Is it worth it?
I’m not going to waste any energy rebutting some of the pro-wind claims that recently have been expressed in letters to the editor, because I respect their opinions and perspective. However, I can’t resist responding to the suggestion to put up blinds or curtains to block the shadow flicker from the turbines. This is unacceptable! I didn’t build my home where I did to not be able to look out my windows at my own property to see the countryside and wildlife. I remind readers there are 19 proposed wind turbine sites within 1.5 miles of my home.
There is no debate that the wind turbines will generate incremental revenue for the schools and county. But at what cost? And who pays?
From a cost perspective, are we willing to accept the negative effects of wind turbines on our health, safety, wildlife, decreased property values and destruction of the county’s landscape? The pro-wind crowd disputes the negative effects on wildlife but, as an example, on April 24 of this year, the six commissioners of the Pennsylvania Game Commission voted unanimously to “not allow any wind development on state game lands because it is incompatible with the commission’s obligations to protect wildlife and promote recreation.” What do they know that we don’t?
Who pays? Sure, the county and the schools will benefit from incremental revenue. But where does this money come from? Per the Congressional Joint Commission on Taxation, in 2016 alone, U.S. taxpayers paid $3.1 billion of production tax credits to wind companies. And who pays for the PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) funds that are to be paid to the county and local schools? In theory, the PILOT funding is paid by the wind companies, but the reality of any business is that these expenses are typically passed along to the consumer in terms of higher electrical rates. So, once again, the average citizen is paying the bill.
When all things are considered, is this such a good deal?