To the editor:
In regard to the Lundgren Wind Farm article in The Messenger about two weeks ago, I noticed there was no mention of where the magnets come from that are used in wind turbines. According to an article in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientist, the gearbox of each 2 megawatt wind turbine contains approximately 800 pounds of neodymium and 130 pounds of dysprosium, rare earth minerals which are mined almost exclusively in China. They are called rare earth because they are scattered about, which makes it more difficult to extract, instead of concentrated ore.
Simon Parry a journalist from the Daily Mail traveled to Baotou, China, where rare earth minerals are mined, and discovered radioactive waste dumped in the lake and piled on its shores. Fumes and stench overwhelmed the residents living next to the lake. Residents are suffering from skin and respiratory diseases. To quote Simon Perry, "To quantify this in terms of environmental damages, consider that mining one ton of rare earth minerals produces about one ton of radioactive waste, according to the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security. In 2012, the U.S. added a record 13,131 megawatts of wind generating capacity. That means that between 4.9 million pounds and 6.1 million pounds of rare earths were used in wind turbines installed in 2012. It also means that between 4.9 million and 6.1 million pounds of radioactive waste were created to make these wind turbines." Oh, but it's "clean energy."
What we have is a pet project of this current government throwing millions and millions of your tax dollars into what is not a sustainable stand-alone energy. Speaking of reducing his company's tax payment, Warren Buffet said, "For example, on wind energy, we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That's the only reason to build them. They don't make sense without the tax credit." Think about it, the next time you write your check to the IRS, where and how your hard-earned money is being spent.
Also I hope the landowners of Webster County have read their contracts carefully, especially if they plan on passing their land to their children and grandchildren. Farmers in Olmstead County, Minnesota, said no to a wind farm when they found out that they would be liable for removal of wind turbines, which could cost up to a half a million dollars or more.