Won't Feel Like Home

We are a group of concerned citizens from Brown and Comanche Counties who’s well being and way of life are threatened by industrial wind farms being built around and next to of our homes and land. We are in favor of both green energy and property rights, but after researching the facts we have learned that the industrial projects proposed for Brown and Comanche Counties are neither conducive to property rights or “green”. Many small landowners near the turbines will suffer the most, while receiving no income. These projects will benefit a very small group of people, while permanently damaging the quality of life for the majority of people in the area. We are committed to stopping the wind farms from coming to our area and we welcome you to join us in this cause. Here are some of the ways Industrial Wind Farms will damage our community and negatively alter our way of life and some of the “Myths” about Wind Farms and their claims of “green energy”. Scroll down below to learn the facts:

Many of the “Advantages” of Wind Power are MYTHS!

(click the claims to see the facts!)

CLAIM - Wind power is green energy
Wind energy is not the “Green” energy source it is is being presented as by wind farm industry. Power plants must continue to operate in conjunction with wind in order to keep the grid going properly. Energy produced is often not able to be used due to over capacity during times of lower energy use and under capacity when additional energy is actually needed on the grid. Windmills kill a large number of birds and bats. They also destroy animal habitat due to an expansive amount of construction in the form of roads, large deep concrete pads and power grid infrastructure. The construction of these large, industrial sites uses an enormous amount of concrete, steel and petroleum based materials creating a large carbon footprint.
CLAIM - Wind Farms will provide a great source of income for the landowner
Of all the myths discussed this is probably the most unscrupulous one used by the industry. Wind energy cannot currently exist as a profitable business without government subsidies. These subsidies are promoting a flawed industry and hurting many landowners and communities. Landowners that are considering signing a contract with a wind power company should get all of the facts before signing! Keep in mind that you do not get any part of the subsidies that actually make these projects profitable. Land owners get a very small amount of the total money generated by the turbine on their land. At the same time these industrial sites greatly reduce the value of their land and the land of their neighbors around them (neighbors who get none of the benefits, unless they also have a turbine). If you take the amount of value you will lose on your land and extrapolate that out over the life expectancy of the enormous wind turbines on your properly you may not even break even. At the same time you have damaged the value of your neighbors property, decreased the enjoyment of the land for your family and future generations and damaged your reputation in your community. All of this is for a pittance of what the wind energy companies receive. You put up your land, which is one the most valuable assets in the project and receive very little return on your investment.
CLAIM - Wind farms lower the cost of energy
Wind energy actually increases the cost of energy for the end user. As Wind farms go up in the United States they require a huge investment in power grid infrastructure that the utilities must pay for. These costs are transferred to the consumer. In addition, power plants are not being shut down as wind energy farms go up. A great example of this is in Denmark where now over 30% of the energy is produced by windmills, yet no power plants have been shut down in the country despite this addition of wind energy. Denmark needs these power plants and the power plants of their neighboring countries on the grid to continue running to maintain a reliable source of power. In addition, much of the wind energy is not used due to excessive capacity, so this “30%” figure is actually much less than stated. Norway commissioned a study of wind power in Denmark and concluded that it has “serious environmental effects, insufficient production, and high production costs.” These higher costs can be seen in many European countries that have built up their wind energy capacity, including Germany, the UK and France.
CLAIM - Towers will be deconstructed upon obsolescence
In the contracts we have studied the large companies that are constructing these wind farms put nothing upfront to insure the towers will be taken down upon obsolescence. These towers have a 20 to 25 year average life expectancy. If the companies that build them go out of business there is not a financial tool in place to take them down. Wind towers are an eyesore when they are constructed, but they get even worse as they age, rust and come flying apart due to lack of maintenance. See the links below for just a few examples of what can happen when these industrial behemoths are abandoned. Also keep in mind that they can have foundations that are 30 to 40 feet deep (maybe deeper on some of the newer towers!), leaving a permanent scar on the landscape.
CLAIM - Wind farms create jobs for the local community
Although technically this statement is true you may not want to use it in a plural sense. The wind farm we are currently looking at in our community will provide few if any permanent local jobs. Wind companies love to talk about local job creation, but the dirty little secret is that virtually all of the jobs are temporary construction jobs and these jobs are filled by people from outside of the community. Even when the project is completed they often are maintained by outside people so it is possible they would not create any local jobs!

Learn the Truth About the Effects on Land & Property Owners!

(click the topics below for the facts!)

