Private property rights are one of the key ingredients that makes the USA a phenomenal nation in which people from all over the world want to live, and Texas, more especially, where over one thousand people each day gain the new title as “Texan.”
Property rights, as with any right, comes with a responsibility. Therefore, I cannot let my rights keep you from enjoying your rights, and vice versa. I sincerely hope that landowners are having a competent attorney read the proposed lease agreement that EDP Renewable puts before them, and allow that attorney to explain how they are selling their private property rights for up to 57 years. There are many serious issues inside of the 55-page lease agreement that will have implications on a landowner for not only the rest of their life, but of the lifetimes of their kids and grandkids as well.
I read Rorik F. Peterson’s letter to the editor on Sept. 3, 2019 (“Give wind farm company a chance”) and couldn’t help but feel terrible for the landowners who have signed a lease already. Mr. Peterson’s letter to the editor was similar to the propaganda that EDP has supplied to the taxing entities that they are asking for tax abatements from, and similar to the falsehoods that they are verbally telling landowners. Mr. Peterson states “Concerns regarding property values, health impacts, and other issues are heard, but they simply are not supported by the facts, and certainly not by the experiences of communities hosting wind farms across Texas, and across the nation.”
Obviously, Mr. Peterson did not read my report provided at the Era ISD board meeting on how land sold near the current wind farms in Muenster have sold for an average of 47.78% less than properties in Era where there are no wind farms currently. In fact, they will try to tell you that your property is worth more if there is a wind turbine near it! He apparently is not keen on the fact that Muenster ISD’s tax rate is 15% higher than Era’s, even though Muenster has two of these wind farms that he claims are so great for the community. It is clear that he has not read the tens of thousands of complaints from residents who live near wind farms all over the nation, who cry for help from the health effects the wind turbines have had on them. Mr. Peterson must also not remember how the study that his company cites in its propaganda shows just the opposite of what he claims it shows. Could Mr. Peterson be mistaken about these issues, or is it just more of the one-sided, incomplete and inaccurate claims that EDP Renewables is trying to convince us of?
If you are a landowner who is contemplating signing a lease with EDP Renewables, I implore you to seek legal counsel before doing so. What EDP tells you, or shows you in a bulleted pamphlet, is completely different from the legal document that they want you to sign before you read. We all have the right to use and enjoy our properties, until that right impedes the same rights of others.
Jared J. Groce, Gainesville