LETTER TO THE EDITOR – Another view on turbine issue

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Finally! A local farmer with the chutzpah to defend (Webmaster’s note: Upon reading this, I am not sure “defend” is the best  word to describe the content of this letter. Better words such as “expose”, “challenge”, etc. would be more appropriate.) wind! I applaud Mr. Kirksey for putting his “mouth where his money is!” (Did I get it backward?) But, most importantly, this gives me another opportunity to expose the fallacy that wind is “clean” energy when, after all the hoopla, is merely a tax dodge for the Warren Buffets of the world! Don’t believe me? In his own words “The only reason I invest in wind is for tax purposes.” He, the wind companies, farmers putting a wind turbine on their land and local governments increasing their tax revenue are NOT concerned about “wind” but the government SUBSIDIES associated with it! I have characterized this as “suckling the government teat,” but, contrary to the porcine population, they are NEVER weaned!

“Every turbine results in using less fossil fuel and cuts down on foreign fuel imports.” Wrong! Research ANY data NOT associated with the wind industry or it’s proponents, and do a life cycle cost analysis. I did not know there was such an animal! It is simply a way to evaluate the efficiency of something using dollars or, as the case with wind, using the total fossil fuel expended over the lifetime of a wind turbine. When everything from manufacturing the components, erecting the turbine, maintenance and decommissioning of the turbine (they have a low life expectancy) is included, the amount of fossil fuels used will NEVER be recovered over the lifetime of the turbine! You also must include the cost of keeping fossil fuel power plants online for the 65-70 percent of time the wind doesn’t blow sufficiently to produce electrical energy which means a lot more fossil fuel is used than will EVER be recovered. Instead of “win, win” this is “lose, lose!”

A 50,000-bushel grain bin equivalent to a wind turbine? When was the last time a grain bin sounded like a freight train? Blinked its red lights from sunset to dawn? Created “flicker?” Disrupted my ability to aerial spray? Endangered someone walking in close proximity? Killed an eagle? Lowered my property value? Crushed my tile lines? Or, according to Dick, disturbed “traditional agricultural vistas?” A simple direct answer is NEVER!

Mr. Kirksey has postulated allowing the erection of a wind turbine is equivalent to a farmer’s natural inclination to improve his farming operation. That is asinine! I value the land and protect it with cover crops and no-till and I cringe at the thought of huge machinery destroying ANY part of my farm. I am concerned even when Clark Abel runs his tiling machine across my land even though I know it’s necessary.

I am one of the “childish name-callers.” If you’ve signed a wind turbine contract without checking with your neighbors, you are nothing but a “greedy hog!” And, if the Clay County Board of Supervisors fail to provide adequate distance requirements to protect the property value of nonturbine land owners, they are guilty of dereliction of duty and need to be fired as well as being “greedy hogs!” They have an inordinate concern over the right of a land owner to erect a turbine, but, I suspect, would have a difficult time finding that right in our constitution, bill of rights or any other document!

Have we become so jaded that we’re willing to waste our taxpayer dollars on an industry that will NEVER compete in a free market? Why does the board of supervisors allow these ugly plastic and steel monstrosities to pit neighbor against neighbor? In the immortal word of Pogo — “We have met the enemy, and he is us!”

— Jerry Crew, Webb