Are windmills losing support as facilities grow?

A final report to the Oklahoma Legislature and Governor Stitt from the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC) was released today on transmission capacity and wind-energy development even as growing numbers of Oklahomans question the true benefits of wind energy.

Highlights the OCC Report include:

• $2.3 billion in transmission upgrades since 2010
• 44 commercial wind energy facilities installed in Oklahoma, while 48 more have filed a notice to construct
• In the latest annual ranking (2018) Oklahoma is second in the nation in total wind generation, third for installed wind capacity and fourth in the number of installed wind turbines.
• Oklahoma’s wind generation provides enough electricity to power the equivalent of 2.6 million homes.
• Wind generation accounted for 23.5 million dollars in state and local tax revenue, $20 – $30 million in annual land lease payments.

Oklahomans, however, question benefits vs. environmental impact on wildlife and livability. Complaints have grown with installations.

President Trump in December reflected these concerns and mocked the windmill-driven economy proposed in the “Green New Deal” and by Democrats on campaign. quoted the President in part:

“You know, I know windmills very much. I’ve studied it better than anybody I know,” Trump said. “It’s very expensive.”

The president noted that windmill production actually created a tremendous amount of pollution, despite being branded as a “green” source of energy.

“Tremendous, tremendous amount of fumes and everything,” he said. “You talk about the carbon footprint fumes are spewing into the air. Right? Spewing.”

Trump noted the windmills were typically produced in China and Germany — sending pollution into the air and hurting the planet.

“Trump said he did not mind windmills in industrial areas but was personally outraged to see “ugly” windmills destroying the views.

“I’ve seen the most beautiful fields, farms, fields — most gorgeous things you’ve ever seen, and then you have these ugly things going up,” he said.

Trump again noted that windmills created visual pollution, destroying people’s property values.

“If you own a house within vision of some of these monsters, your house is worth 50 percent of the price,” he said. “They’re noisy.”

Trump said that after ten years, the giant ugly windmills started to age and “look like hell.”

“A lot of times, people don’t replace them. They need massive subsidy from the government in order to make it,” he said. “It’s really a terrible thing.”

He also reminded the audience that windmills were notorious for killing birds.

“You want to see a bird graveyard?” he asked. “You just go take a look. A bird graveyard. Go under a windmill someday,” he said. “You’ll see more birds than you’ve ever seen ever in your life.”

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