Ohio renewable energy mandates ‘may’ become voluntary goals

This week a Senate Committee heard five hours of testimony and a House Committee suffered through seven hours. Both the House and Senate committees were coming down the home stretch of a five year deliberation on the renewable mandates that would force Ohio consumers, business and industry to buy wind, solar and whatever else is defined as renewable. Governor Kasich has continuously threatened to veto any legislation that continues the freeze on the renewable mandate. It appears the “compromise” will be to turn the mandates into voluntary goals for the next three years.

Yesterday, the House Public Utilities Committee voted to approve House Bill 554 turning mandates into goals. It will go to the House floor next week. The timeframe is tight in the event the House and Senate approve slightly different bills and would need to go to a Conference Committee to iron out differences. It is a race against the clock as the Senate is slated to adjourn on December 8th.

During the House Public Utilities Committee hearings Rep. Kent Smith, a Democrat from Euclid offered an amendment to allow local government to establish their own setbacks for wind. A number of witnesses in both the House and Senate hearings requested that the current property line setbacks be revised and reduced. In the Senate hearings, Senator Seitz told the witnesses that the bill under consideration has nothing to do with the issue of setbacks and testimony on the subject was out of place. The setback issue is going to come back in the next General Assembly….

A proposal that critics say would weaken the clean-energy standards has won approval from an Ohio House panel, but Gov. John Kasich said the measure may send the wrong message about the state.

However, he stopped short of saying whether he would veto the bill.

House Bill 554 was voted out of the House Public Utilities Committee today. It is heading to the House floor for debate early next week, sponsors said. There would be just a few days to pass the House and Senate in order to reach the governor’s desk before the end of legislative session….

Source: Kasich no fan of proposal weakening clean-energy standards

What does the election mean for BigWind in Ohio?

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By the time the next edition of Wind News is published, the election will be over and everyone will be sorting through the results to derive meaning. Election Day is the due date for Reply Comments to the Ohio Power Siting Board’s draft rules. The General Assembly will swing into its year-end session and tackle the mandate freeze while developers will press to revise property line setbacks. On the national level, wind developers will be racing to secure full access to the federal Production Tax Credit before December 31st. One thing feels certain with the election of Clinton…wind turbines could spread like a wildfire across our great lands.

One of the races we will be watching is in Vermont where Iberdrola is trying to buy an election by promising to pay residents of two towns where the Stiles Brook Wind Project is proposed to be built. “ Iberdrola has said such benefits are common at its energy projects. But Stiles Brook opponents cried foul, equating the partnership payments to a bribe.” The Vermont Secretary of State, Jim Condos, asserts “In a democracy, a ballot item should pass or fail on its own merits and not because of cash incentives.” He worries that payment offers “could conceivably invite a bidding war between competing ‘partnerships’ on every controversial ballot item.” “There is what’s legal and there is what’s right, and those are not always the same thing,” Condos wrote.”

In other campaign news, we were amused by the Midwest Energy News story – Midwest is published by RE-AMP whose members include The League of Conservation Voters and Ohio Environmental Council. The article whines about the campaign spending by fossil fuel groups as opposed to the penniless greenies who just want a better world (albeit one presumably without heat or light). When the LCV announced earlier this year that it would coordinate efforts in Ohio with the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund, Gene Karpinski, president of the League of Conservation Voters said, “Our environment should not be a partisan issue, and preserving it should not be controversial.” We juxtapose this story with one from Energy and Environment News headlined: Green groups spend over $100M; LCV hits record level. “In a separate announcement, the Sierra Club revealed today that major environmental organizations — including itself, LCV, NextGen Climate Action, EDF Action, the NRDC Action Fund and Environment America — expect to spend more than $100 million on the 2016 cycle.” We suspect a vast left-wing conspiracy. 

