As the wind blows

Apparently, the folks up in Storey County never received the memo ordering them to worship at the altar of alternative energy -- or else.

On Tuesday, county commissioners there questioned the merits of a planned wind farm in the mountains north of Carson City and west of Virginia City. The proposal, which would include wind turbines more than 300 feet tall, might affect tourism, generate noise and degrade animal habitat, said Storey County officials.

The New Comstock Wind Energy Project -- intended to supply power to thousands of homes -- is the brainchild of Great Basin Wind, which in December began the application process with the BLM.

As part of its push, the Nevada Appeal reported, Great Basin Wind will ask commissioners in Carson City, Storey and Washoe counties for approval from their planning departments. But the company didn't make much headway this week in Virginia City.

"We're not against the windmills or alternative energy," Storey County Planning Director Dean Haymore said Tuesday. "We're just worried this isn't the place."

Virginia City resident Candance Silveria, in a letter to commissioners, said, "The historical attraction of our area goes beyond the buildings, it is the entire visual experience that creates the atmosphere and ambiance so important to our livelihood."

The opposition didn't go over well with Rich Hamilton, president of Great Basin Wind, who argued that criticisms of the wind farm are "overblown." Besides, said Mr. Hamilton, residents will just have to get with the program and accept that wind turbines must be a part of the coming green energy wave.

"We don't have Lewis and Clark anymore," he told the Appeal. "There are no longer resources over the next hill."

Mr. Hamilton obviously knows quite a bit about generating wind.

Residents of Storey County are free to have their own opinions about the wind farm. If they want it, fine. But they are under no obligation -- moral or otherwise -- to accept the project no questions asked or to go weak-kneed in the face of Mr. Hamilton's condescending green nonsense.

This state -- this country -- has plenty of energy resources "over the next hill." The question during this misguided frenzy to prop up expensive and unreliable new energy alternatives at the expense of proven, cheaper options is whether we will ever be allowed to tap them.