The various agencies and elected officials in Iowa have given the wind energy industry a virtual blank check to operate here in this state. This lack of oversight is a serious problem given the many downsides wind turbines inflict on non-participating residents. These downsides include ill health effects caused by shadow flicker, audible noise and worst of all, infrasound, resulting in stress, sleep disturbance, nausea and feelings of “sea sickness.” These effects apply to humans and farm animals as well. Also, wind turbines can kill birds and other wildlife, especially when placed too close to lakes, streams and wetlands. All of this is in addition to a ruined landscape.
Yet, despite these problems, state officials in Iowa have chosen to abdicate their oversight responsibility. This begins with the Iowa Utility Board granting MidAmerican’s Wind XI project, which allows the installation of 1,000 wind turbines across the state. This is exacerbated by county supervisors capitulating to wind developers’ demands. Some of these involve short setbacks, inadequate dealing with shadow flicker and disregard for private tile systems. All of these increase profitability for the wind energy companies, while imposing more misery on residents. In addition, reports from the DNR and the state archaeologist have been either ignored or completely absent. In some cases the recommendations of county zoning boards have been ignored.
Apparently, the state of Iowa has completely capitulated to every demand made by big wind, its billionaire investors and wealthy land owners, who are often absentee. By doing so, it has failed to protect the health and well-being of many of its residents.
— Stephen Mathis, Emmetsburg, professor emeritus, Shippensburg University
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