Tag Archives: AGW

Local News – Newport Wind Project

A Texas company is proposing to develop a Wind Farm Enery Project in Newport, NC. This wind farm may consist of 50 windmills each which will be 450 feet tall. The NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources  (DENR) is reported to be bending over backwards for this wind developer in supporting the project. Even to the extent of having the first meeting that DENR refused to classify as a planning or scoping meeting (so what was it) in Wilmington, NC (not in Newport where most people affected are). It is also not clear where our local NC House member, Representative Pat McElraft, stands on the Newport Wind Project. Some have expressed concern that because of her close relationship to House Speaker Thom Tillis who killed a key bill (H298) in the last session, Representative McElraft may be turning a blind-eye to the Newport Wind Project and the residents of Carteret County. We hope that is bunk!

Some Newport Town officials are reported to have attended the Wilmington meeting held by DENR. Someone reported they were dismayed at DENR’s support of the wind development company to the detriment to the Town of Newport and citizens of Carteret County. The Town of Newport plans to hold a meeting soon to discuss the project. As details emerge, we will keep you advised. The Town of Newport is also developing a local ordinance for projects such as this wind farm project that will need your review and input. Some have suggested that the Carteret County Commissioners via the County Planning Board need to develop strict standards for the county for these projects.

Below are some emails that have been circulated if you want to dig into the details of the project and the history a bit more. Continue reading

Obama Finally Delivers

In 2008, Obama promised to “stem the rise of the oceans and heal the planet.” On June 25, 2013, he finally delivered his plan. The piece below is from John Droz. Check out the links provided for more information.



[T]he President revealed his climate & energy plan this afternoon [June 25, 2013].
Unfortunately there was no surprise, as it was entirely a political speech, essentially devoid of any real science.
[Note that their newest PR tactic was on display: since citizens have already been flogged into insensitivity with the end-of-the world malarky, their focus now is that it’s your kids at stake!]
He is also quite proud of the fact that he is largely bypassing Congress (the elected representatives of the people), and acting contrary to the wishes of US citizenry. Additionally the fact that his unilateral actions will likely result in widespread economic harm to the country, thousands of net jobs lost, and a reduction of our security — are also taken as a badge of honor.
This makes perfect sense once one fully grasps that this is a religious campaign, and the main tenet of this secular belief is: “The End Justifies The Means.” Put another way: a lot of casualties are a necessary byproduct of war.
Marc Morano wrote a good summary: “President Obama is still parading his ignorance on climate science, linking bad weather to ‘global warming’, claiming a mythical 97% consensus, and implying that his executive actions can alter the globe’s temperature and lessen extreme weather events. The President has descended into the realm of medieval witchcraft by claiming he can combat global temperature rises and weather patterns through administrative action.”
CEI issued an insightful commentary: “President’s Climate Plan Undemocratic, Bordering On Authoritarian“. They rightly characterize his proposal as “all pain, no gain.” Other good observations from several independent experts can be found here.
The Good The Bad and the Ugly (which includes two PDF documents: 1) the President’s plan and 2) the White House “fact sheet” for climate policies for both new and existing power plants.
To understand the Big Picture of our concern here, please carefully look at ScienceUnderAssault.info.
What can you do? Despite his blatant attempt at an end-run, Congress still has some say here — for instance they control the purse strings of government agencies. So please do call your Representative and Senator to express your views: 1-866-220-0044.
john droz, jr.
PS — If you’d like to dig a little deeper, here’s more. Thanks to Bob Ferguson (president of SPPI) for most of the following summary:Claims that CO2 emissions are “contributing to higher rates of asthma attacks and more frequent and severe floods and heat waves” not only lack scientific and observational validity, but the growing body of literature across a broad spectrum of related fields of research often contradicts such claims.
A search of these web resources by the Center for the Study of CO2 and the Science and Public Policy Institute returns ample review papers of CO2 and climate related research:
Sample papers and summaries:

HB 298 will test GOP leadership


Beaufort Observer (April 28, 2013) — Depending on how this week’s action plays out, the story of HB 298 (The Affordable and Reliable Energy Act) may be the most significant thing to come out of the 2013 session. That’s a pretty far reaching statement, but consider this.

