Could BigWind affect the Quality of Your life? Hmm…

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Do you wonder if it is really true that BigWind could impact your quality of life? Aren’t most noise and infrasound claims ‘overstated’ and ‘exaggerated’?? Well, for those of us in Ohio, we don’t have to look far for the truth. Van Wert citizens made it VERY clear to local and state politicians that BigWind HAS impacted their quality of life.

And, just a little farther, over the Indiana line, BigWind is thriving…..or is it? Tipton county, approximately 1 hour North of Indianapolis, has planted many of the nuisances. Yes, they are nuisances.  Just click on the link, at the bottom, of this post. You will learn about individuals who say it sounds like planes overhead. Others claim it has divided families and their communities.  Even a county commissioner expresses regret over the choice to allow the turbines to be built.

And, finally, isn’t it always about the $? The power of the mighty dollar. What do the residents say about all of the ‘tax benefits’ now?The county received a large sum of $ upfront, but now they are only paid property taxes on each turbine. That $ is, by no means, a ‘windfall’.  Property values? DOWN, too. How would you like it if your home, where Americans place a majority of their asset wealth, was Devalued because of these industrial machines….

TriStatehomepage.com

 

What every Ohioan should know about BigWind (as a new neighbor)

If you live in Ohio, you should share these truths (from Indiana) with your legislators. Legislators who are STRONGLY considering SHORTENING the distances between an industrial wind energy turbine and your home.  And our governor supports this nonsense! BigWind lobbies hard and they are extremely well funded, so it is vital that you educate yourselves and SHARE your opinion with your legislators….

As a Tipton County property owner, I did extensive research on the possible effects of having Industrial Wind Turbines. Our county was the first to attempt to have the turbines located close to residential homes and communities. Recently, I read Wind Watch online regarding Fulton, Miami, and Cass counties being interested in having a windfarm. I would like to pass along some findings of over 1,000 hours of research regarding this situation.

I first thought these things were green, non-toxic, and would be great for the environment…

Some counties have changed their setbacks due to health risks. Whitley County is now a half mile from the property line. Noble County has a 3,960 foot setback, and a noise limit not to exceed 40 decibels at 1,000 feet from a turbine, and requires that a tower’s blinking lights be shielded. Tipton County’s setback is now 2,640 feet from a residence. Many other counties have a complete ban on wind farms. If there were no risks, why would all these counties be putting in stricter ordinances??The World Health Organization recommends a minimum setback of 5,280 feet for children, elderly, and the chronically ill. The International Standards Organization recommends community noise limits of 35 decibels during daytime, and 25-30 decibels at night. Many European nations with more than two decades of experience with windfarms have setbacks of 3-5 miles. Denmark’s setback is four times the total height, and Holland’s is 3,280 feet.

Our County Commissioners were initially touting that “everyone was happy in Benton County” with the IWT’s. I sent a letter to the editor of the Lafayette Journal Courier stating I would like input from anyone regarding the impact of their turbines.

I received numerous replies (some anonymous) and others asking me not to use their name.

The following letter is from an individual who supplied her address in Fowler, Ind. My husband and I visited their home, and experienced all of her claims first-hand. Most people who visit Benton County wind farms have appointments set up for a tour with the Benton County Wind Farm EDC. We wanted to go on our own.

Here is the letter:

“I live in Benton County. Feel free to come to visit us. We are right in the heart of the wind turbines. They surround our house. I DO NOT like having them so close to our house. When they put them in, our road was so busy I could not even go walking that summer. The noise REALLY bothers me, and I have never gotten used to it! Depending on which way the wind is out of, you can hear the noise in the house. It seems worse in the winter. I believe it’s due to the density of the air. This time of the year the “FLICKER” effect is really bad in the morning and in the evening. You feel like you always need to duck as you see the blades going around. When my son-in-law visits, he always asks how we can stand that. We feel we should be compensated. The landowners get paid for the rental of their land but we get no compensation and we were here first! When it is all said and done, the commissioners should have made the set back a lot further from the houses. We would still have the noise but at least we wouldn’t have the FLICKER effect. I wish I had known all this before they were put in. Everyone just kept on saying they will be good for the community. They are, only if you are a landowner. They don’t care at all about homes in the community. Then they wonder why nobody wants to live in Benton County. Don’t know that I want you to use my name because we, as well as many others, have received threats and property damage when we’ve complained, but feel free to use this information.”

