Yesterday, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee met but announced there would be no vote taken on H.B. 114 to reduce wind turbine setbacks. Wind power to the people! Chairman Balderson announced in the Committee that they had received new information and language which they needed to seriously consider. They will take the next several weeks to study the issues raised and it is likely they will come back in July to see if the bill can be voted out of Committee and go to the floor of the Senate.
Rep. Reineke also responded to the good work of his Seneca County constituents and issued a statement in support of keeping the law as it is, unchanged at 1,125’ from the property line. Rep. Reineke’s statement is copied below. You will note that he does not support putting the property rights of citizens up to a vote…please THANK HIM!
Sen. Dolan and wind lobbyist Terrence O’Donnell were huddling after the hearing, planning their next steps. Know that a new wave will be coming our way!!
A statement from Rep. Reineke from Seneca County.
Over the past several months, I have taken time to conduct due diligence in understanding both sides of the wind setback debate and specifically how the 88th House District feels on the topic. From the beginning, it has been my sincere hope that a fair compromise could be reached between those in support of wind energy development and those with concerns. I have taken the time to listen, engage, and evaluate how my constituents view reducing the wind turbine setback requirements.
Based on my continued engagement with the constituents I was elected to represent, I have come to the conclusion that no changes should be made to Ohio’s current wind turbine setbacks. Under current law, the setbacks can be reduced if “good neighbor” waivers are reached with affected landowners in the project footprint. Property rights are key and landowners on both sides of this issue have valid arguments. In pursuit of a compromise, it is unfair for one set of landowners to completely win this debate, and property rights should never be subject to a vote.
Current law provides sufficient protection for the health, safety, and welfare of the district but also allows for the free market to work. If a wind developer and an affected neighboring landowner can come to an agreement, which results in a waiver being signed, then that is all that should be required.
I have appreciated the immense outreach and engagement from all of my constituents, both those who are for and those against reductions in the wind turbine setback requirements. This has been a contentious issue that I have personally wrestled with during these past several months, as valid arguments have been presented by both sides.
It is my sincere hope that our community can maintain a sense of civility in our discourse with each other. This issue has been divisive and pitted neighbors against each other. While it is alright to disagree, we must remember to be respectful of others’ opinions when engaging in public discourse.
As your State Representative, I will continue to monitor and advocate for the district on this important issue. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office at 614-466-1374 or email me at Rep88@ohiohouse.gov.