Letter: Wind farm would create opportunity

Published 7:30 pm Sunday, September 24, 2017

There was an informational meeting for the proposed wind farm Wednesday evening, and I was dismayed at the negativity toward this opportunity for our community. Our community needs the tax base that this wind farm would provide; bringing millions of dollars to our community that would supplement or replace the money that comes out of our hard-earned wages. This creates opportunity and infrastructure.

Economic wealth comes to a region from several avenues, including manufacturing, retail, services or natural resources. Since wind is a natural resource — and renewable — it is by far the best source of revenue for our community, while consuming the least of our future wealth potential. The developer of this project has given a lot to our community, such as sponsorships and donating to the splash pad, which myself and my children appreciate.

While I do recognize that wind energy has its downfalls, and it does require subsidization, this is necessary for a truly beneficial technology to be developed — which our country needs to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels. No individual corporation or entity could shoulder the burden of developing self-sustaining and cost-effective wind energy without the investment that our society has been making. It is undeniable that fossil fuels are finite.

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If I were gullible and believed a fraction of what I heard at the meeting Wednesday, I would believe that wind generators can cause a whole host of diseases and disorders, kill birds and insects by the thousands, block all cell phone reception, cause people to not be able to walk, cause mass exodus from people’s homes and those properties to become abandoned and worthless, and be an automatic source of failure for our children and cause them all to become nervous lunatics and drop out of school.

Having owned a rural hobby farm in another community with numerous wind generators and having actually gone inside one while accompanying my children on a field trip, my own observation and common sense tells me those accusations are simply fallacies and grandstanding tactics.

My career as an environmental, health and safety manager has exposed me to the realities, needs, sensationalism and politics of both sides of environmental issues. I’ve been responsible for drastic reductions in the use of energy and production of solid and hazardous waste by manufacturing plants. As a former dogsled guide and outfitter in the Boundary Waters canoe area, lakefront property owner, outdoorsman and parent, I also want to see our environment protected, but in a responsible and sustainable manner. Wind energy is not the only, nor the perfect answer, but it is the right start for our community — for energy, economics, the environment and our future.

Brad Kramer

Albert Lea