet to approve the massive tax credits that are the basis for building wind turbines. Why? Because the feds have become educated to what a total scam wind power is east of the Mississippi where no wind plant has ever operated an even 30% of its claimed capacity. The environmental and community destruction brought on by wind development in the wrong areas are permanent and irreversible and are factors being noticed by Congress as well. Let's all hope that Congress denies any further tax credits for wind power unless and until strict federal siting guidelines are established. The ecological devastation wrought by ill placed industrial wind power plants create environmental problems that far outweigh the limited amount of power we receive from them.
Although the wind industry continues to exaggerate the amount of power produced by wind plants, at least some members of Congress are not being fooled. Gamesa and other wind developers steadfastly refuse to engage in a debate over the efficiency of wind power, instead spending billions on lobbyists and media campaigns that out and out lie to the public. Click here to read one of the latest articles planted by the wind industry national publication, full of inaccuracies. Could it be their lies are beginning to catch up to them? We can only hope.
A couple who have been forced out of their home by wind turbine noise have found out their house is unsaleable. Jane and Julian Davis moved out of their Deeping St Nicholas home in Christmas 2006 after months of sleepless nights due to noise and vibration from wind turbines, which are around 900m from their property. They have long believed that the value of thier home has been damaged, and their fears have now been proved justified, after real estate agents Munton and Russell refused to market their property. To read the rest of the article click here
Carbon offsets? Is it worth ruining the Pennsylvania countryside for so little?
Here's why Gamesa will not back off their Shaffer Mountain wind project.
It has NOTHING to do with energy production. It's all about the CASH$$$$$$$$$$$$$. This company is trying to destroy the last remnant wild areas of Pennsylvania so they can harvest bonus depreciation subsidies. Read the article here
Gamesa Sued by respected physician and his wife.
Gamesa Sued by respected physician and his wife over noise generated by Portage/Blue Knob industrial wind plant. Read the Altoona Mirror article here. Read the entire COMPLAINT here. See for yourself.
Up next -- legal actions against Township Supervisors who enact weak ordinances that ruin the lives of local residents. Are Township Supervisors going to continue to take the CASH PAYMENTS from wind developers and enact WEAK ORDINANCES, or are they going to do what's right and regulate the placement of these industrial power plants so that they do not destroy property values and ruin the lives of their neighbors, like has happened to the Stulls? Will it take formal legal action to get them to stop taking wind developer money and start protecting their constituents?
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission expresses deep concern.
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission recently expressed deep concern over wind power project development in Exceptional Value (Clear Shade Creek) and Wilderness Trout Stream (Piney Run) watersheds, and adopted a policy to avoid harmful impacts, avoid ecologically sensitive areas and reduce habitat fragmentation. Shaffer Mountain is home to EV and wilderness trout headwater streams and has been designated a Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Area of Exceptional Significance. It is one of the most intact, ecologically sensitive areas in the Commonwealth. Will the PAFBC be able to fullfill it's function and protect our last highest quality wild places from wind destruction or will Rendell's political machine steamroll them?
Maryland Governor says NO to wind turbines on state forests.
Maryland has banned all wind development from their state forests. See for yourself here. While Maryland is banning wind development, Pennsylvania's Governor Rendell, is strongly pushing to open Pennsylvania's state forests for destruction by wind power companies. What this all means is that Maryland will now obtain their required renewable energy (required under Maryland's Renewable Energy Standards Law) from Pennsylvania which allows and, indeed promotes, the utter devastation of its state forests and last wild, unspoiled areas by wind power developers.
This is just more of the same -- just like importing New York / New Jersey garbage. Just like exporting 31% of the electricity produced in PA to New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Washington D.C. from Pennsylvania power plants that New York, New Jersey and Maryland do not want in their states. Let's destroy rural Pennsylvania. Let's exploit it's poor, under educated, politically powerless people to satisfy the needs of the urban masses. Let's build the power plant in their back yard. Put the garbage dump there -- they can't do anything about it. Heck, let's even build industrial power plants on their mountain tops and degrade their drinking water in the process. What's a few less "species" anyway... we got a lot of species left. This is only possible because Pennsylvania has a governor from Philadelphia who could care less about the environment and about rural Pennsylvania -- about us. He is on his way to Washington and will stop at nothing to promote his personal political agenda even if it means harming his own people.
