Really? Let’s call their bluff. The peoples’ response to this BigWind bully is below. It is written by a FORMER GREEN LOBBYIST. You may find the response enlightening….
The immediate fate of 18 wind turbines in Logan County soon will be in the
hands of the Logan County Commissioners, EverPower officials said at a Tuesday morning meeting to discuss the Scioto Ridge Wind development….
Mr. Shears, however, said after the meeting that if the Logan County Commissioners do not approve the request, the 18 towers in Logan County will not be built but the remain- ing towers in Hardin County will continue forward….
Fight the Wind
to Logan County, OH Commissioners 04.19.16
Thank you Commissioners for granting this time to speak with you. Today I will be representing Fight the Wind, a group comprised of numerous Logan and Hardin County residents who oppose industrial wind development in our counties, specifically, and in our nation, generally.
As we look out the windows of this building to the South, we see the restoration of the Logan County Courthouse. You didn’t ask for that June 29, 2012 storm. Daily since, you are faced with numerous decisions– many for which you’ve been both praised and criticized. As public servants, thank you for your due diligence in the restoration research, and for taking the heat of public opinion. As the restoration nears completion, I’m sure you are proud. You have jokingly referred to yourselves as the “Construction Commissioners.” A legacy of pride. I congratulate you.
My name is unimportant. I prefer to speak as just one resident of Logan County. Many in this county now have histories and relationships with foreign wind corporations, and before I speak for Fight the Wind, I preface with a brief recount of my history. Born and raised in Logan County, you may know. However, I ashamedly confess that at one time I believed my life’s calling was to save the planet. During that quest, I served as a lobbyist and speaker for the Central Ohio Chapter of the Sierra Club, an Ohio Environmental Council employee, and an Ohio Farm Bureau intern–three organizations which today are at the forefront of propagating and promoting wind energy in OH. Back then, I intended to educate and persuade citizens and legislators to believe in the very romantic idea of green energy. And, if education failed, I believed it would be justifiable to legally pressure and coerce citizens to get the job done.
Later, having returned to Logan County, and to the beloved family farm, my uninvited storm arrived on March 27, 2007. I was among a dozen landowners in my area invited to an exclusive, lucrative business opportunity, the invitation extended by a neighbor. The seduction began with a PowerPoint presentation filled with photos of majestic white turbines dotting sprawling, beautiful green vistas. These photos were, as all wind PR photos are, devoid of residences, businesses, buildings, people, animals. At the meeting, landowners were handed term sheets and contracts. The terms sheet promised $5,000 upon signing, $15.00 per acre during the development period (predicted to be 1 – 3 years) and $5,000 per turbine upon moving to construction period, and then $4,500 – $16,500 per 1.5 MW turbine once in operation. Someone asked the presenters, who were donning starched, creased, previously unworn blue jeans and patent leather loafers or new, unsullied hunting boots, “What are the disadvantages of wind projects?” The response was, verbatim, “We won’t answer that question.”
I left the meeting feeling violated: I’d chosen to leave the city and return to Logan County. First offense was calling this kind of development a “FARM.” Second, was the industrial usurpation of property use, property value, safety, financial security, land integrity, and rural lifestyle–something I’d neither foreseen nor invited. In the weeks that ensued, we studied the contract. There, we found we were signing over rights–ours and neighbors’–and taking on ridiculous liabilities. We visited turbine projects. From those within the projects, the list of rights signed away and collateral damages was lengthy, far-reaching, and all- encompassing.
After doing our research, we quickly found out that this would be a bad deal for us, our neighbors, and the community. However, we could have signed to put turbines on a parcel unconnected to our home. We refused for a number of reasons, not the least of which was respecting my neighbors’ rights to property use and value.
Meanwhile, by the wind corporation we were baited, cajoled and later coerced and threatened. By neighbors we were badgered. These were neighbors who had NOT read contracts, but had signed them. I understood where they were coming from: It was March and April–they were busy planting spring crops. Who had time for an attorney? And, because farmers had conducted business for years solely on trust–and rarely were deceived, they were vulnerable to wind company formulaic PR and promises.
So why would I tell you my history? First, I was asked to. Secondly, I’ve seen this issue from someone who thought it was necessary, beneficial, and “right” to coerce people into living green. And, I’ve seen the issue from a landowner who could have benefitted financially. Thirdly, because it parallels others in this county, which has been occurring since 2005, and other communities around the state, the nation and the globe.
FTW citizens have observed that the legal process allows covert infiltration into a community by the wind company, who engage one or more locals as spoke persons or employees thereby more efficiently networking and persuading innocent, trusting landowners to believe a package of PR spin filled with promises.
Interestingly, these projects begin in stealth, and often–on the road to production of energy–must pass through the court systems. Perhaps it’s there that jobs are created.
And they create job losses. Case in point. A Brown County, Wisconsin Health Inspector who resigned 3/4/16, prior to the release of public documents which unearthed an 11/21/15 email in which she complained of migraines every time she went near turbines. She had released her conclusions, completely ignoring the sworn affidavits representing over 50 ill residents, recorded over a year, meticulously gathered and correlated to studies, and also referenced to significant peer reviews. Her conclusion was that she would monitor the turbine site “annually.” Shortly after the 3/18/16 release of the public documents, the county counselor also resigned. In addition, there is trickle-down job loss from loss of property value and abandonment of homes.
