The AMC is committed to promoting clean alternative energy sources to help reduce damage to mountain ecosystems from air pollution and climate change. Wind power releases no air pollutants or greenhouse gases, but its commercial development in the Northeast is not without impacts to some of the very resources we are seeking to protect.
In our region, winds strong enough to support large-scale land-based wind power development are limited to ridgelines, with the strongest winds at higher elevations. These are the least developed parts of our landscape, and are often areas of high ecological, recreational and scenic value. Meeting the region's renewable energy goals could result in the development of many miles of mountain ridgeline. If this development is not carefully sited, the result could be the fragmentation of undeveloped lands, destruction of rare subalpine forest habitat, and the degradation of spectacular scenic vistas.
AMC's Wind Power Policy is included within the club's broader Energy Policies. The policy sets forth AMC's belief that "human actions are accelerating the rate of climate change, and this change poses a serious risk to society and the region's ecosystems. AMC recognizes that wind power and other renewable energy sources must have a substantive role in reducing greenhouse gas and air pollution emissions in our region." The policy sets forth our belief in the need for strong state policies and regulations that set specific criteria for determining suitable sites for development. It also includes guidelines by which AMC will evaluate specific projects.AMC's work on wind power development is guided by the following principles:
AMC's perspective on wind power development is also set forth in a white paper developed in cooperation with other environmental organizations.
AMC's work on wind power focuses on three areas:Public Policy
AMC is working to promote the development of state and federal siting policies and regulations that guide wind power to appropriate sites and protect important ecological, recreational and scenic resources.Siting Research
AMC is conducting GIS-based assessments of broad landscapes to evaluate conflicts between potential wind power development sites and areas of high ecological, recreational or scenic value.Involvement in Specific Projects
AMC intervenes in the permitting of specific projects where important natural resource values are involved, with a focus on projects with the potential to impact resources of state, regional or national significance.