LOOK AT THIS
Many of you are familiar with the severe weather of Shaffer Mountain. It's legendary. Blizzards, ice storms, 80 mph winds, torrential thunderstorms - this area truely has some of the worst weather in all of Pennsylvania.
Click here to see what happens to a wind turbine when the winds blow too hard - like happens routinely on Shaffer Mountain.
The problem with Gamesa is, in their blind rush to harvest tax subsidies and government handouts, they just don't think things through.
A CALL TO ARMS
On May 28-29, Wind industry lobbyist and Rendell's shill, Penn Future, will be holding its annual "Clean energy Conference" in Harrisburg. Much of this conference will focus on wind power development in Pennsylvania. Click here for more information on this conference
You will notice from the informational pamphlet that the conference is focused on "monetizing and trading renewable energy credits" or the government subsidies that are the main reason wind development exists at all. These subsidies are "harvested" by big corporations who trade them as a commodity.
This conference is a great opportunity to expose and educate wind industry executives, developers and state bureaucrats on the serious environmental problems caused by wind development, if allowed to occur in our last highest quality wild habitats. This would be an excellent opportunity to get our message out to the community and show the dire need for statewide siting regulations in Pennsylvania. Currently we have none.
Please plan to attend this conference. A charter bus is being arranged to transport people from the Somerset, Bedford and Fulton county area. If you are interested in catching a ride on this charter bus, please contact us and let us know. There is no cost for the bus ride.
Gamesa has spent many thousands of dollars lobbying against statewide siting regulations. We need to show the wind industry and our legislators why we need statewide regulations. We need to show them what Gamesa wants to destroy on Shaffer Mountain.
PA DEP has issued a second deficiency letter to Gamesa outlining numerous problems and deficiencies with its disastrous Shaffer Mountain Wind Project. Read it for yourself here. When is Gamesa going to face reality. When is Gamesa going to realize that their Shaffer Mountain project is simply not going to fly - it's in the wrong place.
When is Gamesa going to realize that most opponents support wind power if built in the right locations like the 7 million acres of farm fields and 10 million acres of strip mines, degraded forests and abandoned industrial sites across Pennsylvania.
When is Gamesa going to realize that opponents of the Shaffer Mountain wind project will not stop until they abandon the site or move it to the strip mine. We will never stop fighting you.
GOVERNOR OF PHILADELPHIA ENDORSES HIS NEXT BOSS JANUARY 24, 2008
Environmental Ed gives Hillary his blessing
Rendell wants to be Secretary of Energy under Hillary. And he just might do so if he makes a name for himself in alternative energy so he is pushing hard for wind development. That's the main reason inefficient wind turbines are springing up across Pennsylvania. Ed wants them on the highest ridges in the state because that is where they will be most visible to the largest number of people - so the people can see what he is doing to save the earth with "green" energy. What a crock.
Wind power in Pennsylvania is not about saving the environment. It's about our governor furthering his personal political agenda. In the process he appears to be willing to ruin our few unspoiled ridges, and sacrifice our last wild places, thereby destroying the environment while claiming to be saving it.
WHAT A CROCK FOR SURE.
The Wall Street Journal ran an article January 26th that exposes Rendell's agenda. Environmental Ed for sure.
WE TOLD YOU SO!
Several weeks ago, shaffermountain.com reported the alarming noise levels at the Portage wind farm. We also predicted what Gamesa would do in response to the noise complaints (see below: Gamesa Lies Come Back to Haunt Them).
Here's what we said would happen: First, Gamesa would say the noise is isolated to a few turbines they will "fix". When they can't fix the problem, we predicted Gamesa would bring in "experts" who will say that the noise is "not that bad" and that people are exaggerating their complaints. Finally, when these tactics fail, we think Gamesa will contest the legality of the Township ordinance that sets allowable noise levels at 45 decibels.
