Jennifer Jenkins Responds to San Diego Reader Article

Jennifer Jenkins, Executive Director of DWEA,  submitted this letter to the editor to the San Diego Reader in response to their August 21st article “They’re Everywhere Out Here.”  It was published in the San Diego Reader on September 11, 2013.

Letter: Blowin’ in the Wind

I was really disappointed to read your recent article “They’re Everywhere Out Here.” It repeats a lot of false claims with regards to wind energy and public health.

There are many peer-reviewed scientific reports from government agencies across the globe that dispel the myth that wind turbines are responsible for negative health impacts. Surprisingly, none of these of these scientific facts made it into your story. The facts about wind power are much simpler than your sensational journalism. Wind power is a safe energy source that benefits public health by reducing air pollution from fossil fuels.

A comprehensive study released in January 2012 by the Massachusetts Departments of Environmental Protection and Public Health refutes several of the myths about sound perpetuated by your article. There is no evidence that links any of the symptoms people are describing to wind turbines. In fact, hundreds of thousands of people around the globe live and near wind farms without reporting any ill effects.

However, there is evidence that the use of wind power offsets a lot of air pollution from fossil fuel that is harmful to human beings. In 2012, wind offset 87,000 metric tons of sulfur dioxide and 61,000 tons of nitrogen oxides (attributed to lung and other respiratory diseases). Wind power also doesn’t emit mercury or other heavy metals, which collect in the food chain and are extremely harmful to humans. Lastly, generating electricity from wind does not use water or create water pollution, require mining or drilling for fuel, or generate hazardous waste requiring permanent storage.

These are just a few of the public health benefits of wind energy. It is also affordable, homegrown, and helps us address the larger threat of climate change. When making a case based on factual evidence, powering our country with clean, affordable and homegrown wind power is the effective choice.

Jennifer Jenkins
Executive Director
Distributed Wind Energy Association