Many Republicans ran for office on a platform of putting a stop to “business as usual” wherein Big Money interests controlled what happened in the Legislature. But at this point in time, a small group of Republicans in the House have killed HB 298 by voting against it in committee. But a substantial majority of Republicans is said to favor the bill. Thus, what is set up is a real test of the Republican leadership in both the House and Senate. Continue reading

Science Under Attack

The slide carousel below is essentially the same as that presented by Morehead City physicist John Droz before a group of legislators from the NC General Assembly on February 6, 2013.  It explains why decisions on science should be based only on real science.

[slideshare id=9692210&doc=wppresentation-locke-111014053128-phpapp01]

The Global Warming News You Haven’t Read

By Dr. Roy Cordato,    January 22, 2013

RALEIGH — Over the past several weeks, there has been a good deal of global warming news, some that focused on the year immediately passed — 2012 — and some that focused on years to come. But in all probability the only headline you have seen regarding any of this read something like this one from The Weather Channel: “2012: Warmest Year on Record for U.S.” Several weeks ago this news covered the pages of newspapers. All the networks spread the same idea.

But, as noted, over the past several weeks there have been other global warming-related stories, and the one regarding 2012 temperature in the lower 48 states of the United States was probably the least important. After all, the issue is global warming, not warming in the U.S., and on that score the news was quite different.

So here’s a headline you probably didn’t see: “2012: 9th Warmest on Record Globally Since 1979.” The reason why you didn’t see this or a similar headline in any major media outlet is because, as far as I’ve been able to tell, the story, while completely true, went unreported.

But according to the satellite temperature record, kept since 1979, 2012 was only the ninth warmest year on record. Here are the years since 1979 ranked by average global temperature — warmest to coolest. Continue reading

Criticisms Convince State To Back Off Projections of Dramatic Sea Level Rise

This is why it’s so important to write legislators, Letters to the Editor, and go to public meetings. “We the People” had an impact on this decision. “We” went to the Governor’s science panel meetings and spoke out. NC-20, representing the 20 NC coastal counties was instrumental showing that the science panel had NO scientific data supporting the sea level rise conclusions they were heading toward.

Why was this so important to you? Dramatic decline in coastal real estate values, high cost of new insurance rates based on new unscientific flood predictions are two reasons. And as you read the article below, note that NC regulators may still try to implement some of the findings. YOU need to tell your legislature ‘NO new regulations based on unscientific sea level rise predictions.’


Feb. 20th, 2012


RALEIGH — State officials are pressuring local governments to plan for a one-meter sea-level rise by 2100, even though many independent scientists have argued the rise is highly unlikely if not impossible.

Even though a state advisory panel no longer recommends regulations based on the one-meter projection, local government officials worry that state regulators will try to implement those rules.

Such a policy, they say, would have a devastating impact on coastal economies, property values, and citizens’ ability to secure financing and property insurance. North Carolina also would become the first state to enact policies consistent with a projected sea-level rise of that magnitude.

In a 2010 report (PDF), the Coastal Resource Commission’s Science Panel said the sea level is likely to rise one meter by 2100. Now the commission is drafting policy “encouraging” coastal communities to consider accelerated rates of sea-level rise in local land-use and development planning.

A group of independent scientists have challenged the panel’s report, pushing the CRC to revise its draft sea-level rise policy so that the regulations in it read more like suggestions and the one-meter benchmark no longer appears.

There’s nothing scientific about the way the science panel came up with its one-meter projection, said John Droz, a physicist and environmental activist. Droz, with the help of more than 30 other scientists, wrote a critique (PDF) of the panel’s “NC Sea-Level Rise Assessment Report.”

Droz’s first complaint is that the panel based its one-meter projection on a review of scientific studies, but the review excluded studies concluding that sea-level rise is not happening. Also, the study cited most by the panel is no longer supported by its own author.

“They never mentioned this,” he said. “These people are either totally incompetent or they’re just totally dishonest.”

Droz also criticizes the broadness of the range of possible scenarios the panel came up with.

