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Letter to the Editor: Legacy of land destroyed by turbine easements

Letter to the Editor: Legacy of land destroyed by turbine easements

Every life, every work is a legacy. Survivors of the Great Depression left a legacy of extreme frugality. The ’80s farm crisis impacted not just farming practices and its related lifestyle but also our psyche, the survivors fear loss. They fear loss of the farm, loss of the farming lifestyle, and loss of identity. These drive farmers to hang on to property at great costs to their legacy.

Converting agricultural and wildlife areas to the use of industrial wind turbines irreversibly destroys it. It is a legacy of destruction: the removal of the best soil in the world for the base, 1½ inch thick steel stands supporting as much as 154,000 U.S. pounds 269-545 feet in the air on a concrete and rebar platform weighing 1,000 tons, 30-50 feet across and 6-30 feet deep. Pylons may be driven further to anchor it. This supports the nacelle and 100- to 300-foot-long blades made of resin and fiberglass with no recyclable value. The transport weight destroying the tile lines is 70 metric tons. Several acres are required around the turbine including significant roads that can support the weight of transporting the enormous weight of construction.

The construction of industrial wind turbines affects aquifers, water flow, tile lines, soil erosion, soil compaction, air pressure and current — in essence it is destruction of the farmland that the generations before us were proud of and left for us to feed the world with.

Easement contracts are another debt inadvertently left as a legacy. Easements essentially give away the rights to the land for 30-plus years. The companies that hold the leases may use them as collateral, whether they are utilizing the easement or not. Construction companies may file a lien against the landowner when the easement owner does not make payment. If the company is no longer in existence at the end of the easement agreement, or when the turbine is no longer functional, the landowner is responsible for removal at the cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

A Blattner Energy quote states the cost at $675,000, today. What will it be for your children and grandchildren? How much money are you going to receive for the easement over the next 30 years?

Do not sign an easement or a “good neighbor agreement” with a wind energy company or ITC.

Matt and Kim Brenneman

Parnell, Iowa

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