This formulaic seduction and deception by foreign investors is the same everywhere. Appeals include altruistic purpose of the projects coupled with various promises, including financial gain. Save the planet. Save the farm. Harvest the wind. Reduce CO2. Temp and full-time local jobs. Infrastructure. Better roads. Be progressive. No disadvantages. $ for landowners. $ for schools. $ for townships. $ for commissioners.
Although the spin, PR, and promises of wind are romantic and seductive, the reality is harsh, even devastating. And, not just to those within an industrial wind project. Anyone who buys electricity. Anyone who has political or legal responsibilities. Anyone who desires to have peaceful, transparent relationships within their community. Anyone who just wants to do anything on their property.
Wind energy is intermittent, unreliable. Americans want energy dispatched at the time and point of need. Americans wouldn’t rely on their tools, equipment, relationships, employees, etc. that only work 15-20% of the time. Yet, Americans are being asked to pay for intermittent wind energy many times over.
Federal grants and allocated tax credits. The subsidy tracker at goodjobsfirst.com, reports that EverPower is 39th on the list of the top 100 recipients of federal grants and allocated tax credits since 2000, receiving five subsidies totaling $317 million since 2009. In state and local subsidies, EP has received $7.5 million.
These subsidies, therefore, went to the UK-based private equity firm Terra Firma, who acquired EverPower in 2009, and who in 2015 sought to “flip” it for $1.5 billion. Hum, Saudi Arabia now owns OSU parking. What people group, of what idealogy, might have access to SR leaseholders’ land a year from now? November 3, 2015 in Power Source EP’s Mr. Speerschneider said “EP has 13 wind projects in the pipeline not under construction–none having secured long-term customers for their power . . . . ”
Secondly, state mandates. Wind is intermittent, although state laws support a large portion of wind generation by a certain date. Those mandates are currently on a temporary two-year freeze for reevaluation by economists and energy experts. Americans need on-demand, reliable, at time-and-place-of-need, readily dispatched energy. Therefore, wind must be backed by on-demand energy sources. These on- demand energy businesses are on “stand by” if/when wind energy is dispatched, all the while still having the cost of business without the sale of their product. The result is consumers pay more for all electricity, regardless of its source. Terra Firma’s own country, UK, is reportedly known for fuel poverty and it’s resultant deaths. Dr. Calvin Beisner of Cornwall Alliance says, “you control energy, you control people.”
Thirdly, local tax abatement. EP has hit the media hard lately–from Dayton to Lima–stating both that the Logan County Commissioners are–or will be– considering a PILOT–payment in lieu/instead of taxes and that there are millions for schools, government entities, and the community. Nice pie charts. Large monetary figures. PR purposes are obvious–get the citizens, schools, townships, community services–and you, commissioners–to BELIEVE the ship has come in. Get a BELIEVING public to PRESSURE YOU. Set the stage for when the PILOT request comes in. After consulting with numerous state experts, FTW knows the revenue to those entities is much greater over 20 years of the project with taxation- -yes, even WITH the depreciation schedule. And, since the depreciation schedule starts over if the company is sold, another potential benefit to all the above county entities is a possibility. PILOT is a deceptive, “I’ll give you some of your money Uncle Sam gave me at your front door, while my foreign cronies–take more out your back door, and you’ll have a cold house, and Uncle Bobby may freeze to death.”
Europe is now aware of the financial loss and devastation of wind energy. It is changing its mandates and ending its subsidies.
Logan County has been courted by the bad boyfriends of wind for about 10 years now. There are 10 years more of evidence from industrial wind projects around the state, nation, and globe to inform our citizens what industrial wind development’s reality is within a community. And many Logan (and Hardin) County residents have educated themselves.
It is with that knowledge, Mr. Wickersham, that Stokes Township residents spoke, and the Stokes Trustees filed an opposition resolution to the SR project.
Russells Point residents spoke, and the Village Council filed an OR to the SR project.
Belle Center villagers spoke, and the BC council filed an OR to the SR project.
Richland Township constituents spoke, and Richland Trustees filed an OR to the SR project.
Mr. Bayliss and Mr. Core, Rush Creek Township residents spoke, and the Rush Creek Trustees filed an OR to the SR project.
Indian Lake residents beat Everpower back from the Lake. Why? Because our community does not want industrial turbines here. The turbines are now not to be sited near the lake. The makings of that deal are not known to the general public.
However, it appears that your constituents in the remaining neighborhoods in Richland and Rush Creek Townships are persons whose lives, property, investment, lifestyle, and health are of lesser value than those nearer to IL. Will your potential approval of a PILOT endorse the differential value of your constituents?
