The other day we asked why anyone would want to build wind turbines in North East Township. No one stepped forward to answer and the question continues to puzzle us. The longer we ponder, the more it becomes clear, for the residents of North East Township the wind turbine project is all cost and no benefit.
What about those taxes?
Yes, what about them? Some residents assume there is going to be a big tax windfall for the township, they won’t have to pay any more property taxes and all sorts of new services and equipment will be showing up because of the wind turbines. That’s what the folks up in Sheldon, New York like to talk about, no debt, new trucks, no property taxes, it’s amazing, but what about here?
Look in your wallet, do you see any money in there from wind turbines? If there isn’t any in there yet, there won’t be any in the future, either. The ONLY people getting any money from these turbines will be the landowners who have signed a lease. Your benefit is zero. Don’t believe us? Come to the next supervisors meeting and ask them. Ask Pioneer Green Energy, too. Listen carefully to the answer, you won’t like it.
And since your tax dollars are being given to the wind developers to build these turbines, your tax benefit is less than zero, it’s negative. Building these turbines costs you money.
All cost, no benefit.
But aren’t they beautiful?
This is so hard to understand because even the folks who want the turbines seem to say different things at different times. On the one hand, supporters say they would not have signed a lease if the turbines were going to be installed north of Sidehill Road because it would disrupt the land or farms or view or something, they wouldn’t fit in, it would destroy what we all recognize as North East, in other words, they’re unsightly. On the other hand, if they are installed south of Sidehill Road, they’re described by these same individuals as beautiful and serene and peaceful, … so which is it? By the Lake means unsightly, on the ridge means beautiful, the same turbines change from ugly to beautiful depending on location?
More confusing is the fact that the wind developer several times in the public supervisors meeting said the wind was better by the lake, which means the turbines should be installed close to the shore, but the local landowners said they would not agree to that, … because they’re ugly, but only down there? Do the residents close to the lake count more than the residents farther away? Maybe someone thought they would get too much opposition if they put the turbines next to the lake so they moved them away where they thought fewer people would complain about how unsightly these monster turbines really are.
Adding still more to the confusion is how these turbines are promoted as providing “green energy,” because with better wind closer to the lake, wouldn’t they produce even more “green energy” if they’re installed by the lake than if they are built on the ridge? It makes you wonder just how these decisions were made.
It seems some folks are trying to dance around the fact these turbines are not a pleasant sight, if we can use the most polite words possible. Keeping them away from the lake is just a way to lessen the damage they do to the scenic beauty of North East, something we will all pay for, again, for the benefit of very few. All cost, no benefit.
Are we interfering with owners using their own land?
He can build several and get off the grid. Of course that won’t really get him off the grid because when the wind dies down he won’t have any electricity so he’ll have to use the same electricity as the rest of us to keep his lights on.
What we object to is turning a farm into an electric utility with 500 foot tall industrial wind turbines the rest of us have to pay for with tax money and higher electric rates. It’s hard to take this “interference” argument seriously when the landowners are really asking us to give them money to do something they want to do and then complain when we object. Their benefit at our cost. Maybe they should use their own money, otherwise for us, it’s all cost, no benefit.
To be continued
There’s so much more, but this is enough for today. A continuing series of posts will detail more costs without benefits related to these wind turbines.