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Foreign control

Last week I learned that Infinity Renewables was purchased by Engie North America, a division of Engie, a large multinational corporation (70 countries) based in France. Infinity is the company proposing a 300-plus wind turbine project east of Pierre.

In October 2017 Prevailing Winds LLC, an investor group sold their unbuilt project near Tripp to sPower, another multinational corporation owned by AIMco from Canada and by AES.

Last week I attended a zoning meeting in Turner County, S.D., and the developer was Orion, another multinational corporation, the folks representing them were from Australia.

In the case of Prevailing Winds and Infinity, one of the things that transferred to the buyer was land easements. These land easements must be very valuable to a foreign or multinational corporation. I just read an easement agreement that was offered to me last year. It’s obvious to me who has the upper hand, and it’s not the landowner.

I attend these PUC hearings, and I hear the landowner tell the audience he can do what he wants to with his land. And for the most part that is true until he signs the easement. He has just signed most of his property rights away to a multinational or foreign corporation for up to 50 years (for a few thousand dollars a year).

Shame on these developers that duped local farmers into signing up their neighbors for a wind project that took away their property rights. Did the folks that signed these easements read past the first two pages (the pages with the dollar amounts)?

What will be the result of multinational and foreign corporations having easements on millions of acres of South Dakota land? I guess we will see.

Gregg Hubner

Avon