HB6, BigWind and Who? Sarah’s back in the saddle

As the election draws closer, things seem more desperate and chaotic.  In Ohio, the “Repeal HB6” crowd is pushing this complicated issue with great urgency, hoping the Republican-controlled legislature will panic and repeal the law without a replacement.  On another front, “Operation Grant” comprised of alleged Republicans (Never Trumpers) are pushing their support for the Harris-Biden ticket.  The Associated Press carried a story last week touting the Ohio Republican “leaders” supporting Biden who is threatening to make Alexandria Ocasio Cortez of New Green Deal fame his Secretary of Energy.  It was not surprising then to see the media report feature the reviled Sarah Moser formerly of Van Wert. Moser was the principle cheerleader for industrial wind development until the people of Van Wert County basically ran her out of town.  Moser resurfaced on the payroll of Savion pushing industrial solar at the Madison Plains facility near Irwin and another in Pickaway County. This is how the AP described Moser:

 

Sarah Moser, a farmer and Air Force veteran from rural Van Wert, Ohio, said she voted third party in 2016 because she didn’t support Trump but, as a lifelong Republican, she couldn’t stomach pulling the lever for a Democrat. Since then, she said she’s come around to the idea that it’s the only way to enact change.  “We knew Trump would be bad, but we had no idea he’d be this bad — for farmers, for the working class, for veterans, for Christians,” she said. “He’s divisive and he’s tearing the country apart, and we have to find a way to come back together.” She said she feels Joe Biden is “closer to what I learned a Republican was than Donald Trump is — good, strong, sound family values and he’s just a good person.”

 

What Moser is really looking for is a candidate that will provide massive subsidies for renewables and a few suckers in County Commissioner offices who will grant local tax abatement to line the pockets of the developers while local residents see their communities destroyed.

 

The Ohio Power Siting Board will meet on September 17, 2020 at 1:30 p.m.   The public will be able to attend by calling in or viewing a live video on the internet: Phone No.: 1-408-418-9388  Event Number / Access Code: 173 341 1226 or www.youtube.com/user/PUCOhio.   Among the matters to be considered at the meeting are Icebreaker Wind as well as the adoption of Incident Reporting Rules.   In an article included below OPSB Chairman Randazzo is quoted saying:

 

“We have people who have identified issues that we have to resolve based upon allegations of error that they believe the board made in issuing the initial decision,” Randazzo told Williams, “and that’s what we will take up, I hope, at the next board meeting.”

 

The newly established Wildlife, Energy, and Community Coalition has prepared a letter for the Public Comment record supporting the Board’s contested certificate conditions. The letter concludes:

 

“The Board is clearly concerned that the project will produce impacts that are not yet understood and rightfully retained public oversight until it can be assured the impacts are minimally adverse. The Board also acted within its authority by recognizing the novel aspect of the application and the opportunity to inform itself and the public regarding siting of wind turbines in Lake Erie. The Board has every right to exercise its oversight of the project and to exercise such oversight through a public process. The alternative would likely result in all information pertaining to operating impacts and mitigation remaining within the confines of state and federal agencies and the company. Given the importance of the Great Lakes to the citizens of Ohio and the country at large, we do not believe such an outcome would serve the public interest. “

 

Separately, it is a sweet coincidence that the consideration of Incident Reporting rules – so hated by the wind industry – comes on the heels of yet ANOTHER blade failure. RARE OCCURENCE, AGAIN?? This time the blade that separated from the tower occurred over the Labor Day weekend in Paulding County at the Timber Road wind facility.  It appears from local reports that the debris field was cleaned up before any independent review could take place. We will watch to see if a report is eventually filed on the OPSB website.

 

House Select Committee on Energy Policy and Oversight held its first hearing on two bills seeking to repeal HB 6.  This was a hearing for sponsor testimony and the second hearing for proponent testimony will take place September 16 at 1:30 in Room 313.  The hearings can be viewed online through the Ohio Channel.   The Select Committee is chaired by Representative Jim Hoops whose website notes:

 

State Representative Jim Hoops is serving his second term in the Ohio House, after being appointed during the 132nd General Assembly. He represents the 81st House District, which consists of Putnam, Henry and Williams counties, as well as part of Fulton County.  Hoops previously served in the Ohio House from 1999-2006 and also served as Henry County Auditor from 1985-1998. He is currently the Associate Vice President for Strategic Initiatives at Northwest State Community College.

A 1977 graduate of Patrick Henry High School, Hoops went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Computer Programming at Northwest State University of Louisiana. He was also employed by American Municipal Power, Inc. from 2007 to 2014 where he served as Associate VP of Finance and was part of a team that financed over $6 billion to construct power plants that included hydro, coal and natural gas.  He remains active in the community in northwest Ohio, including volunteering for the United Way of Henry County, serving on the Henry County Senior Center Board of Directors and serving as treasurer of the Henry County Humane Society. He and his wife, Deb, reside in Napoleon.

 

Currently in process in Hoops’ Putnam County is the Powell Creek Solar project in Liberty and Palmer Townships.  This proposed project is 150 MW and is a development of Avangrid.  Below is a copy of press coverage from last November which indicates Putnam County is designated as an Alternative Energy Zone making PILOT automatically approved for the developer.  (We note also that Madison County is an AEZ.)   We don’t know much about Rep. Hoops but two things are apparent:1) he knows about the subject matter of energy and 2)  he resides in a community that appears to support renewable energy.  A big question is whether he believes a reinstatement of a renewable mandate combined with the lure of an AEZ will obliterate his home county and whether the idea of a local referendum would be desirable as a means to control “cumulative impact”?

 

OPSB Renewables Presentation   The last issue of Wind News reported on a presentation of renewable activity in Ohio.   This presentation is an excellent counter argument to those who believe renewable mandates are necessary to spur development or that the OPSB has been an obstacle to renewable development.   We encourage everyone to watch this presentation at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFNhtTkUizI&feature=youtu.be&t=975.  

 

Indiana Residents Win Siting Fight Against RWERWE officials said the Gibson County zoning ordinance’s provisions that make the project unfeasible to pursue included stipulations that require setbacks of 4.4 times the height of a wind turbine, and prohibiting turbines closer than two miles from towns, schools, hospitals, medical clinics, residential center for the developmentally disabled or mentally ill, or adult care property lines.  They also cited Sound and shadow flicker restrictions in the zoning ordinance. It includes restrictions on sound pressure levels within a half mile of project boundaries for any non-participating landowner’s residential lot, public school or library or recreational area, and prohibits turbine shadow flicker at a non-participating landowner’s dwelling.

Bravo, Indiana!!