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Eastern Shore benefits from turbines and cleaner air

developer persuaded landowners to bless his plans for more than two dozen wind turbines that would tower more than 40 stories high. But after a years-long battle with Allegheny County officials and concerned neighbors, the clear cut hilltops remain bare.

Del. Christopher T. Adams needs to please stay focused (“Delegate: Protect Ocean City’s scenic Atlantic view,” Jan. 17). I don’t care whether he is a fifth or 25th-generation Eastern Shore resident because family heirlooms have no place in a public debate that is all about future generations. Our 19th century forefathers did not have a population roughly ten times what it was, or twice the national asthma rate. Smog was not an environmental issue, and roughly 1,000 people per year did not die prematurely due to power plant exhaust. But instead of dealing with these widespread challenges, Delegate Adams worries about sullying the views of sunbathers.

His NIMBY arguments don’t hold water. He thinks wind turbines are a worse sight than coal stacks and orange air? What about the people living in fallout zones around coal generators and incinerators (a far greater number than those on the beach)? Has it occurred to him that sweeter air — and the notion of visiting a region that is more progressive — also attracts tourists? Why is this debate even about tourists? Shouldn’t a politician worry about his constituents first — specifically environmental sustainability and pollution levels where they live? Most people support a dramatic increase in diversified, clean energy (mainly wind and solar) for Maryland’s grid.

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Mr. Adams’ feigned concern for the environment falls short: the negative environmental impacts of dirty energy (surface coal mining, bio-fuel, incineration, etc.) dramatically outweigh the side effects of wind turbine construction and use. Much is known about the impacts (minimal) on migratory species. (Europe is way ahead of us.) His unfounded claim that wind towers will remain forever is a ridiculous scare tactic, and that’s disappointing. Finally, Gov. Martin O’Malley’s interest in wind power was a “failed political stunt?” Mr. Adams thinks the former governor wasn’t actually envisioning a cleaner, better grid for the Chesapeake? Next time he should ask Mr. O’Malley first before stooping to throw partisan mud.

Kevin Kriescher, Baltimore

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