Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Open Letter to Ellis County Commissioners: You Are Our Only Protection, Please Protect Us

Submitted by: Keith Pfannenstiel, Hays, Kansas

I have always believed in standing up for the little guy, rooting for the underdog and caring for the less fortunate. As such, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that I have been vocal against this industrial wind project.

Many local citizens and I have stood together against a multi-billion dollar Spanish corporation and its representatives. Desperately trying to sell a misplaced project that has already inflicted incredible devastation on our county, the company has mobilized imposing resources to try and salvage their potential profit of millions, despite what long term liabilities it creates for the citizens of Ellis County.

The project has not even been approved, let alone built and they have pitted neighbor against neighbor, family against family. Both “sides” have seen friendships parted, threats leveled, and people making plans to leave the community, taking their businesses and families with them.

I’m sick of what this is doing to our community. Let’s call this what it is.

This is a big money issue, hiding behind the curtain of global warming politics, as if Ellis County is the last remaining hope of the world. (Pay no attention to the smooth sales woman behind the curtain!). I’m tired Toto, I just want to go home, back to the Ellis County I love and have spent my entire life in.

Unfortunately, given the magnitude of the threat to my community, I am compelled to continue. The Spanish utility giant Iberdrolla, through CPV Wind Hays, LLC (Who are these people anyway?) have made all kinds of wonderful claims, trust us they say, all without any kind of real reassurance they will make good on their promises.

There are so many unanswered questions, yet they push on, trying to get the project approved before they get into a position where they will be held accountable. Krista Jo Gordon gave us her word after all (like she will even be here when things fall apart). “Let common sense prevail” she implores, slickly disguised as one of us.

Finally, something I can fully agree with her on. Let’s do that, on just a single issue, for a moment. They say your property value won’t be harmed when it is surrounded by an industrial complex, eliminating most all the reasons people pay top dollar for certain property in the first place. With comparisons to Spearville and Beaumont, she makes the claim that “studies” have shown no property value loss and that goes for Hays as well. Using that logic, I’d like to trade my house and acreage here in Ellis County for something comparable on the beach in Malibu California, any takers? You have my personal guarantee that it will work out fine. I don’t know what kind of sense that is exactly, but it isn’t common.

When you get a loan to buy a house, you have to come up with a down payment, sign for collateral, get a credit report, an appraisal, give income verification, title insurance and on it goes, before you can even get to the place where you have to sign numerous forms to insure the bank isn’t going to be left holding the bag. I don’t care how trustworthy you are, your “personal guarantee” isn’t going to cut it.

Yet in Ellis County, we are poised to risk the entire wellbeing of our citizenry on little more than just that.

Under our current zoning regulations and the terms of this application, we have almost no real protection from the misplacement of this proposal. We have already begun to experience the ill effects and unanswered questions of this proposal.

It is high time we sort out the truth from the propaganda, take a step back, and examine these questions in detail.

Before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), snake oil salesmen made any kind of claim they thought would sell their product. “Ms. Gordon’s miracle healing turbine, guaranteed to cure baldness, eliminate headaches, aid digestion and make you wealthy!” These salesmen made fortunes selling people narcotics that made them feel better but harmed them with the adverse effects of the “medicine”, financial losses and the lack of real treatment.

There are no state or federal regulatory agencies watching over the wind turbine salesmen.

Ellis County commissioners, you are our only protection.

I ask you to please stop the destruction of our community. Stop this application until it can be thoughtfully examined and appropriately placed. Investigate the claims carefully. Create regulations to protect us. Stand with us, not the salesmen.

County Commissioners, Look out for all the citizens of Ellis County, especially the little guys.

This open letter submitted by:
Keith Pfannenstiel
Hays, Kansas

To Sign the Petition:
If you are an Ellis County, Kansas, resident and you wish to support a petition to prevent this wind farm from being constructed next to Hays, Kansas, you can follow this link and leave your name, real address, and a single comment about your support of this petition. Click here now!