Hooray! Seneca county rescinds AEZ and HB6 passes

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A big hooray for Sandusky County where the County Commissioners have rescinded their designation as an Alternative Energy Zone (AEZ).  The vote cancelled the action taken 7 years ago.  Readers will recall that the Seneca County Commissioners rescinded their AEZ earlier this summer and it took effect June 30th.

 

The OPSB Public Hearing for Seneca Wind, a project of  sPower, was held on Tuesday in Tiffin.  It was refreshing to hear that both PUCO Chairman Sam Randazzo and Ohio House Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman, Nino Vitale, attended in person.  That is a first as far as we know.   They were treated to many thoughtful arguments and concerns expressed by local citizens.  We have attached the testimony of Walt Poffenbaugh (last link) who spoke to the issue of cumulative impacts of projects planned for the area.  Walt demonstrated that the combined projects proposed for the area cover a territory nearly as large as metropolitan Columbus.   We encourage all to read Walt’s substantive remarks.  Given that the OPSB does not have rules that address cumulative impact, it will be interesting to see how this concern is dealt with in subsequent proposals.

 

Moments after the bill was passed, Gov. DeWine signed it into law and took off for the Ohio State Fair where he told reporters,  “I think it accomplishes what we wanted to accomplish,” Gov. DeWine said. “It saves the jobs of the folks who devoted – many of them – many, many years to providing power for us.”  “No. 2, it should bring about a small reduction in the cost to residential consumers as well as to commercial consumers,” he added.  Gov. DeWine said he also was “happy to sign” the measure because he believes it will lead to long-term environmental benefits. He put his pen to the measure less than three hours after legislative leaders sent him the bill. “If we had lost our two nuclear plants, we would have lost 90% of our carbon-free production in the state of Ohio,” he said. “It just makes sense from a public policy point of view. It makes sense from a jobs point of view. It makes sense from the environment point of view.”  “We would anticipate that our solar as well as our wind (industries) will continue to increase in the state of Ohio,” he said. “We have to recognize it is not the most optimal state for wind nor solar, but there is an industry in the state, and we want to encourage that to grow.”

Still reeling from the passage of HB 6, pro-wind and gas folks were quick to react to the new state of affairs.  Statehouse news reports included:

 

Andrew Gohn, American Wind Energy Association

“Ohio consumers and manufacturers want greater commitment to renewable energy, not less. Yet, while many states are expanding access to cleaner sources of energy, Ohio’s legislature has chosen to take a costly step backward by weakening the state’s renewable portfolio standard,” said Andrew Gohn, Director, Eastern State Policy, AWEA. “House Bill 6 won’t make Ohio’s air cleaner, but it will hike consumer electric bills and send both jobs and clean energy investment to Ohio’s neighbors.”

 

Marnie Urso, Audubon Great Lakes    (AUDUBON?  REALLY?)

“Energy efficiency and renewable energy are vital components in protecting Ohio’s birds and wildlife from the threat of climate change and ensuring all Ohioans have access to safe and affordable energy. HB6 is a missed opportunity to enact comprehensive energy policy that would keep pace with the rest of the region and country which is embracing the future of abundant, affordable, renewable energy. This clean energy killing policy is not the investment in healthy air and economic growth that our state deserves.”

 

House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes (D-Akron)

“This was not an easy vote for some of our Democratic members, including myself. Democrats will always stand with hard-working Ohioans over corporations. HB6 was never a Democratic bill; it was never even a bipartisan, compromise bill. It was yet another example of the Majority Party playing games, forcing impossible choices between protecting the environment and keeping food on the table for 1,400 workers and their families. I hope that the companies who receive the taxpayer dollars from HB6 will honor their promise to protect the jobs at both nuclear plants and support these workers’ continued employment.”

 

Daniel Sawmiller, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

“While the rest of the nation is adding jobs left and right from one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy, Ohio is sending a clear signal to the clean energy sector that they are not welcome in the state. HB6 is irresponsible economic policy. And if this mess of a bill passes, the rest of the nation will be looking closely at Ohio’s statehouse trying to understand the motivations for a bill that is so far out of line with what is happening everywhere else.”

