Your Friday editorial asks why there are so many wind turbines in Iowa, and I, being a fifth-generation Iowa farm girl, have an opinion. Could it be because Iowa in general, and Worth County in particular, is so lax in their regulations on wind energy? Worth County has zero regulations. It is not because the rural people want them. I have personally visited with residents and landowners in the proposed Worthwhile Wind project. Ninety percent of these landowners are opposed to having wind turbines on their farmland.
The majority of residents/landowners in Freeborn County are also opposed. That is why Invenergy is placing most of the turbines in Iowa. Worth County has no regulations calling for public meetings or a permitting process. Invenergy snuck in and signed up a few big landowners, mainly absentee, and no resistance was mounted. We have learned from this and are now actively working to stop any further wind projects in Worth County.
The Freeborn County commissioners should listen to their constituents who have signified they do not want wind energy by not signing easement agreements. If Invenergy has to put more than 50 percent of the project in Iowa and can’t get land signed up for transmission of the electricity, then the project has failed. Let it die.
Don’t forget when counting up all the revenue Worth County is getting to subtract the losses incurred. These include decreased property values, damaged drain tile and compaction to world class soil, limited and more expensive aerial spraying, more expensive energy, damaged roads and bridges and the ruination of peaceful, beautiful rural living. What is the value of our health, safety and welfare?
While you may ask why Iowa has so many wind turbines, I would ask why is it that Worth County supervisors have refused to implement any regulations on the industry despite the request of residents, Worth County Board of Health and the Worth County Conservation Board to do so.
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