Alexander Warns of Putting Renewable Energy Projects on Landscapes “We’ve Spent Billions Trying to Protect”

“I hope you [Interior Secretary Salazar] are considering finding ways to protect the Appalachian Trail from these large, 50-story wind turbines.” – Lamar Alexander

Posted on March 9, 2010

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today expressed concern over the siting of renewable energy projects during a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, of which he is the Ranking Member. 

“We’ve spent more than a century and billions of dollars of public and private money protecting certain landscapes and scenic areas,” Alexander told Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. “For example, the Appalachian Trail runs 2,178 miles from Georgia to Maine and if we were to run a row of 50-story wind turbines right along the trail, it would only equal the power produced by four nuclear reactors—and we’d still need the reactors for when the wind doesn’t blow. So I hope you are considering finding ways to protect the Appalachian Trail from these large, 50-story wind turbines, and leaving the production of carbon-free electricity to other forms of electricity that might not interfere with that viewscape.” 

In October, Alexander warned of the “perils of energy sprawl” in a speech to a forum of 200 conservationists. “The unintended consequences,” he said during that speech, “of using renewable energy to mitigate climate change could damage the environment in the name of saving the environment.”

 

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