Topeka Flint Hills residents today said installation of mammoth wind turbines in their region would destroy the tallgrass prairie, one of the most endangered ecosystems in the world.
"When those machines meet the tallgrass prairie, the tallgrass prairie loses," Pat Hughes of Leon said.
The residents testified to the Senate Utilities Committee in favor of a bill that would put in place a strict permitting process for wind turbines. Some lawmakers said the measure would essentially impose a moratorium on wind energy development.
Hughes said the installation of wind turbines will destroy the environment and provide little new energy. Opponents of the turbines, said wind energy is developed to take advantage of federal and state tax breaks.
Proponents of wind energy have said it is a way to reduce pollution and provide income to landowners who lease their property for the turbines.
The committee took no action on the legislation, which is SB 455.