The Johnstown Tribune-Democrat recently (1-17-08) ran this article:
Everything is falling into place just like we said. It appears that Gamesa cannot "fix" the noise problem. In fact, noise levels up to 85 decibels are common from industrial wind turbines and cannot be "fixed". It's the nature of the beast. Now that they cannot "fix" the noise problem, Gamesa has moved on to the next tactic - bringing in noise "experts" who will say that the noise complaints are exaggerated. In fact, Babcock & Brown spokesman Matt Dallas stated in the above article that
"The company still is not convinced the noise levels exceed maximum allowable levels. Recent testing by a sound engineer showed that the level's within the ordinance levels."
But instead of Gamesa or Babcock & Brown (new plant owner) bringing in these "noise experts" they are having the Portage Township Supervisors bring them in - the same Portage Township Supervisors who receive cash payments of $3,000 a year for each wind turbine from Gamesa. Gamesa is having their bought boys do their dirty work to keep them "out of the picture". This is yet another classic case of Gamesa pitting neighbor against neighbor - manipulating the local populace.
If the "locals" stand up to the bogus "expert" reports which will almost certainly say that the noise complaints are exaggerated, Gamesa will contest the legality of the ordinance that sets a 45 decibel maximum limit for noise from the turbines. This legal action will drag on for several years - enough time for new wind farm owner, Babcock & Brown, to suck out all the government subsidies. They will then sell the wind plant to another "investor" who will get a new set of government subsidies to exploit. That's how it works.
It's all happening - JUST LIKE WE SAID!
PEOPLE HAVE HAD ENOUGH
This article appeared in the Johnstown Tribune Democrat on January 15th.
Shooting at wind turbines is against the law. Although turbines are huge, they are vulnerable to serious damage by high caliber rifle fire if hit on the blade hub or the nacelle which houses the gear box, yaw mechanism, control systems and generator. Damage can run into many thousands of dollars and disable the wind turbine so those responsible may be guilty of a felony. Is it worth the risk of jail time? It is easy to see how people could be pushed into taking such drastic action. The noise generated by wind turbines can cause depression, insomnia and a medically recognized condition known as turbine noise syndrome. Here's a WJAC news story from January 11th on Gamesa's noisy Portage wind project 10 miles North of Shaffer Mountain. These people were lied to by Gamesa before the wind plant was built and are now living with the consequences.
GAMESA'S REFILED NPDES APPLICATION
From the beginning Gamesa has claimed that it's Shaffer Mountain wind plant will affect only about 160 acres. This blatant lie is dispelled by Gamesa's own NPDES permit application which they refiled with Pennsylvania DEP on November 20th 2007. This is the erosion, sedimentation and pollution permit they must get from DEP so they can start taking advantage of the government subsidies.
On page one of their application Gamesa admits that the project will cover an area of 5358 acres - or almost 8 1/2 square miles - of mostly undisturbed mountaintop forest owned mostly by Berwind Natural Resources Corporation. 18 miles of industrial roads and transmission line corridors in an area that currently has 3 dirt roads and 2 of the highest quality Exceptional Value streams in Pennsylvania.
THIS MAKES NO SENSE when Berwind owns this huge reclaimed strip mine less than 1.5 miles west of the current project area. Look here see for yourself.
This area is high, open and very windy with an existing road system. No water resources, no endangered species, no rare raptor migration corridor - A perfect spot for an industrial wind facility. A wind plant was built last year on the next ridge at the same elevation. Wind developers build on strip mines routinely. In fact, the good developers seek out the previously disturbed sites so as to avoid destroying intact forest habitats.
"If Gamesa can't even build a test tower to take what this mountain weather dishes out, how can they be trusted to protect EV streams and endangered species?"
John Sedewar, Shaffer Mountain Resident
"The test tower was made of tubular steel. The blades of a wind turbine are made of fiberglass. If the weather up here can do this to tubular steel, imagine what it will do to fiberglass."
Scott Usjak, Shaffer Mountain Resident
THE NIGHTMARE OF TURBINES
'Twas the first night of summer, when all through the forest
Not a human was stirring, not even a tourist.
Mosquitoes were buzzing my tent everywhere
Tree frogs were calling in the cool evening air.
The wood rats were yawning while leaving their beds,
While visions of acorns danced in their heads.
And bats by the thousands flew all through the sky,
Catching the skeeters without batting an eye.