The report states that the panel has not attempted “to predict a specific future rate or amount of rise because that level of accuracy is not considered to be attainable at this time.” Instead, the panel predicts a “likely range of rise” between 15 and 55 inches and settles on 39 inches (one meter) as the “amount of rise that should be adopted for policy development and planning purposes.”

“It appears the authors want to have it both ways,” Droz said. “They rightfully acknowledge an accurate future prediction is unattainable, yet they make a future prediction that they expect North Carolina to use for development and planning purposes.”

Droz also takes issue with the tide gauge measurements the panel relied on. Of the eight measuring stations in North Carolina, the panel said it “feels most confident in the data retrieved from the Duck gauge,” which shows the highest measurements of all eight stations and which has been collecting data for the fewest number of years.

The Duck station’s 24 years of data show an average rate of sea-level rise at 16 inches per century. By contrast, a measuring station in Wilmington with 67 years of data shows an average rate of 8 inches per century.

Additionally, Droz calls the tide gauge measurements too crude to provide useful data. The report says that “a tide gauge can be as simple as a long ruler nailed to a post on a dock.”

It also admits “a drawback to tide gauges in North Carolina, in addition to their small number, is that most of them don’t extend back in time more than 50 years, making it difficult to resolve changes in the rate of rise over the decades.”

The report adds, “More accurate” satellite measurements have been available only since 2001. Droz argues that 10 years of data are “clearly insufficient in determining things like hundred-year trends.”

Droz said some scientists believe the sea is not rising at all. He points to a recent newspaper profile of Dr. Nils-Axel Morner, former head of the Paleogeophysics and Geodynamics Department at Stockholm University and former head of the INQUA International Commission on Sea Level Change.

“Despite fluctuations down as well as up, the sea is not rising,” Morner said. “It hasn’t risen in 50 years. If there is any rise this century it will not be more than 10 centimeters (4 inches), with an uncertainty of plus or minus 10 centimeters.”

Droz asked Morner what he thought of the science panel’s prediction.

“Sorry, simply physically impossible,” Morner wrote. “It is, for sure, not rising by one meter by year 2100. Our best estimate for 2100 is 5 centimeters with a 15 centimeter margin of error, and that is nothing to worry about.”

Damage control

After circulating his critique, Droz was invited to make a presentation to state lawmakers, who put pressure on the CRC to change the language in their sea level rise policy draft.

After reviewing his critique, Droz said one member of the science panel sent him a confidential message. “He apologized for signing off on it and said he was totally remiss in his obligation to do the right thing.”

Because of Droz’s work, the North Carolina Office of Emergency Management now is studying the impact of a range of potential levels in sea rise from zero to 15 inches by 2100, instead of 15 to 55 inches.

“We brought it down after talking with Droz and other individuals,” said John Dorman, director of the flood mapping program for the Office of Emergency Management. “We believe, as Mr. Droz says — and I’ll give him credit for that — that it needs to be based on science.

“None of us know what’s going to happen in the future,” he said. “The more we thought about that, the more we decided that while there’s value in showing what potentially could happen, when you get way outside the bounds of reason, it becomes more of a detriment than a benefit.”

Dorman said his department met with Droz and Tom Thompson of NC-20, a coalition of 20 coastal counties formed to protect their economic development interests from what they consider “unreasonable” environmental regulations.

“Honestly, they convinced us to run only the scientifically based, extrapolated rates [as opposed to the predicted accelerated rates] with some deviation to the lower side and upper side,” Dornan said.

“I agree with Tom Thompson and John Droz, you don’t want to put something out there that could impact North Carolina in a negative way, especially if it’s not based on science,” he said.

Full steam ahead

Chairman of the Coastal Resource Commission Bob Emory said he still is comfortable with the one-meter prediction and that his agency plans to continue “encouraging” local governments to use the benchmark in their land-use plans.

After local government officials expressed “some real heartburn” over the 39-inch benchmark, Emory says it was deleted from the CRC’s official policy. However, it still will be used for “education purposes.”

“It’s too soon to take a regulatory approach,” Emory said. “I don’t think people are ready for that. But it’s something they should start incorporating into their thinking.”

Carteret County Commissioner Doug Harris said coastal counties are being pressured to plan for a significant rise.