 

Neil Waggoner, Sierra Club

“HB6 is bad government and politics in its most pure form. When the process starts with legislators’ demeaning low-income Ohioans and apologizing to utility lobbyists it’s no surprise the final legislative product increases customer bills every month for years to come.  “With HB6, Ohioans get dirtier air, higher electric bills, and the understanding that the majority of their elected officials at the Statehouse are more concerned with making a bankrupt company happy, and helping out other utility companies for their foolish investments in failing coal plants, than taking care of their own constituents.  “FirstEnergy and Ohio’s other electric utilities must be very satisfied with the legislators they financed today. Can those legislators’ constituents say the same?”

 

Ohio Conservative Energy Forum

“The Ohio Conservative Energy Forum (OHCEF) remains opposed to the passage of HB6. The bill takes our state backward and threatens tens of thousands of jobs throughout Ohio in the growing clean energy industry. “As supporters of an all-of-the-above energy policy, the Ohio Conservative Energy Forum has never been averse to nuclear energy, but we remain profoundly disappointed that the General Assembly did not use the opportunity presented in HB6 to further grow Ohio’s emerging clean energy economy. As OHCEF has maintained throughout the legislative process, the State of Ohio cannot afford to be left behind as a growing number of conservative states embrace renewable energy.  “OHCEF will continue to support a free-market approach to a diversified energy portfolio that embraces all forms of energy generation – including nuclear, coal, natural gas and renewable energy. OHCEF will fight to reduce government regulation by fixing the current wind setback mandate and will seek distributed generation reforms that will give Ohioans the freedom to produce their own energy.”

 

Not to be outdone, the opponents of HB 6, fueled by natural gas hedge funds, filed a petition with the Ohio Secretary of State to overturn the law through a public referendum.   (Guess somebody is going to get a referendum – what irony!)   Calling themselves “Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts” the group is headed up by a veteran campaign strategist whose claim to fame was the 2009 casino gambling law.  They will hit the streets soon to gather about a quarter of a million signatures to put the issue on the ballot.  We hope Ohioans won’t vote “YES” to increase their electric bills!

Our friend and Time Magazine’s Hero of the Environment, Michael Shellenberger lauded the passage of HB 6 in a Forbes article.  “Ohio nuclear plants provide eight times more electricity than all of the state’s solar and wind combined.  Lawmakers around the world are increasingly taking note of the severe impact that industrial wind turbines have on wildlife. Industrial wind turbines today threaten several bird and bat species with extinction.

Conservationists and birders in Ohio have hotly opposed a proposal to build dozens of turbines on Lake Erie, which is home to dozens of threatened, endangered, and high-conservation value bird species

Then there is the economics. It would have cost $25 billion to replace Ohio’s nuclear plants with solar and $22 to replace them with wind — and taken 300 to 2,600 times more land.”   With your continued support, we can make Ohio a leader in clean energy through support of nuclear while safeguarding wildlife and being efficient in our land use practices!

 

On the flip side, so-called environmentalist like Sierra and the renewable lobby, are having fits saying  “the biggest effect of H.B. 6 may be the muting of Ohio’s renewable and efficiency standards. By weakening Ohio’s 12.5% renewable energy standard to 8.5% and further shrinking the standard by subtracting green energy purchases by large energy users, the bill blocks wind and solar development in a state that’s already a clean energy laggard, said Leah Stokes, a professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, who’s writing a book on state renewable standards.  Some of the nation’s largest wind energy developers have said Ohio’s existing restrictions on turbine placement, enacted in 2014 when the Legislature temporarily froze the renewable standards, have already steered investments to neighboring states. H.B. 6, they warned, would only continue to lessen their interest in the Buckeye State.” 

 

In other news:

 

An assortment of articles reacting to the passage of HB 6 are included.  In one, US Rep. Marcy Kaptur says “Ohio is now saddled with an energy policy that amounts to a “death wish” for growth. “The problem is that as you look at a region to invest in, we look less innovative. We look less inclusive. We look less creative,” Kaptur said. “And companies are looking to invest in places that have their act together and are looking at energy and the full portfolio of choices therein as we build a new energy future for our country.”  We continue to point out that these so-called green companies like Amazon and Google are choosing to locate in metropolitan Columbus not Tiffin or Van Wert.