When out in the woods there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the tent flap I flew like a flash
Ripped open the zipper and made a mad dash.
The moon on the bark of the new-fallen trees
Produced such a glare that I fell to my knees.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But giant wind turbines - I trembled with fear.
Three blades were a-twirling, so lively, and quick
I knew in a moment it must be a trick.
The forest was gone, as the dozers rolled by
Steel towers appeared with blades high in the sky.
Gamesa, Airtricity, Florida Power and Light
Wind Companies that sneak in, even at night!
"To the top of the ridge! To the top of the hill!
Now cut away, blast away, never stand still!"
As red bats that before the wind turbines fly
When they meet with a blade, fall out of the sky.
It's bats when it's dark, but by day, eagles flew
With a smack from the blade, and they fell dead, too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard a loud thump
That shattered my musings, and so I did jump.
As I recovered my senses, and gazed all around
I saw even more turbines shadowing the ground.
Where forests once stood there were roads everywhere,
Frogs, snakes, birds, and bat, these turbines did scare.
A bundle of cables that snaked underground
Connected each turbine, as they spun round and round.
The sun started rising - the blades how they flickered!
"But this rarely happens," the wind companies snickered.
I watched as the shadows spun round and round,
It made me so dizzy that I fell to the ground.
The towers loomed over me - 400 feet high,
The noise of those turbines brought a tear to my eye.
The thumping and grinding replaced every bird song,
Wind turbines in forests - this has to be wrong!
But wait, don't we need all this wind energy,
To power our houses, and so we can see?
Wind turbines don't deliver reliable power
'Cuz they just shut off at any old hour.
"But it's free - wind is free," wind companies keep saying,
"No pollution - no mining - no more delaying.
We want the job done - to get subsidy
We'll stop global warming - we don't need that tree!"
But trees are important - they absorb CO2
They make habitats and lower temperatures, too.
To save other forests we plan to file suit,
Let the courts take the cases, and lawyers refute
All the wind propaganda, the global warming claim
Is really a ruse - it's a big money game.
We'll speak for the wildlife, for the life-giving forests,
It's like the dilemma that featured the Lorax.
Wind isn't the answer to our energy crisis
Let's conserve all we can. Forests are priceless.
GAMESA SHAFFER MOUNTAIN TEST TOWER COLLAPSES IN TYPICAL WINTER STORM
Last Friday (December 14Th, 2007) a 200' tall "test tower" erected by Gamesa on Shaffer Mountain, collapsed in a winter storm. Read here. The tower is made of heavy gauge aluminum - just like the 404' tall wind turbine towers. The tower collapsed in a winter storm that is pretty much typical on Shaffer Mountain. According to local resident John Sedewar, "We get several of these a year but this one was not even a bad one. Storms up here can get much worse. The weather on Shaffer Mountain is quite a bit different than the weather in Spain. We have been trying to tell Gamesa this all along. Maybe now they will listen. If Gamesa can't even build a test tower to take what this mountain weather dishes out, how can they be trusted to protect EV streams and endangered species?"
GOLDEN EAGLE RESEARCH CONTINUES
This Eastern Golden Eagle, one of perhaps 1000 remaining, was captured on 11-24-07 on Shaffer mountain in the area Gamesa wants to build 30 404' tall wind turbines. As part of a study by the National Aviary and Carnegie Museum of Natural History, the eagle was examined, banded and fitted with a small telemetry device that allows it to be tracked during its migration. Go to www.nationalaviary.com to track the migration of this golden eagle. Data will be used to determine how eagles use ridgelines such as Shaffer Mountain on their migration. Other wind farms have killed thousands of eagles and hawks. Gamesa continues to frantically push for it's permit from PA DEP before this data is compiled and made public.
Click here for an explanation of the Endangered Species Act.
