Letters to the Editor
The Salina Journal
P. O. Box 740
Salina, Kansas 67402-0740
There’s another side to the proposed wind farms in Ellsworth and Lincoln counties that your reporter failed to mention in his obviously politically correct-slanted article:
• The three wind farms would be installed over the protests of most of the resident landowners in the area. The result will be an environmental blight and an ecological disaster! They intend to defile the second largest, after the Flint Hills, remaining native pasture land in the state.
• Did you know that there’s isn’t one single federal or state law or regulation concerning establishment of wind farms? It’s like back when the petroleum industry was just beginning and unrestricted in its initial excesses.
• The Sunflower utility has already contracted to purchase electricity when the wind farm is completed. Yet at a meeting with concerned land owners, its CEO admitted that based on their experience buying power from the Montezuma wind farm that: 1. Wind power can never deliver what’s touted. 2. Surveys indicate there’s more wind in Western Kansas than in this area in Central Kansas. 3. Wind power costs approximately half again as much as power generated by coal-fired power plants, and so consumer rates will almost certainly be raised. 4. Since the buzz word in both Washington and Topeka is wind power, it’s more politically correct for his company to get some of its electricity from giant windmills. This he admits is especially important to his company due to opposition to their proposed new coal-fired plant near Dodge City.
• Neither the CEO’s company nor the Italian firm care that the towers, roads, and infrastructure to main the big windmills will not only destroy the area’s beauty, but will also cause much erosion. After 20 years while the windmills may then be gone, the roads and damage will still be there for all time. Wildlife studies show that windmill installations are also quite detrimental to animals and bird populations.
• And, while the lure of lease money might look attractive now, how does one go about suing a multi-national Italian conglomerate company, not to mention affording the legal costs, if annual lease payments don’t show up in the mail? Also, there’s nothing to prevent this company from selling out to another firm.
• Then there’s the lessening of the value of adjacent properties. Although none of the long-established families—some fifth and sixth generation—intend to sell their pasture land, they’ll still be hurt because its value will plummet. According to one study checking before and after wind farm installations, the value of nearby property can drop as much as 40 percent or even more. In addition to severely affecting net worth, other real estate tax payers in the affected counties will have to make up for the lowered valuations.
Many people, including me, believe this grassland to be the prettiest part of the state of Kansas. What can be done to prevent his atrocity from happening?
Chester Peterson Jr., Lindsborg KS, Smoky Hills landowner.