Is the deck now stacked in favor of BigWind in Ohio?

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This was a week where a few cards in the political “deck” were shuffled. We hope that “deck” won’t entirely be stacked against us and that there will not be any raw deals. The Nominating Council for the PUCO met on Thursday to select four candidates from a list of nine whose names are to be sent to Governor Kasich. Kasich will choose one name from the list to appoint to the vacated PUCO seat of Andre Porter who went to work for grid operator MISO in Indiana. One of the four candidates who was selected was EverPower and Blackfork Wind attorney, Howard Petricoff of the Vorys law firm. Those of us with long memories remember when the Vorys firm ridiculed the people of Champaign County in a magazine ad in order to sell their legal services to wind developers. Needless to say, we hope Petricoff does NOT get the nod from Kasich.

In more welcome news, Rep. Tim Brown of Bowling Green (½ of the infamous Burkley-Brown team who sponsored HB 190 to roll back the property line setbacks) has taken a job in the Toledo area and will be leaving the House of Representatives in July. (Wahoo!) With Burkley having been defeated in the primary and with Brown gone, two of the wind puppets will be gone. Keep in mind also that, due to term limits, our supporters Sen. Seitz and Sen. Faber will be leaving the Ohio Senate on December 31st but both are running for House seats and are likely to win. We are relieved to have their continuing knowledge and commitment to property line setbacks.

In one of his first public statements, new PUCO Chairman Asim Haque recently expressed his support for “clean-energy” because it is the right “social principle”. WHAT? Sounds like Hillary Clinton to us. Greenwashing is greenwashing. If companies want to stick a pinwheel in the parking lot (Honda, Whirlpool, Lincoln Electric, Byers Auto and Ball Corp) fine. But taxpayers, ratepayers and landowners shouldn’t have to foot the bill on anybody’s “social principle”. One elected official who “gets it” is US Senator Lamar Alexander from Tennessee. We recommend to you his floor speech in the United States Senate this week where he urged citizens to fight against a wind project being developed by Apex.

“As a United States senator I have voted to save our mountaintops from destructive mining techniques. I am just as eager to protect mountaintops from unsightly windmills. I have voted for federal clean air legislation and supported TVA’s plan to build carbon-free nuclear reactors, phase out its older, dirtier coal plants and put pollution control equipment on the remaining coal plants. Already the air is cleaner and our view of the mountains is better,” Senator Alexander said. “I hope that citizens of Cumberland County – and all Tennesseans – will say a loud ‘no’ to the out-of-state wind producers who are encouraged by billions in wasteful taxpayer subsidies to destroy our mountains. If there is one thing Tennesseans agree on, it is pride in the natural beauty of our state. There are few places in our state more beautiful than Cumberland County. We should not allow anyone to destroy the environment in the name of saving it.”

We don’t have a Sen. Alexander who knows about the waste of public funds and the waste of the landscape. We do have some phony pork lovers calling themselves the Conservative Ohio Energy Forum who are seeking to reinstate the mandates for wind and solar. “We believe in a genuine “all-of-the-above” approach to Ohio’s energy policy – one that recognizes our history while also committing to advancing clean and renewable energy and energy efficiency. Moving Ohio toward an all-of-the-above policy will create jobs, expand our economy, increase national security through energy independence, improve quality of life and leave behind a powerful legacy for future generations of Ohioans.” What happened to “reliable and affordable” energy? Sen. Alexander is a real conservative – the Conservative Ohio Energy Forum is a fake.

It seems immanently reasonable to us that the Ohio renewable mandate should continue to be ‘paused’ until the federal Clean Power Plan fight is heard in the US Supreme Court. But by that time, the subsidies will have diminished unless Hillary is elected (perish the thought). So the hogs at the trough want it all NOW. We are bound to see some extreme and unrelenting pressure on our legislators and local elected officials. The ongoing education of the public will help and we congratulate Allen County’s Dawn Davis on a great letter to the Editor in the Lima paper. Lima is home to soon-to-be-elected Ohio Senator Matt Huffman. He will surely see this letter.

As we know, due to the great work of the folks in Logan County, EverPower will not be moving forward with 18 turbines from the Scioto Ridge Wind project. We noted previously our disappointment in the County Commissioners who complained about poor behavior exhibited by certain wind opponents. This claim was carried in the Dayton, Springfield and Urbana papers as well as on the T.V. news. Fight the Wind was not involved in any bad behavior although the implication is they were. EverPower’s Jason Dagger has seized on this issue to say that no PROPONENTS of the project stepped forward to speak in favor of Scioto Ridge because they felt intimidated or threatened by the opponents. Rubbish, just plain rubbish Mr. Dagger. The only proponents were the leaseholders who cared little about their neighbors when money was dangled before them….