LETTER: Informed opposition to wind farms
To the Editor:
In response to Rob Johnson's column in Tuesday's Daily Republic: As a wind farm developer, you have a big horse in this race. But let's be honest, the money involved has little to do with locals and everything to do with your pocketbook and the eventual owner who receives the production tax credit—foreign/multinational corporations and banks.
As admitted by wind farm owner Warren Buffett and the S.D. Public Utilities Commission, wind farms depend wholly on that credit. Without it, constructions decreased by 93 percent. Mr. Johnson, how many wind farms have you developed with no tax credit?
The projected money that goes to the school, county and farmers is always based on estimates, not reality. Those small payments to locals are bribe money to get farmers to sell their easements and get local support, using numbers you project out 25 years when the tax credit lasts 10 years and profitability stops.
You state, "There are many scientifically unsupported claims for things like soil depletion, underground vibrations, flicker and noise. None of these claims have a basis in reality and are not supported by actual legitimate scientific studies."
In the next paragraph you state, "In reality, there are rules and regulations that limit the noise, and there are setback requirements to minimize actual impact on adjoining property." Which reality is it? First you say there are no problems, then you say there are setbacks to minimize (not eliminate) the problems.
You state, "Wind energy has zero pollution." Hog confinements have smell pollution. Wind farms have sight pollution. Would you choose to live close to either?
Please don't call us "misinformed." The misinformed are the farmers who sell their air rights that usually end up in foreign ownership, the schools that got less money than promised and most importantly, the residents who have to live under these giant wind turbines who were told, "You won't hear them, the shadow flicker will be minimal, your property won't devalue, you'll get used to it."
Those are the misinformed people, and they got that way by listening to developers like you.