INDIANA BATS FOUND IN SHAFFER MOUNTAIN WIND PROJECT AREA
It has recently been disclosed that, this past June, Bat Conservation & Management of Carlisle, PA was hired by Gamesa to survey Shaffer Mountain for bats. They placed mist nets across woods roads and other bat travel corridors and collected two juvenile Indiana Bats in the middle of Gamesa's wind project area. The Indiana bat is a federally endangered species. Under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), it is a protected species that may not be killed. The presence of juvenile Indiana bats indicates that a larger maternity colony exists nearby in Gamesa's Shaffer Mountain project area. It is a scientifically documented fact that wind turbines attract and kill bats. Thousands have been killed by wind turbines in West Virginia and Meyersdale, where turbines have been found to act as "bat magnets?".
Normally the discovery of an endangered species, especially juveniles, in a project area either stops the project or requires the developer to obtain an individual takings permit (ITP). This permit requires years of studies and the negative publicity that goes with trying to get a permit to take (kill) an endangered species usually leads to the abandonment of the project.
How did Gamesa react to this information? They ignored it. Why? Well, if they can ignore Pennsylvania environmental laws and regulations and get away with it, why not ignore the Federal Endangered Species Act as well. After all, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service does not have the money to enforce it. Anyway, there's no Endangered Species Act in Spain and as a Spanish company they should be subject to Spanish law. They're providing 180 jobs in Ebensburg, so they can ignore the law. What's a few dead Indiana bats? No one's going to find them anyway. They're tiny. They'll either rot quickly or a scavenger will eat them. Either way, they'll never be found.
A law is only as strong as its enforcement. If the right political skids are greased, a law is worthless. Or will the federal government step up here and enforce the ESA?
GAMESA LIES COME BACK TO HAUNT THEM
Residents near Gamesa's Portage wind plant are claiming that Gamesa's wind turbines are generating twice the level of noise as promised by Gamesa. Imagine that? Here is a link to the news story. These people, many of whom have contacted Shaffer Mountain.com, are furious that Gamesa lied to them about the noise levels. We feel very bad for these people who will make great witnesses in the upcoming Shaffer Mountain litigation.
Now that the terrible noise levels of Gamesa's wind turbines has been exposed, here is what Gamesa will do:
First, they will say they will "fix" the problem which they will claim is limited to "only a few" of their turbines.
Second, when this doesn't work, they will try to pay off the people who are complaining by giving them money so they don't hear as good. Might
even offer to buy the houses of the biggest complainers (with 70% of the purchase price coming from our tax dollars).
Third, if that doesn't work they will refute the public outrage by arguing that the noise complaints are "exaggerated" and the noise isn't that bad. They will bring out of town "experts" in who are much smarter than any of us local people to tell us that the noise is "not that bad". We are overly sensitive and really aren't hearing such loud noises, which the wind turbines are incapable of making. They will try to make us feel dumb and ashamed for bringing such trivial complaints. After all, if the wind turbines are shut down Gamesa will have to close it's plant in Ebensburg and our neighbors will lose their jobs, right???
Finally, if that fails, they will contest the legality of the Township Ordinance that sets allowable noise levels at 45 decibles. They will say that such a "low noise threshold" is unreasonable and illegal and will threaten to go to court to get it changed.
Just wait and see........
Even France Gets It
Sarkozy announces new wind turbine policy
Industrial wind turbine development to end in rural and wild areas
The Sustainable Environment Federation (FED), with the heritage and countryside associations who demonstrated in Paris on October 6 against industrial wind energy, are pleased by President Sarkozy's redirection of French policy concerning wind turbines and renewable energy.
In his comments at the closure of the « Grenelle de l'environnement », the president of the republic announced the end of the « rush » that has characterized French policy on wind turbines up to now and that ultimately means degradation of the environment. New wind turbines will be installed first in brownfields and far from emblematic locales.
In an improvisation that was not in the prepared text provided to the press, M. Sarkozy turned to José-Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, and added : « Frankly, when I see some European countries, it doesn't make me envious ».
The president of the republic also announced acceleration of research into energies of the future.
This new policy marks the end of industrial wind turbine installations in rural and wild areas. This is a relief for the 800 villages and 52 departments represented in the October 6 demonstration. It is also a powerful contribution to the image of France and shows Europe that an energy policy can reconcile the fight against global warming and respect for the countryside and every life.
The 1500 demonstrators on October 6 brought six demands. Many of them have been accepted : publicize the true numbers of wind energy development (M. Borloo [environment minister] has committed to this), protect public health from wind turbine nuisance, protect the cultural and natural heritage of France, restore peace in the villages, commit to an effective energy strategy.
