Ohio BigWind contracts acknowledge turbine problems

Screen Shot 2018-05-03 at 8.28.39 AM.png

Didn’t BigWind, recently, DENY that these contracts act as any sort of gag clause? YES, companies have told the public that they welcome and encourage feedback about issues related to their projects…except that they don’t.  In NW Ohio, one company has even promoted the fact that there are virtually no complaints associated with their project.  Gee, we now know why!  Unfortunately, our legislators are unaware of this reality and think everything is ‘rosy’ if constituents reside in an industrial wind park.  Also, important to note is the SETBACK WAIVER component of this agreement.  Legislators take note!! We applaud these individuals and pray their concerns are shared amongst many…..

As adjacent landowners to a proposed wind turbine site, we have been given a 13-page good neighbor contract that is titled “Wind Farm Neighbor Easement And Setback Waiver Agreement” that is intended to serve as an incentive to be cooperative with the Seneca Wind farm project. If we sign it, we get a whopping $500 signing bonus and $500 per year, but we have to waive our right to file a claim for damages related to any of the stated “effects,” which in the contract is worded as an “effect easement.” If we sign the contract, we also agree to a “setback easement” which states that the turbine can be located anywhere on the adjacent property, even closer than what the current state setback rule specifies.

The contract also includes a confidentiality clause where we cannot disclose the terms of the agreement to anyone. What is there to hide?

The defined “effects” using Seneca Wind’s own terms include “audio, visual, view, light, shadow flicker, vibration, air turbulence, wake, electromagnetic, ice, or other weather created hazards or other effects of any kind. …” This sure seems like a self-admission that these negative side effects do in fact exist…..

 

http://www.advertiser-tribune.com/opinions/letters-to-the-editor/2018/05/good-neighbor-contract/

The ‘Spin Doctors’ of BigWind are in Ohio….

screen-shot-2016-11-13-at-9-54-36-am

The Doctor is “In” – that is, the Spin Doctors of industrial wind. This past week the Spin Doctors were busy in their emergency rooms using the tools of their profession: truthiness (half truths) , proofiness, cherry-picking, fear mongering, false choices, weasel words and euphemism to save their hides.

“Spin (which is actually propaganda from a military perspective) is making us blind to what is happening. Being blind, we let our governments and big corporations get away with doing things that are unjust and to the detriment of the economy of the ordinary people and detrimental to democracy. Spin has been and continues to be used to pull the wool over the eyes of the general public.” http://www.truthliesdeceptioncoverups.info/2013/05/spotting-spin-some-tricks-of-trade.html

Reply comments on wind siting rules were submitted to the Ohio Power Siting Board on November 8th. The Mid-American Renewable Energy Coalition and the Ohio Environmental Council took shots at GNU and UNU and vice versa. We were dumbfounded by the spinning served up by the windies and enviros. Dizzy! Take some Dramamine and visit the link, below, to read all of the reply comments. We will share some spin highlights….

Ø Cherry-Picking & Truthiness: “MAREC believes the Board should apply wind energy standards that are consistent with neighboring United States jurisdictions, rather than adopting rules from foreign nations whose rural landscapes and population densities are vastly different than in those areas where wind farms are proposed in Ohio. A cursory review of Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan wind energy ordinances establishes that Ohio’s guidelines are already more restrictive than counties where wind farms both have and have not been built.”

MAREC lists four “cherry-picked” Indiana setback examples and suggests Ohio should emulate them. Yet, a more comprehensive list of 12 other Indiana counties reflects that 5 ban industrial wind facilities outright and five establish setbacks from property lines. The Indiana property line setbacks range from 1,300’ to 3,960’ (¾ mile). The two counties that measure from the residence have setbacks of 2640’ and 1,500’ from a non-participant residence. Our Indiana list also shows MAREC’s information about Tipton County is factually incorrect. Tipton revised their setbacks in July to 2640’ from residence, 1500’ from the property line within the Prairie Breeze development area and 1460’ from property line in the rest of the county.

