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Landowners need to be wary of wind

As I look at my town and my county over the last several years I find it hard to understand how we have got to this place we are at today with wind towers. How did it start? As I look back I would have to say that the problem started in Washington, D.C., when the government decided to give tax credits, tax incentives and outright payment per kilowatt to the wind towers. Then our present governor, when he was in his first term, decided that Oregon should become the Green State of the U.S. and so we started paying huge tax incentives to the wind towers.

At first they built small towers where they were not so intrusive. They listened to the people in the county, had no ideas of moving into the mountains and would stay away from the towns.

Then the big guns came out, foreigners who did not care about the people or the towns, just their bottom dollar. Then the state passed a law that allowed counties to give tax incentives. So now all the benefits from all the different governments became so large that they only had to put up around 4 percent of the total cost of the project and the governments would give them 96 percent over a 15-year period.

Then they started paying big dollars to landowners, who fell for the hype and did not give a damn about their family, friends or neighbors. All they could see was the cash. But what did they give up to get all this big money? They give up control of their property for the next 50 years. They lose the right to build on their land, hunt on their land and when the wind tower no longer turns, they will get to sell the farm to pay to take the towers down. Those people that signed up that live on the mountain will be paid salvage value for any trees that are removed.

So here we are today, everyone is mad or full of hate and our friendly rural atmosphere is gone.

I see where the state does not give a damn about the citizens after EFSC allowed Iberdrola to expand their Helix project from 60 to 194 towers without any oversight. I hope everyone realizes next year that the Legislature had the opportunity this session to make changes but did nothing. Maybe it is time to start the change by removing them from office.

James Burns