By: Diane Benjamin
Yesterday the McLean County Board passed a new Wind Farm ordinance that benefits developers over people.
Livingston County had a referendum on their last ballot asking whether a 1600 feet setback was enough, the voters there said NO.
McLean’s ordinance is a measly 1500 feet from any occupied home – not the property line. This allows turbine developers to “trespass” on the property up to your house. Have barns? Farm animals? Kids playing in the backyard? The County decided they don’t need any protection from the turbines.
The turbines east of Bloomington-Normal were idle all day yesterday. Surprisingly, wind is necessary for them to operate. There wasn’t any.
Wind isn’t a reliable source of electricity. Supporters always forget a fossil fuel backup system is needed and it operates very inefficiently because of the need to power up and down depending on the wind. Turbines have always been about subsidies, not clean energy. Would they exist without massive amounts of tax money? Not a chance!
What the McLean County Board passed will encourage more construction here. The latest models are MUCH bigger than the midget turbines we currently see. Livingston County is safe from the assault on their farmland, its open season here now. Watterson Towers is 298.5 feet tall. The County ordinance allows 550 feet. This is almost twice the height of the turbines east of town.
During the hearings Invenergy testified that turbines do not cause any health problems and do not decrease property values. I’m not relying on the County to keep that testimony on the website forever. I will have the actual audio files soon. I predict lawsuits will happen, I will have Invenergy’s claims in their own words for anyone forced to sue them.
Board member Jim Soeldner is quoted in the bird-cage liner extolling the increased assessed values where turbines are built. Yep, it’s all about money. It was all about money when he voted for the Feds to do a $10 million study for the east-side bypass too. I remember him telling me it was “free” money.
Yes, the clueless exist.