Republicans at the national level are addressing how to deal with emissions reduction by promoting greater investment in technology whether it be carbon capture or advanced nuclear energy.   “Climate change is real, and we need to address it. The question is, how do we do that?” Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) said. “I think we should support all ways of decreasing emissions, from traditional renewables to cleaned-up fossil fuels to nuclear to innovative new tech like carbon capture. The other side often would make us think that there’s only one way to address it — solar, wind, the Green New Deal.”

In New York, the Chautauqua County Legislature approved two motions unanimously that go against policies being passed by state officials. “On Wednesday, one of the motions was in opposition to construct wind turbine farms on Lake Erie. During last month’s legislature meeting, Robert Bankoski, D-Dunkirk, and Kevin Muldowney, R-Dunkirk, spoke about their opposition to the possibility of wind turbine farms on Lake Erie. Following the meeting, Bankoski said several other legislators who represent communities along Lake Erie followed up their comments by creating a motion to oppose wind turbines on Lake Erie.”    We wish Ohio Counties would do the same and pass Resolutions in opposition to turbines in Lake Erie.

  

A group of U.S. wind tower manufacturers are pushing for tariffs on imported wind components, a move that some researchers say could raise costs for new projects by as much as 10% at a time the industry is already under pressure.  The Wind Tower Trade Coalition asked the Commerce Department and U.S. International Trade Commission to impose tariffs against wind tower imports from Canada, Indonesia, South Korea and Vietnam in a petition this month. The manufacturers argued that components from the four countries are sold below the prices set in the 1930 Tariff Act.

 

Even though HB 6 will reduce electricity bills in the short term, there are continuing pressures on costs.  The transition to a 100% renewable US power grid will need investment of up to US$4.5 trillion over the next 10 to 20 years, new analysis from Wood Mackenzie found.  Wood Mackenzie estimates that about 1,600 gigawatts (GW) of new wind and solar capacity would be needed to produce enough energy to replace all fossil fuel generation in the US. Dan Shreve, Head of Global Wind Energy Research, said: “The mass deployment of wind and solar generation will require substantial investments in utility-scale storage to ensure grid resilience is maintained.”

About 900 GW of new storage will also be needed to ensure wind- and solar-generated power is available exactly when consumers need it. The scale of the challenge is unprecedented, requiring a complete redesign of the power sector.

 

New on our radar screen is the issue of transmission expansion and potential costs to ratepayers.  “Public Utilities Commission of Ohio Chair Sam Randazzo began Monday’s daylong discussion of transmission investments with an appeal to stakeholders: “We need your help.”  His request came as regulators sought in a daylong conference to grapple with rising spending on transmission projects, which in turn translates into higher consumer bills.  “We need the help of stakeholders to proactively move forward,” Mr. Randazzo said. “We are seeing this large investment at a time where there is not much increase in total sales or demand.”  The cost of that “massive amount of investment” spread over a customer base that’s not growing at an equal rate leaves just one outcome, the chairman continued. “There’s not much else that can happen when you do that other than very significant increases in prices – all of which may be necessary,” Mr. Randazzo said.”

Nuclear link

Ohio rolls back RPS

Antinuclear on the move in Ohio

Blah,blah,blah, even Washington hates the Oh bill

Free (foreign) Bigwind may get expensive tariffs

Will green plan be expensive? HA! Ya think?

Seneca Wind Public Hearing Testimony 07232019

Thumbs Down to Ohio BigWind Alternative Energy Zone

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A great victory was achieved this week for the warriors of Seneca County when two of the three County Commissioners voted to repeal the county’s designation as an Alternative Energy Zone.  Seneca County now joins Van Wert as a county which has repealed their designation.  Remaining AEZ counties include Sandusky, Delaware, Franklin, Putnam, Paulding, Hardin, Clinton, Noble and Summit.  Recently, requests to approve individual PILOT requests were turned down in Logan, Huron and Erie Counties.  Had these counties been designated AEZ, tax abatement and PILOT payments would have been automatically granted. 

Dale Arnold and the traveling Farm Bureau circus made an appearance in Urbana this week to tout the latest “ag commodity” – solar energy.  Harvest away.  We are still waiting to farm coal and gas, maybe raise a little nuclear. Among the points reported to us by attendees were that many of Ohio’s 33 solar companies have left the state because permitting is difficult; solar projects under 50 MW are subject to local zoning;  10 solar projects are in the OPSB pipeline; and permitting can take between 36 and 48 months.

