TOP 10 REASONS TO OPPOSE WIND TURBINES

Many support wind turbines only because they think wind is a “clean energy”. Wind turbines make no economic sense and are anything but “clean energy”.

The following are the top 10 reasons to oppose wind turbines. (there are more than these 10)

1. They only exist if the tax payers pay for them – Wind turbines are built only with tax abatements from counties, states and credits from the federal government. Warren Buffet said “ For example, on wind energy, we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.” You as the tax payer are paying others to build the wind farms.

2. The cost of wind energy greatly exceeds its value in the market- In 2009 the Lower Colorado River Authority signed an 18 year deal to obtain electricity from the Papalote Creek Wind Farm near Corpus Christi at a price of $64.75 per megawatt hour. Power was  being sold on the open market at the time for about $25 per megawatt hour. The subsidies to generate wind power at non-competitive prices won’t last forever and when they dry up generating power that costs more than its worth could lead to wind developers going bankrupt and abandoning wind farms.

 

3. The profits from wind energy go to multinational corporationsand manufacturers like China – the profits from the creation of the energy and the gift of tax credits and abatements do not flow to local businesses or people. Out of state investors and manufacturers are the beneficiaries, including China.

 

4. Wind turbines negatively impact the value of the land they arebuilt on and any neighbor with a view.Many studies have been done on this issue. Three studies done on the impact to land values caused by the construction of wind turbines, two in Texas and one in Canada, show the impact to real estate values to be between a 35- 40% reduction in value. This is particularly true in Bosque County where much of the value of the land is driven by recreational use.

 

5. Construction of a wind farm has a significant impact on trafficand local roads – You think Highway 6 is busy now; just wait and see. The sheer size of these installations requires building new straight and sturdy roads across landowner property that can handle semi-trucks delivering ~150' long blades and cement trucks delivering tons of material. Cement plants are built to produce the tons of cement required for each turbine or foundations for facilities. Material for cement is brought in and has to be staged and stored. Vegetation must be cleared wherever construction is to occur. Trenching and transmission line corridors will leave miles long areas void of trees and brush. Assembly areas must be created where turbines can be staged and built. Warehouses may be constructed as well as parking areas for construction crews and equipment. All of this will increase traffic, litter, damage to our roads, impact on our wildlife, damage to our land and increase noise in our communities.

 

6. Loss of scenic beauty – Many people have lived in Bosque County their whole lives and others moved here because of its natural beauty and peaceful tranquility. A wind farm filled with structures taller than twice the height of the Statute of Liberty will destroy this natural scenic beauty. Wind turbines proposed in Brown County Texas were 600' to 650' tall. To put this in perspective, the transmission line towers are only 200' tall. In Texas, there are only 9 buildings taller than these turbines. This can be compared to having 60 to 80 sixty story buildings dotting our landscape. Each wind turbine is required to have an FAA approved hazard light. These lights are visible for up to 30 miles or more. This would bring an enormous amount of light pollution to our area. Our amazing night skies will be changed forever. Our land and homes in close proximity will be impacted by 60 to 80 lights blinking in harmony every few seconds.

 

7. People, escape to and recreate in Bosque County. Many land owners come here from other cities to land that they own and enjoy. If they sell or stop coming because of the construction of wind turbines, many businesses could be impacted including:

  • Antique Stores

  • Art Galleries

  • Game Processors

  • Gas Stations

  • Grocery Stores

  • Gift Shops

  • Hardware Stores

  • Drug Stores

  • Land Leases For Hunting

  • Retail Stores

  • Governments From Reduced Taxes

 

8. Wind Energy does not deliver on jobs - In Texas, as part of the agreement entered into when a renewable energy company receives a Chapter 312 & 313 property tax abatement, they must commit to bring full-time jobs to the local communities granting the abatement. Those positions are required to be quality jobs with compensation that is above the average annual wage for similar jobs in the area. The problem lies in the ability of the local governments to issue waivers on the jobs creation requirement after the wind energy company has received the abatement and completed construction. In fact, a recent study shows 87% of all waivers in Texas under Chapter 313 for job creation are granted to the renewable industry. Multiple statistical analyses of Chapter 313 deals, conducted since the law was amended to allow waivers of job-creation requirements, have shown that wind farms disproportionately take advantage of their ability to qualify for big tax breaks without providing any new employment opportunities to the community. During the construction phase, a majority of the labor is from out of the local area. In most cases, the renewable energy company contracts with a construction company that is responsible for building the project. This company has their own experienced employees that are deployed to each project. They may utilize some local labor for some tasks but the vast majority of compensation is paid to non-local employees. In short, renewable energy is not about jobs creation. It is about tax credits for the renewable energy companies.

 

9. Turbines negatively affect wildlife and endangered species– An April 17, 2017, US Fish and Wildlife report on 91 proposed wind turbines in Hamilton County stated that 25 migratory species of conservation concern could be affected. Included on the list was the Bald Eagle. The American Bird Conservancy estimated that 573,000 birds were lost to wind turbines in 2012. 1.4 million bird deaths annually are projected by 2030.

 

10. The State of Texas only recently passed a law that requires that wind turbines be decommissioned at the end of their useful life. The obligations imposed on the wind developer demonstrate just how difficult and expensive it is to decommission a wind turbine. The duties include (i) clearing, cleaning and removal of each wind turbine generator, including towers, pad-mount transformers, and all liquids, greases and other similar substances; (ii) for each tower foundation, pad-mount transformer and buried cable that is installed, cleaning, clearing and removal to a depth of at least three feet below the surface grade; (iii) filling any hole or cavity that is created by the removal process with the same type of topsoil as the predominant topsoil found on the property; and (iv) at the request of the landowner, removing any road constructed by wind developer on the property and, if reasonable, removing all rocks at least one foot in diameter that are excavated during the removal process to ensure that the land is returned to a tillable state. HOWEVER, wind turbines lease agreements are only required to make the wind developer show it has the financial resources to decommission not later than the 10th anniversary of the commercial operations date or termination of the lease agreement. What if the developer is out of business or goes bankrupt in those 10 years? How many old oil storage tanks and pump jacks does it take to demonstrate that waiting 10 years to get a financial bond or other assurance is going to result in wind farms that cannot be decommissioned by landowners due to the cost.