Category Archives: Indiana

Wind News – Indiana

Tipton County Indiana Commissioner voted for wind farms and now lives with regrets

Tipton County Indiana Commissioner voted for wind farms and now lives with regrets  

Credit:  Huntington County Concerned Citizens | www.huntingtonccc.org ~~

Dear Howard County Commissioners and Council Members;

I am writing to you all as a former commissioner colleague who aided in the negotiations and agreements with E.ON Climate Renewables with Tipton County in 2011. From the onset, I was open to windfarm development in a small section of Tipton County because the commissioners had received no opposition and I felt that the landowners wanted it. My own family was offered an opportunity to lease land to E.ON and we declined because my husband did not care to farm around the towers, and I just didn’t want to look at them.

I set my own personal views aside and made decisions based on what I felt the majority of the public wanted. I was outspoken enough, however, to say that I would never support a plan to cover a large portion of the county with wind turbines.

As it turned out, the problem was that when the decisions were being made to build “Wildcat I”, the commissioners were not hearing from the “majority”. People really did not know this was happening, or if they did, they did not perceive it to be as “invasive” as it was.

As you know, public notices are small and often overlooked in the newspaper, so not much resistance was present……………until the towers went up, and people saw how enormous and intrusive they were. The red blinking lights even disturb my own summer evenings and my home is 6 miles from the closest tower….. !!!!

You don’t have the time to read what all I could tell you, so in a nutshell I just want to say that I wish I had the knowledge then that I have now. However, what I can do, is to try to pass some of what I know onto the elected officials in the neighboring county so that perhaps you can gain some wisdom from what I learned in the school of hard knocks.

In Tipton County……….my 83 year old mother is mad at me (since I signed the agreements) because she no longer has colorful birds coming to her feeders……..my brother’s view from his family dining room table used to be a vast expanse of crops and natural habitat…….now that pristine ‘vista’ is forever marred by giant metal structures………….neighbors hate each other…………back and forth letters to the editor have been selling papers for over a year now………….families are torn apart,,,,, and because the physical presence of the towers will be there for 30 years, these relationships will never be repaired. In short. . . . this has become an issue that has divided our community like no other.

It has torn our county apart. The May, 2014 primary election is evidence that the majority of the voters supported candidates openly opposed to wind farm development and an incumbent commissioner was voted out of office due to his unwillingness to listen to the majority on any issue, including wind.

If I had this to do over, I would NEVER enter into an agreement with any wind company now that I know what it has done to my home community. I am not proud that my name is on those documents. The wind company has breached many parts of the agreement, but insist that their failures are “minor”. Their field representative is arrogant and cavalier in his attitude toward the people who are suffering with the effects of the noise and flicker.

You can’t lose something you never had…………so you are not “losing” the supposed ‘windfall’ of money that the project purportedly brings in. What you WILL lose however, cannot be measured in dollars. You will lose the rural landscape as you know it and you will lose the closeness of “community spirit” because people will hate each other over this and the presence of the towers will always be a constant reminder of the rift…………thus the wounds will never heal.

Please consider this: What do you think of a company that KNOWS it has fierce opposition from a segment of the Howard County citizenry, but would STILL want to build in your county? It is akin to forcing themselves onto you when they KNOW they are not wanted by those in the project area who would be affected by their presence and are receiving no compensation for the change in their environment. How much of a “community partner” would they be when they really don’t care about the wishes of the people?

I don’t know anything about which “facts” are true and which “facts” are false with regard to property values and personal health issues. But what I DO know as fact is this: Any issue that has become so contentious that it has caused large groups of people to assemble and vehemently oppose it. . . . and which has caused so much heartache and angst among the citizenry . . . . just cannot be good for the whole. I do not feel that Tipton County will ever wholly heal from the deep personal wounds incurred by many from the placement of wind turbines in our county.

I will leave you with this last piece of wisdom from someone who has “been there, done that”.

As an elected official/public servant. . . . . if you must go forward with approvals that allow wind farm development . . . and thus you become the reason a wind farm was built in Howard County. . . it will be a decision you will regret the rest of your life.

You will join me.

Jane Harper Tipton County Commissioner 2009-2012

IN – Wind farms are wrong for Howard County

Kokomo Tribune | Wednesday, October 29, 2014 | www.kokomotribune.com

That anyone in authority in our county government would condone construction of an industrial wind complex in Howard County is unreasonable. It can be understood that the salesmanship of wind companies are tempting. Their objective is to sell a product. But this offer should have been thoroughly explored. Isn’t this what a good businessman does?

