THE DESTRUCTION OF RURAL AMERICA
Most people who don't live in the country have a difficult time identifying with those of us who do. That is, they can't fathom being 20 miles from Walmart and a gas station...and not having cell phone service. But when we ruralites gave up those things and moved to where it's peaceful and serene--to escape the hubbub of the metro--we hurt deeply when someone comes out here and pollutes what remains of nature.
Below is a photo received from a lady who lives in Oklahoma--a fearless citizen-warrior battling an electric company. The photo illustrates how electric companies have zero regard for what they do to the land or those who dwell on it, so long as they generate profits for their shareholders...under the cloak of "cheap electricity." In 10 years these wind farms will be obsolete technology, as will long transmission lines snaking across the countryside. The question then (and now) is "who will take this stuff down when its no longer justifiable?" Will it be abandoned to future generations like the ancient mines that litter Colorado's scenic mountainsides? Most likely the answer is yes.
I recall Lady Bird Johnson being a strong proponent of maintaining our nation's rural beauty. She would be shedding tears over this...as we are now. Bill Sebastian - Texas
WIND INDUSTRY PUSHING EMERGENCY EMINENT
Here is a letter I received from a rancher in Oklahoma who has been fighting the wind industry.
Hi, my name is Sue Selman and I live in northwest Oklahoma. My friends and I have been fighting the wind industry for the last year and half. Our area is under siege too. There are several wind farms in the area and many more planned and then there are the horrible transmission lines planned. This is a beautiful part of the great plains that will be ruined too. So we are in agreement.
The main reason I am writing is the transmission lines. The wind industry will not flourish without the lines. The devious wind developers are in Washington as I write, pushing for emergency federal eminent domain. If they get their way, we are all doomed. We are witnessing first hand the ruthlessness of the energy companies who are installing the first leg of lines to service the industry here in Oklahoma. The company OG&E is tromping on landowner rights, offering a pittance of what their land is worth, bullying, and threatening landowners. If the wind industry gets their way with the emergency eminent domain, landowners won't have a recourse to protect themselves. So we are trying to gather support from across country to fight this. We feel agencies and organizations such as Farm Bureau and cattlemen's associations, maybe even hunting organizations should be informed of what is happening and support us in our quest to inform our legislators that we do not want this. Any help or suggestions from you would be most appreciated.
My friends and I have been fighting the wind industry here for over a 1 1/2 years. We have put numerous adds in the paper and on the radio. We have talked to our legislators and attended numerous meetings. We have made some progress in that there is some proposed legislation involving set backs and some regulation. Never the less the wind developers keep marching on gobbling up leases. I will list some of the problems we are seeing.
Ed and Maxine Wehling, 4th generation landowners near Broken Bow Nebraska have chosen not to be part of a proposed wind farm near their land. Here, they are now experiencing tensions amongst neighbors, something they've never had before. Some want it and some don't. But Ed says, "some things money just can't buy." The transmission lines would also be a hot issue here.
A North Dakota landowner offers these points about the proposed Hartland wind farm.
"North Dakota farmers are being approached by sophisticated wind developers and are being encouraged to sign contracts, either leases or easements, which subject the farmers to legal risk that could, one day, cause them to loose their farms," Rice said. "I have the utmost respect for farmers, but frankly, they are no match for contracts drafted by the big-city law firms representing wind developers." Colleen Rice, lawyer for NV Energy. Wind Companies Want to Nix Contract Disclosures - Bismarck Tribune - 4-22-09.
Surface owners of private lands should think long and hard before they sign a wind lease agreement. Don't let the spin of public advertising, T. Boone Pickens or the financial incentives that may sound to good to be true, entice you into doing something you may regret in the future. Oh, and by the way, the big proposed Pickens wind farm in west Texas isn't happening, maybe because of this...Protecting Texas? If you are contemplating signing a lease with wind developers, hire a good attorney to review the lease agreement and make sure the sub-surface mineral assets of yours and probably of many, many others are not affected. I don't know the details but I had a landowner near Butte, ND in McHenry County tell me that he wouldn't sign a lease with the wind developers because it might affect his ability to lease out his mineral acres. With the advent of horizontal drilling for oil and gas, so has come the use of mineral interests from one or two adjoining full sections of land that in most cases involves many different mineral owners. As a mineral owner with small family acreage in nine different sections of both Mountrail and Burke Counties, I will openly state that I would seek legal advice if a potential wind turbine project hinders in any way, the exploration or production of my oil and gas mineral interests. In one section of land which our extended family owns the majority of minerals, there are 24 other individuals (most of which I've never heard of) that own the remaining acreage. There is also 14 different mineral or oil companies involved in this same section. After the Iverson oil well was discovered in 1951 near Tioga, ND, thousands of mineral acres were bought, sold or traded off for agricultural equipment, automobiles and other farmstead needs. One to five acre transactions were common.
And what about the thousands of acres in this region that is enrolled in the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's wetland and grassland easement programs? What will happen there? According to the Wind-Watch web site, the Fish & Wildlife Service is NOT pro wind turbine. The variables with signing a wind lease are many. The variables with not signing are none. Every landowner that I've talked with say they're leery of the lease agreement. Page after page of small print should make anybody leery. Grabbing a financial fix today and leaving future generations in 25-30 years with worn out wind turbines probably won't be too popular when that time comes. In some ways, it's kind of like the quick financial fix that some landowners experienced years ago when they signed on with the Fish & Wildlife wetland easement program that started in 1958. Today, the wetland easement with it's restrictions holds little liking with area producers. Personal Prediction: If a landowner signs a wind lease agreement, the next generation will wish he or she never had.
Quote from caller to Rush Limbaugh radio show: "... the difference between wind energy and ethanol is you can always abandon the corn fields and replant soybean or use the corn for feed, but once the windmills are up, they'll never come down. It will cost hundreds of millions of dollars to remove them. They won't be removed. They will scar the country side for decades to come, and they will be useless. Some of them are approaching 500 feet tall." Response from Rush: "When down the road we find out that this whole thing has been bogus -- the people that were responsible for it will never, ever get blamed. Confession of a Former Wind Turbine Supporter.
ARTICLE from BobVila.com - Green Backlash: The Wind Turbine Controversy ... Land Values Fall!
The picture on the left shows a flock of Sand Hill Cranes and one Whooping Crane feeding in a farmers field. The odds of an endangered Whooping Crane striking a wind turbine is low but the possibility does exist. And if it happened, who would be responsible for the death of that bird? The landowner or the wind company? You can bet the wind company will have their butts covered somewhere in the lease agreement. WIND MILLS ARE KILLING OUR BIRDS
More Dirty Little Secrets about Wind Energy... and maybe their public meetings?