We are writing in response to Mr. Mike Pullins’ letter to the editor printed in the Urbana Daily Citizen on March 10, 2018.
Mr. Pullins presumes many things. We don’t think the citizens of Champaign County need to be listening to someone talk about this “pro-coal” bias from someone who is a long-time lease holder and who is on the payroll of EverPower. Talk about conflict of interest! We also note that the wind lobby group AWEA (American Wind Energy Association) is funded by the biggest fossil fuel companies in the world. Just look at their board of directors.
We would like Mr. Pullins to address three very simple issues.
1) We would like him to name one type of zoning law or language that measures a structure from a person’s foundation of their house over their property line? Name one example in the United States where that exists other than the siting of industrial wind turbines? There is no other example. So Mr. Pullins fully expects the state to intervene and legislate for the uncompensated theft of non-participating landowners by supporting setbacks to our houses? Mr. Pullins, you’re asking for a special land use regulation(s), not the citizens who oppose the Buckeye Wind project.
2) We would like Mr. Pullins to produce, with scientific, independent, peer-reviewed, evidence that proves that the setback he advocates for is appropriate. Here is some scientific evidence by Rutgers University professor Terry Matilsky. (http://xray.rutgers.edu/~matilsky/windmills/throw.html) In this study, it is mathematically proven that blade debris can fly over 1,700 feet from a turbine with a rub rotor hub of 300 feet. The turbines in this project are significantly bigger than that. Does Mr. Pullins not respect the safety of our children in our own yards or on our own properties? Ohio’s current “restrictive” (according to the wind lobbyists that are in the state house every day) setback is already 575 feet shorter than the study. Who is for equitable zoning? Who is for compatible land uses? Surely it is the citizens and not Mr. Pullins. You want sources that say that 1,640 feet is the minimum safe distance? Here are two more and (https://patch.com/massachusetts/falmouth/vestas-confidential-health-safety-instruction-http://iiccusa.org/uncategorized/msu-extension-office-wind-documents/ ) manual-falmouth-ma-wind-farm-0). Mr. Pullins should know every turbine manufacturer has safety recommendations based on the size and model of the turbines. These aren’t arbitrary numbers like Ohio’s setback law is. These are numbers established by GCube insurance, a company that specializes in insuring industrial wind turbines for liability. Should we listen to the companies that make these machines and the insurance industry that provides them security? Or should we listen to a wind agent and lease holder?
3) Big Wind constantly discredits and downplays the noise and health impacts to people. Yet in every single wind contract there is blatant language that admits all these discredited topics exist. And when you sign a contract, like Mr. Pullins has, you have been essentially gagged into saying anything publicly that puts turbines or a developer in a negative light. How can Mr. Pullins even remotely respond to that?
Will Mr. Pullins reveal the name of every lease holder in the EverPower project? The public deserves to know. Or, if you are curious, just go to the Champaign County Recorder’s office and ask for all wind leases and easements. It’s perfectly legal as a land contract. Perhaps that is a “Trade Secret” too.
We thank you for pointing out the article regarding CAARE (Campaign for American Affordable and Reliable Energy); however, pro-wind talking about “transparency, credibility, and motives” is the biggest oxymoron ever written. Is it transparent to target citizens with agricultural farmland and use lines such as, “All your neighbors are signed up”? Is it transparent to sign a bunch of leases before holding a public informational meeting? Is it credible to discredit any legitimate concerns raised by citizens? Is it credible that pro-wind cannot produce any zoning that measures to houses? Is it credible that wind cannot produce a single relevant study proving 1,125-foot setbacks are safe? What is Mr. Pullins’ motive? Is it for the good of his wallet or for all the citizens?
We encourage you to do your own research. Google: The Interstate Informed Citizens Coalition, Citizens for Clear Skies, National Wind Watch, The Coalition for Rural Property Rights, The Institute for Energy Research, Master Resource, and The Alliance for Wise Energy Decisions are all great places to start. We are not alone. In fact, we are the majority. If Mr. Pullins wants to be transparent and fair, he will advocate for a local vote on this project. Then we will know who the majority is, but Mr. Pullins knows that will not bode well for him. As for those of us displaying the yellow and black “NO WIND TURBINES! NO PILOT!” signs, let’s just say that public opposition to wind energy is both competent, well informed, and irreducible to narrow NIMBY-ist (not in my back yard) concerns. It follows that opponents should be recognized and their concerns taken into account in a democratic planning process. How’s that idea for “community relations” Mr. Pullins?
The energy sector economic picture is a muddied and murky thing. Wind imposes significant cost on to conventional generators that Mr. Pullins will never talk about, much less understand. Companies insist on wind for the tax credit, not because it makes sense and it’s cheap. If these companies want to go all wind, then let’s ask them to install smart meters on their facilities. Then the load they draw off the grid can match the output by their beloved wind project. Prepare for frequent blackouts Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple. Battery storage technology is nowhere near market ready. It’s a joke to even mention it at this point due to astronomical cost. The economic intervention of big government is the only reason wind exists. And the last time we checked, Champaign County is firmly conservative and limited government supporters. Nothing about wind energy policy is conservative.
Thanks for noticing our signs.
John and Joy Mohr
Jim and Georgianna Boles