What are the risks? Would a commissioner be willing to have these near his home? If the truth of the facts was discovered, why was this approved? If someone merely took the words of a salesman without checking the facts, why was an unbreakable contract signed?

People whose lives would be irreversibly harmed didn’t know about it until a year after the deal was sealed! All zoning laws and safety features were changed without anyone’s knowledge. Was this an example of responsible servants of the people of this county? This project was foisted upon all Howard County unbeknownst.

Industrial turbines are a poor source of power. To construct them takes more fossil fuel than all other sources of energy. They harm the environment, livestock, wildlife — especially birds — and people. They’re a hazard: oil leaks (they use 550 gallons of oil per year), fires, and blades (all three are 10 tons) that fly the length of a football field and can cut a house or a car in half. They don’t harm just residents that live within 5 miles, but also those using the roads near them putting all at risk.

Yes, in 2009, we lost jobs. Turbines would add only five jobs. And taxes? Revenue from turbines would generate less than 2 percent of the county budget. None even begins to compare to the losses! With the building setbacks, new construction couldn’t take place around the turbines, stopping future growth. Those of us near the complex would lose financially, depleting the county’s worth. All the people who could leave would. The idea this project would ease Howard County’s economic crisis is absurd.

Yes, “concessions” were extracted from E.ON, minimal ones that didn’t diminish the danger to the county. We needed greater concessions to ensure safety. Of the three commissioners, Paul Wyman is the only one who signed the original agreement. Do we continue his kind of leadership and return him to office? Mike Barger reflects the voice of the people more clearly.

Leelia Cornell  of Greentown IN

AL and IN – Wind project cancellations good news for communities

By John F. Floyd, Special to The Times | The Gadsden Times

Friday, August 22, 2014 | www.gadsdentimes.com

Sometimes you wonder if anything good happens to ordinary good people. In this time of domestic and international strife, local problems are overcome by the enormity of more pressing issues. The Afghanistan and Iraq wars are monumental in relation, domestic unemployment problems persist, the ever-increasing United States debt, racial problems in Ferguson, Mo., and the list goes on.

Good things happened for good people in three small communities as manifested by wonderful news concerning giant windmills and their associated projects. The affected communities are geographically separated but shared the same concerns.

The cancellations of wind development projects started in Tipton, Ind., on July 4 with the announcement that Juwi Wind, a Colorado-based developer, had withdrawn plans for a wind farm that would have included 94 turbines.

The Tipton County Citizens for Responsible Development protested the development and were lone voices in the wilderness for a considerable amount of time. The group was concerned about the impact on property values and health issues associated with the giant turbines. In the end, citizens’ voices were heard and their reasoning carried the day.

News concerning projected wind projects got better Aug. 14 with the announcement that E.ON, a wind developer from Texas, canceled plans for constructing a wind farm in Howard County, Ind. The wind project was met with terrific resistance by affected citizens of the associated counties, so much so, that political action committees were formed.

Negative political implications for present county commissioners were a large factor in their efforts to terminate agreements with E.ON. Questions were asked many times about escape clauses in the signed contract with E.ON. The county commissioners stated there would be lawsuits if the county decided to stop the project. Obviously there were escape clauses for both parties, inasmuch, as the contract was rendered null and void.

News concerning wind projects kept getting better with an announcement Aug. 19 that Pioneer Green Energy would terminate a lease on 1,889 acres of property in Etowah and Cherokee counties in Alabama slated to be utilized as a wind farm.

Here again, resistance by residents was instrumental in stopping the construction of giant monsters of the environment. Ginny Shaver, one of the affected residents, engineered legislation passed by Alabama government in Montgomery addressing design specifications.

Mitzi Gibbs Eaker with No Wind Alabama, a citizens group opposed to the Etowah and Cherokee wind project, said she opposed the project because it would have negatively affected her parents’ property in Etowah County.

She further stated, “The residents are ecstatic that they can get back to their lives as normal. We never felt confident. We always wondered what they had in their back pocket. It was only when we learned that the leases were terminated that we knew it was really over.”

However, nothing is really over. No doubt the landowners who stood to reap significant monetary rewards at the expense of the American taxpayer will attempt to interest other wind farm developers. Let’s hope that is not the case.

Three communities, Gadsden, Ala., Kokomo, Ind., and Tipton, Ind., all with an identical problem, separated by miles and in a seemingly hopeless situation, have prevailed in a common effort. Voices of concerned citizens ended projects detrimental to many and beneficial to the few.

Sometimes, with exceptional concerted and focused effort, reason prevails.