Utility Offering Oregon Residents $5,000 To Not Complain About Wind Turbine Noise

Think fast: if a utility offered you $5,000 not to complain about the noise from their wind turbines, would you accept? What if the noise was so loud that it caused headaches and nausea? It’s a choice Caithness Energy is asking some Oregon residents to make as the utility tries to build one of the largest wind farms in the country.

Large farms like [the one Caithness is trying to build] are regulated by the state. Tom Stoops, the council secretary for the Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council, said that large projects must prove they will comply with the noise ordinance and that noise waivers, or easements, are among the solutions. Asked if it was common for companies to pay people to sign such easements, Mr. Stoops said, “That’s probably a level of detail that doesn’t come to us.”

Ms. Pilz, the local Caithness representative, did not volunteer the information that Caithness offers people money to sign noise easements, though she eventually confirmed in an interview that it did. She also would not say how much money it offers, though several property owners said she had offered them $5,000.

“What we don’t do in general is change the market price for a waiver,” Ms. Pilz said. “That’s not fair.”

Some people who did not sign said that Ms. Pilz made them feel uncomfortable, that she talked about how much Shepherd’s Flat would benefit the struggling local economy and the nation’s energy goals, and that she suggested they were not thinking of the greater good if they refused.

Oregon has noise regulations on the books, but the agency that enforced them was nixed back in the early ’90. Local governments are trying to enforce the regulations, but it’s unclear what success they’ll have, if any. Tell us in the comments, what would you do if one of the utility company’s representatives showed up at your door?

Turbines Too Loud? Here, Take $5,000 [The New York Times]

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  1. Not Given says:

    $5000 isn’t enough for nausea and headaches. Isn’t there some kind of noise canceling technology they could use? Maybe if they would pay me the difference for what I could sell the property for and what the fair market value was BEFORE the wind farm lowered the value.

    • HoJu says:

      Maybe if the stuck a giant pair of Bose noise cancelling headphones on each turbine….?

      • Fidget says:

        I was going to suggest replacing them with Dyson wind tunnels. So no one is annoyed by the choppiness of the blades. Or something like that?

    • BacteriaEP says:

      Keep in mind also, we don’t know how many people are suffering from these symptoms. There’s always at least one person who complains a lot and has excessive symptoms that nobody else has to endure.

      Personally, I’d need to hear the wind farm first, go to a location and sit an approximate length away from it to really judge whether or not it would be bearable. The money really makes no difference to me.

      • The Marionette says:

        A lot of the articles on here boil down to that, but you are indeed correct.

      • Pax says:

        +1,000,000 internets to you, sir!

        That is, indeed, the best way to do it.

        And if, should I say “gee, that IS awful loud”, the company demonstrated a sound-blocking/reducing barrier – a line of trees or tall shrubbery, say – and offered to pay for the proper installation, and maybe the first 1-2 years’ care by a professional landscaping firm (to make sure they grow up healthy and strong) …? Waiver signed, no cash inducement required.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      I live in the landing/takeoff path of a “executive” airport. There are at least 10-15 planes and 5 helicopters a day that pass directly overhead, some low enough to read the tail numbers. That said, the only reason I notice is that I like watching things like planes and helicopters. My father, who is here a few hours a day, doesn’t hear them at all. The other day, a jet came in 2-300 feet overhead and was WAY louder than the ordinary 6-800 feet they are at when they take off and even rattled the windows a little. My Dad was outside in the paddocks, and didn’t even notice it.

      There is also a freight rail line that runs parallel with my house, and comes within, at closest ~1/4 mile. It sounds it’s horn twice at every crossing, of which there are 5-6 within 1 mile of me. The whole house gets a deep bass like shake when it comes through. I notice it, but my old neighbors, who now live within about 1/8 of a mile of it, don’t even notice it as well.

      It’s very easy to get used to something if you don’t care about it/it’s advantageous to you. But it’s the opposite if you are militant about it, or like me, want to hear it, because you will.

    • jacques says:

      I’m guessing the nausea and headaches are the same psychosomatic reactions as those people who complained about the nearby cell tower, until they found out if wasn’t powered any more.

