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Letter to the Editor

 

Robert R. Callard, Perry

3:20 pm

Independent Editor,

Firstly, I would like to thank the Independent for reporting on the topic presented at the 33rd Farm and City Dinner event held on April 11.

My primary concern is that the event presented a highly biased pro-wind agenda as reported in The Independent and the Argus Press. As Mr. Jeff Deason, Shiawassee Regional Chamber of Commerce President, has stated, “It’s a very divisive issue…” For that very reason, the downsides of industrial wind turbines being constructed in the proposed area of Shiawassee County should have been addressed as well.

An indication of the bias in the presentation is evidenced by the claim that wind energy is the most efficient form of energy production, costing only $32 per megawatt hour. The most recent data from the Michigan Public Service Commission indicates a cost of $60 to $61 per megawatt hour. It seems the speaker did not view the Production Tax Credit (PTC) of $23/megawatt hour (our monies) as a true cost. As noted by Warren Buffett, without the PTC (subsidy) there would not be a wind industry.

A balanced agenda would have provided landowners with some of the potential downsides of signing a lease, such as: interference with GPS equipment, drones, aerial spraying and seeding; inefficient field shapes; reduction in future compensation as PTCs drop (currently in western Iowa older turbines are only paying $200/year); loss in control of farm management; potential for lawsuits due to impacts; and the loss of standing in the community due to effects on neighbors.

The dinner would have also been an ideal time and place to present the new MSU recommendations on zoning. Organizations such as the Shiawassee Regional Chamber of Commerce, Farm Bureau, MSU Extension Service, county health, and others need to actively support and promote the adoption of these guidelines by county zoning to offer some protection for the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens.

 

Thank You,

Robert R. Callard

Perry

Robert R. Callard, Perry was last modified: April 24th, 2017 by Karen Elford