I was not surprised to see that the wind companies have simplistic answers for all of the complaints against their wind installations (“6 common complaints against Iowa wind turbines,” Des Moines Register, April 21)
I would like to answer them. First you give no credence to the fact they are eyesores yet offshore wind is often promised to be built 30 miles offshore so that the coastal cities do not have to look at them. When our horizons are impacted for 30 miles in all directions it is a huge impact, maybe a little different than not cutting your grass in an urban area?
If the companies really were concerned with mitigating noise and shadow flicker they would take more than their own council. They would hear the protests of landowners or read the recent study out of Michigan State University that recommends “The 2,500 foot setback is designed to insure a distance back from property owners that are not receiving some form of royalty payment because of proximity. The 2,500 foot distance is based on observed distance flicker has an impact. Other governments have large setbacks such as one kilometer (3,281 feet) with European countries.”
As far as how economical wind turbines I ask why Warren Buffett said, “I will do anything that is basically covered by the law to reduce Berkshire’s tax rate. For example, on wind energy, we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.” I have heard that they say that they can build turbines and run them without the massive subsidies, without the Production Tax Credit that they will earn for the first 10 years of the project’s life. I say, great, prove it right now.
The wind companies like to say that they kill only a small fraction of our birds. They cite buildings, cats and cars as other things that kill birds. How many of those things are there compared with the relatively small amount of turbines? We have 261.8 million cars and 86 million cats compared to 50,000 or so turbines yet the last administration felt the need to give each wind company the right to kill 4200 eagles. This number does not include other birds or bats.
They also say that they do not build turbines in NE Iowa because on the migratory routes. Maybe so but maybe it is because the wind is not as strong. Then of course it is true that MidAmerican is building or has built wind turbines in Black Hawk, Grundy, Poweshiek and Mahaska Counties. I would consider that Eastern Iowa. As far as farm ground goes most people don’t know that landowners do not rent them ground or extend a lease. The companies seek an easement over the entire farm where the wind turbines will be. That easement can be sold without permission of the landowner at any time. Some contracts state that they can change the terms at any time to make them eligible for a Production tax credit if the one they are chasing disappears.
They say that sickness from infrasound does not exist and is not a problem but has anyone ever had problems with motion sickness or airplane air pressure? There have been many studies on infrasound and it has been used as a method of crowd control because of the adverse way it affects people. It may not be conclusively documented yet but there are many things that industry has insisted could not hurt us until it was proved that it did.
The wind industry is chasing a carrot that is very lucrative: Production Tax Credits. They are trampling citizens and communities in their path. They can easily control local governments with the promise of tax revenues. Minimal setbacks, land agents that lie to landowners and oppressive easement contracts have nothing at all to do with sustainable energy.
Coalition for Rural Property Rights
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