Repeat After Me: There Ain’t No Such Thing as a Free Lunch

Yesterday, the Boston Globe reported that MassDEP is considering promulgating new regulations to manage noise from on-shore wind turbines. I sympathize with my friends at MassDEP, who are trying to implement a clean energy agenda and ensure that Massachusetts meets the aggressive carbon reduction targets in the Global Warming Solutions Act. This is no easy task in a home rule state that would have a fighting chance to win any national NIMBY championship competition. 

I hope against hope that the Department can take some action that will not unduly obstruct construction of wind projects, but that will, if not dampen local opposition, at least arm local decision-makers with a regulatory basis to ignore the crudest of the NIMBY challenges to wind projects. It’s a pretty fine line that MassDEP is trying to walk.

It may be obvious, but I do feel compelled to note that there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. Generating power imposes costs. Energy efficiency and solar are all to the good, but they are not going to supply 100% of our energy needs. I, for one, have no interest in a pre-industrial economy. Good luck, Ken Kimmell.

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