“Unfortunately, state bureaucrats are convinced that the presently not increasing rate of sea level rise will increase rapidly in the future, and, ignoring the second-guessing within the science panel, both the Division of Coastal Management and Sea Grant are aggressively educating and manipulating local government officials to impose 39-inch-sea-level-rise land planning immediately,” Harris said.

“Certainly, if sea level is rising more rapidly, or will begin to rise more rapidly, by any cause, we need to know it,” Harris said. But depending upon the final wording of the CRC’s sea-level rise policy, he fears it will in effect “take homes and businesses, raise insurance rates, diminish bank financing, and reduce property values by billions.”

Harris noted that North Carolina is the first state along the East Coast to propose a future sea-level rise rate and would be the first to develop a policy based on this future rate.

Sara Burrows is an associate editor of Carolina Journal



Statement on the President's Action to Disapprove the Keystone Pipeline

Date:               January 24, 2012

To:                  Valero Employees

From:              Bill Klesse

Subject:          Keystone XL Pipeline Statement

As you know, the Obama administration decided last week to deny TransCanada’s application to ship crude oil via the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the Gulf Coast. Valero has planned to be a shipper and purchaser of that oil since 2008, and obviously we were disappointed in the decision. We issued a statement in response to questions from the media, and I wanted to share it with you in case you get questions from friends or business partners, and so that you would know why Valero supports the Keystone XL pipeline. This is the statement:

Despite the uncertainty and political fighting over the Keystone XL pipeline, Valero has continued to invest in its U.S. refining operation.  In 2011 we spent nearly $3 billion on projects, and for 2012 our capital expenditure budget is over $3 billion. These expenditures are keeping our employees on the job and putting additional people to work.  To reference two of our refineries, at Port Arthur, Texas, we have 1,600 contractors working on an expansion project, and at St. Charles Parish, Louisiana, we have another 1,000 contractors working on a separate project.  We need this kind of economic activity to accelerate to help all Americans.

This illustrates why the federal government’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline is so absurd. There are pipelines in every neighborhood all across America. The administration’s decision was not about pipelines, it was about the misguided beliefs that Canadian oil sands development should be stopped and that fossil fuel prices should increase to make alternative energy more attractive. Instead, we should be impressed with how well the oil sands engineering and recovery technology has advanced, and the economic benefits this development brings.  Having more oil available in the marketplace has the potential to lower prices for consumers.  As an independent refiner, Valero buys all of the oil we process. Due to the administration’s misguided policies, refiners like Valero will have to buy more oil from other sources outside the U.S. and Canada. Consumers will bear the additional shipping cost, not to mention the additional greenhouse gas emissions and political risks.

With all the issues facing our country, it is absolutely unbelievable our federal government says no to a company like TransCanada that is willing to spend over $7 billion and put Americans to work on a pipeline.  The administration’s decision throws dirt into the face of our closest ally and largest trading partner.

The point above is that it is not about pipelines as many pipelines cross the Ogallala Aquifer, in the Great Plains region, and, in fact, there is already significant oil and gas production in the area covered by the aquifer. This is politics at its worst.

Thanks for your support.

Workshop – "The Truth About Wind Power on the Coasts of North Carolina"

The John Locke Foundation
Cordially invites you to

A wind power workshop

with our presenters

Daren Bakst, Esq., John Droz, Jr, David W. Schnare, Esq. Ph.D

– Daren Bakst, Esq.– Director of Legal and Regulatory Studies John Locke Foundation

John Droz, Jr.– Fellow American Tradition Institute

David W. Schnare, Esq. Ph.D.– Director of the George Mason Environmental Law Clinic Director of the Environmental Law Center at the American Tradition Institute

“The Truth About Wind Power on the Coasts of North Carolina”


Monday, December 05, 2011
7:00 PM

Burney Ballroom A, University of North Carolina, Wilmington Wilmington, NC

Price: The event is free and open to the public

The Truth About Wind Power on the Coasts of North Carolina

Environmental pressure groups, the “Big Wind” industry, and self-interested state bodies are going around the state trying to sell the public on the idea of allowing wind power plants along North Carolina’s coast.