The sixth concerns the financial scandal of the price of wind-generated electricity. The highly elevated price encourages the production of intermittent energy which does not promote the reduction of greenhouse gases. It will lead to speculative pressure for the few areas in France that meet the criteria of the new policy.
Just as the president announced that the policy of supporting biofuels will be reviewed, price support for wind turbines needs to be reviewed.
COME TO THE HAWK WATCH. YOU ARE PERSONALLY INVITED TO COME AND SEE WHAT GAMESA WANTS TO DESTROY
The Allegheny Front Hawk Watch is perched atop Shaffer Mountain at 2,780 feet above sea level - just over the Bedford County line, five miles east of Central City, PA. Here are directions. This is one of the best places in the United States to see migrating raptors - hawks, eagles, falcons, ospreys. Last year 18,348 raptors were counted here during the fall migration which is now in full swing (October 15th ). Don't miss this. Come and see for yourself exactly what Gamesa wants to destroy forever.
The Golden Eagle research project continues. Once again this fall, the PA Game Commission, National Aviary, Carnegie Museum of Natural History and Lafayette College are banding together to catch and place transmitters on Eastern Golden Eagles to track their migration routes and elevations. This will enable the PA Game Commission and other regulatory bodies to determine if these rare protected raptors will enter the "chop zone" of wind turbines proposed for the Allegheny Front - the main migration corridor for Golden Eagles in Eastern North America. While this study is on-going, Gamesa is frantically attempting to obtain their permits to begin construction of the Shaffer Mountain wind plant - smack dab in the middle of the heaviest Golden Eagle migration route in Eastern North America. Click here to learn more about the Golden Eagle research project.
If this concerns you, call and write your state senator and congressmen today.
Rendell speaks out of both sides of his mouth
On 9/25/2007 Governor Rendell announced more than $1 million in grants to schools in PA to fund environmental education projects. Central Cambria, Northern Cambria, Chestnut Ridge, Dubois Area - all got around $2,000 each - big money. Isn't it ironic that a governor who throws around money to garner headlines as an environmental activist is also the biggest promoter of destroying Pennsylvania's roadless ridges - an environmental disaster.
This guy talks out of both sides of his mouth. Just how stupid does he think the people of Pennsylvania are?
32 Wind Turbines coming to Laurel Ridge in Upper & Lower Yoder Townships - Just Outside of Johnstown
We have just learned that leases have been secured for the development of an industrial wind plant on beautiful Laurel Ridge - in Upper Yoder Township - just west of Johnstown, PA. This development will run from the terminus of Laurel Ridge near the Conemaugh Gap, southwest to Route 271. Thirty two 425' tall industrial wind turbines will be built in both Cambria and Westmoreland Counties.
DCNR Chief Micheal DeBernardinis is trying to open DCNR lands and state parks up to wind development. If he is successful, this industrial wind plant will be extended South of SR 271 and into Laurel Ridge State Park in Somerset and Westmoreland counties with another 16 wind turbines.
For those of you who live in Upper Yoder, Lower Yoder and Westmont and thought that the problem we are experiencing on Shaffer Mountain does not affect you - better think again. This scourge and defilement of Rural Pennsylvania is coming to your back yards soon unless we can stop them here - on Shaffer Mountain. If you don't believe this - just go up on Laurel Mountain and see the "test tower" the wind company set up. Lots of "good wind" up there.
Funny thing is - none of you folks probably knew anything about this.
GET INVOLVED NOW OR LIVE WITH THE CONSEQUENCES.
Pennsylvania Biological Survey Scientists come out against wind turbines on unfragmented hill tops.
Since Gamesa is now claiming that opponents of its destruction of Shaffer Mountain are bullying and intimidating people to oppose poor, little helpless Gamesa, now you can see for yourself. Here is the DEP public hearing for you to view. See for yourself how everyone who speaks against Gamesa was intimidated. All 42 of them. See for yourself and decide for yourself
Gamesa attends WAA meeting
On Wednesday September 12th Ellen Lutz and Tim Vought of Gamesa attended the Windber Area Authority monthly meeting.