If MAREC wants OPSB to apply wind energy standards “consistent with neighboring United States jurisdictions,” they would have to agree to enabling Ohio counties to ban industrial wind facilities outright as five Indiana Counties have done; establish setbacks from property lines as five counties have done; or lengthen setbacks from the residence as two have done. We recommend that readers use the MAREC chart and the Indiana list which reveals the dishonesty of MAREC when visiting with your local elected officials both at the state and county levels.

Ø Proofiness: Outight lying with numbers to mislead; quoting statistics out of context so that they mislead; distorting statistics; or using incorrect logic in order to mislead the audience.

“ It is MAREC’s view that the Board should acknowledge the original setback regulations “worked” considering there are nearly zero sound or shadow flicker complaints against the two existing wind farms in Ohio with over 5 years in operation. The Board should not adopt sound and shadow flicker impact setbacks from property lines.” (MAREC reply Page 3) In this instance, MAREC is deceptive because the wind leases and “good neighbor agreements” contain gag clauses that forbid landowners from complaining. This was recently reconfirmed in Hardin County when an EverPower representative peddling a good neighbor agreement advised that they would be free to complain but only to EverPower. Wind developers contractually suppress complaints and then defend their practices based on the assertion that there are “no complaints.” SPIN!

Similarly, MAREC asserts at page 15 of their reply that “Trade secrets: UNU argues an applicant should be required to submit to staff any post-certificate evaluation of shadow flicker impacts, including all supporting documentation; however, this information should not be protected by trade secret. MAREC disagrees – trade secret information should be protected in accordance with the statute.” Whether it is bird kills or shadow flicker intrusion, the wind industry works to manipulate or hide information that may be damaging to them and then relies on “proofiness” to spin their argument.

More general “proofiness” was revealed this week in the industry publication, Wind Watch, when the statistics used to assert public support for wind were exposed as misleading. “Seventy-seven percent of Trump supporters want more wind farms, but 69% want more coal mines, 66% want more offshore drilling, 58% want more fracking, and 55% want more nuclear. Trump supporters want wind farms, but that is only because they want more electricity whatever source it comes from. Whether it is ‘clean’ or ‘dirty’ doesn’t seem to matter. The research also does not specify how much new wind capacity they would want, so they may only want a tiny amount.”

Ø Euphemisms –“ When part of a spin performance, euphemisms are usually used with other spin methods. With spin, euphemisms tend to be used when the intent is to manage the impressions of the audience so that they will not react to bad news in a way the spinner does not want.” http://www.truthliesdeceptioncoverups.info/2013/05/spotting-spin-some-tricks-of-trade.html

UNU’s Reply at page 14 states “Initially, MAREC objects to the Board’s use of the term “noise” and asks the Board to use only the term “sound,” contending that “noise” has “a negative connotation that indicates loud, harsh, or disturbing sound.” But make no mistake about it, the sounds imposed on the public by wind turbines are loud, harsh, and disturbing. The semantic niceties offered by the wind industry cannot disguise that fact. Acoustic engineers define “noise” as “unwanted sound.” Since no one desires the sounds from a wind turbine, not even the turbine’s host landowner, “noise” is the most appropriate term for turbine emissions in this rule.

We direct the reader’s attention to the timely article from Columbus Business First reporting that Ohio State University has been engaged in a research project called “Sounds of New York.” In this instance, the sound is not just “noise” but “noise pollution”. Whether one is in a quiet rural area or in a bustling urban environment, there is a point at which the increase in “sound” is unwanted and harmful. Important to note, also, is that human complaint data is considered to be important in understanding and responding to the problem. OSU acknowledges complaint data can “provide reliable information to support decision making”. But OOPS! Here we go back to “Proofiness”! In New York, complaint information is essential to addressing a problem while the wind industry hides complaint information and dares the public to disprove their “proof” that there are no complaints about noise or shadow flicker.