Following the money, there has been recent press accounts of Amazon’s purchase of the Scioto Ridge project in Hardin County developed by EverPower. We thought it might be good to reflect on this for a moment as we think about where Governor Kasich stands with respect to the renewable mandate. We know that Amazon’s cloud computing operations use an enormous amount of power and they seek to comfort the green crowd by offsetting their power use with renewables, and specifically wind. What was Amazon’s price for locating in Ohio? Many claim Amazon insists on access to renewable power and perhaps Kasich promised to support the mandate so that Amazon could appease the green lobby. What would Kasich get in return? According to press reports in 2015, Amazon’s location in Ohio would cause all Ohioans to be subject to sales tax on any purchases made through Amazon.com. “Amazon said it estimates it will collect between $150 million and $300 million annually in Ohio sales taxes that are currently the responsibility of consumers to keep track of and pay.” Given that Ohio sales tax revenue has been lagging, that is probably a big deal to the Gov. Ohio also provided $81 million in incentives to Amazon. Too bad the folks in Hardin County had to subsidize Amazon’s electric bill, too.

A million here, a million there and pretty soon you are talking about money. “AEP American Electric Power Company Inc. plans to spend $1 billion on the renewable energy business, in part with funds from the sale of some Ohio power plants. The Columbus-based electric utility is dipping its toe in the sector, as it expects a capital outlay of $17.3 billion from 2017 to 2019, AEP said Tuesday.” “It has formed two related subsidiaries, one that focuses on smaller-scale wind and solar projects and the other focused on larger projects. AEP Onsite Partners is a “behind-the-meter” company, contracting with, for example, a grocery story that wants solar panels on its roof. Customers include schools, hospitals and businesses.” “AEP Renewables is in charge of what AEP CEO Nick Akins describes as “utility-scale” projects. These are the wind and solar farms whose power output is sold via long-term power purchase agreements to other utilities, cities and corporations that demand their businesses run on clean energy.” We’ll take solar, please.

But our favorite for the week is the idiotic letter to the Dispatch Editor from the Ohio Christian Coalition in support of renewable energy and “reworking wind-turbine setback limits.” Perhaps we could introduce these Christians to Moses and the Ten Commandments. We are thinking specifically of the 10th Commandment: “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house.” If nothing else, wind developers covet the homes, yards, fields and skies of non-participating landowners, known in their own Agreements as “Good Neighbors”….

Thursday November 3, 2016 5:00 AM

Conservative leadership from Gov. John Kasich and the General Assembly has produced a business-friendly, job-creating environment in Ohio. I was encouraged to read the Oct. 24 Dispatch.com article, “Report: State support of clean energy could add jobs, cut consumer costs.” The article outlined the economic benefits that clean energy will provide to the Ohio economy.

A striking statistic included the claim that Ohio stands to add enough clean energy jobs to fill Ohio Stadium by 2030 should the General Assembly do the responsible thing and come to a common-sense, “all-of-the-above” energy solution for Ohio.

Conservatives should always be in favor of creating jobs and cutting costs, and that is exactly what a conservative approach to clean-energy reform can provide for millions of Ohioans.

So what does conservative clean energy reform look like? The Ohio Christian Coalition is joining conservatives from around Ohio to advocate for increasing the use of renewable energy by 5 percent in the next five years and reworking wind-turbine setback limits.

Common-sense, conservative energy reform is a winning issue for conservatives across Ohio.

Tyler Duvelius
State director
Ohio Christian Coalition
Columbus

Big Bad Wolf (BigWind) is trying to blow up Ohio’s economy!

 

“Little pig, little Pig, let me come in.”

“No, no, not by the hair on my chinny chin chin.”

“Then I’ll huff, and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your house in.”

In this case, the Big bad wolf of industrial wind is determined to blow Ohio’s economy to pieces with the help of the Kasich Administration. But we “little people,” like the little pig, are building strong arguments to protect our homes and families. 

The pressure is building on the legislature concerning the mandates. We urge you to read the article below that indicate a showdown is coming. Governor Kasich appears more determined than ever to veto any continuance of the mandates or any effort to eliminate them. What would that mean? Ohio currently gets 2% of its electricity from renewables. If the freeze is lifted, Ohio utilities would have to secure 3.5% by the end of 2017 or face fines. This is coming in the face of considerable publicity from Ontario, Canada as to how renewables have increased rates and wrecked their manufacturing economy. Similar stories are reported from Wisconsin.

