The Changing View

The open views of Iowa and the American Midwest are changing- becoming cluttered with an ever increasing number of wind farms and high power transmission lines. Iowa by 2030 will have wind farms blanketing vast expanses of its counties and high power transmission towers taller than the Statue of Liberty. Names like “Rock Island Clean Line” mask the reality of a project that will forever help to eliminate the legendary open views that Iowa and the American Midwest are known for.

Wind turbines, wind farms, and high power transmission lines have their place. No environmentalist can deny the need for clean energy, but it seems profit minded utility companies and rich investors are taking the extreme approach of “carpet bombing” the Midwest with little regard for the wildlife and natural areas that remain. Some northern Iowa counties have lost their unclutterred views to a sea of wind turbines; the landowners given chump change, compared to the profits reaped, for renting their land. There needs to be some balance brought into the planning of these wind farms so wildlife can exist and wind power can still be harnessed. Giving the utility companies and wealthy investors the power to divy up our open Midwestern views is wrong.

The negative effects of wind turbines and high power transmission lines on wildlife is clear. Bird, bat turbine collisions, abandonment of nesting sides, service roads, etc. Wildlife can not thrive on a wind farm or near high transmission power lines. Wildlife vacates the area and with no alternatives disappears. Is this what we want as the price for clean energy? Can a balanced approach be made that preserves the integrity of natural areas, free of wind turbines and power lines? The uncompromising profiteering promoters of wind farms see only profit from our open Midwestern views. Not realizing that these uncluttered expanses are an integral part of what we Midwesterners love about home.