Letter to the Editor
The article “Wind farms generating revenue”, printed in the February 4th edition of the St. Joseph News Press, paints a pretty tax income picture. But, there is both a credit and a debit column in accounting. In the debit column we need to consider the amount of taxpayer dollars being spent to subsidize wind projects. In 2014, Forbes reported that the IRS is giving $13 billion per year in wind energy subsidies.
In 2008, Missourians voted to mandate that our investor-owned utilities purchase at least 15% of their power from renewable generation by 2021. I understand it can cost up to 2.5 times more to generate electricity from wind than from coal or gas. The Institute for Energy Research stated in 2010 that electricity prices were already nearly 40% higher in the states with renewable energy mandates. Then consider that wind and solar energy is so unreliable we must maintain our coal, gas, and nuclear generation to supply 100% of our needs at any and all times.
Missouri has no regulation or statutes for wind generation except zoning statutes for local government. Washington Township, in Dekalb County and Clinton County (both zoned), are being sued by NextEra Energy to gain access in spite of zoning. What is the cost to taxpayers to defend these suits? What is the loss in taxbase to these counties when people stop moving in and start leaving because of the wind complex? In addition, studies indicate up to 40% decline in property value if you live within three miles of a wind turbine.
I could go on but the point is…. as taxpayers and electrical rate payers, you are paying for the windfall others are enjoying!