SWANSON: Why do supposedly conservative lawmakers support wind industry?

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Lawmakers keep telling me that farmers love wind turbine payments. I strongly disagree. We farm. We know farmers all over the state that would love nothing better than to remove every wind turbine that can see.

In Iowa we have about 5,000 wind turbines. Some people have one wind turbine but others have two or 10. At the very most there are about 1,500 landowners receiving wind turbine payments. Most of these landowners receiving payments do not actually live next to that wind turbine (within ½ mile) or farm that land themselves. Many have inherited or invested in the land and do not even live in the state.

The wind industry would know definitively know but my guess is that about 300 actual farmers across Iowa are receiving wind turbine payments. My educated guess is all based on data received grassroots from both Iowa and other states.

MidAmerican has admitted that 2,020 of their turbines cover just over 500,000 acres of Iowa. Each Iowa county has roughly 350,000 acres. That means our 5000 wind turbines cover the equivalent of 3-4 ENTIRE counties in Iowa. How many people do you suppose have to live in the footprint of an industrial wind installation so that a few thousand landowners can get mailbox money?

The hundreds of thousands of Iowans whose homes and properties are being invaded by the negative impacts of industrial wind had no say. County Supervisors receive tax money if they make a lenient wind ordinance and get threatened with a lawsuit if they choose to do their job as outlined in Iowa Code 331.301.

The wind industry defines the negative impacts of wind turbines as being “shadow flicker, view impact, noise, vibration, air turbulence, wake and electromagnetic and frequency interference.” I have asked the wind industry time and time again for the legal definition for “vibration, air turbulence and wake” to no avail. The industry also admits that wind turbines impact each other at less than 2500 feet. What of those impacts on homes in between? These companies require County Supervisors allow them to build turbines 1250-1500 feet from the foundations of neighboring homes whether or not that family accepts those impacts.

I have also heard that “landowners have the right to do what they want on their own land”. Yes, until what they are doing crosses the property line. Whether it is water or drift or wind turbine impacts neighbors should be protected by government, not exploited by it.

When those families have complained about turbine impacts, they can choose to either sue a multi-billion-dollar corporation or take a small settlement that comes with an iron-clad non-disclosure agreement to their plight.

The wind industry is built by federal dollars. It requires expensive excess power lines that will require more federal money and excessive amounts of eminent domain, another thing landowners abhor.

Can anyone out there give me one good reason why our supposedly Conservative lawmakers support this? I and many others would love to have an open, honest conversation with especially either Senators Grassley or Ernst.

Author: Janna Swanson