Letter: The breakdown on industrial wind in Iowa

Published 6:48 pm Friday, March 29, 2019

There are lawsuits about the wind turbines in Madison County, Palo Alto County and Black Hawk County. Any win would have far reaching consequences for the wind industry. In Ida, Sac, Kossuth, Palo Alto, and Adair counties, people have been swamping the supervisor’s meetings, asking for more protection from industrial wind. They did not prevail because the supervisors want the revenue. Often, county boards are threatened with litigation if they do not comply.

In Palo Alto, the planning and zoning board asked for half-mile setbacks. MidAmerican said that wouldn’t “work for them” and said how the ordinance should be written.

In Kossuth, the people voted in a 21-year-old over a 24-year incumbent that was leading the charge on wind.

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In Grundy County, the Planning and Zoning Board quit after they asked for greater protections and the supervisors ignored them. Madison County voted in a supervisor this year (Diane Fitch) who ran openly against the wind turbines.

In both O’Brien County and Clay County, the landowners formed land blockade to try to stop projects. In Clay County, the supervisors let the wind company run their lines through the ditch to thwart the residents. In Worth and O’Brien counties the leading wind supporting supervisors were voted out.

In Palo Alto County at the time of the public hearing after they had been trying to sign people for years, Invenergy/ MidAmerican shows that out of the 268 homes directly impacted by their 176 proposed turbines, only 24 had signed contracts with the company. Thanks to four to five large landowners, they still were able to connect enough land. In Pomeroy, Iowa, 60-plus people sued MidAmerican for negative impacts after the turbines went in. In Fayette County last year, the people sued and were able to get the wind turbines removed. In Webster County, farms were destroyed by industrial wind. Iowans across the state spent three years blocking the Rock Island “Clean” Line. This year in Farm Bureau’s Issues Surfacing problems with wind turbines is one of the top issues. This is in a state where the wind companies used to say they “had no problems.”

Next week, a lawsuit against the Iowa Utilities Board will be in front of the Iowa Supreme Court. Our IUB is not regulating wind energy in any way. If they did, it is doubtful any projects would have been built.

Iowa has wind turbines first because the people didn’t know why they should fight them, and when they did know they should fight it they are not “allowed” to. Industrial wind is a boondoggle from start to finish, and we can prove it. Communities are fighting off industrial wind around the world.

Janna Swanson

Coalition for Rural

Property Rights