Could Wind Turbines Come to the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area?
Let me begin by saying, I’m not against wind power or other forms of alternative energy-producing mechanisms. Nor I am against hydroelectricity produced by dams or nuclear energy. I am against covering our beautiful Pacific Northwest hillsides with too many wind turbines. In short, I’m for a healthy combination of all energy sources.
When is enough, enough when it comes to wind turbines?
If you’ve driven west on I-84 to Portland, then you’ve likely noticed the massive wind turbines seemingly strewn across the hills on the edge of the mighty Columbia River between Boardman and The Dalles and in other parts of the Gorge. I recently made the trip and I was surprised to see even more turbines. Honestly, it was difficult to remember the once awe-inspiring skyline in its natural state. These turbines have decimated the scenic landscape in the area.
Yeah, I get it, it's clean energy and better for the planet. And, I understand that the section along I-84 west is known for its wind, but where will it end? Is the stretch between Hood River and Multnomah Falls off-limits? I mean, one has to ask the question, right? After all, the area is windy all the time. I’m sure there’s an energy company frothing at the mouth to somehow secure spots within the scenic Gorge area. Is the mock image below off base? Could this really happen in the Gorge?
Before you say there's no way it could happen, consider the fight local residents and Tri-Citians near the Horse Heaven Hills are having. Unless opposing voices and forces intervene, the beautiful rolling Horse Heaven Hills will be filled with them. There has to be a better spot to place the wind turbines. I haven’t been able to find anyone who is in favor of covering the hills around the Tri-Cities with wind turbines – only energy companies and others who benefit financially seem to be for it.
What are the pros and cons of wind energy?
It’s hard to find unbiased information online regarding the pros and cons of wind energy – some scream, “hell no, over my dead body”, “stop the eyesores and save the landscape” - much like I’m doing. Others think wind energy is the savior of our planet, and others don’t seem to care one way or the other. Here are a few pieces I was able to find that might help with understanding both sides of the politically charged topic.
Article: The Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy
Article: Science Direct - Opposition to Renewable Energy