This workshop will present an alternative view of wind power and what it would mean to North Carolina’s coastal communities. Participants will learn about wind power in general, including its intermittency problems, high costs, limited value and its environmental and economic impact. Myths will be countered, including why wind power would not play any meaningful role in energy security.


Mr. Bakst, a licensed attorney, is Director of Legal and Regulatory Studies for the John Locke Foundation. In this position, he analyzes and presents on a wide range of issues, including on energy and the environment. His expertise has been featured in many media outlets, including CNN, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and AOL News. Mr. Bakst serves as Chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee of the Federalist Society and as a member of the Energy, Environment, and Agriculture Task Force of the American Legislative Exchange Council.

Mr. Droz serves as a fellow at the American Tradition Institute and recently was selected to serve on the board of NC-20, which advocates on behalf of North Carolina’s 20 coastal counties. He serves as the scientific advisor for NC-20. Mr. Droz is a physicist, having worked for companies such as GE. For over 30 years, Mr. Droz has been an environmental activist and been a participating member of many environmental organizations (e.g. Sierra Club, Committee to Protect the Adirondacks).

Dr. Schnare is Director of the Environmental Law Center at the American Tradition Institute, Director of the George Mason Environmental Law Clinic and Director of the Center for Environmental Stewardship at the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy. Formerly a senior attorney with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Civil Enforcement, he has served as a trial lawyer with the Department of Justice and the Office of the Virginia Attorney General, on the staff of the Senate Appropriates Committee and as the nation’s Senior Regulatory Economist
with the U.S. Office of Advocacy for Small Business.

Additional information can be found at:



Email from Senator Hagan re. Solyndra

September 30, 2011

Dear Friend,

Thank you for contacting me regarding Solyndra.  I greatly appreciate hearing your thoughts on this important issue.

Solyndra was a solar panel manufacturer founded in 2005.  In September 2011, two years after receiving a $535 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy, the company filed for bankruptcy.  The Treasury Department is currently investigating the loan guarantee approved for the Solyndra project, as is the Department of Energy’s inspector general.

Like you, I believe we must carefully monitor how taxpayer dollars are spent.  This is particularly important at a time when the annual federal budget deficit exceeds $1 trillion.  While I share your concerns about the loan guarantee awarded to Solyndra, I do not believe this incident is necessarily indicative of the entire Loan Guarantee Program, which has helped many important energy projects move forward in these difficult economic times.  Projects that have benefited from the Loan Guarantee Program include nuclear power plants, biofuels, and smart grid technologies.

As this matter is further investigated, I will be sure to keep your thoughts and concerns in mind.

Again, thank you for contacting my office. It is truly an honor to represent North Carolina in the United States Senate, and I hope you will not hesitate to contact me in the future should you have any further questions or concerns.



Kay R. Hagan

Electrical Energy: Sound Science or Lobbyist

At this link, EnergyPresentation.Info

you will find a thorough explanation on why Wind Energy is not what proponents claim it to be. Energy alternatives must be selected using sound science using the Scientific Method. Alternative or renewable energy proponents use emotion to sell their product. Remember the adage “Buyer Beware.” The adage certaianly applies when it comes to renewable energy.

Wind Energy Resources

Get the facts on Wind Energy and Renewable Energy. Here are some resource links to get the truth about wind and renewable energy via John Droz, jr.:


