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
DOMAIN LAW FOR ACCESS TO PRIVATE LANDS

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.

RANCHER DESCRIBES EXPERIENCES WITH WIND FARMS

        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.
1. no regulations to speak of for the wind industry in our state or federally.
2. no regulations regarding wildlife, noise, pollution.
3. unscrupulous leases taking advantage of landowners
4. the intrusion of transmission lines on unwilling property owners
5. loss of property values
6. major issues of noise and shadow flickers involving adjacent property owners
7. loss of wildlife habitat and loss of hunting rights.
8. will raise our utility rates
9. will not provide a substantial amount of energy for this nation
10. paid for by tax payers
11. these turbines will wear out, wont be profitable to replace, who will take them down and what will we do with all that junk.
12. wind farms do not create very many jobs
13. when the companies install wind farms they bring in workers from other areas and do not hire locals for construction

Sincerely,
Sue Selman - Selman Ranch

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.
1. Current wind development companies (Denali) could be parceled up and sold off to other companies and foreign conglomerates and then all the rules could change potentially. Denali has never been involved in a wind energy project. They would probably own less than 50% of the project and yet maintain complete control. http://denalicompanies.com/pdf/developer_funding.pdf. Evidently experience doesn't count for proposed wind projects in North Dakota!
2. Here is a link to a company that just went broke investing in hedge funds that invested in wind energy. Australian company; can't find the specifics on this website but you can see they are restructuring. Hedge funds are a dirty word to lots of people right now. We could end up with a bankrupt wind farm and no one responsible for the aftermath.
3. Take the federal tax credit out of the equation and wind is very, very inefficient.
4. Lease money is low yet gives unrestricted access to your land.
5. Payment quote is not guaranteed.Four (known) neighboring landowners in northern Mountrail County, with considerable contiguous acreage in a block, near the middle of the proposed Hartland wind farm, are NOT signing any wind lease agreement. Six other known landowners south of Coulee, ND and southwest of Niobe, ND are NOT signing any wind lease agreement. A landowner friend from south of Kenmare told me that he doesn't know of anybody that's real fired up about signing a wind lease.

"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.

Wind Companies Want to Nix Contract Disclosures.

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!

CLICK PICTURE TO ENLARGE
This photo was taken several miles east of the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge. It shows a flock 16 sandhill cranes and one whooping crane. In the background is a newly erected 400-foot wind turbine.

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

Wind Farm Kills 400 Taiwanese Goats

Wind Turbine Impact on Property Values

More Dirty Little Secrets about Wind Energy... and maybe their public meetings?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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