      The power company here in VT did a much smarter move, they pretty much told the town “if you approve the installation in your town, we’ll pay your town’s budget for the next 10 years”. It was approved, and the neighbouring towns can complain as much as they want about how the view is ruined but they don’t have standing.

  2. FunkDoctor says:

    And here you see reason #472 why green energy will never be able to generate enough power to replace fossil fuels. All of the carbon-neutral generators have some other ‘wart’ which will prevent them from ever being built on large enough scales.

    • leprechaunshawn says:

      That is exactly what I was going to say. There’s a reason we’re so dependant on fossil fuels as an energy source…

      Nobody has come up with something better.

      • captadam says:

        It’s not the noise factor. After all, even loud wind farms would make better neighbors than a coal-fired power plant. Have you ever stood next to one of those things? How about trying to live near one? AEP actually bought out an entire town in Ohio because it was becoming a cancer cluster due to the adjacent coal power plant.

        The reason green sources of energy have not overtaken fossil fuel power generation is two-fold: first, fossil fuels remain cheaper and, second, we have a much greater fossil-fuel generation infrastructure in place, which allows us to get much more power for much less investment from it.

      • BacteriaEP says:

        Oh yeah, because leveling mountains to get at coal makes no noise at all and is completely fine by everybody except for the pollution it creates. Clearly we are better off continuing to destroy our mountains AND pump noxious fumes into the environment than to start exploring options in wind which can be… really, really loud.

        … ugh

      • ARP says:

        That and the massive subsidies the government pays them. If you factor in the wars and foreign policy, it’s even bigger (into the trillions). And yet you complain about renewable energy subsidies that are getting fractions of what we spend to secure sources of oil? Interesting.

    • PunditGuy says:

      All power generation has warts. We’ve built around the limitations imposed by non-green sources, and we’ve gotten used to it. We’ll need to do the same for new technologies.

    • zandar says:

      potential ruining of the global ecosystem is not big enough of a “wart” as far as fossil fuels go? We obviously have different interests, then.

    • Griking says:

      It beat what they’ve done to the Gulf sound to get to oil IMO.

    • Aphex242 says:

      Never is a hilarious word, because people who use it are so frequently proven wrong.

      It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.

    • foofad says:

      I’m as excited to see new energy sources developed as the next guy, but in light of the gulf oil spill we better be absolutely positive that the turbines won’t fail catastrophically and dump millions of gallons of wind into the ocean.

      • MauriceCallidice says:

        No, instead they just kill lots of birds and catch fire regularly.

        • halfcuban says:

          You know what also kills birds? Smog and chemicals that leach into the food supply and mess up their egg’s. Guess which energy source does that?

          It is also setting up an impossible scenario, as another user has already said; all energy forms have trade offs and wind power is no different. The better question is, given the negatives, which energy method is preferable?

        • JMILLER says:

          So your position is coal and oil do not kill thousands of birds nor catch fire? I’ll mention that to the birds and families of the people killed by the explosion in the Gulf. Maybe we should stop all electricity, since we all know there are 100′s if not 1000′s of electrical fires every year in homes across the country.
          I am not an expert, but they came up with this idea of how to put out fire. They have these hoses and they squirt large amounts of a chemical substance called H20, and they put fires out. What a concept.

        • RandomHookup says:

          Maybe we can set up a net underneath to catch the roasted duck and goose.

      • FrugalFreak says:

        +1

    • ARP says:

      All energy sources have trade-offs, this is just a classic Faux News style FUD play on your part. Oh noes- you need a haz mat team to clean up a CFL bulb.

      1) The wind noise and damage to migratory birds (which is overblown and is being used by people who don’t care about birds, only introducing doubt) is fairly low compared to the noise and risks created by a nuclear/natural gas/coal plant.

      2) Blowing the top off a mountain is much worse.

      3) If something goes horribly wrong, you have nearby property damage and that’s about it. No meltdowns, no destruction of an entire ecosystem, etc.

      4) Cost- let’s subsidize our wind like we do oil (incl. wars and foreign policy) and then we can talk.

  3. Brent says:

    $5000? Caithness is stealing dick moves from BP’s playbook.

  4. kingofmars says:

    $5000? No, bur maybe if thencompany did something like exxon in Alaska. The residents get a dividen check every year from the company. That would help off shoot the drop in property values.