PILOT is apparently important to solar developers.  According to a summary report written in 2010 by the law firm of Bricker & Eckler, PILOT “significantly reduced the state tax burden on renewable and advanced sources of energy generation, such as solar, wind, co-generation, and clean coal. Under the old laws, taxes on solar and wind were estimated to be approximately $115,000 and $40,000 per megawatt (MW), respectively – rendering Ohio a less competitive marketplace for deployment of these technologies.” Current PILOT law reduces the tax burden on qualifying projects to $6,000 to $9,000 for wind and $7,000 per MW for solar.

At the very bottom of this issue of Wind News is a very readable publication by Mark Mills of the Manhattan Institute.  We think it will make you laugh out loud as Mills explains the physics of energy and shows why there is no possibility that the world is undergoing— or can undergo—a near-term transition to a “new energy economy.” Mills takes on wind, solar and battery storage.   One example: “The annual output of Tesla’s Gigafactory, the world’s largest battery factory, could store three minutes’ worth of annual U.S. electricity demand. It would require 1,000 years of production to make enough batteries for two days’ worth of U.S. electricity demand.”  The US routinely maintains two months of stored energy to meet demand in the event of emergency.  You do the math.

An interesting bill was introduced recently.  HB 126 would bar an action challenging an act for violation of the one-subject rule if it is commenced later than 275 days after the act’s effective date.  This has applicability to the lawsuit filed in Paulding County by wind leaseholders and AWEA against the state which alleges current setbacks violate the Ohio Constitution because they were included in a budget bill in 2014.  HB 126 would forbid a lawsuit like the one filed in Paulding County unless it was filed 275 after it was enacted.   Rep. Seitz is a co-sponsor of this bill.

 

In this week’s news:

 

  • The Icebreaker Wind project in Lake Erie received important approvals from the Ohio EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a permit to commence construction.  We wonder if these turbines will be granted PILOT and, if so, what entity would have the authority to grant it?

 

  • The General Assembly is getting closer to the introduction of legislation to promote low and no carbon energy generation.  Rep. Jamie Callender, who chairs the House Public Utilities Committee, is leading the effort and says, “We’re looking at promoting lower emissions not just with nuclear but also solar and wind and also with other types of generation here in Ohio,” he continued. “How can they take what they’re doing and move it to be clean? We’re being very cautious to the extent we cannot play favorites but come up with a global solution that helps everyone move toward lower carbon emissions.”  Callender is a self-proclaimed fan of renewables. He expects legislation to be introduced in early April, possibly as early as this week.

 

  • Kevon Martis swats back at Rep. Casey Weinstein’s comments reported last week about wind turbine setbacks not being a matter of safety concern in that all generation carries risk.  “Any risk of wind turbine failure must be added to the risks of gas extraction, transportation and power generation because wind generation is wholly dependent upon the gas resource. It is not a replacement for those resources. Thus your colleague’s comparison collapses.”

 

  • North Carolina could permanently ban big wind-power projects from the most energy-intensive parts of the state’s Atlantic coast, but a state senator said Wednesday the move is necessary to prevent hindering military training flights.  Legislation introduced by Republican Sen. Harry Brown would prohibit building, expanding or operating sky-scraping wind turbines within about 100 miles from the coast. The bill would apply to the area that stretches from the Virginia border to south of the Camp Lejeune Marine Corps base.

 

  • In Ohio, the General Assembly has ignored and avoided the issue of wind turbine interference with military training routes but perhaps that could come to an end.  An assessment of the Seneca Wind project states “Considering the low altitudes associated with these routes, it is possible that wind development could have an impact on military operations. It is possible that these routes are used frequently by aircraft from Mansfield Lahm Air National Guard Base and other nearby units. If this is the case, the originating activity of these routes may object to proposed wind development within the route boundaries. The units may also object to any wind development over 499 feet AGL due to the likely increase to the minimum cloud ceilings required to fly the routes.”  This study and its concerns should be of importance to any community near a military airfield including Wright-Patt.  The study is attached.

