August 16, 2012
Illinois, Letters

Endorsement of wind farm is irresponsible 16 August 2012

Recently, the Sauk Valley Media Editorial Board wrote a shining endorsement of the Green River Wind Farm. To my knowledge, not a single member of the editorial staff attended the hearings on Mainstream’s permit application, so one has to wonder, what are they basing their endorsement on? The entire editorial is filled with myth and propaganda.

Myth 1: Construction of turbines creates local jobs in the short term. Fact: Developers bring their crews in for construction. Very few local workers will receive any benefit.

Myth 2: Turbine maintenance creates local jobs long term. Fact: Whiteside is looking at nine turbines; one technician maintains 10 turbines, which equals one long-term job.

Myth 3: The value of the turbines means property tax dollars to local governments, especially public school districts. Fact: General state aid to local schools is reduced based on any increases to property tax revenues and may take years to resume after turbines are decommissioned. Just ask economics professor David Loomis of the ISU Renewables Program.

Myth 4: Rent paid on land with turbines provides property owners with additional income that can buy goods and services from local businesses. Fact: Most of the landowners who have contracted to host these turbines are absentee landowners who live in other states; that money won’t be spent here.

Red herring propaganda: Imagine all the highways that never would have been built. Fact: Wind farms cannot be compared to highways. The cost of highways and wind farms is shared by all, but only a select few truly benefit from turbines. Most who are harmed will never benefit or receive compensation.

These are only a few of the problems associated with wind turbines coming to our communities. It is a shame that SVM has been as irresponsible in their endorsement as our county zoning committee.

Amanda Norris, Sterling

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