We could go on and on. Our message to all is EYES WIDE OPEN. Understand the tricks of spin and help your community to SEE how wind propaganda is being deployed to BLIND them to the truth….

In the Matter of the Ohio Power Siting Board’s Review of Rule 4906-4-08 of the Ohio Administrative Code.

Status: OPEN-OPEN
Industry Code: GE-GAS & ELECTRIC
Purpose Code: BRO-Rule promulgation
Date Opened: 5/18/2016

View All
1 – 15 of 30 documents 1 / 2 First Previous Next Last
Date Filed Summary Pages
11/08/2016 Reply Comments of Icebreaker Windpower, Inc. electronically filed by Terrence O’Donnell on behalf of Icebreaker Windpower, Inc. 14
11/08/2016 Reply Comments of The Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Coalition electronically filed by Terrence O’Donnell on behalf of Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Coalition. 34
11/08/2016 Reply Comments of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation electronically filed by Amy M Milam on behalf of Ohio Farm Bureau Federation 7
11/08/2016 Reply Comments electronically filed by Mr. Christopher A. Walker on behalf of Union Neighbors United and Johnson, Julia F. Ms. and McConnell, Robert Mr. and McConnell, Diane Mrs. 44
11/08/2016 Reply Comments of the Ohio Environmental Council on Review of Rule 4906-04-08 and Proposed OAC 4906-4-09, Case No. 16-1109-GE-BRO electronically filed by Ms. Miranda R. Leppla on behalf of Ohio Environmental Council. 10
11/08/2016 Reply Comments of 6011 Greenwich Windpark, LLC electronically filed by Teresa Orahood on behalf of Sally W. Bloomfield. 33
11/08/2016 Reply Comments of Greenwich Neighbors United electronically filed by Mr. Samuel C. Randazzo on behalf of Greenwich Neighbors United. 17
11/07/2016 Reply Comment electronically filed by Mr. Matt Butler on behalf of Ms. Katie Elsasser. 4
11/07/2016 Comments electronically filed by Mr. Matt Butler on behalf of Mr. Gary Biglin. 2
11/04/2016 Reply to Initial Comments electronically filed by Mr. Matt Butler on behalf of State Sen. Bill Seitz. 3
11/01/2016 Comments electronically filed by Mr. Matt Butler on behalf of State Sen. Bill Seitz 33
10/28/2016 Comments electronically filed by Mr. Matt Butler on behalf of Ohio State Historic Preservation Office, Ohio History Connection (SHPO) 3
10/24/2016 Initial Comments electronically filed by Terrence O’Donnell on behalf of Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Coalition. 30
10/24/2016 Comments filed on behalf of Icebreaker Windpower, Inc. electronically filed by Terrence O’Donnell on behalf of Icebreaker Windpower, Inc. 8
10/24/2016 Comments of 6011 Greenwich Windpark, LLC electronically filed by Teresa Orahood on behalf of Sally W. Bloomfield. 9…..

http://dis.puc.state.oh.us/CaseRecord.aspx?CaseNo=16-1109

Pay attn Ohio, BigWind is being sued in Illinois

APEX has purchased the wind energy leases from BP Wind in Southern Van Wert County/Mercer County/abutting Allen County. Why haven’t they built a massive wind farm, yet? Thankfully, our legislators have enacted safe setbacks and frozen our renewable energy mandate (temporarily). However, some in the legislature, want to change our setbacks and allow our county commissioners to ‘override’ the safe setbacks. As this lawsuit explains, that is not a wise idea. Let us hope Ohio legislators continue to educate themselves about the realities behind this industry!…

APEX is defending against a Class Action lawsuit seeking in excess of five million dollars. This is the same company that is building turbines as we speak in Vermilion County.  Lucky for Apex, most of the local Vermilion County residents have signed “good neighbor agreements”.  Too bad for those that signed.

This suit seeks more than $5 million for infringing on property rights and for adverse health effects.

Read the suit below:…

APEX and other Wind Energy Companies, defending Class Action Suit… | Illinois Leaks.

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.