Wind Power and Ridge Laws

Recently, I have been involved in the process of encouraging (and harassing) legislators in North Carolina not to make an exemption to the Ridge Law. Wind advocates in NC are proposing the installation of  20 wind turbines on the ridge of the Appalachian Mountains, to create a source of clean and renewable energy. It’s come down to an interesting battle: environmentalists fighting environmentalists.  Typically, these folks are on the same page regarding conservation issues, sustainability issues, etc. I have friends and loved ones on both sides of the battle, fighting a good fight, so I had to strategically choose my side after much research.

I agree, we definitely need a source of alternative, renewable energy, as western NC is the biggest user of mountaintop removal coal, but I don’t stand by the fact that wind turbines are the best way to do it.

One wind turbine it requires an access road that is 4-5 lanes in width. That means forest has to be clear-cut, streams have to be diverted and runoff from construction is immense. Once the site is picked,  a 10+ acre area has to be cleared around the base. It is a invasive project, destructive to wildlife, forests, streams and migratory bird patterns.

I hope that as energy talks continue, we find a way to less destructive, more environmentally friendly renewable sources of energy. I urge you to stand by legislators who are proponents of finding alternative and efficient sources of energy.


To learn more about mountaintop removal, click here.