    • wrjohnston91283 says:

      I think you’re talking about the Alaska Permanent Fund, which is run by the state and funded by royalties paid by ALL oil companies who pump oil, not just Exxon, and not just those who live near an oil facility. The original purpose of the Fund was to invest money from the royalties now, because some forward thinking politician (rare, I know) realized that some day the flow of oil and related royalties would slow and stop. They started giving out dividends to all residents because at one time there was SO much money in the fund the state felt they could both save for the future and pay out now. Over time, there has been talk of cutting the annual dividend as the annual royalties decrease, but people have gotten used to getting a nice check each year, and forgotten what the original goal of the fund was for, and of course, it’s politically unpopular to vote to cut the dividend.

      • Redeemed says:

        The dividend is actually based on a five year average of yearly interest gained by the fund. So if the fund doesn’t make a profit one year that is figured into the average. This is why some years the PFD is $300 and other years it is $2000. This year the expected PFD payout amount is approx $1300. It goes up and down depending on which years are factored into the equation. And as you know, the oil companies had nothing to do with forming the permanent fund. It was our state planning for the future. I for one enjoy getting the permanent fund but I would not appreciate the state handing it out if there wasn’t actually money for it. There are a lot of legislators who would just like to spend that money a little bit at a time by designating it as funding for pet projects here and there. I’m glad they haven’t been able to do that so far.

      • ARP says:

        So, people are given equal shares of “free” money as a result of the hard work of the oil companies? Did this happen on Palin’s watch? Isn’t that socialism, redistribution of wealth, etc. I just can’t believe Palin would allow this and than rail against HCR, expiration of tax cuts, cap and trade, etc. as being socialist. That would by hypocritical and Mama Grizzly is no hypocrite. You probably got your information from the liberal media. Please provide a cite from a REAL news source.

        • Redeemed says:

          Are you really being sarcastic about the state of alaska taking revenues gained from oil and gas exploration of said people’s state and distributing the interest gained from those revenues to the people of that state? The money was paid to the state for the use of OUR land. You had better not own any stock or any interest bearing investments. The state of Alaska belongs to the people of Alaska. We are sort of independent that way. It is called planning for the future. We hire people to manage OUR fund thank you very much, and if we don’t like how they manage it they get booted out and someone else gets a chance at the job. Methinks someone is just jealous that their state wasn’t planning for the future and is in the red instead of the black. I think I’ll take this year’s PFD and finish paying off my car. Then i’ll be totally debt free including my house. And to top it all off we don’t have income tax or property tax where I’m at. I think I’ll take Alaska and it’s “saving for the future policies” over your tax and spend ideology.

      • kingofmars says:

        I was talking about that fund, but I apparently didn’t know what I was talking about. Thank you for filling me in, and also thank you for being able to read my poor iPhone typing skills.

  5. WelcomeToOakas says:

    “What we don’t do in general is change the market price for a waiver,” Ms. Pilz said.

    Now that the going rate is publicly known, I think that market price will be going up. It is, after all, a market.

  6. Beef Supreme says:
  7. Abradax says:

    No.
    I would however let the energy company buy my house for FMV (before the farm) in lieu of me suing them for creating an environment where they make me ill, and destroying my property value.

  8. XTREME TOW says:

    $5,000? NO!
    $50,000 PLUS: Free Electricity, Cable, Telephone, Internet, Water, Gas (heating/cooking) for life, AND completely retrofitting my home and garage with sound absorbing-supression materials and erecting “Sound Barriers” (walls like those along hiways); or NO DEAL!
    If you can’t hear the mice farting in the crawl spaces, it’s too loud!

  9. menty666 says:

    No, but if they contractually agreed to have one in their backyard I might consider it. If it’s not such a big deal they should be fine with it, right?

  10. Liam Kinkaid says:

    It wouldn’t be enough for me, but I don’t see a problem with the company offering it to locals. It’s a business transaction.

  11. Xyjar says:

    Yes.

    If someone gave me a paper and said “Check ‘yes’ for us to install loud wind turbines and get a $5000 check, or ‘no’ for no wind turbines,” I would check yes. $5000 can buy a loooot of earplugs.

