EUROPEAN PLATFORM AGAINST WIND (EPAW)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 16, 2012
Massachusetts' fact-finding mission to Europe: a snow job?
The Massachusetts delegation to the UK, Denmark and Germany, officially sent to learn from the European experience with wind energy, will only be interviewing parties having a vested interest in the business. They just refused to meet with representatives of those Europeans who know best about the problems that cripple the industry.
On March 13th the European Platform Against Windfarms (EPAW), which represent 520 associations and federations from 23 countries, proposed to the Governor of Massachusetts that members of the MA delegation would meet with them. Two days later, EPAW received an email "on behalf of Governor Deval Patrick" showing no interest whatsoever in their offer to provide useful information.
The terms of the reply were nonchalant as can be, evidencing contempt for vox populi: "We understand your concern about this issue, and we are grateful to have your voice as part of the discussion. Please feel free to contact our office in the future with any further questions or concerns; your comments are always welcome in this administration." In other words: we binned your email without reading it, but we love hearing from you; please write again.
Says Sherri Lange, CEO of the North-American Platform Against Windpower (NA-PAW): "So much for the hype about windpower in Denmark and Germany: isn't it easy to form a rosy opinion if one refuses to look at the other side of the coin?"
"It's a case of the blind leading the blind", opines Mark Duchamp, Executive Director of EPAW. "Incidentally, this leaves MA taxpayers wondering: are we paying for a fact-finding mission, a junket, or a snow job?
The MA delegation is composed of Matt Morrissey, executive director for the city's Economic Development Council, Patrick Cloney, CEO of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, New Bedford's John Miller from the Marine Renewable Energy Center and Paul Vigeant, assistant chancellor for economic development at UMass Dartmouth.
Mark Duchamp +34 693 643 736 (Spain) Skype: mark.duchamp
Executive Director, EPAW
Sherri Lange +1 416 567 5115 (Canada)
Reply from the Governor's office:
On behalf of Governor Deval Patrick, thank you for your recent email. We understand your concern about this issue, and we are grateful to have your voice as part of the discussion. Please feel free to contact our office in the future with any further questions or concerns; your comments are always welcome in this administration.
Constituent Services Aide
Original email from EPAW:
To: Deval Patrick, Governor of Massachusetts
March 13, 2012
A fact finding delegation is being sent from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to the United Kingdom, Denmark, and Germany. Matt Morrissey, executive director for the city's Economic Development Council, will travel with Patrick Cloney, CEO of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, New Bedford's John Miller from the Marine Renewable Energy Center and Paul Vigeant, assistant chancellor for economic development at UMass Dartmouth. Their mission is to gather information on developing offshore windpower and its supporting industries.
Our organization, which represents over 520 associations from 23 European countries, would very much appreciate being given a chance to be heard by your delegation. Wind energy is not what the wind industry would like the public, and governments, to believe. As a decision-maker, you cannot afford to rely solely on the biased opinion of businesses who benefit from huge subsidies, and of their friends in governments. You have the professional and ethical duty to listen to the arguments of those, and they are numerous in Europe, who oppose wind farms, be they onshore or offshore. You may be surprised to learn that they are not just "nimbies", and that wind farms are actually the proverbial remedy that is worse than the illness.