Here is another letter:

“In response to your letter to the editor, Thursday, February 14, in the Journal Courier, this information may be what you need. Personal property value will fall like a rock. Benton County houses located within the wind farms are selling for whatever the owner can get. Many land owners where these wind generators are located do not live in the county. The average age of the lease owners is retirement age…

The companies brag that the local economy will boom, but that is temporary until the company is done installing these monsters. They tout that they will create hundreds of jobs, but that is not true either. The companies bring their own machinery operators, and in the end there might be 5-6 people that maintain the turbines, or are guards, or both.

In Benton County, this happened because few people knew about the turbines until it was way too late to do anything about it. This is how the companies manage to get this done everywhere. A decision of this magnitude should be decided after a debate over property values, who is responsible for that loss, and other issues such as blinking lights, noise, which is nauseating, and the strobe effect from shadow flicker.”…

http://www.rochsent.com/Content/Local-news/Local-news/Article/Windfarm-neighbor/15/31/26003

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Ohio grid admits BigWind is expensive; Indiana commiss regrets saying YES to BigWind

It has been another busy week with BigWind in Ohio. On the “good news” front, the Ohio Mandate Study Committee convened on Wednesday to hear testimony from the grid operator, PJM.  Our friend Senator Seitz was brilliant in his questioning and extracted admissions that the transmission requirements and back-up needed to support wind made them very expensiveWithout significant, ongoing subsidy, wind cannot compete in the market.   The downstream consequences to the current reliable and affordable generation fleet were dire as well.  It was made very clear to all legislators that the PJM grid operator only counts 13% of wind’s nameplate capacity as viable while next door in Indiana, the MISO grid operator credits wind with only 2.7% of nameplate.  Senator Seitz suggested that MISO’s number may be more credible than PJM’s.  Meanwhile, we understand more clearly why President Obama has proposed that the Production Tax Credit for Wind be made permanent.

Speaking of subsidies, an organization called “Good Jobs First” released a report this week on Uncle Sam’s Favorite Corporations.   GJF is dedicated to educating the public on how much taxpayer money the federal government is handing out and to whom.   Their report totals up subsidies covering  137 programs in 11 federal Cabinet agencies from 2000 to the most recent records.  This is across all industries in the country. Greg LeRoy, the organization’s executive director, said in a news release that the data aimed to give transparency to which companies specifically are receiving federal assistance. “For more than 20 years, so-called corporate welfare has been debated widely with little awareness of which companies were receiving most of the federal assistance,” LeRoy said.    And who ame in first?   Spanish wind developer, Iberdrola has raked in over $2.2 billion in taxpayer funding!  Iberdrola was followed by five other wind companies that received more than $1 billion each.

From Indiana comes an open letter from a Tipton County Commissioner to Howard County Commissioners who are considering proposals for wind development.  This letter is a must read.  It is an ‘oh so familiar’ lament and we are seeing more of them all across America.  Former Commissioner Harper closes her letter with this message: “As an elected official/public servant. . . . . if you must go forward with approvals that allow wind farm development . . . and thus you become the reason a wind farm was built in Howard County. . .  it will be a decision you will regret the rest of your life. “    Please click the link and read this letter in its entirety…

