Mr. Giuliani’s coverage of the various issues relating to wind turbines in Lee County has been excellent. I would like to expand on an issue reported in his Sept. 16 article [“Officials want rules for unused wind turbines; Most agree decommissioning plan needed”] covering the most recent zoning board meeting.
Mr. Giuliani included a quote from a wind energy representative, Neil Palmer, that implied that some people attending the meetings were characterizing farmers as idiots.
Let me be perfectly clear to any readers who were not able to attend these meetings: The fact is that no one, at this meeting or any of the previous meetings, has ever questioned the intelligence of farmers or come remotely close to calling them idiots.
Mr. Palmer’s statement was a blatant attempt to set the zoning board, who all happen to be farmers, against those attendees who have been arguing for proper regulations for the placement of industrial wind turbines.
Several times now during discussions pertaining to decommissioning the turbines, Mr. Palmer and a fellow wind energy representative, Keith Bolin, have made erroneous claims that we are questioning the farmers’ intelligence. We are not questioning the intelligence of farmers, but rather the integrity of the wind companies.
As Mr. Palmer indicated, contracts between the wind company and the farmers clearly state that the wind company is responsible for taking down the turbines. A decommissioning plan needs to be included in the revised county ordinance to protect the property owners and the county in the event that the wind company breaches its contract and abandons the wind farm, leaving the mess and the liability with the residents of Lee County.
The fact that the wind companies agree that a decommissioning plan is needed, in order to protect us if they do not fulfill the terms of their contract, makes me question their integrity in the first place.
Steve Robery, Franklin Grove
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