Something tells us the cleantech haters on Fox News Channel won’t be talking about this story anytime soon.
Illinois’ 23 largest wind farms — several of which are in Central Illinois — will add $5.8 billion to local economies over the life of the projects, according to an Illinois State University study released Tuesday.
The construction of wind farms — including Twin Groves and White Oak wind farms in McLean County, Streator Cayuga Ridge South Wind Farm in Livingston County, Pioneer Trail in Iroquois and Ford counties and Rail Splitter Wind Farm in Tazewell and Logan counties — generated 19,047 construction jobs and 814 local, long-term jobs, said David Loomis, director of ISU’s Center for Renewable Energy and co-author of the study.
During the construction phase of the various wind farms, workers made more than $1.1 billion. The wind farms generate $28.5 million in annual property taxes, and landowners make about $13 million a year by allowing turbines to be placed on their properties, the study reports.
In other words, not only are wind turbines good for the environment, they’re practically money and jobs machines. In stark contrast, as we noted last November, an independent study by Cornell University of the Keystone Canadian oil sands pipeline found that that project might “actually destroy more jobs than it generates.”
In sum, wind power leads to lots of jobs and billions of dollars to local economies. Dirty oil pipelines lead to no jobs and lots of money to…already rich major oil companies. Which do you prefer? Seems like an easy choice to us.