Church and army at odds over wind plant

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A veritable war has erupted between a local parish priest and the army over a proposal for five 1.5 MW wind turbines in the small community of Bütgenbach in the German speaking part of Belgium. The community wishes to build the turbines together with major utility Electrabel. Parish priest Lothar Klinges has been canvassing the views of his parishioners through the medium of a web site. From one day to the next, however, a positive response rate of 95% turned into 75% against the wind plant. It appears the local military base at Elsenborn had requested all army families in the area to vote against the project in the belief it would disturb jet pilot training. Klinges has reacted with fury. "It's up to the citizens of Bütgenbach to decide if they want or don't want a wind plant in their village. Soldiers from the other ends of Belgium should not interfere," he says.

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