 

  • Another great article on the renewables scam focuses on Georgetown, Texas – part of the 100% renewable gang.  “Like other places said to be 100-percent reliant on “renewable energy,” Georgetown doesn’t actually have its own wind turbines, solar panels, and biomass resources powering it. It simply pays an upcharge for electricity that is said to come from renewable sources. If the green communities and businesses actually did use all renewables, it would likely be very easy to tell: On calm nights the lights would go out. A very few locales in the nation might have the geological features necessary to keep the lights on when renewables fade — such as hills and water that allow a sizeable hydroelectric dam — but most don’t.”   Of course, the 100-percenters have figured out a slick way to get around these physics truths: They pretend.   The 100-percent renewables scam is being sold to us by the government, the utility companies, and the towns and businesses that participate. The “scam” buys goodwill with the duped public and is not only good public relations, it’s also an easy route for them. But as with most governmental interference in the free market, the public ends up taking it in the pocketbook.

 

  • The scammers and pretenders are forming a trade association.  Imagine that.  Companies from a variety of industries — including Walmart, General Motors, Google and Johnson & Johnson — are forming a trade association to represent firms that purchase renewable energy and remove barriers that make it complicated to shift away from carbon.  The new organization, the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance, is building on years of work between corporations and climate advocacy nonprofits. Currently, about 200 companies, cities and universities are involved. Miranda Ballentine, the CEO of the new trade group, says the organization will help push energy markets and public policies to make it easier to actually choose to buy green energy.   This story from National Public Radio actually states: Many companies have set green energy targets as part of overall sustainability efforts — whether out of a sense of corporate responsibility or in the pursuit of positive PR.    And don’t forget the blackmail/extortion from those “climate advocacy nonprofits”!

 

  • The US DOE is about to waste some more taxpayer dollars to advance offshore, distributed and ‘tall’ wind across the lower-50 states. DOE is looking at supporting 140 meter towers.  That is a 459’ tower before measuring the blade.

 

  • The Grain Belt Express appears to be moving forward again under the management of its new owner, Invenergy.

It continues to be an active climate, in Ohio, filled with ‘constant change’…..

Seneca County commissioners voted 2-1 Thursday to “sunset” the alternative energy zone put in place in 2011 by a previous board. The AEZ will end June 30….

Phasing out the AEZ in about three months does not affect the Seneca Wind or Republic Wind proposed projects, but would mean the AEZ is not automatically in place for companies that might propose new wind projects after June 30…

Commissioner Mike Kerschner changed his vote since the November vote was taken.

“The fact is that if we rescind it we then have the power within this group of negotiation,” Kerschner said. “It puts a lot more power on this group.”

He said Erie and Huron counties also have rescinded their AEZ programs…

Chris Aichholz, spokesman for the local anti-wind organization, said “We consider today’s decision by the commissioners to rescind the alternative energy zone another achievement. These types of successes only come as a result of our tireless efforts to educate the community on the industrial wind turbine projects being proposed for our county.”

He said the group has been asking for the AEZ to be rescinded for almost a year.

Original article

About Ohio nuclear

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

First Energy Solutions to Lawmakers: Time Running Out to Save Nuclear Plants

Kevon Martis

North Carolina

The Renewable Energy Scam

Walmart,GM,Google want more renewables.

Recharge

US opens wallet to offshore, rural and ‘tall’ wind

Department of Energy earmarks $28m with eye on ‘significant opportunities’ for cost reductions

By Darius Snieckus

28 March 2019

Corporations promise more renewables

No timeline for $2.3bn US Midwest wind link despite state OK

Invenergy says still ‘premature’ to look at construction schedule for 4GW Grain Belt Express after regulatory boost

By Richard Kessler in Fort Worth

26 March 2019

Mark Mills of Manhattan Institute **********

 

Boom! Ohio commissioner slammed w BigWind facts

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…Commissioner Stacy, in your letter, you referred to “facts have been misconstrued” and “not sharing real facts” or “not stopping misinformation.” I take personal offense to your comments since I have been the primary presenter at the Seneca Anti-Wind Union informational meetings (which you have yet to attend) and I feel I do my best to be truthful and to only present the facts.

