Saturday, May 20, 2006


The Conundrum

How did a group that started out about this:

Welcome to Scenic Michigan, an affiliate of the national non-profit organization Scenic America. We are headquartered in Petoskey, Michigan, and work to enhance the scenic beauty of Michigan's communities and roadsides. Our principal activity is informing the public of the economic, social, and cultural benefits of highway beautification. Scenic Michigan promotes and sponsors programs to encourage natural beauty in the environment, enhance landscapes, protect historical and cultural resources, and improve community appearance.

write this?

Dear Friend of Michigan's Scenic Resources,

I am writing to share Scenic Michigan's position on the use of wind driven electric power plants.

Scenic Michigan enthusiastically supports the use of alternative energy sources to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. This includes wind driven electric power plants, provided they are properly located, operated, and with provision for removal in the event of obsolescence.

Scenic Michigan believes some measure of local input and control of siting and operation is mandatory, perhaps through a model ordinance which could be used throughout Michigan. Given their potential impacts, Scenic Michigan does not believe installation of large, wind driven electric power plants should be permitted in Michigan as a matter of right by developers, electric utilities or units of government.

The factors which should be considered for each installation include:

** Impact of location of these tall structures (hundreds of feet high)in environmentally or visually sensitive areas
** Visual impact to residents and tourists
** Need for and appearance of facilities to connect to the electric grid such as a substation, security fencing, power lines and roads
** Blade and/or hub lighting to FAA requirements, especially flashing strobe lights
** Light flicker on neighbors due to sunlight reflected off blades
** Ice shedding potential
** Color of the units
** Proximity to migratory bird flyways and night flying birds and bats
** Noise
** Maintenance of the power plant site
** Economic viability, with and without tax credits
** Removal bond in the event of obsolescence

Communities and organizations evaluating wind driven electric power plants can obtain more information from Scenic Michigan.

Please note new e-mail address for Scenic

Abby Dart
Scenic Michigan
445 E. Mitchell St.
Petoskey, MI 49770
231-347-1185 (fax)
231-881-6266 (cell)


Their laundry list of things to take into account isn't all bad, but it misses just one key thing: the consequences of making electricity with fossil fuels, which are the alternatives to wind in our fair state.

It appears that what people want is electricity made by little genies behind electric switchplates and socket covers.

I wonder: how much tourism Scenic Michigan expects to see after our failure to cut CO2 emissions from power plants comes home to roost?

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