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Wind energy cannot compete

By Staff | Oct 10, 2014

To the editor,

The Sept. 26 letter by former Iowa Farm Bureau President Craig Lang launches into a harangue about the positive impact of wind turbines and transmission lines such as Rock Island Clean Lines on the environment. However, there are some indisputable facts he overlooks.

1.Wind cannot compete with coal, gas, hydro, nuclear or oil without massive government subsidies paid to the private companies erecting the wind farms and transmission lines.

2. Wind does not blow 30 miles per hour or 24/7. The reality is every single kilowatt of electricity potential of a turbine must be backed up with power plants fueled by conventional fuels.

3. Wind turbines kill flying things. The confirmed number of killed bald eagles, hawks, raptors and other birds of prey number well into the hundreds with the actual number into the thousands. Companies seeking permission to build wind farms get legal permission to kill a certain number per year.

4. Eminent domain is not used to take private property in order to erect wind turbines. But, the only way RICL will be erected is with widespread use of eminent domain. Fully 90 percent of the 1,200-plus land owners on the proposed 375-mile route through Iowa refuse to sign voluntary easements.

Craig wrote, “Ensuring that our land, water and air in Iowa are clean and preserved for future generations also ensures that our unique rural character will be passed along to our children and grandchildren.” If this line is constructed through the center of my farm, I know that I, my kids and grandkids will wake up every morning and view sunrise through this ugly mass of steel, concrete and wires. This is not unique rural character.

His basic assumption: “Supporting wind energy is a way to maintain stewardship of our environment” is not true. The construction of this transmission line through prime farmland will result in loss of crop production and decreased farmland value.

My 30-plus years of no-till spent returning my soils to their natural condition before tillage can never be recovered.

It is essential that we stop the use of eminent domain for economic gain by billionaire investors from Texas and New York.

The only way to “be a steward for the environment” is by supporting private property rights of farmers, allowing them the freedom to protect our precious farmland from the ravages of RICL.

Jerry Crew


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