More than 20,000 acres of our pristine Smoky Hills are in the hands of foreign developers for their wind farm. They, and a handful of farmers, stand to make a whole lot of money at taxpayers expense. You can see it now as you travel I-70 and view the ruination in progress of one of the most beautiful vistas in the state.
The company will reap hundreds of millions of dollars worth of federal tax credits, pay no local or state taxes and have no accountability for environmental damage. They did not honor the siting standards even though a member of the company sat on the siting board. They will sell out to another company, then that company will sell out to another, and that will continue until there is no more money to be squeezed out of the operation. At that point, if history repeats itself, the project will be abandoned.
When finished, 250 turbines will cover 16 miles from east to west and four miles deep of Central Kansas prairie. We’ll have the dubious distinction of having the largest wind farm in the U.S. to plague us for eternity.
This is a case where Governor Sebelius, Lt. Governor Parkinson, the legislative energy committee and legislators didn’t listen to the pleas from many of us to locate this on cultivated land…not on primitive, undisturbed mixed grass prairie.
The State of Kansas has abdicated its authority to protect resources of statewide importance…think prairies, water, clean air.
Is all this beginning to sink in?
Now, however…and way too late…they say they are only going to locate wind farms on cultivated land. Now, in an overnight change in attitude they say they care about the environment. Now they care about damage the addition to the Holcomb plant would do to our environment. (They changed their attitude about that over the past year) They were uncaring and watched while all this happened. It will be hard to overlook that.
How can you drive by those monstrous towers and not feel just sick about what they have done to those beautiful hills and prairie grasses? The wind farm very easily could have been located on cultivated land where it wouldn’t make such an detrimental environmental impact and the effort to accomplish the same goals could be realized.
12 November 2007