Those proponents of Lighthouse Wind, and particularly those who have leased land to Apex on which to site wind turbines, are quick to proclaim that the principle of property rights gives them the right to have an industrial wind turbine located on their property if they so desire. That is only partially true. A quotation often credited to Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. states “My right to swing my fist ends just where the other man’s nose begins.” Similar sayings are often credited to Abraham Lincoln and others.
In terms of property rights, this saying has been interpreted to a broad range of restrictions which govern rational life among neighbors. As examples, I do not have the right to blare loud music on my property, disturbing my neighbors at all hours of the night, and I do not have the right to pile trash in the yard outside my house for my neighbors to view.
In the case of these Lighthouse Wind leaseholders, this quotation can be easily applied thus: if you can keep the noise, the infrasound, the vibration, the shadow flicker and the visual blight on your property alone, you may have the right to host an industrial wind turbine on your property. One cannot imagine how that might be even remotely possible. Remember too, in signing that lease, you will have probably given up all recourse to complain about noise, vibration, infrasound and shadow flicker. Apex will have left town, you’ll be picking up dead bald eagles and bats from under your wind turbine, and you will be left without some very basic property rights.
Steve Royce, Appleton