Some recent energy articles of interest —
One of my most important documents, What Not To Say, has been updated (especially the PS part): <<http://www.northnet.org/brvmug/WindPower/WhatNotToSay.pdf>>.
This is a VERY significant story that gives us hope that sensibility and science may yet prevail: <<http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11226/1167245-454.stm>>.
One of the main strategies of non-science lobbyists is to justify their self-serving promotions (e.g. wind energy) as producing jobs. It should come as no surprise that “renewable” energy forces are proposing to congress to cut gas, oil and nuclear subsidies‚ but not any for renewables <<http://www.energybiz.com/article/11/08/partisans-joining-forces-cut-energy-subsidies>>.
Here are three recent articles that put the job claims into a more accurate perspective:
2) “Feeding the Masses on Unicorn Ribs” is a wonderfully insightful story about green jobs, etc <<http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2011/08/19/feeding-the-masses-on-unicorn-ribs/>>.
3) “The Dirty Secret Behind Clean Jobs” <<http://cascadepolicy.org/pdf/pub/CleanJobsReport8.22.11.pdf>>.
Beyond the site fight: can communities reclaim the right to say “no”? <<http://www.yesmagazine.org/people-power/the-right-to-say-no>>.
A fine anergy article by attorney Dave Schnare, directed to our presidential candidates: <<http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/aug/16/campaign-advice-for-all-of-the-abovers/>>.
A new article about wind energy performance in Illinois (that applies almost everywhere) <<http://www.continentalecon.com/publications/nge/2011.9.pdf>>.
“Eco-Fads: Feel-Good Policies Replace Science” Although this is not about wind energy, the same situation exists there:
A Carnegie Mellon study on shale gas <<http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2011/08/new_shale_study_refutes_cornel.html>>. On a related mater the US government revised their estimate of shale gas available, and now project it to be some 40 times higher than before <<http://articles.philly.com/2011-08-24/business/29922377_1_shale-drilling-marcellus-shale-natural-gas>>.
GE’s laser advances in nuclear fuel is an informative article <<http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/21/science/earth/21laser.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1>>.
Some recent global warming articles of interest —
US presidential candidate expresses skepticism about global warming <<http://news.yahoo.com/perry-says-doesnt-believe-global-warming-143259373.html.>>
A new (major) example of how politics adversely influences scientific research <<http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=975f250d-ca5d-4f40-b687-a1672ed1f684>>.
A CERN particle-physics study that may reveal that solar radiation is a major cause of global warming <<http://climatescienceinternational.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=537>>.
A fine article discussing the fallacies of the “97% consensus” about AGW <<http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2011/08/30/rick-perry-neednt-sweat-his-global-warming-skepticism/>>.
An intriguing exchange about the health benefits of global warming mitigation <<http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2011/8/29/health-co-benefits.html>>.
A worthwhile film: The Great Global Warming Swindle <<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaTJJCPYhlk&hd=1>>.
Some other recent articles of general interest —
A superior , must read article, about our education system — which explains a lot about what is happening with wind energy and the like <<http://thenewamerican.com/culture/education/8617-mainstreaming-progressive-education-a-scheme-hidden-in-plain-sight>>.
This is a remarkable piece. It is a story about unnecessary spending in the US armed services — written by a high ranking (now a General) career soldier, who I happen to know <<http://www.military.com/forums/0,15240,86755,00.html>>.
Please pass this information on to other open-minded, science-oriented people. If anyone would like to be added to or removed from the email list, please let me know.
Thank you for your support.
john droz jr.,
physicist & environmental advocate
Fellow: American Tradition Institute (<<http://www.atinstitute.org/>>)

Rush on Romney’s Global Warming Comments: ‘Bye, Bye Nomination’

First it was Romneycare, now it’s global warming. Can this guy do anything right?


Radio talk show host Rush Linbaugh has a message for presidential candidate and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney: Say goodbye to the 2012 Republican nomination. Last Friday, Romney spoke at a town hall event in New Hampshire, telling the audience that he believes human beings have an impact on global warming:


Read more …

Wind Power in Mass.

The Falmouth Experience: Life Under The Blades

March 7, 2011 | 7:29 AM | By Jess Bidgood

Encouraged by the Patrick Administration’s goal to expand wind power, communities across the commonwealth are considering or constructing wind turbines. In the town of Falmouth, some residents say a turbine installed last year has changed their lives  — and not for the better. This week, WGBH’s Sean Corcoran takes us to Falmouth to explore all sides of the issue in a special series, The Falmouth Experience: The Trouble with One Town’s Turbine.

In his kitchen table at his Falmouth home, Neil Anderson holds the calendar where he and his wife record their daily reactions to the wind turbine located nearby. (Jess Bidgood/WGBH)Jess Bidgood/WGBH 

In his kitchen table at his Falmouth home, Neil Anderson holds the calendar where he and his wife record their daily reactions to the wind turbine located nearby.

FALMOUTH, Mass. — Standing on his home’s porch, Neil Anderson points through the thicket of trees in his front yard and across Blacksmith Shop Road towards one of his closest neighbors: A wind turbine.

