Local wind energy is on a year-long winning streak at the ballot box in Massachusetts, extended on Monday by the re-elections of pro-wind Fairhaven Selectman Charlie Murphy and Board of Health Member Jeannine Lopes:
With 19 percent voter turnout, Murphy had 1,391 votes and Riley had 607 according to a preliminary count. In the Board of Health race, Lopes had 1,287 votes and challenger Louise Barteau had 740.
Local elections held in spring are designed to be low-turnout – they’re exactly the elections anti-wind NIMBYs should win if their absurd health claims were finding even the least bit of traction. Instead, “Windwise” anti-wind energy activist Louise Barteau got only a third of the vote – again, in an election in which only the hardcore activist base of voters turned out.
It’s the latest in a string of victories for local wind energy:
- April 2013: Falmouth Town Meeting rejects dismantling wind turbines
- May 2013: Falmouth voters reject dismantling wind turbines
- September 2013: Fairhaven Board of Health Member Peter DeTerra beats anti-wind candidate in a landslide
- October 2013: Plymouth Town Meeting rejects new turbine restrictions
The wins of DeTerra and Lopes were no accident – Friends of Fairhaven Wind rallied the pro-clean energy majority to turn out to support them.
The lesson: Local elected officials shouldn’t be scared of anti-wind NIMBYs – they should build as much clean energy as they can, then when it’s time for re-election, aggressively run on that record.
Cross-posted from The Green Miles