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Report from the initial hearing:
Speaking for the conservation side were a selection of local people. The other side was out in force with slides and the whole works. A Mr. Cowart spoke regarding Cap & Trade and the economic benefit wind would throw into that mix. Sam Enfeld of Atlantic Renewable Energy talked about how great Mountaineer, Meyersdale and several other projects were, tried to glaze over the bat issue, human health issues didn't enter into his presentation. Ed Arnett from Bat Conservation International gave a good presentation. The individuals on the commission asked good questions but the outcome may well be too late for those local residents immediately effected.
Public comments were also made by a Mark Isner from Kerens, WV (union member)he stated he had received 6 months work from Mountaineer, allowed him to put food on the table for his family, get good benefit, etc. He stated he had visited Mountaineer with his wife after construction was complete and she said the sound reminder her of waves lapping on the beach. I quote him "we all pay a lot of money to go to the beach when we can have that sound in our back yard, I say forget about the bats and build the turbines". Noone mentioned that you can always leave the beach when you are tired of the noise, but not if its sat in your backyard now!
Also a rep. by the name of Steve White, Div. Affiliated Construction Trades, stated that all proposed project could be close to 1 Billion Dollars and in his math at least 100 million would come down and pay construction wages.
Noone talked about how much electricity needs to be generated to re-pay a $1B total cost and the decades that might take. So much for 'free' energy! And once that initial construction is done - there's preciously little benefit coming to offset the damage to the environment and tourism.
Another individual who was with WV Working Group who saw three issues, the Avian which could be quantified, the noise and view shed which couldn't be quantified, he likened the view shed issue to individuals' view of pornography. However, who wants a red-light district in their neighborhood?
In the end all boiled down, that no one clearly knows what's going to happen, what they need to do about it in the short term and that probably nothing is going to be done until it's too late.
Meanwhile the cutting of timber continued on the ridge all day Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. When we got home late Wed. night the timber was down and laying beside the road. They finally got timber down in the Segment One Area. This morning they had their equipment ready to move into the area of Pigeon Roast Tower...