In a recent letter, Cody Jones said he bases his judgment on the wind turbine project on "dollars and common sense." He should reconsider the "dollar" side, because the economic impact study he referenced was bought and paid for by the developer and is more like pie-in-the-sky wishful thinking than a conservative estimate.
The fact is, these wind farms are not a cost-effective method of producing electricity. There is no profit from building the turbines and selling the electricity alone. The profit comes from the generous incentives in the form of production tax credits from the federal government and selling the carbon credits on the open market like a commodity.
There is not enough wind here for sustained electricity production, but it doesn't matter. The developer doesn't have to produce anything to get these credits, just build the turbines.
I also respect the rights of property owners. However, what my neighbor does affects me, and not just in property values and spoiling the God-given beauty we are so blessed with, as Jones mentioned.
In this case, the clearing of mountain land will increase soil erosion; blasting 30 feet into the ground for the concrete base of each turbine could damage the rock face, close up the underground springs feeding our lake and damage my home; there could be damage to our roads when they truck in these massive, weighty turbines; and there are potential health risks associated with the turbines too lengthy to discuss here.
Since our local politicians have no authority to "meddle," as Jones says, there is no one with jurisdiction to seek the guarantees from Pioneer Green he suggests.
A demolition bond won't protect property values or aesthetic beauty. Also, Etowah County will not see any benefit from the energy produced, since it will all be sold to the Tennessee Valley Authority.
Common sense tells me we should not let these out-of-towners, for the sake of corporate greed, come in and, with no regard, destroy the God-given bounty Jones spoke of and divide our community.
We should stand together and send them packing, back to Texas.