Here is the link to an article posted at the Erie Times today.  I have pasted my original entire submission below, as it includes links, and important point about the added costs of transmission lines that were edited out.

Guest Voice: Don't believe claims about wind power

Chasing after the wind a costly, futile effort

Matt Walker made many claims about problems caused by "fracking," and benefits he believes are inherent with "renewables," in his 8/12/13 opinion piece,
"Erie should focus on clean energy," while not providing a shred of evidence to back up any of his claims.  While it is true that there are problems that come along with the development of any energy source, wind is no exception.  And while it may come as a surprise to those in the Alarmist camps, the fact is that there is a direct correlation between improved health and longevity in the United States, and the availability of reliable, affordable power here in the U.S. (ie: coal, natural gas, nuclear and hydro). 

Let’s consider the results to date of the $Billions of dollars that taxpayers and ratepayers have been forced to fork over to Mr. Walker's’ favored “wind power” sector.

First of all, people need to realize that it is the same big, "bad" oil, coal, gas and nuclear corporations who own industrial wind factories (many of whom have not paid any taxes in the U.S. in years) - ie: GE, BP, FPL, AES, E.On, Iberdrola, etc.  Initiated by ENRON in the U.S., industrial wind is most useful to these giant corporations as a tax shelter generator.

Because wind is NOT reliable, predictable, or dispatchable, it provides virtually NO Capacity Value, or firm capacity (specified amounts of power on demand).  Thus, wind needs constant "shadow capacity" from our reliable, conventional power sources, and can NOT replace conventional generators. With approximately 200,000 industrial wind turbines installed worldwide today, wind has NOT significantly reduced CO2 emissions - anywhere.  Rounded to nearest whole number, the total worldwide electric generation from wind today is ZERO!  That's right - ZERO! 

Consider New York State’s experience with wind to date. 

I live in Wyoming County of Western New York State - not far from Erie. There are already 250 industrial wind turbines sprawling throughout entire towns here, with another 59 going up this summer.  Contrary to Mr. Walker's claims, NO meaningful permanent jobs have been created here, and nobody is getting free, or reduced rate electricity either. In fact, quite the opposite is true.  New York State has been cited as having the most expensive utility rates in the continental U.S.

Much of what used to be one of the most beautiful areas in New York, has been turned into a sprawling industrial wind factory.  Many of my friends’ homes have been rendered virtually worthless.  Let's be real - Would you buy and move your family into a home with 430+ foot-tall towers and their 7-ton blades spinning overhead - only hundreds of feet from your home???  I have yet to meet anyone who would. 

And what have we gotten for all this environmental and civic degradation?

NY's 16 installed wind factories produced an average 23% Capacity Factor (actual output) in 2012.  Which one of you would buy a car that only operated 23% of the time? You wouldn't. You couldn't afford to.  It's that simple.  Any other piece of equipment that had such an abysmal performance record would have been dubbed a LEMON and relegated to the trash heap a long time ago.

Consider the fact that ONE single 450 MW gas-fired combined cycle generating unit located near New York City (where the power is needed in New York State), operating at only a 60% capacity factor, could have supplied more electricity than all of New York State's 16 installed "wind farms" combined. AND, that ONE single 450 MW gas-fired combined cycle generating unit would significantly reduced CO2 emissions -- with only about 1/4 of the capital cost of the wind factories -- 
WITHOUT the unwarranted civic and environmental degradation, negative human health impacts, massive bird and bat mortality caused by these giant "Bird Cuisinarts," and the property value losses that sprawling wind factories create - both at the "wind farm" sites, and due to all the added transmission lines that must be added to NYC. 

Furthermore, that ONE gas-fired plant would actually create REAL, full-time jobs -- unlike the "wind farms," which have been figured to cost $11.45 Million per job created, and as a result, cost over 4 jobs lost elsewhere in the economy.

If that's not enough proof for you, now consider the fact that offshore wind has been estimated to cost 3x - 4x more than onshore wind.
If you want to chase people, businesses, and industries out of Pennsylvania by defacing the natural beauty of the Great Lakes and "skyrocketing" your electricity rates, pursuing the ‘green’ energy boondoggle of wind power is a sure means to that end. 

People need to educate themselves about these energy issues if we hope to maintain reliable, affordable power for all Americans.  We need
sound scientific, economic, and environmental energy policies based on facts, not fear

A good place to start is by reading "
The Wind Farm Scam," by Dr. John Etherington (, and by visiting the science-based website, Alliance for Wise Energy Decisions at

Mary Kay Barton
Mary Kay Barton is a retired health educator, a small business owner in New York State, and a tireless advocate for scientifically sound, affordable, and reliable electricity for ALL Americans.  She has served over the past decade in local Water Quality organizations and enjoys gardening and birding in her National Wildlife Federation “Backyard Wildlife Habitat.”


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