Property Values WILL Decrease
Decreasing Property Values of 25% to 40% Where Wind Farms exist The installation of industrial wind power facilities will severely reduce local property values and stagnate rural economic growth. The common sense approach in concerning values; AND, MOST WIDELY USED AND ACCEPTED APPROACH TO VALUEING RURAL PROPERTY – Is defined as an estimate of value of recent sales of similar property in the surrounding or competing areas – as compared to the subject property The facts are these: property values in our Brown County Texas areas have increased dramatically over the last several years with buyers from urban areas acquiring land for recreation and retirement purposes. In other areas of the state and nation where wind turbine companies have developed wind industrial zones, property values are now a fraction of the value in our areas and in many cases if land is sold it is at great loss to land owners. Many cannot sell their lands once turbines are introduced. So, what will happen when industrial wind zones are developed in our counties, where land is selling at $3,000 to $5,000 per acre? It will become sterile, and the death of economic growth as we have come to know it. Just as scenic views and water features tend to increase property values, we know based on the evidence that massive industrial turbines and power transmission lines will dramatically decrease property values at least 30% and upwards of 40% or higher. In fact, buyers are already wary of the prospect of wind zones in our county. A broker who sells recreational ranches in Comanche and Brown Counties, and surrounding counties, states that within the last six months he has had clients who either sold ranches or decided not to buy a ranch because of the potential of wind turbines being built in proximity to the property. Several other area brokers have also stated serious concerns about the impact of the proposed wind industrial zones in regards to property values and the local economy. Once you sign a lease your land will be devalued 30% at a minimum and you will never regain its value in yours or your grandchildren’s lifetime. Furthermore the wind companies like Pioneer Green Energy gain the large profits of increased electricity costs, federal subsidies, and state tax credits. The landowner gains none of these tax incentives or real profits in comparison to such wind companies. Hard facts are – if wind turbines are in your view, you lose… In spite of the smoke and mirror promises of wealth and prosperity from wind companies. Unfortunately this also pits neighbor against neighbor in this battle as many do not want them and a small minority do want the leases. This leads to massive social unrest in the community as beleaguered landowners agonize over spoiled views and devalued property while others pocket gains at their neighbor’s expense. Gardner report link http://www.texas-wildlife.org/program-areas/impact-of-wind-turbines-on-market-value-of-texas-rural-land
The Realities of Eminent Domain
One of the most disturbing aspects of industrial wind power is the reality of “eminent domain.” Eminent domain is the authority of a governmental entity to seize property for a public purpose, with supposedly “fair” compensation to the property owner. In the case of industrial wind power, landowners cannot be forced to sell property for the installation wind turbines. However, they will be forced to sell property for the construction of power transmission lines, which are required to connect the industrial wind turbines to the power grid. This means landowners, homeowners, and residents can be directly affected, even though industrial wind turbine development may be many miles away. Contesting governmental claims of eminent domain is difficult once a project begins. It is also expensive and often futile. That fact, together with a lack of regulation, makes eminent domain and industrial wind turbines an extremely undesirable combination for Erath and Eastland counties – which is why we must take action now! A December 2006 report from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) shows the estimated to cost $380 million. Forty miles of this line would run through the southern portion of Eastland County, 50 miles through the middle of Erath County and 10 miles through Comanche County. Such a cost for an energy source that is on the low end of actual wind and not even producing large volumes of actual energy is insane. For towers in our area, click here for a map of the planned transmission line construction.
Wind Farms DESTROY Scenic Views
We are taxed for views in this area in many locations. Such views and scenic enjoyment will be forever destroyed after constructing towers up to 50 story tall. The foot print of roads and foundations from such monoliths will also take up valuable habitat for wild life and ranch use – on top of that it is a massive blemish on the land once these foundations are placed on the soil. Foundations can be 30-foot deep and the width of a clearing of land per tower is the radius width of two tractor and trailers end to end. Once this is put in place – the important useful vegetation, soil, and native rock are gone forever. It is difficult to put a price on such values and yet the leases certainly do not cover this loss in their payments.
Deconstruction?
The facts are simple – There is no, NO, money upfront for deconstruction of these towers.  If the companies go out of business then towers will remain and will simply be part of the landscape at the cost of the landowner to take down.  They will rot away slowly over years and be a continued reminder of the failure of Wind Farms and foolish greed and loss of the land with its heritage.
Are You Prepared to Give Up Property Rights?
If you sign such a lease and allow the wind companies to come on your lands, you give up all rights to privacy. Such companies will build an infrastructure to place roads, foundations, construction, deforest an area for such, and then make sure that such an investment is constantly maintained – you in short give up all rights to privacy. You will of course still own the land, but no longer will you be able to control the privacy of your land. Nor will you be able to listen to the mere sounds of nature without the constant reminder of noise form towers and blinking lights on tops of each tower – a constant reminder of your loss. Real property ownership includes a bundle of rights, each with a value: Ø right to sell/lease/mortgage an interest Ø right to occupy the property Ø right to convey Ø right to do nothing at all Ø unlike mineral rights, Texas is UNDECIDED as to wind rights  can they be conveyed? Can they be retained?
Regulatory Oversight
Wind energy companies build more industrial wind power facilities in Texas than anywhere else in the country because our state demands no regulation over the installation of wind turbine facilities and provides no state agency oversight once they are in place. The Public Utility Commission seeks no control over where the turbines are located, leaving that decision for wind energy companies to make with any uninformed landowner willing to sign a lease. (See Contract Pitfalls) Unlike oil and gas development, Texas also has virtually no regulatory control over monitoring wind turbine operations or assessing their environmental consequences. That makes Texas an easy target for big utility companies looking for windfall tax breaks that waste everyone’s hard-earned tax dollars. Is it any wonder that, according to the American Wind Energy Association, Texas already leads the nation in wind power with 2,000 plus turbines providing the equivalent of 3 percent of the power produced in the state? (We say equivalent because actual use is less because wind energy is often produced when it is not needed and therefor “wasted”) With such a large and diverse topography, it seems developers and energy companies are rushing in to capitalize on every hilltop, including some that don’t really produce enough consistent wind to justify a wind turbine! Without wasteful government subsidies, most of these projects would not even be considered By allowing industrial wind development to move in without regulation or state oversight, Texans are putting themselves at the mercy of an industry that can operate under its own set of rules, and with no checks and balances in place to safeguard landowners or address future concerns.