    • ajlei says:

      Well you’d better hope there’s a good resale value on earbuds because your house sure won’t have one.

  12. Hoss says:

    so they make a whoosh sound….kind of like the sound of car tires on the highway…ah, like right outside my window? $5,000 will be fine, and thanks

  13. A.Mercer says:

    Thats odd. I got right up next to some of these things in Texas and was amazed at how silent they were. However, I was only there for a few minutes and not living next to one. Some people call them eyesores but I loved watching them.

    If they are too noisy, give it time. Technology will improve to fix that. Plus, solar is still increasing its potential. Also, don’t count out nuclear. With all of the research being done we get closer and closer to clean nuclear power.

    • zandar says:

      this has been my experience with wind turbines in Kansas- not very loud at all. They must be VERY close.

      Considering the abundance of uninhabited windy hilly space in Oregon, I’m quite surprised they couldn’t have erected their wind farm away from residential areas.

      • raleel says:

        I live near the area, and live near quite a few wind farms. I’ve also gotten right up under them. I don’t buy the noise argument. It was no more than an electric generator

    • bhr says:

      I have a friend who lives about 1.5 miles from one in Western PA. You can’t hear them except during very high winds, and even then its no worst then a high speed fan (though more base) I’m not sure who these things could make ill, I’m guessing the same people who complain about cell phones and electricity.

    • Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

      I haven’t had the pleasure of getting up close and personal with one, but I did pass a MASSIVE wind turbine farm in Wisconsin on my way to Fort McCoy- I was probably 1/2 a mile away from it, never heard a thing. I love watching them as well, and remember- if the noise tends to be a bit louder than expected, you might want to better insulate your home. :)

  14. tbax929 says:

    I’d never even get to hear the offer; I don’t open my door to uninvited guests.

    However, if they asked me via a letter or e-mail, I’d tell them $5000 isn’t enough.

  15. awer25 says:

    They’re getting permission via an easement, and $5,000 is the general easement price. They aren’t paying the public off – they’re buying an easement from the landowner. If you needed an easement across your neighbor’s land, in most areas you would pay $5k.

    Tags like “bribes” and “payoffs” really aren’t warranted.

  16. Destron says:

    I used to live in Mckinney Texas just north of Dallas, and Walmart has a “green” store there that generates 65% of it’s own electricity through the use of solar panels, photo voltaic windows, and a giant fucking windmill in the parking lot.

    That thing was loud, the sound was less like a car wheel and more like a helicopter in the parking lot. If the wind was blowing really hard you could not even have a conversation in the parking lot because you could not hear the person standing next to you and you could also plainly hear it in the store. This was one windmill, I can only imagine how loud a whole farm would be.

  17. ajlei says:

    The wind farms have been controversial in Oregon for the past couple years.

    http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2010/07/too_much_of_a_good_thing_growt.html

    Here is an interesting article on the matter.

    I haven’t read too deeply into it, but from what I can gather it sounds like at times there is too much power being generated (high winds) for the lines to handle, so they are forced to disable the turbines, which reduces the “green” effect that they are meant to have.

    Oregon already has Bonneville Dam, which is a formidable source of power on its own.

    I would not be bought out for $5000. This is going to drastically lower the sale price of the home, far more than any credit for using renewable energy would compensate for. Forget having any pets, as their stronger hearing will be even more affected. Having company over will probably be out of the question.

  18. 32ndnote says:

    I work in wind turbine design but am really bothered by these situations. Just because wind turbines don’t consume fossil fuels doesn’t mean energy companies can disregard the people near wind farms.

    Another huge problem is the constant moving shadow flying across people’s houses in the morning or evening if the placement isn’t careful. We really need to figure this one out… To the oceans with ye!

  19. rpm773 says:

    I wouldn’t take this. When it came time to sell my house, I’d have a harder time doing so. It’s not like knocking $5K off the asking price is going to make any difference to potential buyers, and if I just kick that $5K in as a closing time credit to the buyer, that just means I’ve netted nothing from having to live with all that racket.

    Some form of compensation, paid annually and to the owner of the property, seems more attractive to me.

    • Destron says:

      I agree, a one time payoff won’t cut it. But naturally by accepting that $5000 you know they are going to make you sign something to the effect that “this is the end of it so don’t bring it up again”.