I am writing to you all as a former commissioner colleague who aided in the negotiations and agreements with E.ON Climate Renewables with Tipton County in 2011.  From the onset, I was open to windfarm development in a small section of Tipton County because the commissioners had received no opposition and I felt that the landowners wanted it.  My own family was offered an opportunity to lease land to E.ON and we declined because my husband did not care to farm around the towers, and I just didn’t want to look at them.  I set my own personal views aside and made decisions based on what I felt the majority of the public wanted.  I was outspoken enough, however, to say that I would never support a plan to cover a large portion of the county with wind turbines.  As it turned out, the problem was that when the decisions were being made to build “Wildcat I”, the commissioners were not hearing from the “majority”.  People really did not know this was happening, or if they did, they did not perceive it to be as “invasive” as it was.  As you know, public notices are small and often overlooked in the newspaper, so not much resistance was present……………until the towers went up, and people saw how enormous and intrusive they were.  The red blinking lights even disturb my own summer evenings and my home is 6 miles from the closest tower….. !!!!…

In Tipton County……….my 83 year old mother is mad at me (since I signed the agreements) because she no longer has colorful birds coming to her feeders……..my brother’s view from his family dining room table used to be a vast expanse of crops and natural habitat…….now that pristine ‘vista’ is forever marred by giant metal structures………….neighbors hate each other…………back and forth letters to the editor have been selling papers for over a year now………….families are torn apart,,,,, and because the physical presence of the towers will be there for 30 years, these relationships will never be repaired.   In short. . . . this has become an issue that has divided our community like no other.   

It has torn our county apart.  The May, 2014 primary election is evidence that the majority of the voters supported candidates openly opposed to wind farm development and an incumbent commissioner was voted out of office due to his unwillingness to listen to the majority on any issue, including wind….

You can’t lose something you never had…………so you are not “losing” the supposed ‘windfall’ of money that the project purportedly brings in.   What you WILL lose however, cannot be measured in dollars.  You will lose the rural landscape as you know it and you will lose the closeness of “community spirit” because people will hate each other over this and the presence of the towers will always be a constant reminder of the rift…………thus the wounds will never heal….

Tipton County Indiana Commissioner voted for wind farms, now lives with regrets.

Remember the voters when you agree to give BigWind a PILOT

Hardin and Logan county commissioners should take note: A PILOT is a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes that Ohio county commissioners may provide BigWind projects. It allows them to pay a fraction of their true tax bill, estimated at only 15% of the allowable amount under Ohio tax laws. All politics is local and throughout Ohio and the Midwest, citizens and ratepayers are continuing to push back against wind with greater and greater force.  In Tipton County, Indiana, the three Commissioners who supported wind now have Republican primary opponents in all three races.  The news report below states, “Now comes the political reckoning for those who supported the Prairie Breeze plan. May 6, three races could determine whether Tipton County joins Boone County in banning wind farms completely.”  We point out this line, in particular: “It wasn’t until the county council passed a tax abatement for the project, in December 2012, that the opposition went viral. “  We think it is just common sense….

Back in December 2012, a sea change took place in Tipton County.

A bunch of people who had previously looked at local government with indifference suddenly became activists, fired up over the Prairie Breeze Wind Farm.

For most of last year, the wind farm issue consumed everything in Tipton County, as opponents organized to stop a plan which had sailed through the county commissioners and the county council.

Now comes the political reckoning for those who supported the Prairie Breeze plan.

May 6, three races could determine whether Tipton County joins Boone County in banning wind farms completely….

It wasn’t until the county council passed a tax abatement for the project, in December 2012, that the opposition went viral. County officials had taken several steps to get to that point, without any public outcry.

With the primary looming, however, wind farms may be the only issue any of the Republican voters care about.

“Even the people who are anti-wind farm say the main reason they moved out into the country was because of its rural character,” Heron said. “But they’re arguing with farmers, who are the backbone of the rural area. Somewhere, there has to be a happy medium.”…

“We need to do more to get population back in this county,” Shuck said. “Any time you get at least half of the people who don’t like something, you’re cutting down on your chances.”

via Voters will have their say » Opinion » Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana.