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Wind farms are wrong for Howard County

That anyone in authority in our county government would condone construction of an industrial wind complex in Howard County is unreasonable. It can be understood that the salesmanship of wind companies are tempting. Their objective is to sell a product. But this offer should have been thoroughly explored. Isn’t this what a good businessman does?

What are the risks? Would a commissioner be willing to have these near his home? If the truth of the facts was discovered, why was this approved? If someone merely took the words of a salesman without checking the facts, why was an unbreakable contract signed?

People whose lives would be irreversibly harmed didn’t know about it until a year after the deal was sealed! All zoning laws and safety features were changed without anyone’s knowledge. Was this an example of responsible servants of the people of this county? This project was foisted upon all Howard County unbeknownst.

Industrial turbines are a poor source of power. To construct them takes more fossil fuel than all other sources of energy. They harm the environment, livestock, wildlife – especially birds – and people. They’re a hazard: oil leaks (they use 550 gallons of oil per year), fires, and blades (all three are 10 tons) that fly the length of a football field and can cut a house or a car in half. They don’t harm just residents that live within 5 miles, but also those using the roads near them putting all at risk.

Yes, in 2009, we lost jobs. Turbines would add only five jobs. And taxes? Revenue from turbines would generate less than 2 percent of the county budget. None even begins to compare to the losses! With the building setbacks, new construction couldn’t take place around the turbines, stopping future growth. Those of us near the complex would lose financially, depleting the county’s worth. All the people who could leave would. The idea this project would ease Howard County’s economic crisis is absurd.

Yes, “concessions” were extracted from E.ON, minimal ones that didn’t diminish the danger to the county. We needed greater concessions to ensure safety. Of the three commissioners, Paul Wyman is the only one who signed the original agreement. Do we continue his kind of leadership and return him to office? Mike Barger reflects the voice of the people more clearly.

Leelia Cornell