What do landfills and windmills have in common? They both take advantage of cheaper, rural parts of the country to benefit larger population centers. Both promise jobs and prosperity for the rural economy where there were no jobs before. Both, when they have outlived their usefulness, will leave a wake of irreparable damage that is incalculable. Both will drive those rural areas further down in value. Both are a lose-lose proposition.
I have been thinking a little bit too much about the recent windmill hysteria going on in my area of rural Tazewell County. Here are a few more thoughts as they have been brewing since my last post.
I am not a NIMBY (Not in my backyard) person in general. If something is good for everyone and it’s the future… I will go with it. But windmills are a little different. They are not good for everyone. They are good for some.
- They are good for the company selling the electric
- They are good for the landowner who will get paid for leasing his property to the Turbine owner.
- They are good for the states that need to add more green energy to their grid for federal or state mandates.
- They are good for the county and state governments looking for a payday from areas that would normally be agricultural.
They want to be out here in the rural area when the property is cheap and open. They know that folks in our area are ready to jump on the cash payment now. It’s attractive.
But, the side effect is that heaping our rural areas of the county with windmills will depress the value of our county and lead to more exodus from rural areas. As we fight and fight to add infrastructure that will have people stay and help build our county… We are looking at adding a wind farm that will do the exact opposite.
Compensation for windmills must be ongoing with no cash-outs upfront. It must vary with inflation and pay more later as rates go up.
If we are going to attempt to sacrifice this county and its future for some tax revenue now… It’s going to pay us the dividend of population flight and lack of rural investment later.
According to their information slicks… The Railsplitter Wind Farm in Logan and Tazewell County puts off enough electricity to power 34000 homes. Not enough to power our one county. On top of that… The power is sent to Hoosier Power. Not even directly benefiting our own local grid.
Railsplitter Fact Sheet: