Letter to the Editor: The Case Against Changing County Code for Wind Turbines


Here’s the case against the proposed amendment to Lewis County Code 17.30 to facilitate testing a wind farm in the Boistfort Valley.

To keep this short, here is my argument against the code change that I will present to county commissioners on Oct. 4.

Key issues:

• Faith and trust in the county commissioners.

- Are you seriously considering the rezoning to provide for the installation of wind farms? This reverses a decision by the commissioners some time ago to exclude projects like this from the code. I submit that this is inconsistent governance to reverse the aforementioned loophole closure.

- Are you acting in the best interests of Lewis County residents with this change?

- Are you good stewards of our resources by changing the code?

- Can we have confidence you have researched the impact of this issue thoroughly?

• Are we worshiping at the altar of the almighty dollar by:

- Enriching offshore wind turbine companies

- Enriching Weyerhaeuser

- Filling the Lewis County tax coffers

- Contributing no benefits to Lewis County residents

• Do we really want to reduce property values caused by code change in the valley and Lewis County as a whole? Who’d want to buy a home with a view of hundreds of wind turbines and the subsequent turmoil caused by their operation and maintenance?

• Pollution Issues created by these wind turbines will threaten our pristine valley.

- Environmental damage (construction, deforestation, upsetting surface water patterns, erosion damage to watershed)

- Physiologically damage for being jerked around like with changes to code

- Visual and noise pollution due to turbines. Would you want a wind farm in your front yard blocking your amazing view that you paid big bucks for?

• Code change will leave the door open to further exploitation by other special interests wanting to plunder our resources

• The installation of these wind turbines is not green energy at all.

- Each turbine requires a footprint of 2 acres for installation and securement

- Huge roads will have to be widened or new roads will have to be constructed to accommodate huge turbine blade delivery

- An average tower is 212 feet high, with arms 116 feet long

- Three blades per turbine.

- Lifespan is 20 years. Then what? Not recyclable

- Each turbine needs 80 gallons of oil as lubricant

- That oil needs to be replaced once a year.

- Switching equipment operate at high power and voltage to prevent arcing

- Arcing is prevented by putting all the electrical equipment in a pressure vessel filled with sulfur hexafluoride

- SF6 has an atmospheric lifetime of 3,200 years and is 22,800 times more effective as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

- The true costs of these installations are in no way what they’ve been reported

Bottom line, we are doing all this destruction for a 4% contribution to the power grid. Or is it to fill special interest coffers and the Lewis County tax base?


Neil Stewart