      My grandfather used to have a farm, but now he is to old to do anything with it, his retirement comes in the form of quarterly checks from AT&T for a cell phone tower they built on his land.

  20. Slave For Turtles says:

    I read the article, but I don’t understand how a turbine can cause nausea. Is it because of vibrations in the bedrock? I don’t think $5k is going to settle that.

  21. pantheonoutcast says:

    Windmills? Really? What is this, Animal Farm?

    Keep the $5000 and build more nuclear power plants. In the long run, they’re cheaper, safer, and not based on 19th century technology.

    http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf02.html

    http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/02/wind-vs-nuclear-energy-wind-power-deemed-far-more-dangerous.php

    • Ouze says:

      First off, a little critical thinking on that second link would have/should have made you embarrassed to post it, had you read it. When they claim that there hasn’t been a single worker hurt at a nuclear plant in 40 years (!) you know there is a strong case of confirmation bias going on. In fact, 1200 workers were hurt in a SINGLE ACCIDENT in 1999.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_and_radiation_accidents

      Sure, there have been accidents involving turbines. No technology is perfect. However, a turbine fire, ice on the blades, or any of the other accidents they have had haven’t necessitated the evacuation of 120,000 people for a single accident

      • pantheonoutcast says:

        The article says that there haven’t been any fatalities in the US. The accident you cite took place in Japan.

        • watch me eat says:

          I like this reply. Just the straight facts. I probably would have responded to the comments about “critical thinking” or “had you read it,” but it would have just furthered the negativity.

        • Ouze says:

          OK, there were 2 accidents in the same plant in Virginia, which lead to 10 deaths.

          http://www.lutins.org/nukes.html

          There is also the sharp spike in infant deaths after the Three Mile Island incident, which were 300-400, depending on whose data you use (or “zero”, if you use the US Governments numbers… the same EPA who said the air at Ground Zero was safe).

          http://www.boisestate.edu/history/ncasner/hy210/3mile.htm

          • pantheonoutcast says:

            Those workers were scalded by steam. And it was 6, not ten. Could have easily have happened at a Geothermal power plant, or even a Starbucks.

            Their deaths had nothing to do with radiation or any of the other “evils” associated with nuclear power.

            And the second link you provide is to a paper written by undergrad students at the University of Idaho in Boise, wherein the writer refers to himself in first person as if he’s giving a presentation to a sixth grade class. From the site: “This web site was conceived as part of an undergraduate introduction to history course.” Hardly experts. In the same series of papers, the writers refer to the Spanish Conquest of the Americas as “The greatest tragedy known to mankind.”

      • FrugalFreak says:

        READ THE LAST NOTE ON THE TREE HUGGER PAGE?

        “Thanks to the spin-myster’s creating such headlines, the desperation of the nuclear advocates is becoming more and more obvious. We must be on the right track then!”

        Go Green, Non-Nuclear.

    • JMILLER says:

      Only if all the waste is stored in your backyard. If you think the value of your property will be lowered by wind, tell me what person wants to live next to a nuclear reactor.

  22. Jacquilynne says:

    I would have assumed that if they were offering me $5k, it was going to affect the value of my house by at least twice that much, thus causing me to lose money.

  23. legwork says:

    In lieu of the money I’d require once weekly control of a set of 10 turbines, with seats mounted at the end of each blade. Saturdays evenings all could gather and watch the city council and mayor going round & round doing their best Buckwheat imitation.

  24. Cyniconvention says:

    Not likely. They give me 5k, part of it’s taken out for taxes (maybe?), I have to visit the doctor because of the noise if it bothers me that much, and doctors cost money…

    It’d be gone in a flash.

  25. backinpgh says:

    Now if they offered me $5k AND free electricity for life, I’d probably take that.

  26. Ouze says:

    These people should take the $5k, because when these utilities bribe/buy out/eliminate the local boards that would stop them, they’re going to be built anyway, and then you’ll have the noise and no $5,000.

  27. evnmorlo says:

    Any payment should recur every year forever with an inflation adjustment. And I wouldn’t consider anything under 5 figures. If I can’t have a machine gun range in my backyard, I don’t see why some company should be allowed to operate just because their noise makes them a lot of money.

