A common political tactic employed in campaigns is to divide coalitions or constituencies that are typically united in the hopes of negating the power they have to get legislation passed or defeated and split votes for candidates. Is this strategy working against wind energy projects?
When demonstrating support for your controversial development project, don’t just go for the ‘usual suspects.’ Outreach to independents can make the difference.
When they’re real citizens, saying what they believe, charges of ‘astroturfing’ by the other side are baseless. Organizing supporters or opponents of a cause to take action is what grassroots politics is all about.
Opponents of the wind energy industry are now comparing them to the tobacco industry. Cathy Taibbi writes in Wildlife Conservation Examiner.com an account of birds, bats and animals “massacred” by wind farm turbines. As a card-carrying member of the tobacco family, I wish all who toiled for tobacco got a referral fee every time a “Big Industry” anti used it as an evil analogy to benchmark companies seeking to make a profit and secure policy support from government.
Look at the political wars between candidates running for office or, closer to our world of land use politics, how industries and applicants plot to get what they need from government bodies to be successful. No different with renewable wind energy and the fossil fuel-based oil and gas industries.
NIMBY opposition arguments always have enough validity to give the opponent some cover, to deflect the idea that what they are really saying is they are afraid of change, are too selfish to support a project that will have wide-scale public benefits or they are simply opposed to anything new for any reason.
The wind energy industry is now facing some exposure about truck traffic travelling through communities delivering the wind turbine components (blades, nacelles, towers) from point of delivery from manufacturing facilities to the site where they’ll be generating megawatts of electricity in the future.
Looks like land use politics is quickly following on the heels of wind energy’s movement to the mountains and shores of the southeast. The Carolinas are the new front in the midst of sometimes heated discussions about wind energy in locations considered sacred by many environmentalists, preservationists and avid nature enthusiasts, particularly in the Appalachians.
Turning anti-wind sentiment into permits requires organization, strategy and plain ol’ grassroots politics. Understanding how the opposition plans to stop your wind farm may be the first step toward planning for its approval. An article written for North American WindPower by Ben Kelahan, Senior Vice President-Energy, The Saint Consulting Group. Prevailing Against Anti-Wind Sentiment
Two leading wind industry blogs have reported on the Saint Index public surveys which show public support in the United States growing for wind energy initiatives. The National Wind Blog suggests that recent press coverage on energy issues that has heightened a sense of awareness of how the American economy benefits when power is generated locally. It also suggests that … Read More
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