Let’s review the facts:

FACT 1: The turbines being proposed are 652 feet tall, only 18 inches shorter than the tallest turbines in the United States that are located in Randall County, Texas, where you can’t see a home anywhere close to the turbines. Now, Emerson Creek plans to use even taller turbines.

FACT 2: The turbines will generate shadow flicker.

FACT 3: The turbines will generate noise.

FACT 4: The turbines will kill bats, eagles and other migratory birds.

FACT 5: The turbines will ruin our rural landscapes.

FACT 6: The turbines will reduce our property values.

FACT 7: At night the turbines will be lit with red flashing lights.

FACT 8: 26 of the proposed Seneca Wind turbine sites are not legal per the current setback laws, including one that is 740 feet from my property line.

FACT 9: 16 turbines are proposed to be located within a 2-mile radius of Seneca East School.

FACT 10: The Seneca East School Board voted unanimously to intervene in the Seneca Wind project.

FACT 11: There will be unintended consequences where the people bearing the brunt of the wind turbines won’t support future tax levies.

FACT 12: Commissioner (Shayne) Thomas testified to a Senate committee to reduce the setbacks which would move the turbines closer to homes.

FACT 13: A pro-wind lobbying group wrote and submitted a testimonial letter in your name without your approval to the Energy & Natural Resources Senate Committee.

FACT 14: Seneca County has a population density of 100 people per square mile, while sPower’s other two wind projects in Utah and Wyoming have less than 3 people per square mile.

FACT 15: The commissioners had the opportunity to stop the approval of the PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) for both the Republic Wind and Seneca Wind projects, but yet chose to do nothing.

FACT 16: The PILOT funding is based on 2011 dollars and does not adjust for inflation over the life of the project.

FACT 17: Eight out of 10 townships in the two project footprints have voted to intervene against the project with the Ohio Power Siting Board.

FACT 18: Per the Ohio EPA, the specific area where the Republic Wind and Seneca Wind projects are both located is designated as a “Drinking Water Source Protection Area with a High Susceptibility to Contamination and Water Quality Impacts.” So the quality of our well water is at risk per the EPA’s own document.

FACT 19: Windpower is highly subsidized with taxpayer money and inefficient in production of energy.

FACT 20: There are an average of 3,800 blade failures every year. We will have blade failures in Seneca County.

FACT 21: For turbine projects greater than 5MW, state law overrides any local zoning protections.

FACT 22: You have not rescinded the AEZ (alternative energy zone) which allows additional projects to come into the county without any local control.

Commissioner Stacy, you have chosen to ignore these facts as well as many others since you’ve been blinded by the wind company’s money. You are turning your back on the majority of the citizens who have the least to gain and the most to lose. You should be ashamed of this and this will be your legacy in the history of Seneca County.

Tribune letter link

BigWind smearing political opponents

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In his famous novel, Catch-22, Joseph Heller posits that “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.”   Indeed.

Attached please find samples of BigWind smear mailings.  The first mailer was launched against Seneca County incumbent Commissioner Mike Kerschner who is running for re-election.  Kerschner supports the repeal of the Seneca County Alternative Energy Zone designation giving PILOT to local projects; opposes Senator Dolan’s Sub HB 114; and supports local control for siting industrial wind.  The second mailing was sent to voters in Rep. Seitz district. As you know, Rep. Seitz is a staunch supporter of individual property rights. 

There are three things these mailers have in common – and keep in mind maybe it is just a funny coincidence – or maybe we are just “paranoid”. It is Halloween, after all.

 

  1. The mailers attempt to defeat people who advocate for protective siting of industrial wind and who oppose wind subsidies including tax breaks, uncompensated easements across private property and renewable energy mandates.
  2. They are all sent from the same address at 35 East Gay Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215 Suite 403.  This is the location of Innovation Ohio, the Economic Prosperity Project and Battleground Research, Inc.  and some of the staff of former Governor Strickland who brought Ohio its renewable energy mandates.
  3. Apex is fighting to permit the Ford Ridge Wind Farm in Illinois; they are fighting to maintain the Seneca AEZ and to build Republic Wind in Seneca County as well as other Ohio projects such as Emerson Creek and Emerson West.