  28. majortom1981 says:

    The fans on the air conditioning compressors are just as loud

  29. dg says:

    I’d tell them to stick the greater good in their aass… I’m living here, I don’t have nausea and headaches now, and you can’t pay me enough to get them later… Fix your machine so it doesn’t make noise that gets us all sick, or more it somewhere else…

    Buy out my property for 100% more than it’s worth at the peak of the real estate bubble + 250% of taxes that I’ll have to pay where ever I move to for the next 10 years… Then we’ll talk about me moving…

  30. jeff_the_snake says:

    i’d take it. the kid two doors down from me that runs around his back yard screaming all day hasn’t offered me anything and i let that slide.

  31. mmbb says:

    Not enough info for me to judge; how many dB and what frequencies?

  32. Nidabriz says:

    It’s ‘hush money’ and I wouldn’t take it. 10 years down the road they may install bigger and louder turbines and you’ll have no say because you signed away your right to debate/complain/sue when you endorsed that 5k check…

    Also — don’t our brains get used to sounds and eventually drown them out for us? For example, the hum of the ac, the constant sounds of the major highway a block away, the sounds of the airplanes that go overhead every 6 minutes…(i live near BWI) All of those things are loud and possibly headache inducing, yet I’ve grown so used to them that I don’t even notice them until someone visits and says OMG how can you live with that noise?

  33. keepher says:

    I’m questioning the description as noise. Is it really an audible sound or is it a resonance that is created? If its a resonance, one that is transmitted to the ground where there is no escaping it then no way would I accept the money. There is no sound barrier that would work for that.

  34. FrugalFreak says:

    Much rather have noise and the headaches than lung disease or other respiratory illness due to burn pollution. Plus I”m HoH, so it would be cash in the BANK!

  35. leprechaunshawn says:

    You’re comment is a perfect comparison of how the “green movement” looks a fossil fuels. You complain about our dependance on fossil fuels but yet fail to provide any viable alternatives. Sure, wind and solar power can help offset our dependance on coal and oil but they will not be able to replace them, they simply aren’t efficient enough.

  36. Pax says:

    Headaches and Nausea? No, $5,000 is not nearly enough.

  37. OtakuboyT says:

    What noise? They MUST be doing it wrong we have those out here and we hear NOTHING.

  38. scurvycapn says:

    Don’t forget about infrasound which is sound with such a low frequency that while your ear picks it up, you can’t hear. It can cause lots of odd sensations from nausea to fear.From wikipedia:

    The infrasound and low-frequency noise produced by some wind turbines is believed to cause certain breathing and digestive problems in humans and other animals in close proximity to the turbines.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infrasound#Human_reactions_to_infrasound

  39. hegemony says:

    I turn on a fan to drown out the idiotic dogs barking and howling all night long. I’d take 5 grand or an offer to attach dog whistles to the blades to drive the dogs insane.

  40. jayde_drag0n says:

    who is saying they are so loud they cause nausea and headaches? I was standing next to a wind farm the other night.. i could have walked over and touched one of the windmills.. it wasn’t loud.. not even remotely.

  41. mrscoach says:

    I’m not understanding this, at all. I live in western Texas, where windmills are the new oil. I have never heard of anyone believing they were loud. Hey, McCamey, Texas is/was named (probably by themselves) the “Wind Energy Capital of Texas”, and is surrounded by these things. I’ve even been inside one, and other than at start-up or shut-down they didn’t make noise.

    Could it be the difference in the styles? I don’t know, but the ones used around here don’t make noise.

  42. MrEvil says:

    Wonder what kind of turbines they’re using. The wind farm near my dad’s place uses Siemens turbines and you can’t hear them till you’re right underneath them.

  43. FrankReality says:

    We have a similar situation in my neck of the woods. There are companies that want to put 450 foot tall wind generators and there is significant opposition claiming the nausea, headaches, disturbed sleep, low frequency vibration, audible noise, flickering of light caused by the blades, TV reception issues, etc. arguments.

    I’ve been an observer of this fight – the claims by both sides are so diametrically opposed, that I suspect both sides are overstating their cases.

