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Wind farms provide nothing to local economy

I have been following the news and commentary regarding wind energy in Sweetwater County.

For the life of me, I cannot figure out why there is so much activity in the wind energy business….beside the government subsidies provided – free money. From what I understand, these wind turbines or windmills as I call them, are not profitable.

Each windmill costs from $3 to $3.2 million dollars. It takes 20 years to pay off one of them, because they do not produce enough electricity.

And then, they have to be replaced after the 20 years. This doesn’t sound like a viable business to me.

The idea of putting windmills off of Aspen Mountain is not a good idea for our county, and for that matter, anywhere south of Rock Springs.

I hear there are designs for wind energy systems on Little Mountain, Mellor Mountain, Pine Mountain and Kinney Rim. The question that the people of Sweetwater County and our county commissioners should be asking themselves is this: “What benefit are these systems going to be for the residents of our county?”

Economically, I cannot see of any benefit. There will be hardly any local jobs provided both on the construction phase and on the maintenance phase. The residents of our county will not benefit with electricity for our cities and towns. And last, there will be consequences to the hunting quality in the area.

I would ask the county commissioners to think of this in another way.

Wouldn’t it be wiser to support an industry that has provided our county with income for the last 100 years? And what is that industry? Hunting and fishing. The area south of Rock Springs is undoubtedly one of the best and most desired hunting areas in the State of Wyoming. Not so much fishing, but hunting brings in millions of dollars a year to our area.

Next year during hunting season, look at all of the money spent on hunting in our town. Trucks, ATV’s, camp trailers, guns, ammunition and food all provide income to our local merchants. The out-of-state hunters stay at our motels and eat at our restaurants.

This is the industry that should be cultivated and not one that will basically bring nothing to our quality of life.

John D. Pallesen