MidAmerican Energy has plans to take Iowa to 100% renewable energy. Our giant utility companies are running over Iowans to make this happen. Hundreds of people are negatively affected at every installation and hundreds more with every extra wind energy transmission line.
Affected Iowans have no real say. Many protested at public meetings, collected petitions, hired attorneys and filed lawsuits but the promise of money won the local governments. Iowans have no power of recall, no referendum. Even the Iowa Utilities Board process was skirted, the only “approval” any wind installation has received is for ratemaking.
Decisions Iowans were allowed were to refuse to take the money or sign the contract offered, contracts to hold companies blameless for the negative impacts to neighbors. The wind companies freely admit that turbines will “cast shadows or flicker onto the Owner’s Property; impact view or visual effects from the Owner’s Property; and cause or emit noise, vibration, air turbulence, wake, and electromagnetic and frequency interference” (Invenergy Neighbor Agreement). In Palo Alto, Invenergy reports that out of 268 homes directly affected by turbines, only 24 homes actually participated (page 8). In Clay and Dickinson Counties, Apex reports that only 54 out of 244 homes participated. Other counties that are keeping their own numbers say percentages are the same in those project areas.
The two reasons this has been allowed is for tax credits and a reduction in CO₂ emissions.
MidAmerican will receive $10 Billion in tax credits for building 2500-3000 turbines. Some landowners receive money to host turbines if they sign a contract that have clauses like: “At the Tenant’s option, Landlord and tenant shall amend this lease or replace it with a different instrument so as to convert Tenant’s interest in the Premises or Windpower Facilities to a substantially similar interest that makes Tenant eligible for such tax credit, benefit or incentive” (RES Wind Energy Ground Lease)
In 2016 the American Wind Energy Association optimistically boasted that turbines would avoid 159 million metric tons of CO₂. Even if we doubled their amount of turbines we had in 2016 we still would not reach beyond 1% of the 35-40 billion tons of CO₂ attributed to mankind’s energy usage every year.
Communities are fighting off Industrial Wind the world over. Vermont has already restricted their noise to 39 decibels 100 feet from homes. A Minnesota Administrative Law Judge has recommended that Invenergy’s application for a wind installation be denied for lack of proof for their sound study. Alliant’s Wisconsin Power and Light was recently court ordered to buy two homes in their Bent Tree wind installation because they could not mitigate the noise. Ontario has elected Doug Ford partly on the campaign promise that he would do away with the “green” energy debacle. Germany alone has over 1000 wind opposition groups.
Negative impacts forced on the homes and businesses of thousands and thousands of people for an incredibly expensive, tiny reduction in CO₂. This makes no sense. This does not sound like Iowa Nice.
Janna Swanson lives and farms with her husband Paul in Clay County, Iowa. She is a board member for the Coalition for Rural Property Rights and National Wind Watch, both groups formed to educate landowners and residents on the negative impacts of industrial wind energy.
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