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Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette
The turbines of Blue Creek Wind Farm tower over fields near Convoy, Ohio.

Furthermore ...

In Muncie, wind farm opposition about spaceClimate change costly, defense council argues

Delaware County, home to Muncie and Ball State University, is the latest hot-spot for wind farm opposition.

About 75 people showed up to a city-county plan commission meeting this month to protest a proposal by E.ON Climate & Renewables. The wind farm developer has leased thousands of acres in Delaware County and is seeking property tax abatement.

But opponents say the county isn’t suited for the massive turbines.

“It’s more like a city in the rural area of Delaware County,” said opponent Kathy Gresh. “We’re just too populated (for a wind farm).

“No one is opposed to green energy. That’s not our dispute. But there’s a place for these, and it’s not in the middle of our neighborhoods.”

The numbers are on her side. Delaware County, at 392 square miles, has about 118,000 residents. Wells County, site of another proposed wind farm development, has 368 square miles and a population of about 28,000.

The Delaware County opponents are seeking a minimum setback distance between homes and the turbines of two miles. The plan commission director proposed a setback requirement of just 1,320 feet.

U.S. taxpayers are paying more to deal with climate change than for education or roads.

According to sobering statistics from the Natural Resources Defense Council, the United States spent nearly $100 billion in 2012 responding to extreme weather that many scientists associate with climate change. That is about $1,100 from each taxpayer – even those who deny climate change is occurring.

“In fact, this single-ticket expense now tops the list of non-defense discretionary federal spending,” said Dan Lashof, co-author of the report and director of NRDC’s Climate and Clean Air Program in a news release.

The study also found that increasingly, the government, rather than private insurers, is paying for weather-related disasters, such as drought, storms, floods and wildfires. Insurance industry estimates found 2012 was the second most expensive year in U.S. history for weather-related disasters, with damages totally more than $139 billion. Private insurance covered about 25 percent of those costs. Taxpayers covered the rest.

Private insurance paid out about $72 billion for Hurricane Katrina in 2005, but the liability from natural disasters has steadily shifted to taxpayers since then.

The council argues that increased government spending on disaster cleanup should gives lawmakers more reason to support measures to address climate change.