Goodhue Wind fight cited in energy program opposition

Minnesota Rep. John Kline is citing controversy over a proposed wind farm in Goodhue County in a letter to encourage fellow members of Congress to let a renewable energy grant program expire, according to a report in the Rochester Post-Bulletin (subscription required).

The letter calls on Michigan Rep. Dave Camp, who is chair of the House Ways and Means committee, to support allowing the Section 1603 renewable energy grant program to expire. Kline doesn’t mention the Goodhue project (which is in his district) by name, but cites opposition to wind farms as an “unintended consequence” of federal support for renewable energy:

While the goal of the program is to increase the use of renewable energy, including wind, I have escalating concerns about the unintended consequences of the program. For example, in Minnesota, a wind developer is working to establish a farm with more than 50 wind turbines despite strong concerns vocalized by hundreds of residents the program is slated to serve.

We’re still waiting for a response from Rep. Kline’s office to a request for a copy of the letter, but meanwhile, the full text is posted on several websites.

UPDATE: Rep. Kline has issued a news release further expanding on his comments.

7 thoughts on “Goodhue Wind fight cited in energy program opposition

  1. Here is the Coalition for Sensible Siting letter in support of John Kline:

    December 6, 2011

    The Honorable Dave Camp
    Chairman, Committee on Ways and Means
    1102 Longworth House Office Building
    Washington, DC 20515

    Honorable Chairman Camp:

    The Coalition for Sensible Siting strongly supports the expiration of Section 1603 grants is lieu of tax credits. Please assist Congressman John Kline in his efforts to put an end to this.

    No doubt Congressional leaders intended this taxpayer cash to stimulate the rural economy and fund what may seem on the surface to be beneficial renewable energy projects.
    Instead, wind developers and lobbyists trample rural citizens while referring to us as “policy road kill” and telling us that the well-documented negative effects of industrial wind energy are “for the greater good.” It appears that a tiny percentage of the billions of dollars distributed through Section 1603 grants has gone to the rural economy. However, the vast majority of the money has gone to foreign-owned corporations and Wall Street investors.

    There are over 700 citizens groups across rural America fighting against industrial wind. The record of large industrial wind is clear, i.e., lie to legislators and local citizens, put up turbines, take the cash, scatter a little tax cash to a few locals, and disappear while leaving a trail of ruined lives and environmental devastation.

    I ask you on behalf of both the Coalition for Sensible Siting and the citizens across the United States to stop funding Section 1603 cash grants. Section 1603 stimulates abuse of taxpayers and ratepayers. We are not wealthy and have no lobbyists in Washington, DC. We ask that you defend these citizens.

    Thank you.


    Steve Groth, President
    Coalition for Sensible Siting
    P.O. Box 532
    Zumbrota, MN 55992

  2. NIMBY reigns supreme and provides a convenient cover for the Republican congressman to oppose progressive alternative energy development. I wonder how much financial support Rep. Kline got from tghe fossil fuel lobby for his campaign.
    My only hope is that the NIMBYites and Rep. Kline have the opportunity to experience a large increase in their heating and electric bills in the near future.

  3. Calling the concerns from wind energy opponents is anything but NIMBY. On what planet is wind energy development a “progressive alternative energy development?!” If you want to talk about progressive alternative energy that is truly clean and has minimal environmental impacts you need to start talking about Thorium Reactors, solar, or geothermal. Wind is destroying entire ecosystems and destroying lives. If it was such a great innovation it would have taken off in the 70’s, but it didn’t. It was a scam then and it’s a scam now. Congressman Kline should be commended for having the strength to stand up against the Faux Greenies and call this what it is….wrong. As for NIMBYites experiencing large increases in electric bills, I’d say that if we continue on this idiotic course we will all see the projected 37% or more increases in our electrical rates. Middle class and poor Americans cannot afford poorly thought out energy policies developed by ill-advised, short-sighted, greedy Wall Street Wonks.

  4. “Wind is destroying entire ecosystems”? Really?

    Why stop there? Why not claim it’s destroying the entire planet?

  5. The statement”environmental devastation” is an overly dramatic statement in Mr. Goth’s letter, and it’s offensive to me. Is wind energy more devastating to the environment than open pit coal mines? More devastating than oil sands mining?? More devastating than a nuclear meltdown?? I’d much rather live with a wind turbine in my back yard, than a nuclear power plant 1000 miles away from me. Wind energy becomes more efficient and competitive with every turn of the blade and every new technological advance created.

  6. Fact: There are 14,000 abandoned wind turbines from the 70’s in California. Fact: When it is stated that a single wind farm will provide power to 15,000 homes what is not revealed is that is barely enough to run your toaster and your water heater. Technology does not exist to STORE electricity in wind turbines so unless you want to get up at 2 am when its windy to do your laundry then good luck! Fact: Each turbine has approximately 250-500 gallons of petroleum & gear oil that will need to be changed annually, so how green is that? Also, there are 50 cement trucks needed per turbine to be built let alone all the rebar. Cement is one of the dirtiest CO2 producers out there! Fact: Doctors and scientists all over the world are explaining the simple science of C-weighted low frequency decibel levels. This is what is causing the migraines and high blood pressure and seizures. Who in the heck does this to their neighbors? Fact: Placing these next to people’s homes then there is simply no argument what so ever about the shadow flicker or “strobing” effect on every door, window, and every shiny surface in your house that will reflect, is irresponsible. Fact: Once wind farm leases are signed up whether it is before, during, or after the wind turbines are built the wind corporations are bundling the leases and selling them off to foreign countries. I do mean we are selling large pockets of our bread basket to countries who are either broke or simply hate us. Enough…..enough…..wake up and keep screaming at the top of your lungs about this political boondoggle that is happening to the small and hard working American.

  7. 14,000 abandoned turbines in California? That’s astounding, considering that’s roughly the amount of turbines that have ever been installed in the state.

    Got any sources for your other “facts”, Dennis?