Mathew Owen, who has inexplicably been given a regular column in the Times-Standard, is a prime example of why Eureka and Humboldt County is mired in conflict and inaction. Owen is a longtime Arkley minion and fancies himself a Karl Rove type figure in local politics. Owen’s main mission seems to be finding disagreement and amplifying it until it becomes another culture divide.
In his Column in todays Times-Standard Owen says “………..Redwood Coast Energy Authority, our region’s community choice aggregator, recently passed a resolution in support of having 100% of the energy it resells from renewable (water, wind and sun) sources by 2025……..The chances of these ever happening are zero.
All we hear from progressives is “climate change!” If you think we’re ever going to change from our dependence on fossil fuels to renewable energy, you’re not seeing the usual suspects of “Regressives” that fight renewable energy. It’s the same people over the past decades that oppose anything and everything here on the North Coast. Look no further that the proposed Terra-Gen wind energy project down by Scotia. Unlike sun in Humboldt County (boy, that’s an oxymoron), wind is something that Mother Nature produces daily. How much sun did Eureka see this past November through May? It’s hard to get solar energy when all we have are rain and clouds.
Not to mention the cost of solar being around $15,000 per household. Also if you finance solar through an outside lender your property taxes will increase until your loan is paid off.
You’d think Progressive Humboldt County would get behind a renewable wind energy project, right? Wrong!
“It’s a corporate project!” Of course it is. Do you have a spare $200 million in your checking account to finance this wind energy project?
Clary wrote on a Facebook post, “It’s a horrible proposal made by a group (of) venture capitalists who don’t give a damn about chewing up birds. …” Yup, a nickname for wind energy turbines is a “bird blender.” Just curious, how many birds fly into your home and office windows along with your car windshields each year? Answer: millions. Your cats kill millions of birds every year.
Power lines kill millions of birds every year. Should we get rid of your homes, cars, cats and power lines? Didn’t think so. By the way, the state of California just killed 1.2 million birds to stop the spread of a virus.
Think about this: even if you have a Tesla or Volt electric car, how do you charge your car? How many of these vocal opponents of the wind energy project walked or drove their bicycles to the public meetings? Maybe they’re happier with nuclear power, coal, oil and fracking for their energy use while telling us they are in favor of the Green New Deal. I’m tired with all the Regressives behind the Redwood Curtain who talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk……….”
We apologize for subjecting you his alienating drivel, fortunately, we were provided with a pretty good antidote in the same issue of the TS:
The answer is not blowin’ in the wind
It’s time we take a hard look at the proposed so-called Wind Farm that would place 60 large wind turbines atop Monument and Bear River Ridges. What will it do for us, what will it do to us and is this what we want? This project is being rushed through at a rate that has allowed few to have a solid grasp of the pros and cons. Natalynn DeLapp, who is mentioned in media as being the one-time director of EPIC, but who is now the paid “project consultant” of the builders of the turbines, Terra-Gen, is touting the project as being a necessary step in cleaning up our act when it comes to carbon emissions, even though a decade ago she spoke against using wind turbines. She justifies this by saying well we haven’t done anything in the last decade so we better do this.
Before I even lay out what is involved in this project I’ll share the spoiler: this will cost more in carbon emissions than will be saved and the electricity produced will come at a higher price. Kind of a lose-lose.
The ridges are a giant coastal prairie and forest land. They are a sacred place to the Wiyot and the folks on the Bear River Rancheria and the only place that overlooks their ancestral territory. Most of the homes on the Table Bluff Rancheria have solar panels.
The construction will use 15,000 gallons of water a day, Paved road, 17 miles long, 200 feet wide and a 100 foot wide, 25 mile long clear cut transmission corridor that will need herbicide application regularly will be built. There will be 1,000 truck trips, some weighing 110 tons and 90 feet long plus two bypasses on 101. Over 11,000 yards of concrete from one to two dirty cement plants fueled by generators. Three million cubic feet of soil will be displaced that now store carbon better than trees. There will be 900 acres of logging with concurrent erosion into the Eel River tributaries and the Jordan Creek watershed. There will also be 25 acres of permanent and temporary staging and operations facilities. The turbines use 24,000 gallons of oil a year.
Terra-Gen makes no mention of the greenhouse gas costs of 900 acres of logging.
The bottom line of the construction process in terms of carbon gains is it’s a loser since the large carbon costs of the construction exceed any gains from eventual operation and it’s electricity is for Mendocino County.
The turbines will be 600 foot tall vibrating machines; the blades are 250 feet wide and turn at 200 mph at their tip.
Each has a base 65 feet in diameter and 10 feet deep in the ground. They will never be able to be removed. California is strewn with defunct wind farms since they have a limited life.
Terra-Gen projects 300 jobs to do the construction and 15 full time jobs for the life of the project. They don’t say how many of the jobs will be local. I would think it likely the 15 permanent jobs will be filled by people they have trained or are experienced so they will be imported. Solar panels will produce many ongoing jobs. Terra-Gen also is offering $2 million in taxes. I am not an economist but I have heard it said that savings from going solar on government buildings would go a long way toward that sum as well as taxes generated by good paying solid jobs in solar.
If our Board of Supervisors would do what it should have done long ago, which is to start seriously addressing catastrophic climate change, and set the example by topping off the courthouse and jail with solar panels, that would be a good start and would set a good example. If the supervisors then start a campaign of solar panels on every building in Humboldt County and a program of energy conservation education, we could be on a roll that would benefit all. This should be the most important job our supervisors do, it’s time past that they start.
The wind farm will be in the laps of the planning commissioners in July. How about a lot of Humboldt citizens being there for that item on their agenda? This is a very important issue and could be a start to a badly needed dialogue on our environmental health and prosperity. It could also be what we need to get our elected officials to start taking positive action.
By Sylvia De Rooy who resides in Indianola.