AEP wrote a notable column in the press about their preference for the PUCO to have – no pun intended – all the power to do whatever they want so that Ohio will have a predictable regulatory environment. They seem to reject the notion that Ohio is a part of a regional power system. Julie Sloat, president and COO of AEP Ohio is quoted as saying “Instead, Ohio needs to take control of its future by ensuring that the state has a diverse mix of power generation resources that protect Ohio jobs and the tax base. Ohio’s energy future needs to provide a more stable and predictable environment for business development and enable more investment in power plants – including wind and solar – within Ohio’s borders, while still allowing for customer choice.” Forget it. AEP’s position appears to be one which invites the people of NW Ohio to be trampled and its migratory flyways transformed into a new kind of ‘highway to heaven’ for birds.

The Ohio Power Siting Board’s comments period on proposed rules for siting industrial turbines closes on Monday, October 24th. The OPSB’s website notes: “In May 2016, the OPSB initiated a new rulemaking docket in case number 16-1109-GE-BRO for the purpose of issuing for formal comment proposed revisions to Ohio Administrative Code 4906-4-08. In an entry dated, September 22, 2016, the OPSB issued proposed rules in amended Ohio Administrative Code 4906-4-08 and newly proposed 4906-4-09. The OPSB requests that interested persons submit comments on the proposed rules by October 24, 2016, and reply comments by November 8, 2016. At the conclusion of the comment-and-reply comment period, the OPSB will issue final rules to be reviewed by the legislature before taking effect. Specific information on the proposed rules can be accessed at http://www.opsb.ohio.gov/opsb/index.cfm/Rules/.

One excerpt from the proposed rules speaks to setbacks as follows:

(2) For wind farms only, the applicant shall provide a map(s) of at least 1:24,000 scale showing the proposed facility, habitable residences, and parcel boundaries of all parcels within a half-mile of the project area. Indicate on the map, for each parcel, whether the parcel is being leased by the applicant for the proposed facility, as of no more than thirty days prior to the submission of the application. Include on the map the setbacks for wind turbine structures in relation to property lines, habitable residential structures, electric transmission lines, gas pipelines, and state and federal highways, consistent with no less than the following minimum requirements:

(a) The distance from a wind turbine base to the property line of the wind farm property shall be at least one and one-tenth times the total height of the turbine structure as measured from its tower’s base (excluding the subsurface foundation) to the tip of a blade at its highest point.

(b) The wind turbine shall be at least one thousand, one hundred, twenty-five feet in horizontal distance from the tip of the turbine’s nearest blade at ninety degrees to the property line of the nearest adjacent property at the time of the certification application.

(c) The distance from a wind turbine base to any electric transmission line, gas pipeline, hazardous liquid pipeline, or state or federal highway shall be at least one and one-tenth times the total height of the turbine structure as measured from its tower’s base (excluding the subsurface foundation) to the tip of a blade at its highest point.

(d) Minimum setbacks from property lines and residences may be waived in the event that all owners of property adjacent to the turbine agree to such waiver.

We understand that the proposed rules also require that setback waivers be in writing, and the developer must notify the property owner of the setback requirements and why the property is subject to the minimum setback requirements. The waiver must apply to subsequent owners or tenants of the property, and must be recorded in the County Recorder’s office.

With respect to noise, the proposed rules adopt the +5 dbA over background standard but do not use the recommended L90 measurement which is the accepted form. It is also silent on low frequency noise. Noted acoustical expert, Rick James along with audiologist Jerry Punch have recently released a peer reviewed paper Wind Turbine Noise and Health: A Four-Decade History of Evidence that Wind Turbines Pose Risks. Both James and Punch have testified as expert witness on behalf of UNU in the Buckeye Wind project being developed by EverPower. Rick has asked that we share the link to the paper with you. We encourage everyone to read this paper that specifically rebuts 12 false claims by the wind industry regarding impacts to health. The authors recommend that distances separating turbines and residences generally should be in the area of 1.25 miles. They also caution that setbacks for physical safety do not protect against adverse health effects. This makes the standard for acceptable sound levels critically important because they can provide support to the property line setbacks currently required in the rules. James and Punch favor a standard ranging from 30-40 dBA, which is consistent with the recommendation of nighttime noise levels by the World Health Organization.

