Articles filed under Impact on People from Texas
...wind power has attracted an impressive array of critics. Scientists question wind power's efficiency as a consistent power source. Number crunchers point out that without subsidies, wind power is a prohibitive energy source. Biologists, birders, and hunters cite the deadly effect of these huge turbines on migrating and permanent populations of birds and bats as well as the destruction of crucial habitat in order to service the elaborate infrastructure. The technology is so new, and the pressure to create clean energy so intense, there has been little regulatory oversight of the industry nationally, and organizations traditionally thought to oppose such habitat degeneration, such as the Sierra Club and the National Audubon Society, have voiced their support for wind energy.
County leaders are working with state legislators to change the way wind farms are regulated in Texas. Robert Weatherford is the president of Save Our Scenic Hill Country, a group of land owners working to keep wind farms out of the area. "You will literally be able to see them for miles. So we do think that it would destroy the scenic beauty of the Texas hill country," Weatherford said. ...Gillespie County is worried that would mean less visitors like Jones. "That's why people come to these places, is to see the view," Jones said.
A failed attempt by one alternative energy company has not stopped efforts to bring wind farms to the Hill Country. A West Texas-based company has approached landowners in Llano and Gillespie counties, and yet another wind power company has approached a landowner in Mason County.
Ladd said the purpose of tonight's meeting is to get concerned taxpayers who don't like the idea of "wasting our tax dollars, increasing our electric bills and diminishing our property values 30 to 40 percent" involved. "If it were not for the tax credits involved, we would not have wind turbines being constructed in the state of Texas," Ladd said. "... It's the biggest waste of tax dollars I have ever seen."
The price of progress is now considered a pain to some ears in Shallowater. Some folks there are upset about the new wind energy turbines now being used by Shallowater ISD. The school district turned them on back in January. They’re meant to save tax dollars, but some say the by-product, sound, is too much. Chad Dugger, a resident in the area says, “I can hear them when they turn off and turn back on. It’s not too much fun living here anymore.” The wind turbine is less than 300 feet from Dugger’s back yard.
The council, without hesitation, did vote unanimously to amend the Lewisville Code of Ordinances to prohibit the use of wind turbines for the generation of electric power within the city limits of Lewisville. The council agreed that, at least until technology improves so the wind turbines will create less noise, that they will not be allowed in the city limits.
His distaste for wind-generated energy may have begun as a “not in my back yard” sentiment. But as he learned more about the industry, Rankin said, his attitude hardened. With several of his neighbors, Rankin filed one of the first anti-wind-industry lawsuits in the state, arguing that wind farms are a public nuisance that do little to help the state’s energy needs. “One of the things that really energized us is how quietly, how stealthily and surreptitiously these people worked behind the scenes,” Rankin said. “The lack of regulation, combined with the state renewable-energy mandate, is making Texas a prime spot for these wind companies. But I can tell you, nobody wants to live next to them.”