Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Opinion: "Industrial Wind Turbines May Destroy our Communities" Submitted by Maria Coffman

 Note: The following is an opinion piece submitted to Darke Journal. The thoughts and opinions below are that of the author. It was originally posted in February, but was recently resubmitted. With the conversation of wind energy lately, we thought it made sense to put it back to the top and let it serve as the central place for the wind energy conversation. Feel free to comment below, and/or submit your own opinion articles to darkejournal@gmail.com
 
After doing research in the Darke County Recorders Office, I discovered there are an estimated 12,000 acres in signed land contracts with various wind energy companies according to the Darke County recorder’s office. We know of 2 projects in the process; one in northwest Darke County and the other in northeast Darke County. We’ve heard wind energy companies are also in southern Darke County talking to land owners. If the wind energy companies get these giant industrial machines built, Darke County could be engulfed with hundreds wind turbines.

This is NOT a situation where there is just one wind turbine here or there and they are NOT the size of a silo…these are monstrous Turbines that are 475 feet tall! They could go taller (if the technology changes!) There are already 2 different wind farm projects, consisting of over 150 turbines currently under construction up in Van Wert and Paulding Counties. The same wind energy companies are signing land leases in Mercer and Auglaize counties as well. These huge turbines can be placed as close as 1500 feet from any home or structure and it could be yours!!


Noise and shadow flicker affects from the wind turbines can travel up to 2 miles. If you do your research, which I have been doing for about 4 months now, you will find how many problems these things can create. There are also health issues to consider. The alternative energy companies claim that there are no statistics to show the relationship from sickness and turbines, but there is also no statistics proving that they don’t cause problems. Some of the health problems that may occur are headaches, dizziness, ringing in the ears, anxiety and nausea.

But the real kicker is the federal government is subsidizing the wind projects. That’s right, more subsidies for private industry.

From my research, I have also found that property values will go down if wind turbines are close by. Home values can be affected up to 5 miles. The homes that are the closest can go down in value any where from 25 – 40%. These companies claim they don’t, but I have read too many testimonies where people could not sell their homes, so they either abandoned them or sold them drastically reduced just to get away from the noise, the flicker and the unsightly and dominating visual pollution.

I’ve tried to find something good about these wind turbines, but when they are having problems in Iowa, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Illinois, New York, Massachusetts, California, Hawaii, and even Canada and Europe, why would anyone want to destroy our beautiful landscape with these monsters.

Please, landowners do not rush into signing with these companies. Your friends, families and neighbors have been purposely left out in the dark so the community has no voice on whether they want these in our area or not. Every other community listed in the states above found out about them after it was too late and the division and hate that has been generated over these monsters is devastating. Do not let that happen to our community. Learn everything you can about this and fight for your rights to save our communities. Learn about this now, fight for your rights and your communities rights NOW…or you will have to live with these for the rest of your lives (the contracts are for 50 years with 20 year extensions). There is no excuse to not get involved and have your voice heard!

If you live in any of these counties, you need to be educated on the affects these giants can have on communities. Affects range from property values to health affects to safety issues to significant electricity bill increases (30-50% increase) to aesthetics of the landscape. The minimal tax dollars our counties could receive and few permanent jobs created are definitely not worth what these things will do to our communities and our landscape. Go to www.windworrier.com for more information.

Opinion by Maria Coffman, Greenville, Ohio

21 comments:

  1. Great, now we'll have another group of citizens telling companies how to run their businesses. I'm not saying what you're doing is a bad thing, yet. But Citizens against C02 was exactly that, a group of bullies telling a company they weren't allowed to do what the law permitted them to do.

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  2. A similar opinion article 100 years ago might have urged citizens to resist the urge of allowing monstrous telephone poles to be placed on their property. Getting in the way of traffic, casting shadows and lowering property value by being so unsightly. Who really needs trans-atlantic communication anyway???

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  3. You are sending a mixed signal here. If wind is bad then does that mean coal is good? Every single thing on earth has a bad side. Wind and solar are an answer to a very large problem. Development of anything takes a long time and has to start somewhere. In a follow up, would you please list all of the good things that wind power brings? Billy Joe is correct. The whiners on the CO2 problem never offered an alternative. It was a no brainer and the alternative is now being constructed on Jaysville St. Johns Rd. Be against something that is really, really bad, not something that has the potential to be really good.

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  4. I would sign the contract right now to let them build.