Finally, we recommend to your attention an outstanding summary of impacts from industrial wind turbines in Canada. Did you know “Earthworms are absent around turbines. (it is thought to be from the vibration in the ground). Farms need the three types of earthworms to keep the land fertile for crops. No worms, no crops.” Go to http://www.windontario.ca/ for more great, but disturbing information….

How much of Ohio’s electricity is powered by renewable energy?

Five percent? Ten?

According to the most recent annual report of the U.S. Energy Information Administration, it’s 2 percent.

In other words, 98 percent of the energy powering Ohio’s lights, stoves, air conditioners and so much more is created from nonrenewable sources, like coal and natural gas.

Is that OK? And if not, should state government do anything about it?…

Seitz’s view on clean energy regulations

1. The senator’s view on climate change.

“My view on climate change is that the climate has changed for millions of years and continues to change. I think there may be a contribution from manmade sources.”

2. Seitz: This is about cost.

During a 45-minute interview on the topic, Seitz said, “this is not about renewable energy” and “this is not about coal. … Since everyone is for clean energy and thinks it’s free, we thought it would be a good idea to disclose on their bill just how much we are paying for this stuff … By golly, here we are at the lower reaches of it (3 percent) and we’re going to 12.5 percent on renewables, and we have bill increases of about 9 percent. We’re not trying to protect the utilities here, we are trying to protect the ratepayer … I recently read that wind and solar prices would decline by 59 percent by 2026. So my answer is: We’ll buy it in 2026.” Note: Seitz made clear that he meant an increase of 9 percent on the “generation” portion of people’s utility bills, not the total cost.

2. Renewable energy companies are already getting a tax break.

“Federal taxpayers, which include you, me and everybody I guess but Donald Trump, are paying them a 30 percent subsidy now,” Seitz said, referring to the renewable electricity production tax credit. “Why do you (companies) not only need this generous tax break and require the states to mandate that the utilities buy your overpriced stuff?”

3. Ohio isn’t a good state for solar and wind.

“Natural gas is what we have in Ohio. We are not a particularly good sun or wind state. There are places where that makes a great deal of sense – extremely windy and extremely sunny places.”…

4. Senator asks why create state rules until we know what will happen with the federal Clean Power Plan?

“Under the Clean Power Plan, the federal government mandates to reduce carbon dioxide by 30 some percent by 2030. … Why would we subject Ohio businesses and Ohio residents to escalating costs under the 2008 state mandate until we know how these mandates sync up?”

What did Gov. John Kasich say in Texas?

Ohio Gov. John Kasich recently sat down with CEO and co-founder of the nonprofit Texas Tribune Evan Smith for The Texas Tribute Festival in Austin, Texas. They spoke about a wide variety of issues facing America, energy and the environment were two of them.

Evan Smith: You, I believe, have said climate change is …

Kasich: I think it’s real. I don’t want to overreact to it, but I think it’s real.

Smith: You know, the mere fact that you say those words, that’s a controversial thing.

Kasich: Look, look. You know, when you get to be in public life, where you get responsibility, put your hands on the wheel and drive the car. What am I supposed to do? Take a poll? Who’s going to like this or that? Now look, when I say I believe there’s climate change, what do you do about it? I’m not for shutting down all this fossil fuel, I think this is extreme.

Smith: You did advocate for a tax on hydraulic fracturing, did you not?

