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HEALTH AND CLIMATE BENEFITS OF ALTAMONT PASS WIND POWER

 

Wind power can save your life!

 

 What kind of air would you like your children to breathe?  Pollution from a coal or gas-fired power plant?  Or clean, natural air from a wind farm?  The decision is obvious!  Wind power can save your life!
Pollution
Wind Power Displaces Toxic Emissions and Pollution.  Wind power displaces toxic emissions and pollution from fossil-fired power plants, which reduces the number of deaths and diseases caused by harmful pollution.

In 2010, fossil-fired power plants in the U.S. emitted 5,240 billion pounds of pollutants, that cause disease and climate change.

The clean, renewable power generation from the Altamont wind farms displaces natural gas generation, and thus, the emissions and pollution savings are estimated as follows:

NOx, lbs/yr ........................................ 605,000
SOx, lbs/yr ............................................ 5,900
CO2, lbs/yr .............................. 1,460,000,000 
PM, lbs/yr ........................................... 61,700
water consumptions, gal/yr ....... 249,000,000 
reduced natural gas, cf/yr ...... 3,317,000,000
Diseased lungs
Wind Power Saves Lives.  In a study completed by Don McCubbin, Ph.D. and Benjamin Sovacool, Ph.D. in December 2011, "Health, Wildlife, and Climate Benefits of the 580 MW Altamont Wind Farm," the clean, renewable wind power from the Altamont Pass wind farms avoided/prevented approx. 21 billion pounds of pollutants over the past 20 years, which in turn, the following human health impacts were prevented/saved:

premature deaths ....................... 64
heart attacks ............................... 42
asthma attacks ......................... 620
lost work days ........................ 4,400
restricted activity days ......... 26,000
health costs ............................ $479 million

Proof that wind power can save your life!

Wind Power Reduces Health Costs.  The hidden economic burdens placed on society from air pollution created by fossil-fired power generation is huge—the costs to "medicate" and "repair" our society, based upon the various toxic air pollution values over 20 years, is roughly estimated at $479 million, which comprises health care and disease costs. Therefore, the clean, renewable power from Altamont Pass wind farms has saved our society roughly $479 million over 20 years in health costs.
Water fowl
Wind Power Saves Birds.  The Altamont Pass wind farms save birds, too!  Not only does the use of clean, natural wind power save human lives, it also saves the lives of birds and other wildlife.  Birds are far more sensitive to pollution than humans due to the thinness of the bird's lung's air-sac gas-exchange tissue, plus the large amounts of oxygen required for flight.  Therefore, birds are far more sensitive to airborne particulates and pollution—for example, miners use birds in their coal mines to sense certain gases before it becomes a problem for humans.

In a study completed by Ben Sovacool, in March 2009, "Contextualizing Avian Mortality:  a preliminary appraisal of bird and bat fatalities from wind, fossil-fuel, and nuclear electricity," he offered a methodology to approximate the number of birds killed per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity generated, with the following results:  fossil-fired facilities are about 17 times more dangerous to birds on a kWh basis than wind.
Money pile
According to the study mentioned above by McCubbin and Sovacool, the Altamont Pass wind farms have saved over 45,000 birds over the past 20 years.

Wind Power Provides Economic Benefits.  The economic benefits for the local economy from the Altamont Pass wind farms is estimated at $9 billion, including property taxes, payroll, land lease rent paid to farmers, etc.

All values shown above are preliminary and approximate.

Jun2013

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