Brian Duncan, Ogle County Farm Bureau president, wrote in his Telegraph guest column April 19 that if setbacks of a half mile are truly necessary to public health and safety as many have agreed, why are we allowing [variances] to be sold? I believe the answer is money.
In my opinion, turbines aren’t safe, even at a half mile, and they’re absolutely not good for our health. Every U.S. taxpayer and utility ratepayer is footing the bill enabling the wind industry to exist – giving us the right, and obligation, to speak out against this giant swindle.
Wind energy will never stop our dependency on foreign oil. It will create electricity at least three times as expensive. It will make, and already has made, some energy developers mighty rich.
Wind power relies on government subsidies. If a 400-foot-tall wind turbine costs $2 million, you and I, the taxpayers will pay $660,000 for each turbine built. Turbines expect to function less than 20 years and will operate at less than 30 percent efficiency.
The U.S. produces about 74 percent of the primary energy it consumes, a fact seldom mentioned by pro-wind enthusiasts. Given America’s enormous energy production and resources, why are venture capitalists in the turbine industry willing to believe we should trade our reliable sources (nuclear, coal, oil and natural gas) for unreliable, low-density wind power?
Wind farm owners have a strong incentive and reputation to sell off or abandon their projects once turbine performance deteriorates and/or operating and maintenance costs escalate and tax benefits have been captured (5 to 6 years for accelerated depreciation; 10 years for production tax credits).
Economics may dictate abandonment of individual windmills or entire wind farms. Then we will be stuck with rusting skeletons. In California, there are thousands of abandoned wind turbines that litter the landscape. Across the wind farm section, there are 14,000 turbines that have simply been abandoned – spinning, post-industrial junk.
Many people in Ogle County are too willing to believe the hype. They haven’t bothered to investigate the claims or do the calculations to see through the hype.
Wind power simply cannot stand on its own and never will. Once Ogle County is carpeted with turbines, prepare to be overwhelmed and underpowered; prepare yourself and your families to live in a commercial turbine field – not just one or two structures here and there – but fields of turbines throughout our county.
This is only the beginning. Transmission lines will need to crisscross our county, raising the eminent domain issue. This is followed by residential property values plummeting. Tell me, who wants to buy a home next to one of those 400-foot-tall giant turbines? I submit to all who read this: Real estate values will substantially plummet if commercial wind power comes to our county.
I will place a full-page ad in this newspaper addressing the real estate crisis our county will endure if special interest groups prevail in allowing commercial wind power into Ogle County.
Note to readers – Lant Huntley is a member of the Ogle County Farm Bureau and a lifelong resident of Ogle County. He owns and operates Huntley Horticulture Service and Huntley Woods Tree Research Facility north of Oregon.
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