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  5. sick & tired of handoutsFebruary 15, 2011 at 12:19 PM

    The government has no business subsidizing this. If it would be profitable, then it will happen in the private sector. Anytime government gets involved, it will screw it up.

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  6. Billy Joel and Badge1
    1) Regarding the Citizens against CO2- they suggested using the CO2 to make dry ice – exactly what Anderson and Continental Carbonic are doing now with the addition of jobs for Greenville. On that basis they should be regarded as pillars of the community.

    2) Carbone Capture and Sequestration was an experimental science fiction solution to global warming and climate change which has since been abandoned. The Anderson ethanol plant does what they should have done with the CO2 in the first place – convert it to dry ice - a useful product and, unlike CCS, is not experimental and dangerous to the environment, water sources and our community.

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  7. The only place CCS has been abandoned is here...

    Those of you who get the Darke Rural Electric magazine "Country Living" might recall the November issue which had an article about the Mountaineer power plant on the Ohio Border with West Virgina, which is SUCCESSFULLY sequestrating over 130,000 cubic yards of CO2 each year. Not to mention sites in Norway, Germany, Italy, China, the UK, the Netherlands, Poland, Canada, and other sites scattered throughout the USA.

    As far as wind turbines, the technology can't advance to fix its flaws if we don't give it an opportunity to. If the airplane and Model T had been invented this century rather than last, I can only imagine the out-cry. "They're noisy" "They're bad for your health" "They cause headaches, dizziness, ringing in the ears, anxiety and nausea" "The roads and sky will be engulfed by hundreds of these monsters"

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  8. A few get rich and the rest of us have our view of the skyline ruined. Sounds like America to me. This sort of thing has been going on since the 70's...1870's! Big money always wins. The rest of us have to deal with the results...and subsidize them.

    Windmills are definintely pretty. In Holland.

    G-Vegas

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  9. Read the well written comments above by Jeff Besecker. Windmills have been successfully placed all over the country and are providing clean energy for more and more homes every day. This fear mongering article above is far off base. Besides wind energy, new methods for extracting hydrogen with sunlight and storing it without being pressurized by using baked chicken feathers will probably be able to run out cars, buses, trucks and trains in a short period of time if we ALLOW THE GOVERNMENT TO INVEST in such clean energy solutions. It is very doubtful that private money alone will ever bring such wonderful inventions to the marketplace. Military and space research spending has paid us back in a very big way for 50 years now. We need the same push to get us off the coal powered grid and the oil powered treadmill to nowhere. Plastics can now be grown and fuels can be made from plants and algae. It is a great new world that is coming. Do not let the hay sayers stand in our way.

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  10. Oliver - we definitely agree with paragraph two.
    But come up to speed in paragraph one. Organic CO2 is plant food - to bury it requires the burning of 30% more coal. Many of the places you mentioned were developed well before CCS came to Greenville at a time when people really believed that global warming and climate change was a valid and serious issue caused by CO2. When have you heard the last speech or article by Al Gore on this subject? All this was based on making big money on Carbon Exchange credits in Chicago which now no longer exists.
    PS We will probably sign up for the turbine contract

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  11. sick n tired of handoutsFebruary 16, 2011 at 8:37 AM

    I'm enjoying the debate as it's being done in an adult fashion.

    I'm not against windmills, only the subsidized monies. If it is feasible, let private industries have control. I say no to the federal monies.

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  12. If windmills are feasible and truly the future let private business build them without govt subsidies. Anyone remember how we heard that ethanol was going to be the future of fuel. It was going to save us from relying on oil from the middle east. Everyone jumped on that bandwagon too. Now we know it is a failure. It harms your vehicle and has not saved a dime. If not for govt asubsidies it would not exist. All I am saying is think this through before you jump on the latest new bandwagon.

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  13. Re: subsidies - consider the current federal budget proposal to eliminate various tax credits used by oil companies. Is it a good thing or bad thing that wind subsidies are so obvious and we know where our tax dollars are going, especially compared to the tax credits the coal, oil, and natural gas industries have covertly placed in lines of the IRS tax code?

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  14. Click on this link for more information about a different type of subsidy for fossifl fuels. http://www.awea.org/documents/factsheets/NAS_Hidden_Costs_of_Energy.pdf

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  15. Wind turbines "ruin" our lanscape? Anybody remember these "quaint" little numbers? Anybody?

    http://heatusa.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/farm-windmills-bw.jpg

    Time was, none of us had to look any further than our own back yards to see them.