“Right now we are 1,320 feet, which is one-quarter mile south of Wind One, which is Falmouth’s first wind turbine. It’s been online since April. And we’ve been trying to get it stopped since April,” Anderson says.

Wind One, as the turbine is officially called, is owned by the town of Falmouth and is located at the town’s wastewater treatment plant, where it stands 262 feet tall to the turbine’s hub. That’s about 10 feet taller than the Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown. The blades extend just shy of 400 feet, which is about half the height of the John Hancock Building in Boston.

Wind 1 stands 262 feet tall in Falmouth. As many as 50 residents of the town have complained of the health effects the turbine's noise and shadows have had on their lives.Jess Bidgood/WGBH 

Wind 1 stands 262 feet tall in Falmouth. As many as 50 residents of the town have complained of the health effects the turbine’s noise and shadows have had on their lives.

When it was installed last spring, Anderson didn’t think Wind One would cause a problem. For 35 years, he’s owned and operated a passive solar company on Cape Cod.

The energy conservationist in Anderson considered wind power a good principle. He wasn’t alone — before the turbine switched on, Falmouth residents almost universally welcomed Wind One as a symbol of renewable energy and a way to keep taxes down.

“I was proud looking at it from this viewpoint — until it started turning,” Anderson said.

But now, as many as 50 people are complaining about the turbine and the noise it makes at different speeds. A dozen families are retaining a lawyer for that reason.

“It is dangerous. Headaches. Loss of sleep. And the ringing in my ears never goes away. I could look at it all day, and it does not bother me. It’s quite majestic — but it’s way too close,” Anderson said.

Neighbors say this isn’t a debate about a turbine ruining their view, and their goal is not compensation. Some just want it turned off at night.

But Anderson can’t compromise. “This house has been my hobby, my investment, and we love it out here. We will move if we have to. Because we cannot live with (the turbine). No, we cannot,” Anderson said.

Wind One is expected to save the town about $375,000 a year in electricity. Heather Harper, Falmouth’s acting town manager, says Falmouth owes about $5 million on the 1.65-megawatt turbine.

Harper said one of the challenges of running the turbine is that the type of sound some neighbors complain about — that low-level pulse — isn’t regulated by the state. “The times I have been there I do not experience the impact of the effect that the neighbors have expressed that they’ve experienced. But I do believe that they are experiencing something that is very real to them,” Harper said.

Neil Anderson and his wife keep a log of how the turbine affects them. It shows nights of disrupted sleeping, headaches, and even mood-swings.Jess Bidgood/WGBH 

Neil Anderson and his wife keep a log of how the turbine affects them. It shows nights of disrupted sleeping, headaches, and even mood-swings.

David McGlinchey is with the non-partisan Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences in Plymouth, which provides science-based information to policy makers. McGlinchey says that while Wind One has generated complaints, other turbines of similar size, including a 1.8-megawatt turbine in Hull, have been mostly well-received.

“The existing peer-reviewed studies suggest that there are no health effects associated with the sound and noise from wind turbines,” McGlinchey said. “That being said, people clearly experience symptoms. People have headaches, people have their sleep disturbed, people are not living well next to them in some situations. In some situations they are. So, both sides are right.”

Wind advocates say Falmouth’s experience has made it nearly impossible to get other turbines approved on Cape Cod, and potentially across the state. Last week, Falmouth’s selectmen acknowledged the issue and agreed to turn off the turbine when wind speeds exceed 23 miles per hour.

It’s unclear how much relief this will bring or how long it will last, since selectmen said more permanent mitigation efforts still must be negotiated.

One looming concern of neighbors is a second turbine, one of the same size and make that has gone up not far from the first. Falmouth’s Wind Two is scheduled to be turned on sometime this spring.

More from this series:

Letter from Senator Kay Hagan on EPA Greenhouse Gas Emissions

March 7, 2011

Dear Friend,

Thank you for contacting me regarding S.J. Res. 26 and regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). I greatly appreciate hearing your thoughts on this important issue.