They advised the WAA that they would be refiling their NPDES permit application (permit to destroy Shaffer Mountain) on October 28th. It was rejected as vague and incomplete on June 8th by the Somerset Conservation District. They also advised WAA that they have hired a Philadelphia hydrogeologist who is going to improve our Exceptional Value watershed. That's right. He's going to show us dumb hunkies and hillbillies how to make the watershed better by building 18 miles of roads and transmission channels right through the middle of it. Sounds good to me - how 'bout you, Stush? Bubba?
According to Save the Mountain chairman Joseph J. Cominsky, who attended the September 12th meeting: "Gamesa came in, and with a straight face told the WAA that their Philadelphia hydrogeologist was going to go up to the mountain and make the watershed better. It's already an Exceptional Value watershed - the highest, purest designation possible - It's the best in PA. God made it that way. Apparently Gamesa thinks it can make it better than what God has made it."
Now that's arrogance.
DEP INTIMIDATES SOMERSET SOIL CONSERVATION DIRECTOR, LEN LICHVAR
Prior to the August 28th DEP Public Hearing on Gamesa's
You got a problem with that?
Shaffer Mountain wind project, Somerset Soil Conservation District Manager, Len Lichvar, was warned by DEP's legal counsel that he should not testify at the public hearing. Mr Lichvar who is also a Pennsylvania Fish Commissioner, Trout Unlimited board member and Chairman of the Stoney creek - Conemaugh River Improvement Project (SCRIP) is eminently qualified to testify on the affect Gamesa's project will have on Piney Run and Clear Shade Creek. The problem is that Mr. Lichvar had testified in previous hearings (Shade High School - June 12 and UPJ - June 20) that Gamesa's Shaffer Mountain wind plant, if built, will degrade the waters of Piney Run, an Exceptional Value wilderness trout stream. He was told by DEP to shut up or else.
Is this how our state government is supposed to operate? Using intimidation to quell the opposition. . . Is this what our state government has degenerated to?
On Tuesday, August 28th, over 800 people turned out at Shade High School to hear what you and your business partner, DEP, had to say about the industrial wind plant you want to build on Shaffer Mountain. Although you bused in forced supporters from your Ebensburg plant, fully 85% of those who attended this hearing were against the siting of this industrial facility in the Piney Run and Crumb Bog Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Area of Exceptional Significance. Although you continued with your attempt to paint your opponents as anti-wind wackos and fanatics, the truth came out at the hearing. The people against you do not oppose wind power - they oppose where you want to build this wind plant . . . in the middle of one of the highest quality natural areas in Pennsylvania.
Did you get the message? Citizen after citizen testified that they want no part of you or your wind plant on Shaffer Mountain. Of the 47 witnesses who testified, 42 were against your project. Five of these held advanced doctorate degrees in biology or other related fields, many were working people, woodsmen and housewives, a couple were lawyers, one worked for the US Fish & Wildlife Service, several were successful business people, and one was a child of 12. The coalition against you is diverse, broad-based and growing. None of the witnesses that testified against you, however, were paid witnesses. All attended of their own free will and at their own expense.
Of the five who testified for you, one was paid to attend, one was your paid forester and one was a young man who could not understand why your opponents were not permitted to give their "science" during the first part of your staged hearing. None of your witnesses live on Shaffer Mountain.
Why don't you get it through your head that no one, except Berwind and the two people who signed leases with you, wants any part of Gamesa on Shaffer Mountain. Windber Borough, Paint Borough, Paint Township, Scalp Level Borough, Windber Area Authority and Central City Water Authority have all asked you to abandon your plans on Shaffer Mountain.
Nobody wants you here - so go away.
If you do not, you will destroy your credibility statewide and we will be more than willing to help you do so.
There are places you can build these industrial facilities. Farm fields, reclaimed surface mines, brown fields, fragmented and degraded forests - areas where high quality biologically diverse wild resources do not exist. There are literally thousands of these disturbed sites across Pennsylvania. You can be very successful and make lots of money building your industrial plants in these places. Everyone can win.
