Noon: Get ready to break wind
If Hillary Clinton becomes our next president, you can expect an invasion of industrial wind development in your community that has the potential to severely damage your property values, ruin the viewshed, and impact your sleep patterns.
While not a top talking point, a President Hillary will increase the amount of taxpayer dollars available to industrial wind developers. At a July 2015 campaign stop in Iowa, she supported tax incentives and said: “We need to continue the production tax credits.” Previously, she claimed that she wants to make the production tax credits for wind and solar permanent. She frequently says: “I want more wind, more solar, more advanced biofuels, more energy efficiency.” Remember, her party platform includes: “We are committed to getting 50 percent of our electricity from clean energy sources within a decade.” And: “We believe America must be running entirely on clean energy by mid-century.”
So, if your area hasn’t been faced with the construction of wind turbines, you can expect that it will be. That’s the bad news. The good news is the more wind turbines spring up, the more opposition they receive — and, therefore, the more tools there are available to help break the next wind project.
Rather than trying to figure out what to do on your own, John Droz, Jr., a North Carolina-based physicist and citizen advocate, who has worked with about 100 communities, encourages citizens who want to protect their community from the threat of a proposed wind project to maximize the resources that are available to them.
Kevon Martis, who, as the volunteer director of the Interstate Informed Citizens Coalition, has helped protect citizens in 7 states, told me: “Nothing makes it harder for a wind developer in one community than if the neighboring community already has an operating wind plant. Once they can see the actual impacts of turning entire townships into 50 story tall power plants, they can no longer be led down the primrose path by wind companies and their agents.”
Martis’ equitable wind zoning advocacy has been extremely effective. In his home state of Michigan, wind has been on the ballot at the Township level 11 times since 2009 and has never won.
Droz agrees that zoning is important — as are regulations. He believes that since an industrial wind project is something you may have to live with for more than 20 years, it seems wise to carefully, objectively, and thoughtfully investigate the matter ahead of time. Droz says: “In most circumstances, your first line of defense is a well-written, protective set of wind-energy regulations that focus on protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the community. They can be a stand-alone law, or part of a more comprehensive zoning document.”
Through his free citizen advocacy service, Alliance for Wise Energy Decisions, Droz tries to make it easier for communities to succeed when dealing with industrial wind energy by learning lessons from some of the other 250 communities that have had to deal with it.
Droz and Martis are just two of the many citizen advocates that have had to become experts on the adverse impacts of wind energy. Because of their experiences, many are willing to help those who are just now being faced with the threat.
If the threat of industrial wind energy development isn’t a problem for you now, save this information, as it likely could be under a Hillary Clinton presidency.
The author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon serves as the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc., and the companion educational organization, the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy. She hosts a weekly radio program: America’s Voice for Energy — which expands on the content of her weekly column.