Ohio BigWind battalions out in force at our statehouse

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Negotiations continue in the Ohio General Assembly on both renewable mandates and the repeal of wind setback measurement from property lines.

At the Ohio Power Siting Board, numerous comments were submitted by both wind developers and citizens concerning the current process for waiving setbacks.   The law very clearly states that all property owners adjacent to the wind farm property must agree to any setback waiver.  The wind industry believes this should be interpreted as the one non-participating landowner closest to the one non-conforming turbine.  But that interpretation is not consistent with the law.  Readers can go to the OPSB website at http://dis.puc.state.oh.us/CaseRecord.aspx?CaseNo=16-1109 to read the comment submissions.  We have attached the comments of MAREC (Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Coalition).  Other comments from Greenwich Neighbors United and Union Neighbors United can be found at the website as well comments from the Blackfork developer.   OPSB will consider the comments and will issue a final rule which must then be approved by the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR).

Speaking of Rules, not only must JCARR sign off on rules from the OPSB but proposals must also go through a review in the Governor’s Office pursuant to the “Common Sense Initiative” (CSI).  This process is designed to prevent regulations from being too burdensome on the entity being regulated. One of the questions asked by the CSI is what scientific information was considered in developing the rule.   We understand that with respect to wind turbine siting rules, the OPSB has indicated they did not consider any science.   In the last two issues of Wind News, we have discussed the studies and work of the Acoustical Society of America. Your legislators should be made aware that the Chairman Emeritus of the ASA has called for at least 3,300 foot setbacks.  Moreover, the ASA rejects the use of dBA to measure noise from industrial wind turbines. The OPSB uses dBA.  They should be challenged on this point, as well.

We have previously discussed the phony poll issued by the phony Conservative Energy Forum.  Rep. Seitz called this poll “AstroTurf At Work”.  A consultant for CEF wrote an Op-Ed for the Columbus Dispatch and then the wind lobbyist, Dayna Baird, sent out the word to wind developers, enviros and greens to “amplify” the message on social media.   Seitz caught them in the act of this campaign and called them out in an email to legislators and the Governor’s Office saying:

“If ever anyone doubted that the so-called Conservative Energy Forum is really just a shill for Big Wind, the enclosed ought to prove it beyond cavil. As you can clearly see, Mr. Hartley published an op-ed in the February 5 Columbus Dispatch. Moments later, the Big Wind lobbyists were activated to “amplify via social media”, and conveniently, they even were given sample social media responses to post on whatever passes for social media these days. I do not retreat from my contention that the Conservative Energy Forum is an AstroTurf group, however well-intentioned, but no one should be misled into thinking that they are anything other than a shill for Big Wind.”

In criticizing polls and surveys about community support for industrial wind, we have pointed out that the sample geographic area is usually so large that it obscures the impacts and attitudes of people living in close proximity to wind turbines. Tom Stacy has provided an analysis that may be helpful in understanding this ‘survey sleight of hand’.  Tom’s analysis is set out below and concludes that “ALLof the 11% of respondents living in the nuisance and safety zone view them negatively, except those being paid to host the machines.”   This contrasts with the CEF assertion that 76% support reduction of setbacks or, as in the previously reported NREL study,  92% view industrial wind positively.   (see Wind News 1-31-18)

Another piece of astonishing news was received this week but has not yet been verified. It should raise real concerns.   It has been observed through County Recorder data that some parcels of land have been cut from a larger tract which is under lease.  In instances where the leaseholder sold off a parcel of land to a buyer wishing to build,  banks appear to be unwilling to make construction loans.  We have seen some split-off parcels that have been removed from the contract with the developer. It is useful to remember that if a split-off parcel is eventually the site of a residence, the owner of the newly built residence will not be bound by the gag orders placed on the leaseholder/seller….

via OHCEF | Ohio’s conservative voice for a strong energy future