Ohio legislature tells BigWind to TAKE A HIKE

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AWEA and BigWind spent $$$ on lobbyists to persuade Ohio senators and representatives to approve a setback amendment in the budget bill. This morning, the house said NO and removed the amendment. Hallelujah! Thank you to those who contacted the legislature to help us protect our homes and property.  This amendment would have SIGNIFICANTLY shortened the distance between an industrial wind turbine and a neighboring home.  It would have been unprecedented because all other setbacks are measured from a property  line, not a home.  BigWind will be back with their own bill, as a separate piece of legislation. At least, this time, it won’t be so secretive.  This amendment was the brainchild of BigWind’s best friend, Senator Cliff Hite.  It’s time to take a hike, Senator Hite!! Does anyone want his job????…….

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Ohio Power Siting Board says YES to BigWind’s ‘Top Secret’ information (again)

The Ohio Power Siting Board approved a request in the Buckeye Wind case from turbine maker Gamesa to extend the protective order which keeps noise and safety information secret.  In 2013 Gamesa was granted a protective order for 18 months,  On June 1, 2015, the OPSB granted an additional 24months of secrecy until June 1, 2017.    But on May 30thGamesa filed for yet another 24 months of protection from public view.  This request was  granted with the OPSB Order stating:

 

{¶ 12} Ohio Adm.Code 4906-7-07(H)(6) requires a party wishing to extend a protective order beyond 24 months to file an appropriate motion in advance of the expiration date, including a detailed discussion of the need for continued protection from disclosure. If Gamesa wishes to extend this confidential treatment, it should file an appropriate motion at least 45 days in advance of the expiration date. If no such motion to extend confidential treatment is filed, the Board may release this information without prior notice to Gamesa.

 

So mark your calendar for June 2019 to see if the Gamesa noise information is made public.  But in the meantime, Google Gamesa and noise complaints.  Maybe there is a reason they do not want us to see their manual….

New wind farms with a capacity of 5 or more megawatts must obtain a siting certificate through the Ohio Power Siting Board. This unique siting process is made possible in Ohio because all seven entities involved with approving the siting application are seated at the same table: the chair of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, the directors of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, the Ohio Development Services Agency, the Ohio Departments of Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources, and a public member….

 

Source: Wind and other Renewable Energy – OPSB

http://www.anthonycreditexpert.com

Ohio needs your help against BigWind assault

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Matt Huffman replaced term-limited Senator Keith Faber, who as Senate President championed the 1125′ from property line wind turbine setbacks. 

Republican Senator Cliff Hite has submitted an amendment which may be attached to the budget bill reducing setbacks to these levels: from turbine base to property line equal to 1.2 times the total height as measured from base of turbine to tip of highest blade…….. and………1125 feet in horizontal distance from the tip of the nearest blade at 90 degrees to the exterior of the nearest habitable, residential structure, if any, located on the adjacent property at the time of certification application…..

That’s Hite-Way Robbery!

It is reported that Senator Huffman is “on the fence” regarding Senator Cliff Hite’s attempt at Hite-Way Robbery, the theft of your property rights.  His office will not commit to a position and says they are “still studying” the issue.   Really?   Studying the uncompensated seizure of private property from his constituents in Champaign, Logan, Allen, Mercer, Darke, Shelby and Auglaize Counties?

Please contact Senator Huffman.

Senate Building
1 Capitol Square, 1st Floor
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 466-7584

And if you have not done so, or would like to repeat your message, just as important is to call the others listed below. The Senate Finance Chairman and Senate President are very important.

It is not too late to make contacts!  BUT time is of the essence!  If you have not made your calls yet, please help out today while the Senate Finance Committee is deciding whether to throw away Hite’s amendment or to insert in the Budget Bill.

 

And take a moment to share your concern with your Representative as well.

Spread the word to friends and relatives–the decision on setbacks is binding on all Ohio residents.

All readers are asked to call their House Representatives and Senators THIS WEEK to object to any amendment reducing property line setbacks.   IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU CALL THE SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE AND SENATE PRESIIDENT.   CALL THE FOLLOWING PEOPLE: 

 

Senate President Larry  Obhoff (614) 466-7505

Senate Finance Committee Chair Scott Oelslager (614) 466-0626

Senate Finance Vice Chair Gayle Manning  (614) 644-7613

Senator Troy Balderson (614) 466-8076

Senator Bill Beagle (614) 466-6247

 

You could state that  “I oppose any budget bill amendment to allow a wind developer to take my land.  Zoning begins at my property line not my front door.   Giving wind developers the right to trespass on my land strips away my property rights and will burden my family for generations.  THIS IS ‘HITE-WAY’ ROBBERY!”

BigWind LOVES Tax Day in America!

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The wind industry often peddles the false claim that conventional energy sources like natural gas, coal, and nuclear receive more subsidies than wind power. Industry lobbyists at the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) use this myth as a talking point to push for more subsidies, including the federal Production Tax Credit. In reality, the exact opposite is true—wind energy requires massive subsidies to compete with conventional fuels—and new data (once again) prove it.

Recently, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released a new report on federal energy subsidies. An analysis of EIA’s data by the Institute for Energy Research found that despite the wind lobby’s claims, wind energy is by far the most heavily subsidized fuel source, receiving more subsidies to produce less energy than conventional fuels. Moreover, even the data AWEA cites to bolster its case shows that wind is a bad deal for taxpayers….

On Tax Day, Big Wind Gets A Windfall – American Energy Alliance.

Ouch! Ohio Senator Cliff Hite- this testimony against BigWind STINGS!

