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ECONOMICS

Cost-Competitive Energy
With today's rising coal and gas prices, new wind plants compete favorably against any new electricity generation source.

New crop of the future for farmers and ranchers
Wind farms located in rural areas generate energy that can be transmitted to load centers in urban areas via the regional utility grid. The rural areas retain the jobs, as well as land lease revenue for farmers and ranchers (as much as $2000 to $4000 per turbine per year). Wind turbines are compatible with rural land uses-crops can be grown and livestock can be grazed up to the base of the turbine.

Limit impact of volatile fuel costs
Because wind energy's "fuel" is free, it reduces the risk associated with volatile fossil fuel prices. Wind displaces electricity that would otherwise be produced by burning natural gas, thus helping to reduce gas demand and limit gas price hikes. In most areas of the country, every kilowatt-hour of electricity produced by wind power helps reduce the demand for natural gas used to generate electricity. Lower demand for natural gas helps mitigate rising costs of consumer heating and electricity, industrial processes, and chemical and agricultural feedstocks.

Public Health
The largest external costs from pollution are probably human health costs, in the form of health treatment costs, higher health insurance rates, missed work, and lost life. According to an exhaustive survey of health impacts by the Pace University School of Legal Studies and studies by the American Lung Association, the annual US health costs from all air pollutants may be as high as hundreds of billions of dollars.