    Windmills were once thought to be the quintessential symbol of American rural life. No farm was complete without one. Darke County was formed as a rural, farm based settlement and will more than likely always exist to be one.

    If you want to talk of ruined landscapes, our ancestors set down in this location, clearing acre after acre of "landscape" in the form of trees, meadows and dales. We called it "progress".

    It was a necessity and today, as it did then, it keeps us fed.

    Now we look to our future to "fed" our need for energy. We always have the option of going the route of our Amish and German Baptist brethren. No slight to their beliefs, but we chose to live the electrified life...that requires energy.

    When you use up all the food in your cupboards, you go to the grocery to replenish your energy. If that food supply where do dry out or found to be "tainted"...you go hungry.

    How strongly do you believe our current energy supply is not "tainted" being that the majority of it is derived from a coal and petroleum base?

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  16. Eaterie,

    You cannot compare the windwmills of old to the new industrial turbines! These turbines are over 450' tall and the blades are as wide as a 747 jet. If any of you who have made the comments about the turbines want to know what it's like to actually live within a wind turbine farm footprint go the website:
    http://lifewithdekalbturbines.blogspot.com/
    These people did not choose this. There home happens to be close to absentee landowners who signed up to host wind turbines. They have to live with the consequences and it has changed their quiet country life forever.

    To answer the question about the government subsidies, the wind energy companies take advantage of the Section 1603 cash grant program which applies only to renewable energy projects where the developers can get 30% of a wind project paid for through direct cash pay-outs from the US Treasurey. Now, the oil companies etc. do not receive anything close to these type of subsidies. All they receive are tax breaks that any other private industry or corpotation receives. I think the subsidies are well slanted the direction of the wind companies. The government should not be in the business of picking winners or losers in business. That's what the free market is for. Unfortuneatly, alot of people think the government should be invested in private industry, but we all know when the government is involved there is no free market and that is bad for the entire economy! If wind energy was such a great deal it wouldn't need subsidies, grants and credits to survive.

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  17. taxprep - I checked out the blog website. I had no idea. I hope authorities in our area do a lot of research on their own before making any decisions.

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  18. whoda,
    The local authorities don't have a say on this. That is also part of the problem. I've heard that if they get enough land, they go to the Ohio Power Siting Board and from there it's pretty much a done deal.

    People NEED to do some research. This is a problem everywhere. Not just Ohio, Not just the United States. A simple google search will give you A LOT of information. You can't go off of what these companies want you to believe. Farmers can also visit http://www.informedfarmers.org/ for some information. I've heard that the contracts aren't all that good either. There is a reason they want to keep them secret.

    Windworrier.com is a good start if you wanted to learn more about it.

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  19. I encourage anyone who is against wind turbines in Darke County call Representative Jim Buchy's office @

    Mr. Jim Buchy, State Representative 77 S. High St 13th Floor Columbus, OH 43215-6111
    district77@ohr.state.oh.us Phone: (614) 466-6344
    -or-
    Mr. John Kasich, Governor Riffe Center, 30th Floor 77 South High Street Columbus, OH 43215-6108
    614-466-3555
    http://governor.ohio.gov/ShareYourIdeas.aspx

    They want to hear from you. Also, if you are interested in the health problems industrial wind turbines may cause search on Wind Turbine Syndrome by Dr. Nina Pierpont. This is a serious issue and and the more educated you are the more you can talk and educate your friends, family and neighbors! Please do you due diligence on this issue. You won't regret it!

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  20. @Finton

    We could take every car off the US highways, and it wouldn't make a dent in our oil consumption, you still need oil for the tires, you need oil for the processing of the fabrics, for the plastics (the plastics you keep referring to aren't suitable but for a TINY fraction of automotive uses), still need oil for the paints (even the water borne paint systems rely on materials to spray it, prep for it that require oil. You need oil for the lubricants, you need oil for the brake system, the charging system, the batteries require oil for their production. So while it sounds good in theory, you are living in a fantasy land if you think we are anywhere near weeing ourselves off the oil teet. All of that doesn't even include the use of oil in the millions of other countless day to day items. I am for getting us off being dependent on those countries that hate us, but I want it done in a manner that is realistic.

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  21. For those that want to compair these windturbines too utility poles, or windmills need to take a look at this picture:
    http://dcwindworriers.com/wp-content/gallery/darke-county-wind-worriers/comparison.png

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