    I’d really love to see some research done by an independent party regarding the proper minimum setbacks from various sized wind generators to eliminate nuisance issues and some epidemiological medical studies done regarding possible medical impacts. It seems there is some anecdotal “evidence” of such medical impacts, but there aren’t a lot of numbers and ultimately these stories seem to come back to the same source. Nobody on either side of the argument has been able to point to such studies.

    I’d like to see a 12 month moratorium in my state to wait until some objective science comes in regarding the safety/health/environmental issues and this gets figured out – the technology has run ahead of the laws protecting the public. Right now, the setback is only 250 ft – that is woefully inadequate. My take is that the setback should be greater than five times the height of the highest point of the blades.

    “The greater good” business is pure BS – part of what is irritating those of us in the rural areas where wind farms are being built is that usually the electricity generated by these beasts is sold to non-local utilities. The rural areas get the ugliness, the noise and the other negatives, but don’t get any of the power. Meanwhile, the prime spots for windmills are being taken, leaving none for the local rural electric co-ops. My point here is that the utilities serving the local area in which the wind farm is located should get first dibs on building the wind farms and on the electricity generated by them.

    I don’t have anything against wind, in fact I wish I had my own 80ft wind generator.

  44. JollyJumjuck says:

    I would take the money. Step 1 is to offer noise easements. Step 2 is to build it anyway. Either you get $5K for your troubles, or you get nothing. The little guy will get steamrolled in the end by the big monopoly.

  45. Dallas_shopper says:

    It would take a lot more than $5,000 to make up for the nuisance and loss of property value.

    • Dallas_shopper says:

      I should emphasize that I am fully in favor of sustainable/renewable energy. However, when you build wind farms next to *anyone’s* property, you must consider their needs as they WERE there first and they have rights too.

      And it may sound weird but the pressure differentials and subsonic noise produced by wind farms does, in fact, make some people sick. I live less than a mile from one of Dallas’s busiest freeways and I do hear the roar of traffic in my backyard at all times of the day but it doesn’t bother me. I’m also in the flight path for Love Field airport and have Southwest Airlines jets flying overhead most of the day, but it doesn’t bother me. Weird rhythmic subsonic noise from a wind turbine would bother me, and I know this because anytime I get near a wind farm I feel ill. So if they wanted to build one near me, fine; but they’d have to buy me out at market value.

  46. thatotherguy says:

    I’ve recently visited a wind farm in Indiana while traveling there to visit relatives. I saw it from the highway and decided to take a short detour to get a closer look. Well, it was quite a bit further away than they looked. Their HUGE! But what struck me about them was how quiet they were. They do produce a low hum but even standing right under one, I could carry on a conversation without raising my voice or straining to hear each other. I thought they looked cool too. People complain of how they ruin the view, but I thought they added something majestic to the area. We sat and watched them for a while because they were like huge works of art. Very impressive.

    I would not want 1000s of these everywhere in my town, but the 80 or so that were in this one field were perfect. I especially liked how they put them in the corn fields and they had so little impact on the land. The farmer loses small dots of land (about 30ft square) here and there but could still use the majority of the field for growing crops.

    I felt like my visit really reinforced my belief that wind farms are great and we need more of them. I would vote to approve installing one near my small town. I would even agree to an increase in taxes to pay for it. Stories like the one above leave me baffled. People having to be bribed to agree to one? People actively demonstrating against them? I just don’t get it.

  47. kataisa says:

    Don’t fall for it. Getting people to accept a measly $5,000 is a great way for Caithness Energy to avoid being sued for millions of dollars worth of damage in the future. How are you to really know how much damage these mills can do until you actually feel the effects and by then it’s too late?

    Remember the lessons of Erin Brockovich, these corporations are not looking out for anyone’s best interest except their own. You are worthless and expendable to them.

    “…and that she suggested they were not thinking of the greater good if they refused.”

    Here’s the red flag to warn you just how shady this deal really is. Avoid, avoid, avoid!

  48. RogueWarrior65 says:

    Oh boy oh boy oh boy! Step 1: File a class-action lawsuit. Step 2: Name Greenpeace, The Sierra Club, and the entire Democrat legislature as defendants. Step 3: PROFIT!!! WOOT!!!