And, the fractured community spills over into Hardin County when the realization hits that a Logan County School will be receiving some of HC PILOT all because Hardin County Commissioners automatically abated taxes for this project in choosing an Alternative Energy Zone, which it rescinded in January. Even if a LC PILOT is not granted, BL Schools will receive a percentage of HC PILOT payments.
Eighteen turbines have been approved for Logan County, sited within Richland and Rush Creek Townships. Of those 18, 7 are on property of non-Logan County residents: 6 of which are on parcels owned by out-of-state entities, and 1 on a parcel owned by an out-of-county Ohio resident. It’s easy being green, when you’re imposing on others’ lives with no disadvantages to oneself.
The current Ohio turbine setback standard was recently revised to 1,125′ from non- participating landowners’ property lines. SR was grandfathered in at 541′ to a property line. Regardless, either such distance is “trespass zoning”–the plundering of a neighbors’ use of their property, property value, safety, peace and quiet, etc. The SR certificate, which may be found on OPSB web site, reads “Assuming a maximum turbine height of 492 feet as proposed in the application, this minimum property line setback equates to a distance of 541 feet. The distance between the nearest non-participating property lines varies from 549 to 2,637 feet, averaging 1,198 feet.” On what planet is it rational to have a 36-ton blade assembly 400 feet in the air spinning upwards to 180 miles per hour 541 feet from anyone or anything? Blade shear and throw, ice throw, shadow flicker, noise, and infrasound.
Those who live next to an EP wind turbine will have that turbine in their bedroom, at breakfast, at supper, and even alongside them in their yard. Which is all fine and dandy if I invited them over, but I didn’t. And when someone comes over uninvited and won’t leave – that’s called trespassing. Please don’t be an accessory and accomplice to trespass zoning.
As LC Commissioners you do not have the power to stop SR from being built– even in Logan County. However, please don’t welcome EP with granting PILOT, thereby setting a precedent. The recorder’s web site confirms evidence of leases in Monroe and Zane Townships, which would provide a pathway to connect Paulding, Van Wert, Auglaize, Hardin, Logan, and Champaign Counties– blanketing them with turbines, which is a goal of, if not EP, then other federal subsidy recipients.
To quote Senator John Rodgers of Vermont, “I know of no place in the state where we can place industrial wind turbines without creating an unacceptable level of damage to our environment and our people. Destroying the natural environment in the name of climate change is moronic.”
So while Mr. Dagger just gave you his update on the project. I am here to give you FTW’s. They are awake, engaged, larger in numbers than ever before, angry and determined to defend their homes, property, county, townships, and schools, and will never go away until industrial wind goes away.
So with that being said, commissioners, citizens, and press, I am sure you are just like me – sick and tired of wind. Sick and tired of having to think about it. Sick and tired of dealing with it every single day. I just want to live my life. I have more important things to do than be here and I am certain that you have more important things to do with your time than deal with wind. All of us are absolutely tired of it. So why are we all here wasting our time? Because a foreign owned company wants to profit from our nation and our community. They are hoping that you will grant them even more profits.
Remember commissioners – this is our county, these are our townships, our homes, our schools. Your constituents have spoken, and the villages and townships near and in this project have written Opposition Resolutions against the SR project. If EP wants to develop our community, and harvest our resources to make a profit that they ship back overseas to their parent company they should do so on our terms. Not theirs. Our county deserves the full taxation due for this project.
Our county, our townships and our residents should have been a part of the process from the beginning, but we were not. Why? Because this business must be done in the dark.
If anyone thinks that this will all simmer down and we will slowly fall back to sleep, they are sadly mistaken. The outcry and the outrage will increase exponentially as this project starts construction. When our peaceful country roads and rural beauty become an industrial construction zone, the complaints will grow louder. When the turbines are turned on and lives are spun to oblivion, the complaints will be deafening. Our community will become an endless cycle of complaints, arguments, and discontent, pain, and heartache.
Many in this room have spent hours a week for years keeping up with economic, legal, health, environmental, agricultural, real estate, etc. aspects of industrial wind development. We, your constituents, are doing our due diligence. Please do yours. Although many participants in these projects have legally signed away their rights to speak out, many are going rogue, and some never signed.
Please make sure the RUMA protects all citizens during construction, operation, and decommissioning. Make sure a decommissioning plan-IRRESPECTIVE OF BANKRUPTCY–is in place. Find out what revenue taxation brings in compared to PILOT. This is not another Honda, Midwest Express, or Valeo. Look at fightthewind.com to follow links to global, national, and regional wind news. Read about the many complex aspects of wind energy.
Logan County has such a bright future. Please, please do not allow our community to become Collateral Damage to Industrial Wind. Your current legacy, of “construction commissioners” is one of honor. Please don’t let your legacy become “Wind Turbine Commissioners.” If turbines are built in this county, the chaos and complaints will continue for years, the hardship and devastation for generations. The seductive, bad boyfriend wins, and the beautiful, innocent Logan County is ravaged, unredeemable, unable to wake up from her nightmare.
I encourage each here today to visit fightthewind.com. There you will find links to web sites which inform you about wind locally, nationally, and internationally. Education is power.
Again thank you for your time and for allowing FTW to speak about this SR project.