If you continue to try to destroy the Piney Run and Clear Shade Creek watersheds, know this . . . we will do whatever we can within the law to stop you. We will never end in our efforts to stop you. As far as we are concerned, the fight to stop you has only just begun.
Move on down the road one mile to Berwind's reclaimed surface mine, and everyone will be happy. Your refusal to do so will be very bad for your company because we are not going away.
750 Attend DEP Charade
750 people, including approximately 675 opponents of the proposed Shaffer Mountain wind plant, attended DEP's public hearing charade last night. Forty-three people testified, thirty-eight against, five for Gamesa and the wind plant. Of the five that testified for - one was on the Gamesa till (their forester) and one received an appearance fee. Three others were misguided souls.
After the hearing DEP's Southwest Waterways Manager, Rita Coleman, stated that this thing is headed to court because their decision (which was made months ago) will be based on science and science is defensible. Ms. Coleman thus made a mockery of the entire process and confirmed for all the totally political nature of the DEP / Gamesa partnership. DEP is not a regulator of wind energy companies - DEP is their business partner and promoter.
Speakers opposing the wind plant included a Harvard biology Ph.D., a biology professor from the University of Michigan, a biology Ph.D. from Pitt, several scientists and a former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Biologist, all who appeared of their own free will and at their own expense, at these farcical proceedings.
The fight has just begun.
Shaffer Mountain lies on the Allegheny Front
on the border of Somerset and Bedford Counties, Pennsylvania.
The area is largely wild and unspoiled, with few roads and little development.
It's part of the Windber Area Authority (WAA) watershed that provides 10,000 people
in the Windber, PA area with clear, pure drinking water. The area is also home to
two pure mountain streams, Piney Run and Clear Shade Creek, that have been designated by
PA DEP as streams of Exceptional Value. This means that they contain the highest
water quality in the Commonwealth and may not be degraded by human activity under any
circumstances. There are only 28 EV streams in PA. Gamesa Energy wants to build
a 33 turbine industrial wind plant on Shaffer Mountain, in the middle of the WAA watershed
and along Piney Run. This development will include 17 miles of new roads and transmission lines
and will place the quality of WAA drinking water and EV stream water at risk.
In the history of the Commonwealth, there has never been a private industrial development of this magnitude ever in an EV watershed. We have asked Gamesa to give us one example. They cannot.
It is clear that Gamesa is trying to use the Shaffer Mountain Wind project to set precedent. With all the sensitive environmental issues involved (two EV streams, threat to Indiana Bat, endangering raptor migration, harm to upland wetlands with rare and endangered plants, etc) Gamesa apparently thinks that if they can get this project pushed through, they can build industrial wind plants anywhere.
There is strong local opposition to this project. On March 14, 2007 the Windber Water Authority (WAA) voted 5-1 AGAINST allowing it in their watershed. Every municipality in the WAA has done likewise - Windber Borough, Paint Township, Paint Borough & Scalp Level Borough. Yet Gamesa arrogantly ignores this opposition.
As we speak Gamesa is frantically pushing the Somerset Soil Conservation District and DEP to issue permits
as quickly as possible so Gamesa can begin to destroy this EV watershed. Huge political
pressure is being applied to drive this process forward more quickly than would ever happen
for an ordinary private citizen. Gamesa is frantic because public pressure is growing against their project every day.
Given the modest amount of electricity generated by wind turbines, the benefits of wind turbines must be balanced against the environmental harms they cause. Undoubtedly there are places in Pennsylvania where wind turbines could be built without disturbing Exceptional Value streams, damaging pristine wilderness areas, destroying migratory birds, killing endangered bats, and threatening wetlands. DEP's alternatives analysis must compare the fragile ecology of the Shaffer Mountain project area to other available sites, such as former strip mine sites, where the risk of environmental harm would be reduced. Such an analysis leads inevitably to the conclusion that the Gamesa application for development on Shaffer Mountain must be denied.
After you review the FACTS on this website, please click on
"What can I do?" and VOICE your opinion. Call your State Representative and State Senator. Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. Call Gamesa. Contact the Governor. Let Gamesa know your
feelings about this watershed threatening project. Demand that the WAA take firm action to STOP
the project NOW. They have the absolute legal right to do so.