Humans are called to have a personal relationship with God, be good stewards of the land, respect God’s creatures and love one another. While no one is perfect, these are the ideals that the majority of concerned citizens of Montcalm County are trying to uphold. Citizens who oppose the industrial scale wind energy projects seek to protect the environment, animals, and each other from the negative effects of industrial turbines.
The pro wind lobby would have one believe that wind turbine companies are all about green energy rather than money. It suggests that people who oppose industrial wind energy are pawns of the fossil fuel industry. In reality, the wind energy industry itself has ties to fossil fuels.
For example, the Ares Management company, which acquired a majority stake in the industrial wind energy corporation Apex in October 2021, is a management company with investments in fossil fuels. The average citizen who opposes wind turbines will not gain financially from fossil fuels or wind turbines. These wind corporations, however, will make money from fossil fuels as well as government subsidies for construction of turbines.
The famous financier Warren Buffett invests in the hydroelectric, nuclear, solar, natural gas, geothermal, and wind energy sectors. In 2014, Buffett said, “… on wind energy, we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.”
The only reason to build wind turbines are for the subsidies. When the turbines are built and the subsidies collected, companies such as Ares/Apex sell them to other entities. This further increases the financial gain. The bottom line is money.
Concerned citizens are working to protect the animals in our area, whose habitats will be disrupted by the turbines. Juvenile and female bats, as well as migratory birds are particularly susceptible to the effects of industrial turbines. This is well documented, and is the reason that nearby communities such as Grand Haven Charter Township do not allow the industrial turbines. Population decreases of bats and birds, along with the corresponding increases in insect populations will damage the local ecosystem.
It takes courage for citizens to take a stand against wind turbine companies with deep pockets intent on changing local communities from rural to industrial. Yet, at every single board and planning commission meeting in this county, average citizens are mustering up that courage in droves. They are doing so in spite of attempts by the pro wind lobby to discredit them at every turn. At the recent Jan. 5, 2022, Douglass Township Board meeting, two citizens who have health problems were laughed at by a Douglass Township official and a pro wind member of the audience. Despite the ridicule, they bravely proceeded with their comments.
Wind energy representatives have come into Montcalm County townships with promises of a big payday to potential lease signers. To that end, they have been successful in turning families, neighbors, friends, and township officials against each other. There are families and friends whose relationships have suffered significant, even irreparable damage. This community has been torn apart, and the exact scenario is being played out repeatedly in our state, country, and around the world. The common denominator in these varied communities is the industrial wind turbine industry.
In a recent Daily News guest view column favorable to the industrial wind turbine industry, Dan Paris attempted to portray local opponents of wind turbines as propagandists spreading false information to further their agenda. What he failed to disclose is that in May 2021, three local farms (Sackett, Main and Crooks) filed a cease and desist order against Apex for spreading false information that the three farms’ owners had signed leases. This is bearing false witness against thy neighbor.
In his guest view opinion piece, Paris expressed that he was writing as a service to God, family, community, and humanity. This makes one wonder what biblical principle is being used to defend/promote the tactics of the corporate wind energy industry and those who support it.
Kathy Craig is a 30-year resident of Montcalm County, and is a retired Greenville Public Schools special education teacher.
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