From Tom Henry at the Toledo Blade:
For years, it’s been a phrase linked to debates over where to build nuclear power plants, steel plants, auto plants, coal-fired power plants, refineries, paint shops, coking facilities, and hazardous waste dumps — virtually anything people shudder at the thought of living near, even if they acknowledge it’s a trade-off for maintaining modern life.
Now, with the wind industry booming, there’s a new era of the NIMBY phenomenon. And it’s one in which the opposition isn’t pollution-based but encompasses anything from aesthetics to wildlife to property values to insomnia.
The wind industry produces 2 percent of the nation’s electricity. But it is growing so fast, in part because of government incentives, that it predicts that by 2030, wind will supply 20 percent of America’s power, the equivalent of what nuclear power produces. That has people from Maine to California envisioning thousands of more wind turbines across America’s idyllic countrysides and shorelines.
To some, those huge rotating blades are an adrenalin rush, a symbol of how the nation is finally pursuing more energy independence. To others, they are visual clutter, eyesores not worth the investment.
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