I was somewhat troubled by John Sacketts’ letter on solar.

John has lived a great life and has served this community extremely well. He taught school, served as town councilman, county legislator as well as town supervisor.

But I bet if you were to ask him what he is most proud of, I bet his answer would be his family and his time spent as a farmer.

John has always been one to push his pennies hard when it came to government spending, he would always keep them on a pretty tight belt. These solar projects are heavily subsidized by the government.

These subsidies will be paid for by taxpayers and energy users. I will guarantee you the government will take their extra share.

The old timers have a saying that you can tell a farmer by the ground he works. John happens to be blessed with some pretty good ground and this makes him wealthy and it is something money cannot buy. The smaller solar projects like the ones on roofs or side yards will fit in well in a town like Byron, but the large ones like the Excelsior project if you examine it make little sense for the following reasons.

Do they really have a positive effect on climate change? One acre of corn will convert eight tons of carbon dioxide per year into oxygen, the corn crop in America produces more oxygen than the Amazon. They will have to put massive transformers in to boost the voltage high enough to put on the transmission lines to send to New York City.

Excelsior refuses to answer how much power this will take but I would guess between 10-15% of what they make. Countries like Germany have made great strides in solar power; however, you will not see one solar panel on prime farmland — they value their food supply too much.

The food agriculture generates is one of the last things this country can export to help with the massive trade imbalance. Agriculture is under attack with government mandates and these large solar projects will threaten the financial status of all Americans. I have asked Excelsior for a business plan of how the economics will justify this project and they have refused to answer.

When government has interfered with agriculture it has just made massive failures. Twelve years ago, they paid farmers to grow willow trees to make cellulosic energy, we never harvested one willow. Three years ago they paid us to grow hemp, it just destroyed harvesting equipment and the hemp ended up in landfills.

IDA gave foreign companies millions of dollars to build two yogurt plants in Batavia only to have them fail. The O-AT-KA plant needed a $2 million dollar electrical upgrade, IDA said no, the yogurt plants got the same upgrade for free.

I cannot help but think these solar panels will be obsolete before they are installed. I would only hope John would not kill the goose because the golden eggs will not last long.

These people will strip the topsoil, put in gravel roads and our prime farmland will never be the same again. Farming the ground and caring for the animals is still the best way to raise a family in America.

Eric Zuber


Johnson Newspapers 7.1