The Sibley County GOP board members thanks the honorable people expressing concern about the proposed Cornish Township wind farm southwest of Winthrop near the golf course. Here are a few things no one ever gets told about the following destructive consequences that may go with a wind farm:
Road Damage: Did you know that massive over sized trucks, sometimes carrying weight up to 235,000 pounds, and approximately 211 ft. long (70 yards), will drive through Sibley County hauling blades and equipment? Did you know that during set-up and construction over 3,000 semi loads of various weights will drive through Sibley County to get to areas closest to the tower sites? Did you know taxpayers could pay for road damage, if the wind developers are not held to a higher standard? No one told us either.
Pipeline Damage: Did you know there are three natural gas pipelines near the proposed Cornish township construction site that these over weight loads will be going over? Did you know one of the pipelines is many, many years old? Did you know that these truck loads could cause leaks where the pipes are deteriorated? Did you know there is no mention of pipelines in the application and permitting process? No one told us either.
Groundwater Contamination: Did you know pipeline leaks elsewhere have created extensive ground water contamination? Did you know those families now cannot drink their well water and must bring in bottled water? Did you know that natural gas contaminated ground water may be unusable for years? No one told us either.
Wildlife Preservation: Did you know any contaminated run-off from the proposed Cornish tower sites will go directly into tributaries going into the Rush River, which goes through the Alfsborg Wildlife Area, right next to the golf course, which finally drains into the Minnesota River? Did you know any contaminated water along that stretch may be drunk by wildlife? Did you know that industrial wind farms kill so many bald eagles they cannot get an accurate count and no one so far has been prosecuted? No one told us either.
Stray Voltage: Did you know stray-voltage, also known as induced voltage, is proven to increase near wind turbines? Did you know stray voltage can drive deep into the ground? Did you know stray voltage striking a natural gas pipeline may have consequences of death, injury, and property damage, even for people miles away, which could include Winthrop residents? No one told us either.
Return on Investment: Did you know that industrial wind is so ineffective that it leads to higher rates? According to the Minnesota Rural Electric Association (MREA), industrial wind caused rural rate payers to lose $70 million in 2011 just on the portion of wind electricity generated at times when the utilities could not use it. Wind promoters try to convince us that the rural counties, townships and residents who have turbines located get an economic benefit, and in 2011 that indeed was $13 million. So what if rural industrial wind generates $13 million only to saddle ratepayers with a $70 million tab? This kind of math gets us nothing but higher and higher utilities rates. That's right, no one told us either.
To our many good friends, family, and neighbors in Sibley County, we apologize for being late to you with information and we thank the others striving to educate us. Most people do not oppose renewable energy, nor do we. We are however opposed to allowing you and us to be put in situations of grave health risk. In the last 10 years enough evidence has poured in about the dangers with wind farms that you would think by now someone would say, "Whoa! We need to reconsider the merits of these projects. People might get hurt." Without even factoring in the anecdotal evidence that industrial wind may interfere with hearing aids or pacemakers, GPS systems on tractors and combines, medical helicopter radio and guidance systems, television, computer and phone interruptions, the volume of documented evidence which is increasing should be enough for the government to put a stop to any more wind farms.
Yet, there is good to come out of this episode . . . all of us are being reminded, again, of the inherent danger of accepting what government agencies and officials or politicians tell us as being fact or "good for us." We all know liberals never admit when they are wrong on the facts because if they did once they would be at the confessional early and often and on many issues. Conservatives concluded a long time ago that liberal bureaucrats, both GOP and DFL, never quite get it right when it comes to our economic well being and public health or the greater good.
Yours in liberty and prosperity,
Mark Santelman, GOP Chair, Winthrop
Emily Gruenhagen, Deputy Chair, rural Glencoe
Brandon Ronning, Deputy Chair, Arlington
Nathan Kranz, Treasurer, rural Gaylord
Barb Bumgardner, Secretary, rural Winthrop
Larry Bumgardner, Vice Chair, rural Winthrop
Rae Anderson, Vice-Chair, Arlington
Don Mader, Vice-Chair, Arlington
Jessica Wiborg, Vice-Chair, Winthrop
Morris Lieske, Vice-Chair, Henderson