Kasich: Yours (in Texas) is higher than ours, and I’d like to get ours higher so I can cut my income tax, instead of you taking all my liquids out of my state and living high on the hog here in Texas, you know. I like you, but I don’t like that idea. What I’m saying is, I think we need everything. Look, the Tesla is an amazing car. Are we going to get a breakthrough in battery technology? If we do, it will change everything in this country. I believe in solar and wind and all that, but let me tell you, I believe in fossil fuels, as well. With coal – clean it. Dig it, clean it and burn it. Nuclear power, you know … I think there are a lot of people who are extreme, but this environment needs to be managed. I believe this Earth was given to us by the Lord, and we have an obligation to take care of it, but not worship it….

 

Source: Ohio produces less renewable energy than Kentucky. Is that OK?

List of BigWind REJECTIONS all over the USA. Need help? Look here!

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Do you wonder what other states are doing to fight BigWind? It is a growing list of actions that have been taken to protect individuals and communities. Please click the link, below and view the spreadsheet and see if there has been an action that could help you!!!

An interesting addition to our post from 2 days ago…we posted a video of a noisy turbine that is affecting a household in Van Wert, Ohio.  Iberdrola developed this industrial wind site LESS than 6 years ago and we have repeatedly blogged about developers SELLING their sites BEFORE the 10 year mark, due to maintenance issues and the end of the PTC $ at the 10 year mark.  Iberdrola has LEFT THE VAN WERT AREA and sold/merged the project! This household has been UNable to get through the telephone line of the ‘new’ BigWind company that is ‘supposed’ to be operating the site!!! Don’t let this happen to your neighborhood!!!

 

Sometimes, turbines make grown men cry

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The following letter elicits many emotions that range from beautiful to maddening, but this is why we fight. This is why we care. This is why we must stand up to the injustice that BigWind brings into our communities…

“I’m home, safe and sound.”Words that should always go together.
But yesterday I had an emotional visit with Ted Hartke and his beautiful wife Jessica.
I was returning from Missouri and, with nothing but time to kill on my 11 hour drive home, I gave Ted a call.

He pointed out that I would be very near the home he and his family abandoned due to wind turbine noise and he would like to take me through the now-empty home. So I took him up on the offer.
We spent a long time together…
It is hard to describe the feelings Ted and Jessica expressed as we visited in front of the abandoned home that was once their dream.
Violated? Robbed? Victimized?
All the things that were so important to them only three years ago- before the turbines went into operation-things like getting the yard just right, picking the right paint colors and flooring, and commemorating their new-home-in-progress with their very young children’s hand prints in freshly poured concrete- were stripped of their precious value by by the nuisance trespass of Chicago-based InvEnergy, a multi-billion dollar wind energy corporation with little conscience.
As soon as the turbines went into operation, the noise from the nearly 500′ tall turbines invaded their home and deprived them of sleep. When operating at or near their rated capacity, every pass of the a turbine blade sent low frequency noise pulsation through the wall of their home, stealing their rest.
Nothing would stop they noise. They moved all their beds into the interior of their home in a futile attempt to escape invading energy. They asked Invenergy to stop the turbines and they sometime complied. But in the end, profits were more important than people.
So they abandoned their dream home that was in “just the perfect spot with a perfect view” and instead took on a second home and a second mortgage and all the additional expenses that come with two homes. Maybe some would have just left the lender high and dry. But Ted and Jessica aren’t those kind of people.
Ted and Jessica have finally found a new home and are improving that new home like we all do.
New homes usually bring joy and a sense of new adventure. But Ted and Jessica’s new home experience is haunted by dark thoughts born of bitter experience.
The first thought (expressed in my words): “We already went though the hard negotiations couples go through as they decorate a home together. Paint colors, finishes, landscaping, kitchen designs. It is stressful enough for a couple to do once. But now we are forced to go through it again due to someone else’s negligent behavior.” And the second thought: “Dare we invest our emotions into another home when our hearts were broken in those moments the turbines started to spin just three years ago?”
The feelings are the feelings of grief and loss. And violation.
They struggle together, recovering from trauma- an unnecessary and pointless trauma- that, unbeknownst to them, began years ago as opportunistic and now faceless lobbyists roamed the nation’s legislatures under a false cloak of credibility selling a bogus cure for an over-hyped disease. And their trauma was enabled by all-too-willing engineers and planning commissioners who violated their oaths to protect human beings from harm.
They profit. Ted and Jessica paid.
Just like Cary Shineldecker and Karen L. Ward Shineldecker paid. And just like the David Peplinski family and all the other past and present litigants and victims in Huron County, Missaukee County, Delta County, Mason County and across the Midwest. They borrow against their retirement to hire attorneys to then spend years in court trying to recover their most precious commodity- a home, safe and sound. And at best they receive money. But money does not bring justice.
Ted said to me “Imagine being at a party and seeing a man tapping your wife lightly on the shoulder, again and again. That would be annoying for my wife. But how much worse would it be for me as her husband to have to stand by and be powerless to stop it? Those turbines-InvEnergy turbines-reached through the walls of our house and touched my wife and my children and I could not make it stop.”
That is when Ted and I, two grown men well over 6 feet tall, “tough rugged and independent”, stood in his Illinois driveway and wept.
People think wind turbines look cool.
But sometimes wind turbines make people cry.
Cary Shineldecker and Karen L. Ward Shineldecker and I have wept. Ted and Jessica and I have wept. I have cried many times when talking to victims of irresponsible wind development and with those who try to halt it.
I am not ashamed. I weep for people who are needless victims.
And I also weep for those who watch suffering and do not weep…and do not make it stop.
-Kevon Martis

