WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

Filed Under:

Wind Turbines Scare Off Md. County

Play associated audio
Officials in Garrett County, Md. were previously on board with on-shore wind farms, such as the one shown here in Illinois. But now that some of them have been built, a new swath of lawmakers are changing the county's path.
Elizabeth Beers (http://www.flickr.com/photos/brixton/186597058/)
Officials in Garrett County, Md. were previously on board with on-shore wind farms, such as the one shown here in Illinois. But now that some of them have been built, a new swath of lawmakers are changing the county's path.

Future wind projects in Western Maryland may be on hold for the next few years. Garrett County, Md. has some of the state's best locations for on-shore wind power, and there are two big wind operations there now. But wind turbines have long been a source of contention, and the appetite for more projects is dwindling. 

"This was a really hot topic," says Lamont Pagenhardt, the county's administrator. "There were meetings, and there was screaming and yelling and letters to the editor and it got pretty nasty." 

For more than a decade, the county's political leaders supported wind farms, but that's changed. "As the turbines actually went up, I think opinion changed, public opinion as far as the view shed and the turbines actually being here," says Pagenhardt.

The county's commissioners, elected last year, have sent letters to wind developers operating in the county, including Constellation Energy, saying that they've had enough. They cite noise, proximity, and dropping property values among other complaints. 

The county doesn't actually have authority to block wind projects, but that could change. A spokesperson for Constellation says it doesn't have plans for future projects but that in general such large investments require cooperation from local government.

Opinions among county residents remain divided, Pagenhardt says, because taxes from wind turbines contribute to almost half of the county's personal property and public utility tax revenue.

WAMU 88.5

Taking Great Photos On Vacation Or "Staycation"

Professional photographers give us the latest on cameras, smart phones and shooting tips for great vacation photos this summer -- and every day.

NPR

For Greece's Farmers, Growing Pressure To Be More Competitive

Greece grows plenty of good agricultural products, but has trouble competing internationally. Many in Greece say it's time for the farm sector to modernize.
WAMU 88.5

Obama's Trip to Africa & Foreign Aid

By visiting Africa this month, President Obama is drawing attention to one of the diplomatic tools that most directly shapes America's relationships with other countries: foreign aid and assistance. But now all policy makers at home feel the United States is pursuing the soundest strategy when it comes to providing aid abroad. We explore the issue with the official in charge of the Africa portfolio for the United States Agency for International Development.

WAMU 88.5

Taking Great Photos On Vacation Or "Staycation"

Professional photographers give us the latest on cameras, smart phones and shooting tips for great vacation photos this summer -- and every day.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.