(We note that Van Wert County Commissioner Thad Lichtensteiger was an opponent of the Apex Long Prairie project and he was also targeted for defeat but won an overwhelming victory in the primary this spring. A check on the Long Prairie website reveals it has been removed and it is believed that lease agreements are being terminated.  A cancellation was recorded with Van Wert County yesterday.)….

To:  Members of the General Assembly

You or your constituents may have recently received the enclosed mailer from the “Economic Prosperity Project” urging that “Republican legislators need to STAND UP to Bill Seitz” because “He is using his influence to prevent $4.2 billion from being invested in Ohio wind energy.”

I thought you would like to know that the mailing address associated with this flyer is registered to Innovation Ohio, a liberal think tank run by former Speaker Budish’s Democrat chief of staff, Keary McCarthy, and former top Strickland administration policy chief Jeannetta King. The “Economic Prosperity Project” is a new corporation registered to a former Strickland administration operative, too.

It is of course up to you whether to join the “#StandUpToSeitz” movement. Should you do so, you would be “standing up” for Ted Strickland, Armond Budish, and all their liberal pals. The choice is yours. Real Republicans will be watching which choice you make.

Contrary to the mailer, please know that I am simply resolved not to let Big Wind and their allies ruin rural Ohio with their unsafe and unsightly, expensive and intermittent wind turbines just to line the pockets of a few farmers willing to sell their neighbors down the river by advocating for wind turbine setbacks that are measured from one’s home, instead of from one’s property line. Anyone who has ever lived in a home knows that we like to use the yard we have for gardening, picnicking, shooting hoops, swimming, fishing, and a host of other activities that involve core private property rights. Big Wind, ever desperate to put more turbines in smaller spaces in densely populated Ohio, and biting its nails as the massive federal subsidies for wind production are being reduced by 20% per year, is bound and determined to get its way. It has decided to let Democrat front groups appeal to Republican households in a deceptive attempt to secure yet another government sanctioned advantage. Don’t be fooled….

Sincerely,

William J. Seitz

Majority Floor Leader

Ohio House of Representatives

 

What will BigWind ‘really’ do to your home value???

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For every flawed study the Big Wind industry presents with no real loss of property value resulting from massive turbines, there are 10 more studies indicating that is definitely not the case.

Wind leases continue to be gathered in townships surrounding the rural Tiffin area. There will be over a thousand homes within two miles of the 600-652 foot, skyscraper-size turbines. Home values will decline on average 25 percent within a 2 MILE radius of the turbines in a “Wind Farm” (ref. 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13). The median home value in Seneca county is $108, 381, and in Sandusky County it is $123,145 (ref. 10, 11). If we take the lowest median home value of $108,381 and factor a modest 25 percent loss that would be $27,095 per home. The conservative estimated loss of property value within the Tiffin area alone could easily exceed $27 million! It’s important to note that ALL the studies sited for this article were based on industrial wind turbines that were 477 feet high or smaller. Industrial turbines proposed for the Tiffin area will be significantly bigger and louder. Also, the setbacks (how far a turbine can be from a property) were in some studies much further than the 1,125 ft. setback required by Ohio law currently.

Current Ohio setbacks (1,125 ft from the property) are the lowest in the four-state region and significantly lower than other European countries that require a 1.5- to 3-mile setback on average. Most states require a set-back distance of 3 times the turbine length for safety reasons (ref. 6, 8)….There will also be steeper declines for home values in “Good Neighbor Agreement-Wind Leases.”

Your county commissioners absolutely have the power to limit or stop these Wind Projects. Don’t let them throw you off like Shayne Thomas and Holly Stacy did for months to the residents in Seneca County. If you’re in Seneca County, email Ms. Stacy and Mr. Thomas today. Tell them to get out of the Alternative Energy Zone (AEZ) and intervene AGAINST these wind projects, NOT FOR them! If your county is NOT in an AEZ they can negotiate better property tax arrangements and road use agreements, which may even deter the wind companies from continuing to pursue projects there. That has been the case in Hardin and Van Wert counties (ref. 5, 15)….

 

Letter to the Editor

Dear Seneca county, it’s time to call your commissioners

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Are YOU, or a family/friend, one of the county members who has NOT contacted your county commissioners? What is your fear? That nothing can be done? Now is the time to exercise your right, as a voting member of the county, and your RESPONSIBILITY to let these county commissioners know your views.  Prove to Ms. Stacy, (and Mr. Thomas)without a doubt, that there are plenty of people opposed to the industrial wind turbine projects. 

