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Passions Ignite At Wind Energy Public Hearing

October 12, 2017
by Anesa McGregor , Emmetsburg News

Editor's note: This is a continuation of the story titled "Tempers Flare at Public Hearing on Wind Turbine Application" that ran in the Reporter on Oct. 10.

"What do you see in this [wind project]?" Steve Mathis, a Palo Alto County resident asked. "More tax money I suppose, more jobs. Our attorney pointed that out; there is no indication of permanent jobs other than a handful of repair people. Tax revenue and jobs alone are not good economics. Good God, this gentleman [Dale Opeheim] said I can do anything I want with my land."

Mathis went on to say, as an example of do anything he wants with his land, that if he put a strychnine [rat poison] plant on his land and his neighbors started having ill effects or dying and their animals were dying, it could be justified by saying that he created jobs and paid tax money that would go to schools.

"Is that the way you want to get your tax money, by hurting people, hurting their homes, hurting the wildlife, because that is what you are doing," Mathis asked.

He went on to say that wind energy will hurt people even when working perfectly and that when something one person does which affects others is known as a negative externality in economics. Also mentioned was the health effects wind turbines have on people and animals.

"To quote my dentist, you're not in too deep; it's never the wrong time," Mathis said.

As Hart was introducing one of the experts to discuss health effects to humans, he was interrupted once again.

"Has of order," Stillman said.

"Everyone here is signed in," Hart said.

"But not in order,"Stillman added.

"For and against, for and against," Hart responded.

"That is not the way people are signed up," Stillman said. "I would like to make one point before he starts, this was not in the agenda and you are changing the agenda. So the minutes of this was not set up through Carmen [Palo Alto County Auditor]. You're changing it. That means you are in violation. Just letting you know that so everyone knows that. I have nothing against him talking. He can talk at the end that's fine."

"The concept of 'Do No Harm' is something that I hold sacred and is part of the oath I took when I went to medical school," Jeff Ellenbogen, MD, Neurologist and Sleep Specialist began. "The idea that we are going to talk today about wind turbines and we are going to conclude comparisons to strychnine [rat poison] that are hurting people and a long list of scary sounding list of medical disorders that don't result from wind turbines is a kind of harm and this is the kind of harm that induces fear in people and anxiety that in turn can lead to distress, discomfort, high blood pressure, sleep disorders and the like. Saying fearful things to people, making things up is not the harm free thing to do. The simple fact is this, there is no such thing as 'Wind Turbine Syndrome.' The concept of 'Do No Harm' should be invoked but it should be invoked in the right way. Again, there is no such thing as Wind Turbine Syndrome."

"These 490 foot high monsters are industrial wind turbines. And these people who want one of these turbines, I have no problem but keep everything on your property. You can't do it so forget it, it can't be done," Tom Stillman, landowner and resident began. "Do No Harm to our soil, our tile, our roads, to our neighbors and the people that live there. Since the town people want it so badly, let's put two at the college, two at the high school, two at the hospital, one in each park and one at the courthouse. Look at all the money we would be giving to the schools and to the county. I'm sure the residents wouldn't be very happy. We in the country are no different."

"Our little piece of the world has been quiet. The Supervisors must respect the individuals who will be living by these industrial machines. We, the people, would like to vote on them in each township; if we don't then we will vote out people who vote for these industrial turbines," Stillman continued. The whole issue makes me sick that the Supervisors passed an ordinance without the health issue even addressed. Of course this is what Invenergy wanted. They got outdated information from Invenergy and the sanitary health person. You must look at all information not just information from 2011, what Invenergy wanted you to hear. At the informational meeting, the paid doctor from Invenergy said we are spreading fear, but when I read articles from NASA [National Aeronautics and Space Administration], the U.S. Navy and the World Health Organization say there is a health problem, who do you believe? The paid doctor from Invenergy or should you believe the scientists of the men that go to the moon, the U.S. Navy or the protests that go on every day."

"Since you did not put health in the ordinance, you can put on in," Stillman said. "You have given Invenergy a blank check to rape the county of its fertile ground, the beautiful scenery, the wonderful lake and the residents that live here. Reject this application."

This story will continue in multiple parts. Read more about the positive and negative side of wind turbines and the Palo Alto County Supervisors had to say in the Reporter on Tuesday, Oct. 17 in part three of this story.

 
 
 

 

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