Wind farm proposal has too much potential to dismiss

There's an irony at play in the proposal for a wind turbine farm in the mountains north of Carson City and west of Virginia City. Those turbines, which could power more than 43,000 homes, represent the potential start of a virtual gold rush for Nevada, which we keep hearing has more clean energy potential than any other state.

The problem is that those turbines may be visible from the remains of the real gold rush of Nevada's past. The history of the Comstock is a vital part of the makeup of this place, and so too is the stark beauty of the desert landscape.

The people who've protected those assets deserve accolades, and their voices should be heard in this matter. But we hope those concerns don't sound the death knell for this project.

Rather, we hope a study shows the turbines won't dominate the horizon those miners looked at each day more than a century ago. And, even if they are visible to some extent, we would encourage historic preservationists to be ready to explore compromises. After all, several modern antennas already exist in those mountains, and modern structures are mingled in with historic buildings in most areas of Nevada. There is also something to be said for the pairing of symbols of the past and of the future.

It's time to get busy turning Nevada's clean energy potential into real electricity that can help the nation build a reliable energy strategy for the future, and that can provide jobs for our economy.

The people who mined the Comstock would have it no other way.


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