Speaker advocates for tougher wind energy turbine restrictions

March 19, 2014 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

A leader of Carteret County’s successful opposition to wind energy turbines in Newport told Craven residents they should push to strengthen its Tall Structures Ordinance on wind turbines before it’s too late.

Speaking to more than 50 people attending a Coastal Carolina Taxpayers Association meeting Tuesday, John Droz, a Morehead City resident who introduced himself as “a physicist, economist, and environmentalist, not a public speaker,” said an open-minded look at wind energy shows it has high cost and low benefits.

Droz is a scientist with a B.S. in physics from Boston College, a B.S. in math from Boston College and a M.S. in physics from Syracuse University.

He said wind energy lobbyists are already at work to get regulations friendly to wind turbine investors who want high profits — and government subsidies and energy sale requirements provided in 2007 legislation — without regard for environmental or local economic reward.

They are steps ahead of regular citizens’ information, Droz said, and cozy with state regulators like some who held a hearing on the Newport project in Wilmington instead of Newport or Morehead City and were aware of the project almost three years before average citizens whose property and livelihoods could be affected.

Using a PowerPoint presentation Droz read highlights from his website at WiseEnergy.org, said with the Mill Pond wind energy project all but dead in Carteret County, that company and others will be looking to neighboring counties as a place to put the project that can hurt the military, weather service, and air traffic by its interference with radar and the environment and the economy, including the tourism economy in Craven County.

They say they have “given up,” Droz said, “however their actions say otherwise. For example, their state application has not been withdrawn and they continue to try to negotiate concession from Carteret commissioners.

He said the local military personnel are prohibited from speaking about the possible effects on Cherry Point air station and all Department of Defense comments must come from a clearinghouse in Washington, D.C.

Craven County Commissioner Johnnie Sampson attended the two hour meeting and presentation and CCTA leaders urged him to call their concerns to the attention of other members.

Droz said the Craven Tall Structures Ordinance may have been well intended but is “almost the worst law I’ve seen in the whole country.”

Passed before the Carteret or Newport ordinances, Craven’s setback requirements are about 10 times less stringent, allow a higher decibel level, and offer zero property value protection for bordering or affected property.

Droz said the state law coming from House Bill 484 needs strengthening and that Rep. John Bell, R-Wayne, who wrote the original bill “is a key player” in getting tougher requirements in place, primarily to protect Cherry Point.

The open-mindedness that he suggested to those attending was alive and well among some present with CCTA member tags and at least one person who were not in agreement with some of the findings presented.

Droz said strengthening the local law would require fast movement by a lot of concerned citizens who educate themselves quickly.   


Sue Book can be reached at 252-635-5665 or sue.book@newbernsj.com. Follow her on Twitter@SueJBook.

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