Recently, the Wisconsin Energy Business Association has felt it necessary to suggest that my office is engaged in ideological war against wind turbines. It’s not surprising that wind special interest groups would attack our position. Responsible wind siting would put their access to taxpayer subsidies and electric user’s pocketbooks in jeopardy. We pay higher taxes (or deficit spend) and electric users pay higher rates to pay for wind energy, the wind is free but the towers are not. More than half of the thirteen million dollars spent to build the Shirley Wind Farm was paid for by taxpayers, by you and me.
The Brown County Board of Health (BCBH) agrees that these Industrial Wind Turbines (IWT’s) are making people sick. In fact, the BCBH adopted a resolution asking for emergency State aid for those suffering around IWT’s. The Board’s resolution continues to state that they believe PSC128 has caused “undue hardship” and real health issues that were supposed to be protected against under state law.
The fact of the matter is PSC128 didn’t follow the requirements put in state law. Act 40 states that a medical professional who is “A member of the University of Wisconsin System faculty member with expertise regarding the health impacts of wind turbines” must help draft the rules. Jevon McFadden, the medical professional on the Wind Siting Council, openly admitted he did not meet these criteria.
My concerns with current wind siting regulation, PSC128, stem from the pleas of many of my constituents to do something about the illnesses they have had since the eight forty story IWT’s have been built too close to their homes in the Shirley Wind Farm, just south of Green Bay, near hwy 43, or as my constituents refer to it, the Wind Ghetto.
Over the past few years, three families have abandoned their homes due to high volumes of low frequency sound, making it difficult or impossible to sleep at night. They suffer ear aches, nausea, tinnitus, dizziness and heart arrhythmia as well as other illnesses. When these families are not near the turbines, their symptoms disappear. Now just to get a decent night’s sleep and end their sickness and their kid’s sickness, some of these families are paying two mortgages. Others want to move, but just can’t afford two mortgages and their homes have been so badly devalued by the nearby IWT’s they can’t afford to sell them.
If the members of WEBA are being honest about their belief that wind turbines do not cause negative health effects, then I suppose I will have three very happy families in my district. The WEBA members can buy the homes these families have been forced to abandon at fair market value before the IWT’s were built and move in or resell them for what they can get now. The Enz family has a furnished empty farm house that they moved out of more than a year ago and it’s available.
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