2012.08.01 Diane Molitierno: Industrial turbines not green or cheap

Written by David Green.

All of last week’s letters to the editor mentioned “windmills.” This debate is not about scenic wooden windmills out behind the barn in a field of clover. I am concerned about having a massive wind turbine in my back yard, a gigantic piece of machinery that could have a very negative impact on my family’s health and well-being.

Throughout the debates I have often heard that those of us “anti’s” (a more correct term would be people interested in stricter regulations) only spout the negative effects of the turbines. I would love to hear the positive elements, but no one in favor of the loose regulations is giving me anything, nor is my research.

I went to the informational meeting at the American Legion last month. I was told that there was a representative from the wind company, members of the Seneca Township Board, and members of the planning commission were all present. Wouldn’t that have been a great opportunity to give some benefits of the turbines, assuming there are any? That resounding silence leads me to come to the conclusion that perhaps the only benefit is financial, for the owners of large plots of land and to the windmill companies.  

With an earth science degree and a law degree, I feel like I might have a bit of a “leg up” when it comes to researching and understanding some of the aspects of this issue. Without re-hashing everything that has been said, here is a simplified version that I believe from my research of the issue:

• These turbines are not “green.”

• They are not clean.

• They are not cheap. We will not save anything on our utility bills, but likely pay more and  suffer from lower home values.

• They depend on rather than replace the need for fossil fuels.

• They pose potential health and financial risks to nearby home owners. This risk could be cured with stricter regulations. These include greater distance from homes and property lines, regulation of run time to reduce flicker, and noise level limits.

I encourage Seneca Township voters to vote NO to the proposed wind ordinance, not to prevent the presence of the turbines, but to require our township board to write a safer ordinance that protects its residents. I can’t imagine what should be more important to our board than the safety and well-being of the township residents.

– Diane Molitierno

Morenci Road, Morenci

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