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LETTER: We could be the smart state

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By The Staff

In response to “Proposed wind rules called ‘one sided’”: It is important to note the amendments to the San Miguel Ordinance is designed to protect all citizens of San Miguel County per the San Miguel Comprehensive Plan that states “rural lifestyle, small farms and large ranches, traditional historic villages, cultural heritage and extraordinarily scenic setting of San Miguel County should be celebrated, honored and preserved.”

As for Invenergy’s assertion that “the proposed rules would make having a wind farm in San Miguel County nearly impossible,” is a gross exaggeration. The amendments would merely prohibit industrial facilities within three miles of our residences and communities. There is scientific data that supports noise level setbacks that are three to eight miles depending on the size of turbines, for the safety of residents within that radius.

New Mexico is a vast and spacious state. There are areas that are more suitable for siting industrial electric generating plants.  

Are we NIMBYs? Perhaps, if being a NIMBY means we are concerned about the adverse health, safety, noise, environmental and ecological effects of energy and other facilities located near our homes, schools and workplaces.  The Invenergy project is proposed close to where we live and will impact every one of us.

While Mark Jacobson said the county doesn’t have any experience with wind farms, saying it couldn’t have known that the three-mile requirement was unworkable, we believe a three-mile setback is an important compromise where New Mexico can have appropriate siting of wind energy facilities that everyone can live with. We hope New Mexico will work to protect its citizens and become “the smart state” in regards to industrial, and commercial development.

New Mexico Cares, a grassroot organization in the Pecos River Valley, holds open community meetings every other Saturday at 10 a.m., at the Senior Center, in San Miguel and fliers are posted at each Post Office in the Valley. The next meeting is May 30. The mission of the NM Cares is to encourage greater public discussion and government oversight of wind industry development in New Mexico.

Gloria Luz Gonzales

Ribera