If we focus only on what we are getting, we might not see what we are giving up.
I am for clean, renewable energy and I am a concerned citizen for the safe siting of the proposed industrial wind turbine project in Gibson and Posey counties. I have been told by E.ON, the project developers, that many of my concerns are simply based on fear of change. I do have fear but not of change. I have been promised increased tax revenues and seen charitable donations given, but I am not willing to give up my safety and property rights for an industrial wind project that appears ready to take advantage of our rural community without recourse to the citizens.
A foreign industrial giant, E.ON, is proposing the placement of up to 134 industrial wind turbines in Gibson and Posey counties based on the company’s project summary. At a recent public meeting with E.ON, I also learned that the proposed turbine height limit was raised nearly 100 ft to a maximum tip height of 591 feet. For perspective, the second tallest building in Indiana, One America Tower in Indianapolis, is 533 feet tall. The St. Louis arch stands at 630 feet. These will be some of the tallest and largest turbines ever placed on U.S soil. Now that you have an idea of the height of these rotating giants, picture 134 of them across the landscape of our counties. The scope and nature of this project should not be overlooked by anyone especially if you take into account that 27,000 (currently leased) acres of land across two counties could be locked up for future development for 50 years.
Renewable energy sources, if done responsibly, do have merit; I don’t argue that and I welcome clean energy even at the risk of losing our rural landscape. I do take issue with a large scale, industrial project landing in my backyard whose oversight for safety and property rights is merely the benevolence of a multi-billion-dollar company located thousands of miles away from my home.
I trust the good citizens in Gibson and Posey Counties, who may have leased property for this project, because I have long-standing relationships and respect for many of them. Am I expected to extend that same trust to a for-profit company that will operate industry on the farmland of my fellow citizens? Would I be naive to believe that my safety and rights are in the forefront of this company’s mind when there is no regulation, oversight or control at the county, state, or federal level, to prevent the proximity of these giant turbines to my property?
It is no surprise, that even despite low wind speeds in our area, Gibson County was sought out for the placement of industrial turbines because my county lacks zoning. For better or worse, this is where we find ourselves. I ask you, the reader, to inform yourself of the issues surrounding safety and property rights with regard to these giant turbines while balancing the thought of a new revenue stream. In the next few weeks, fellow concerned citizens of Gibson and Posey Counties will cover the concerns that many county citizens have with this proposed project that include, Doppler radar interference, audible and inaudible sound issues, shadow flicker, blade throw, and property rights. How much are our safety and rights worth?
– Erin Maurer
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