There is a loss of land for all animals!

this is an undisputed fact because the infrastructure requires such large sites! Wind turbines on our land will mean:

A loss of habitat for wildlife in the area and loss of same competing habitats for domesticated ranch and farm animals.
Endangered species in Brown and Comanche counties exist currently and no independent impact studies are being done on said bird species.
Death of other birds and bats will be a regular occurrence. This is well documented and proven.
Impact on hunting revenues in the areas as hunters will not go to wind farm areas to hunt for recreation.  This has a negative effect on land owners who lease for hunting and local economy that depends on hunters in the area.  Hunters escaping their urban environment don’t want to escape to an industrial wind farm, where they will listen and see wind turbines instead of the nature they were seeking!
Loss of grass lands and natural habitat for existing wildlife such as deer.
Studies show impacts on wildlife due to infra sound or low frequency sounds– a spectrum below what the human ear can hear that affects tissue on a molecular level.
Studies show RF radio frequency or electromagnetic frequency which has an effect on molecular levels on tissues.

Don’t Believe the Hype

We all want green and clean energy, but examine the facts and you’ll find wind doesn’t live up to its hype. Wind energy is unreliable, inefficient and uneconomical. As taxpayers and ratepayers, we are footing the bill to support an industry that does very little to help meet our growing demand for electricity, and offers no meaningful impact on reducing pollutants. Wind is strongest in the evening, while our energy consumption takes place during the daytime hours. Since wind energy can’t be stored, utilities are forced to keep traditional energy sources online in order to provide the constant supply of energy needed to maintain the electric grid. Contrary to popular opinion, wind does little to reduce our dependence on coal or natural gas plants or other traditional forms of technology. Wind is also uneconomical. According to ERCOT, wind energy costs nearly $53 per megawatt hour, based on a 30 percent capacity factor. This does not include back-up power plants or the cost of building new generators!

Lease Contracts

The leases are extremely onerous by the land companies and fail to cover some key points publicly due to Non Disclosure Agreements once signed by landowners:

NDA agreements allow wind companies to set up leases with adjoining lands in stealth
NDA puts a gag order on all land owners who sign them in regards to negotiated prices for land
NDA halts public forums to explain information for years and allows Wind Companies to obtain an advantage in their ultimate goals of completion of wind farms

Further Contract issues are as follows:

%

Only 1% or less make big money, those are the wind companies.  The landowner is paid a paltry sum compared to what the companies obtain in subsidies, tax breaks, profits in selling for construction, and higher profits increased electricity charges.

They promise 4% to 5% revenue but do not clearly define the real revenues

The Tax Credit obtained does not go to land Owners – it goes to those in the wind company business and this is huge monetary gain.

They own surface and sub-surface rights without restriction

Easement clause – The Property uses are too broad and without limitation. Since the Easement covers both surface and subsurface use, the entire property could be used for wind generation activities and support structures on the property.  Other uses of the property would be restricted and subordinate to the easement uses granted in the document. If there is a conflict, the owner’s use of the property would be subordinate

Hazardous materials are now granted to be brought on your land – if you sign

Loss of your name in legal matters! – Grantee may use Owner’s name in legal proceedings and make Owner a party to the legal proceedings without the Owner’s consent. No time period is specified for Grantee to indemnify the Owner

Loss of Property you once owned! – Owner’s Property, if Owner signs the Easement portion and then he/she does not own the entire interest in the Property any longer.

And on and on, this goes throughout the contracts – take a look for yourself at this document for a wind farm lease – judge for yourself. It is a fascinating read of how the landowners are taken advantage of…

Click here to see a copy posted on the site Stop Wind Turbines in Erath and Eastland Texas.

Still Need More Info?

We would love to talk to you and present as much info as you need to be convinced that bringing wind farms to our area will be destructive. Please, contact us today and we’ll get in touch as soon as possible!
Contact Us