Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

May 31, 2013

May 31, 2013: Letters to the editor

Prairie Twp. turbines a win-win for county

I like electricity. I use it almost every day.

And from teaching science for 38 years, I know where it comes from. My electricity comes from burning coal in southern Indiana.

Now, for me to get this commodity as cheaply as I do, it takes digging coal from the ground, transporting it to the electro-generating plant, burning the coal to make steam to turn turbines, and then I get this clean energy source delivered right to my house.

But, along with this convenience, someone downwind of the plant must deal with air pollution, water pollution, acid rain, mercury and carbon dioxide, as well as other pollutants.

My 3 acres of yard and trees in Prairie Township is not a big enough property to accommodate a windmill. But I am proud that my county is able to help produce electricity for someone else that is non-polluting and uses a resource that will last forever.

I am sorry that some people feel their property values will decrease and that they will be inconvenienced in other ways by these windmills.

But instead of monstrosities, I see the future. Instead of blight, I see progress. If I see a red light at night, I will know that Prairie Township is creating electricity that is “green.”

I am happy that some of my neighbors will receive money for sharing their land with windmills, because they will spend that money at Tipton businesses — helping our community prosper. I am happy that the existence of the windmills will help Tri-Central Schools and allay some of our property taxes. And my hope is that these windmills will, in a small way, limit pollution and the effects of global warming that come with burning fossil fuels.

I see windmills as a win-win.

Bill White


What objectives are we trying to achieve?

Elected officials of Tipton County, why are we pushing wind turbines in this county?

I can only come up with four possible reasons, and they are as follows.

• Landholders and politicians in this county want to help relieve the environment of CO2 emissions. A little study into the feasibility of turbines achieving this will tell you that this can’t possibly be a solution. I will not reiterate in this writing what is already widely available. I will direct you to one of many sources available for your review: www.aweo.org/problemwithwind.html. The countywide burn-off of fields earlier this month also points to the contrary. An average of 600 cubic feet of concrete per turbine, making the total for 94 turbines 56,400 cubic feet of concrete. Concrete companies are among the top offenders of CO2 emissions, so again, proof to the contrary.

• An increase in money for leaseholders while preserving their land for crop production. This could definitely be a reason. I have no doubt that leaseholders will receive money for leasing their land to turbine companies. I would however encourage those participating to look into the effects of industrial turbines on crops at www.sciencemag.org.

Preserving their land for crop production is also achievable for two reasons. The inability of a family to build a home in the area due to the proximity of turbines, and the unwillingness of a family to build a home in the middle of an industrial wind farm.

• Advancing Tipton County. The addition of wind farms would effectively create a countywide industrial zone. Not only will a portion of the population be unwilling to move into this county, but also new construction will be near impossible. Not just for new home construction but new business construction. This will be setting limits to the amount of growth that any city or town is able to have for the next 20-30 years. Tipton County will effectively have thrown all of its eggs into one basket, land-locking itself. Economic growth will be stagnant for up to 30 years, or the proposed life of turbines. I do not believe this is advancing Tipton County.

• Saving the Tri-Central school system. I’m sure an influx of money would be helpful to Tri-Central. Money is always needed but rarely the cure. The proven way to save a school system is to increase enrollment, however, one of the earlier possibilities would limit the addition of families and further decline enrollment. Money would fix some budget shortfalls temporarily, however, the addition of industrial wind turbines would ultimately expedite Tri-Central’s failure.

On a personal note, I didn’t start out being totally against turbines. They are ugly, but that didn’t seem like a good enough answer, so I did my research and I did it objectively. I have found no good reason to proceed. Money is the only answer that would point someone to wanting an industrial wind farm, and money is never the answer.

I urge anyone involved in the decision-making process in this county to re-evaluate our objectives. I simply ask you to look at the facts and give an honest evaluation of why we would want to proceed with this. Just because an energy source is alternative does not mean it receives a pass on scrutiny.

Thank you for serving our county.

Andy Wyant