This county will regret the AEZ. They may as well put up a flashing WELCOME sign for industrial wind turbine companies. 5 years from now, life in that region will be dramatically different…..

The tumultuous wind farm debate, as well as Seneca County Commissioner’s role in it, remained the public’s key concern during Tuesday’s regularly scheduled commissioner’s meeting.

As they have in weeks past, anti-wind advocates from the townships attended yesterday’s meeting to speak against erecting wind turbines in Seneca County.

Two community members questioned commissioners, Holly Stacy and Shayne Thomas, about their stance on the turbines when there seemed to be a “majority” in the county against the project. They sited the “many” signs in yards around the county as evidence of the county’s constituents rejection of the AEZ and the wind turbines.

A township resident questioned whether or not it was the duty of the county commissioners to represent what the majority of their constituents wanted.

In response, both Stacy and Thomas said it was their job to try to serve the greater good of the county.

“My job is to do what is best for the county,” said Stacy.

Further, she said it was the job of the commissioners to do research and use the “information they have” to make informed choices on county issues.

In addition, she pointed out there was no “scientific data” proving the majority of the county were against the wind farms and supporters have less incentive to be vocal because two current projects are moving forward.

According to published reports, even if the commissioners voted to rescind the AEZ now, it would have absolutely no effect on the existing projects that have already been approved through the establishment of the AEZ in 2011…

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Seneca, Ohio commissioner Holly Stacy favors BigWind

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Commissioner Holly Stacy shows her ignorance by stating, “The previous board put the AEZ in place…That indicated that we are fair and open to energy development of all kinds.” BigWind reps are so smooth at selling their snake oil, they can literally sell sand to someone living in a desert. How? Because people simply aren’t familiar with this industry and the lies that often come with it.  Another BIG reality, that she misses, is that BigWind development will PROHIBIT other energy development in her area. Not only energy, but ALLL development in her area. Need proof? How many industries and businesses have relocated to Van Wert, Ohio since BigWind took over tens of thousands of acres? NONE.  People don’t want to live amongst these machines and new companies don’t want to build amongst them, either.  A decision to approve an AEZ benefits BigWind, but not the citizens of the communities within it.  An AEZ allows these companies to pay 1/6 of their tax bill and it gives away a communtity right to say NO. It gives all control BigWind. Wake up Ohioans…..

Opponents of wind turbine projects in Seneca County presented a petition with more than 1,100 signatures to the board of commissioners Tuesday morning and gained a notable new supporter in the process.

 

“I stand here with much support behind me, asking for your help,” he said.

Commissioner Mike Kerschner, who along with the other two commissioners has been supportive of the AEZ and the turbine projects, changed his position and said he believes the AEZ should be rescinded.

“The whole back and forth on the wind projects has been a bit of a cluster,” he said. “What this has caused is brother against brother, friend against friend, neighbor against neighbor.”

Kerschner said he knows the more than 1,100 people who signed the petition are against the project and he believes there likely are many more.

“I feel that somebody needs to represent your voice,” he said to about 60 people in attendance, of which the vast majority were there to ask commissioners to rescind the AEZ. “That somebody is going to be me from this point forward.”…

 

“It will still take a lot of work (to stop the projects),” Kerschner said. “We have to conduct conversations, not confrontations. Continue your campaign with accurate and insightful information.”

Kerschner moved that the AEZ be rescinded, but the motion died on the floor because Commissioner Holly Stacy declined to give a second and Commissioner Shayne Thomas was not at the meeting. Thomas said Monday he had a previous engagement before he knew the AEZ petition would be presented.

Stacy said she did not support repealing the AEZ Tuesday.

“The previous board put the AEZ in place,” she said. “That indicated that we are fair and open to energy development of all kinds.”…

Aichholz said if the AEZ is rescinded, it wouldn’t necessarily kill alternative energy projects.

“Every project the wind turbine companies propose would have to have its own negotiated deal in place with the county,” he said. “This will put the county in a much more advantageous spot when weighing the benefits and consequences from these projects.”…

 

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