I read Brad Johnson’s letter to the Watertown Public Opinion recently entitled “Wind Energy’s Silent Invasion”. It’s happening. But the opposition isn’t silent. Right now there are 17 counties organized to protect their home values, property rights and quality of life from the wind energy scam. I am disturbed with the PUC. Although they claim they leave the setback distance to the county, they are still touting their “Model Draft Ordinance for siting wind energy systems” drafted in 2008 by the PUC and guess who? Wind industry representatives. These standards promote a ridiculously unsafe 1,000ft setback from a residence. In 2008 turbines were 300ft tall now they are 550ft. Wind developers use this as the “state guideline” to convince zoning boards to adapt it. And they do. Recently I saw a PUC brochure promoting wind energy. Where were the brochures for natural gas, hydro or coal?
At the PUC meeting in Clark last week I heard a representative from the Governor’s Economic Development Office promote wind energy and tell us that South Dakota has enough wind to power the whole United States. What a pointless remark. And there’s enough water in the ocean to irrigate the whole world. Inefficient wind energy is subsidized by the taxpayer to the tune of billions of dollars a year, and if you haven’t noticed, the rest of the country already has electricity. Where did this spokesman want to start building a couple hundred thousand wind turbines? Mount Rushmore? The Badlands? Maybe Hughes and Minnehaha counties for starters.
The PUC, state legislature and the Governor better start listening to these 17 counties and decide what we want our state to look like. The wind energy scam is going to destroy rural living and it’s going to destroy rural South Dakota if left unchecked.