In 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that greenhouse gases are air pollutants subject to regulation under the Clean Air Act and directed the EPA to determine whether emissions from new motor vehicles endanger public health or welfare. Following an extensive two-year review process, under both the Obama and Bush Administrations, the EPA found that these gases do in fact threaten public health. This finding does not itself impose any requirements on industry or other entities, but does provide the basis for potential future regulation.

In order to prevent any regulations from taking effect, some members of Congress have worked to stop the EPA from moving forward. In particular, S.J. Res. 26 would have overturned the EPA finding that greenhouse gas emissions represent a threat to public health, and preemptively removed the ability for the EPA to regulate these emissions. On June 10, 2010, S.J. Res. 26 was considered by the full Senate and rejected with a vote of 47-53.

I strongly believe that the United States must serve as a leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions that deteriorate our atmosphere and threaten our environment. Like you, however, I am concerned about the impact of any new federal policy on energy costs in North Carolina and American economic competitiveness. We cannot allow the impact of new energy initiatives to fall disproportionately on North Carolina or low-income citizens. Likewise, we cannot put American industries at a competitive disadvantage while we push other nations to adopt similar emissions reduction targets.

I believe that the most efficient and cost-effective method to regulate greenhouse gases is through a market-based approach that is thoroughly examined by Congress. I do not believe that Congress should overturn a scientific finding that affects the welfare of our nation, and for that reason I voted against S.J. Res. 26. With this in mind, I anticipate the opportunity work with my colleagues on comprehensive clean energy and climate change legislation, and will work to ensure that the impacts of new energy policies will strengthen – not weaken – our state’s economy.

Again, thank you for contacting my office. It is truly an honor to represent North Carolina in the United States Senate, and I hope you will not hesitate to contact me in the future should you have any further questions or concerns.



Kay R. Hagan

State tries to quell sea level policy concerns


Published: Sunday, February 20, 2011 2:05 AM EST

MOREHEAD CITY — The chairman of a state rule-making board sent a letter to the county this month hoping to ease concerns it has with a sea-level rise draft policy.

Bob Emory, the chairman of the N.C. Coastal Resources Commission, wrote to Doug Harris, chairman of the County Board of Commissioners, to assure him the county’s concerns would be taking into consideration, and that the draft policy could still be reworked.

The board has told the N.C. Division of Coastal Management, which is drafting the proposal that will be considered by the CRC, that if the policy goes into effect, it will have a devastating effect on coastal areas. The draft policy states the sea level will go up by a meter by 2110, a figure the county believes is inflated.

While policies to not enact any rules, they are used as a basis for future regulations.

The county, which first heard about the proposal during a meeting in December, has also sent letters to other coastal counties seeking allies to prevent the policy from being implemented.

“The general purpose of policy development is to establish management objectives to provide guidance for CRC decisions,” Mr. Emory wrote in the letter dated Feb. 7. He added that this is not something the CRC has done often recently and there can be some confusion over the implications.

“The draft policy presented at your meeting is the result of recognition that sea-level rise, like erosion and storms, is a natural hazard indigenous to the shoreline.

The commission’s objective for managing coastal hazards is to minimize unreasonable danger to life and property and to achieve a balance between the financial, safety and social factors that are involved with development in the coastal areas.”

The county has said the data on which the 1-meter estimate is based is flawed, and that if the policy goes through, it would impact where and how public and private development takes place on the coast.

Mr. Emory stated the CRC would take the county’s concerns into account. “The input of stakeholders, particularly local governments is an important consideration for the commission,” he wrote.

He continued, “The commission is committed to incorporating the concerns of local government into the development of a sea-level rise policy that reflects the seriousness of the issue as well as any economic effects that may be associate with its adoption.”

The letter did little to ease the worry. A letter signed by Chairman Harris and dated Feb. 17 states: “The scale of economics involved with this proposal is so ubiquitous, that it becomes difficult for local governments to essentially tell our constituency, ‘Not to worry. It’s only a draft, and trust us, the CRC is in no rush to adopt anything without additional input. Also the end outcome will likely be different.’ ”

It closes, “I hope this letter is not perceived as defensive or antagonistic, but rather characterizes the perspective many of the local governments have concerning the draft sea-level rise policy and its practical implementation. We look forward to working with the CRC and NCDCM staff concerning this important issue.”