In a recent article ("Energy ‘Sprawl’ and the Green Economy," op-ed, Sept. 17), Sen. Lamar Alexander decries the use of large areas of land to produce clean energy from wind energy and other renewable energy sources.
But the economic benefits of wind power are inevitably spread among the farmers and ranchers who host wind turbines on their land. Further, only 2% to 5% of that land is actually disturbed for turbines, service roads, etc., which means that for America to generate 20% of its electricity from wind, the amount of land actually used is about half the size of Anchorage, Alaska, or less than half the amount currently used for coal mining today.
In the case of wind, what "sprawl" really means is providing clean, low-cost, renewable energy and good-paying jobs for Americans, while putting money in the pockets of farmers and generating property tax revenues for rural communities across America’s heartland.
Denise Bode, CEO, American Wind Energy Association