Wind energy development is a hot issue right now among some in the county, and I’ve been asked to share where I stand.
Something about me, if we’ve never met, that I think is important: My specific positions on specific issues change as I learn more. My core values, though, remain constant. And a couple of those that apply here are these: I believe in using the best information possible to make decisions. And, I believe in proactive planning and using core values to make decisions as well.
Starting with the big picture, then getting more local:
The world needs clear and renewable sources of energy. Fossil fuels will not last forever. That’s why I was disappointed in SF2311 at the state level this year and its impact on solar power. That’s why I support research into use of organic matter for energy production. Hydro-electric is a no-brainer. And that’s why I’m in favor of wind energy.
In Madison County, proposed development and accompanying ordinances should match our comprehensive plan and our guiding values. Unfortunately, our county is behind on that process. That’s one of the things that prompted me to run for this office, by the way. We need to be asking the question “what do we want Madison County to be?”, then acting on the answer to that question.
They can’t wait, though, for that process to end. There are proposed developments – which is why I’m getting calls, emails, texts, and FB messages – and our County is reacting to the situation in the moment.
Wind energy development, done legally and thoughtfully, is a net benefit to our county and its citizens. It’s cleaner energy. It generates income for landowners. It generates tax revenue for the county. Recent research from ISU indicates that turbines are a net benefit to nearby crop growth.
Some who have written to ask my views have said that they’re asking about this issue in order to help them make up their mind who to vote for in November. I hope that these comments have clarified that for you.
But I’ll also add these three points:
November is a long time from now. The Arbor Hill Wind Project will likely be resolved by then, and new information may cause any of us to change our minds on that specific issue. And, new development issues will arise that will require thoughtful leadership.
If you’re looking for someone who will be responsive and totally honest when you ask their views, I hope you’ve seen that that is how I am built. I’m not going to talk out of both sides of my mouth.
Most importantly, wind energy development is something that a number of people feel passionately about because they sincerely believe it will dramatically impact their quality of life. But I hope everyone looks at other issues that impact the quality of life for everyone in Madison County: the state of our emergency medical facilities, access to county services, and alcohol and drug abuse and addiction causing crime rates to go up.
Please consider supporting this campaign, and feel free to keep asking questions!