©2010 Chicago Tribune/Alex Garcia
Most people when asked are in favor of wind energy. Green. No foreign oil. No spent fuel rods. Cool-looking turbines. But when a reporter and I went out to DeKalb County to talk to residents embroiled in a lawsuit surrounding a wind farm installed in an otherwise tranquil setting, we heard quite an earful. Residents pitted against each other, noise, shadow flicker, lost sleep, stress, dead animals, lower real estate values, lost sightlines. It was a long list of complaints. Although many people wrote off their grievances as little more than NIMBY, you do have to wonder whether 1400 feet is the sufficient amount of distance that a turbine should be from the foundation of a home. Landowners who allowed the wind turbines on their properties are to be paid $9000 a year, per turbine, for the privilege. Some had a few. In this economy, I can see it from their perspective too. In this case, however you look at it, the wind blew up a storm.