The following commentary does not necessarily reflect the views of AgWeb or Farm Journal Media. The opinions expressed below are the author's own.
See the latest reader comments and hear John explain some of agriculture’s complex topics.
John REALLY blew it today with his lame comments on windpower. Go back a few years John and you'll find similar uninformed comments by horse and mule farmers about tractors. Please leave what you don't understand out of the script.
***Editor's Note: Below is a transcript of John's comments on windpower from last weekend's program...he will offer his full rebuttal this weekend (April 23-24, 2011) on U.S. Farm Report...
JOHN'S COMMENTS ON WINDPOWER:
Thanks John. For your report on wind power. Not a fan of goverment subsities. The idea of free energy, is a grand thought. It's been my opinion goverment subseties have know use exsept to the ones who get the biggest chunk of the money! Keep making us think . S R WOENKER
The original C-Bed requirements for 51% ownership in the local jurisdiction should be reinstated. What is currently happening in Goodhue County is the bundling of the county's wind rights by wind developers for sale to large utilities, out of state investors and foreign investors. The true value of windrights is yet to be determined. Goodhue County covered in wind turbines with the majority of the benefits going out of state or over seas could place us in the position the indians found themselves in after trading Manhattan Island for a handful of beads. I beleive in alternative clean energy, solar power, wind power and biofuels. All offer opportunities for farmers and land owners. But leasing wind rights for longer than the service life of the equipment installed does not make any sense at all. I am told that wind developers got an exemption from a Minnesota constitutional protection of farmland to do just that.
I was offered a chance to lease my wind rights to Goodhue Wind but did not do so because of the length of the contract and all the property rights I would be giving up, and most importantly they were not offering even half of what I think they should be paying. I am waiting for a better offer from a project that will follow Goodhue County's setbacks and will not require that I sign over more than just my wind rights. I beleive that the current project and the current state permitting process does nothing to protect our local resources. There needs to be requirements that wind development contracts do not include clauses that give wind developers control of everything above on or below the ground. Such terms could someday be construed to include ground water, sunshine(solar power) and even farming operations.
Everything contains it's exact opposite. Without proper planning and a better understanding of what is truely at stake, instead of benefiting from wind development all area residends and especially those that enter into bad wind leases could lose.
You are correct in making a statement about the Wind Industry. Farmers are who they target to sign their contracts. They are promoting the “wind” as an agriculture product you can harvest the same as corn or soybeans. What they don’t tell you is it requires you to forfeit your property rights to them for 50 years. They get what is above, below and across your property. You no longer get to do what you want with your property, you must get permission from the developer to even plant a tree!
We have “fallen in love” with the word “green”. Look at what is really truly green. More emissions are produced in the manufacturing, transporting, installing and maintaining of wind turbines then what they could ever eliminate. The manufacturing of turbines is causing toxic waste from the production of the magnets in China. The paint & fumes are toxic to the environment. There are problems of ice throw (ice shedding), shadow flicker, stray/dirty voltage and noise. And they are noisy, regardless of what the Wind Industry states!
Our tax dollars being spent on energy that cannot eliminate our dependence on foreign oil, nor can it produce more than 25 % of its proposed capacity. It cannot sustain without subsidies, our tax dollars.
"Wind Energy is "Green Politics" and NOT a "Green Solution"! We are trading one type of pollution for another.