Political Drama Unfolds


Right now as The Current, the Daily News and the Town Common are preparing to sit back and take a long-deserved snooze after all the excitement from the Brown-Coakley vote, forces are furiously working to destroy the very character of Newburyport.


A sample letter is being circulated trying to pressure City Council and the Mayor to not only not amend the present Wind Energy Ordinance but to loosen its restrictions even further!      Supporters are already sending their versions using pure political frenzy to put pressure on our elected officials.


I have put the letter down below in the “current events” folder so any reader can see it for themselves, but here is the more ‘odious’ proposals.


  • There is no “by right” wind power development allowed. This goes against the intent of the green communities act and may limit Newburyport’s access to grants and funding.
  • Though setbacks probably should be increased, the 3x rule as proposed is excessive. It is important to protect residents from the serious adverse impacts from wind development, but the 3x rule is significantly greater than other communities require and provides excessive setbacks to the north and south (and in some cases may provide too little to the east and west).

And the worst:


  • There is a heavy bias against larger turbines. The larger wind turbines are more cost efficient, so an arbitrary 300 feet height limit (400ft with special permit process) will greatly limit Newburyport’s ability to employ its natural wind resource fully.

I assure you these people are infatuated with BIG.     Wind Turbines are the new oil and by golly, we have to have a steady sea of them!     We are supposed to throw out common sense, historic conservation and land management and zoning so we can be literally over shadowed by these monsters.     


Sensible people are all for alternative energy sources.       Things like small wind turbines, solar power and geo-thermal.      Things like recycling and energy conservation and making sure our homes are green by applying smart building codes and responsible living.       But somehow that isn’t enough, it’s not glamorous enough.    Madness has taken over.


These people are so desperate they are misrepresenting government reports!!!


Note the following report


The study, "The Impact of Wind Power Projects on Residential Property Values in the United States: A Multi-Site Hedonic Analysis" (PDF), collected data on almost 7,500 sales of single-family homes between 1996 and 2007 located within 10 miles of 24 existing wind facilities in nine different U.S. states.

The study results are considered a win for wind power companies and developers as many homeowners have used declining home values as a reason to oppose wind projects.



This is touted as an argument against restricting huge wind turbines.       Do you realize how far away ten miles is?     It is two miles from State and High to Storey Avenue.     Ten miles puts you in Byfield!


Of course, no one’s property values are decreased.     They can’t even see them!


But what is most incidious is the fact that a terrible bill sponsored by the Patrick administration called the  Wind Siting Reform Act will strip away all local control over these giants.      The supporters know that Governor Deval can’t wait to cover the landscape with these things.     The law basically takes away the rights of local communities, strips away zoning restrictions and violates decades of hard won legislation to protect conservation land.        


Then, when I was at the Museum of Science, I found out that wind studies for our area show the wind is poor compared to the areas around the Cape.     Here is the picture taken by my cell phone and the chart that came with it!     The wind is even poor off shore which is why the proponents of off-shore wind farms were so ready to abandon this area.      Newburyport is shown as being in a poor wind area!


All I am asking is for common sense and reason to become lord of the land once again and for us to redirect our energies toward SENSIBLE alternative energy sources that do not hurt our heritage tourism and our quality of life.


-P. Preservationist

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