Yesterday was a very good day in the Ohio Senate on several levels.  Testimony offered in support of SB 34 to repeal the Ohio Renewable Mandate was given by several witnesses in the nuclear engineering field who discussed the promise of new technology but who asserted that a mandate of any kind sends signals to the financing and venture capital markets to divert investment to the mandated technologies like wind and solar.  Even small amounts of mandated wind and solar impede access to financing for emerging technologies.   The Public Utilities Committee was very interested in this aspect.  Then the “star” witness, Milo Schaffner, Hoaglin Township Trustee, from Van Wert County presented a Resolution from the Van Wert County Trustees Association supporting SB 34.    This was especially important because Van Wert County is represented by Sen. Cliff Hite, a major obstacle to the repeal of the mandate.  

Trustee Schaffner also described the remorse of a leaseholder whose farm drainage  was forever ruined; the fact that people who sought “Good Neighbor Agreements” were denied by Iberdrola who instead gave them $25 Wal-Mart gift cards; that shadow flicker is experienced in the Schaffner home which is a little more than a mile from the nearest turbine and that the noise was terrible. Trustee Schaffner’s testimony is below…

Chairman Seitz, Vice Chairman LaRose, ranking member Kearney, Members of the Senate Public Utilities Committee. I want to thank you for the honor of addressing this committee. My name is Milo Schaffner and I have lived 64 of my years in Van Wert County’s Hoaglin Township. I have been involved in our community as a school board member, youth leader, job creator, (Schaffner Tool and Die), school teacher, and have just been re-elected to my fourth term as township trustee.

I stand before you now as Vice President of the Van Wert Co. Trustee Association. I would like to read to you a letter that was sent to our Senator Mr. Hite.

On Tuesday, January 21, 2014, the Executive Committee of the Van Wert County Township Association met with all twelve townships represented and unanimously Resolved to support Senate Bill 34 submitted by Senator Jordon to repeal the requirement that electrical distribution utilities and electrical services companies provide 25% of their retail power supplies from advanced and renewable energy resources by 2025. We urge you to support Senate Bill 34. Sincerely Jeffery A. Harmon President Van Wert County Township Association. 

A copy of this is included in my testimony.

I would now like to stand before you as Hoaglin Township Trustee. I believe based upon this past November election our views are the majority of our township. Many Wind Turbine Lease Holders are in support of our stand, and thanked us for what we have been doing. We have simply been telling the truth and asking the hard questions of wind developers, that people seem to forget to ask when they are promised money.

You may not be aware that Iberdrola sent a letter to people who have asked for a good neighbor agreement. This letter informed them that Iberdrola was no longer offering good neighbor agreements, Iberdrola included a $25 gift card to Wal-Mart and thanked them for their interest. Sometime later when I saw Mr. Litchfield, project developer for Iberdrola, I told him of the shadow flicker at my house one mile away from the nearest turbine. His response was if I signed a Good Neighbor agreement Iberdrola would buy blinds for our house. The Ethics Committee has already ruled a Trustee cannot accept more than that which is offered to the average citizen. Ethics Committee opinion of March 10, 2010. Mr. Litchfield knows this because he told me Iberdrola’s attorney helped write the opinion. How could anyone accept this when your neighbor who lives within 1500 feet of a turbine was refused a good neighbor agreement?

I now stand before you as a Small Business Owner. Most of our machines are run by computers and require a dependable source of electricity at a competitive price. Dependable because these machines have no hand cranks. If the electricity amperage or voltage is varied it can cost many thousands of dollars in repairs. Let me ask you why should I invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in equipment in a state that has chosen to require me to buy electricity that is not dependable, and is far too expensive? 

Lastly I stand before you as a citizen of Hoaglin Township, Van Wert County, and the state of Ohio. I ask why have you passed bills that ruin our piece of happiness? Please do not test my intelligence with the old jobs argument. Come look at the license plates on vehicles at the interconnection site. Mr. Litchfield was asked if Iberdrola would hire the graduates of Vantage Vocational School who took the Wind Turbine program. His answer was no, we hire people who have been trained by the manufacturer of the turbines. Remember, we were led to believe these young people would be hired and have good paying jobs.

My Wife of over 48 years and I enjoyed drinking coffee on our front porch until the turbines came. We even went out in the winter, all bundled up and drank coffee and talked. Our neighbors called us the Cracker Barrel of Hoaglin Township. Now when we go out it only takes a couple minutes until my wife says she can’t stand it and goes inside. We have talked about moving but this is where we raised our children. They come back home where they were raised for all the Holidays. 

In closing I would like to tell you how ruthless these wind developers really are. I had asked Mr. Litchfield years ago about people being lied to concerning what they were told they had signed and what they had really signed. His response was we cannot be held accountable for that because we hire another firm to get leases signed and we have no control over what they tell people. I was walking down the street a couple months ago, I believe it was in Sept. when a man said, “Hey Milo, I have been thinking about you the last couple weeks.” My response was that can’t be good. His response was I saw your picture on the front page of the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette and I wanted to tell you, if I had known then what I know now I would never have signed up my farm. They told me what I signed gave them only the wind rights to my farm. I now have a road through my farm that has destroyed two outlets. I don’t think I will ever be able to get my farm to drain properly again. I told him not to feel bad because they have done the same thing to other people. The man was correct he never got his farm to properly drain again, He died last week.

If a wind project is a wise investment, let people freely pursue it. I have no reason to believe the experience of others will be much different from Van Wert. The tragedy is that this probably would have never happened in the way it has developed if there was no mandate. Developers can trample one community and move on to trample the next one because they are protected by a mandate that gives them that right.

This bill is about removing the mandate.
I ask you to Pass Senate Bill 34.