Last week, the Senate Public Utilities Committee resumed hearings on Sub. Senate Bill 58 to modify the energy mandates. Excerpts from 1 of the testimonies is below. The testimony of Kevon Martis notes that to fulfill the Ohio renewable mandate would require 6,765 MW’s of installed wind capacity with a generous capacity factor of 30%. That translates into 4,000 1.7MW G.E. turbines or one turbine per every ten square miles across the entire State of Ohio. When you consider that commercially viable wind resources are only present in less than 5% of Ohio’s land mass, it means fulfillment of the mandate would eventually obliterate certain counties. What would this do for future economic growth? Future residential growth and property taxes? This scenario is a nightmare, but not as much as the one noted below. Our pitiful setbacks from residences, instead of property lines, means that children can end up playing in a dangerous area – an area that the industry considers necessary to mandate that their workers wear hardhats and steel toed boots. In some cases, this area could even be located on a school property, where we believe our children should be “safe”…
Testimony of Joshua J. Nolan, Esq., IICC…
As an attorney licensed in both Ohio and Michigan, I have represented individuals, farmers, wind turbine lease holders, and non-profit corporations whom are faced with questions surrounding industrial wind turbines. Some of those clients have sought my counsel prior to the construction of any turbines in their area, whereas other have attempted to take action only after their landscape has been altered forever. When possible, I volunteer my services to help educate others of the dangers of improperly sited industrial wind turbines….
As this panel is undoubtedly aware, the constitutionality of Ohio’s in-state generation mandate is highly questionable. Although stated in dicta, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals made it crystal clear that in-state generation mandates like those contained in Michigan’s P.A. 295 (which is substantially similar to Ohio’s SB221) are viewed as unconstitutional encroachments upon Congress’ exclusive authority to regulate interstate commerce. If, as Judge Posner stated, “Michigan cannot, without violating the commerce clause of Article 1 of the Constitution, discriminate against out-of-state renewable energy,” neither can Ohio.
Because of this unconstitutional in-state generation mandate, SB221 was successful in creating a market for renewable energy where none existed. However, many Ohio residents have paid a steep price to create that market. Because SB221 demands that Ohio produce a certain amount of renewable energy, regardless of its suitability for producing such energy. Ohio residents have been forced to deal with the consequences of an industry ill-suited for its environment due to population density and questionable wind resources. These factors have led to the improper and unsafe siting of industrial wind turbines throughout rural Ohio, without due regard for their impact on existing residents….
SB 221’s unconstitutional in-state generation mandate is the reason that children (whom have not even left their own yards) are forced to live and play inside the danger zones within which turbine manufacturers require their own employees to wear hard hats and steel toe boots. And that same constitutional in-state generation mandate is used as a shield to defend against claims from those whose lives have been disrupted by noise pollution and sleep deprivation following the forced placement of industrial wind turbines next to their home….
To be clear, the need to end this oppression of Ohio’s rural residents is neither a Republican, nor a Democratic issue. It is not a Conservative or a Progressive issue. This is an issue that crosses all races, religions, creeds, colors, and yes, even political parties. Low frequency noise emitted by industrial wind turbines knows no color, race, or gender. Shadow flicker does not distinguish on the basis of income or one’s belief in the proper role of government. A chunk of flying turbine blade debris will not alter its flight because the adjacent landowner voted Democratic in the last election….