BigWind blowing lots of hot air in Ohio (and Indiana)

 

Speaking up and speaking out are important – we are reminded of the phrase “you create your own future.” At the risk of seeming over confident, we think those who are speaking out in Ohio and in Indiana are truly creating a better future for themselves and their communities.

First things first. One Van Wert County Commissioner has stepped forward to publicly express what he thinks and we blogged about this last week. Todd Wolfrum was first elected County Commissioner in 2013. He is a practicing attorney who also writes a weekly column for the local newspaper pertaining to estate planning and other legal matters of interest to the public. Commissioner Wolfrum also sits on the local hospital board, the Community Investment Corporation and he is President of the Regional Planning Commission. His main interests are promoting advanced education and the generation of business opportunities in the Van Wert area. In winning his current seat on the Board of County Commissioners, Wolfrum defeated the Superintendent of Vantage Career Center in a landslide – garnering 65% of the vote. Why is this important? Because the Vantage Superintendent is an outspoken supporter of industrial wind who has testified on behalf of wind. Vantage operates the wind technician training programs for local developers. Wolfrum’s credentials speak to the fact that he is not some crazy anti-wind nut to be ignored.

On July 2nd, Commissioner Wolfrum used his newspaper column to express his thoughts on wind. He questions what would happen if Sub HB 190 were to pass (which it won’t) giving local commissioners more authority over siting and setbacks. He states that after giving Iberdrola a 70-80% tax reduction through PILOT because Van Wert County had chosen to be designated as an Alternative Energy Zone, the Commissioners realized they had made a mistake and they rescinded their AEZ designation going forward. Now, they speculate that if a developer wanted to get a tax break, they would have to come up with a proposal and put it up for a vote – but who would be eligible to vote? Everyone in the County? “It does not seem appropriate that areas that stand only to benefit from a taxing scheme be allowed to vote to burden another area.”….” I don’t know a definition of fair that would allow Van Wert City voters, an overwhelming majority of the school district, to determine this issue for Liberty Township.”…”But, imagine if we started giving tax breaks to incentivize a hog farm to locate next door to you?”…” If you are in the pro crowd, I would advise against trying to pressure us to force windmills on a population that, as of now, does not want them.” …” And perhaps there is no way to win support. But if a majority of people in a zone for a proposed wind farm cannot be convinced to accept a tax plan, then someone will need to explain why it should be forced on them over their objection, because that is really the only thing that has been proposed to date.”

This is something to think about as the legislature continues to grapple with how to deal with the renewable mandate. Before December 31, 2016, the General Assembly (Ohio) must do one of three things: eliminate the mandates, continue the “temporary freeze” or resume the mandates. Governor Kasich has said he will not accept the elimination of the mandates. But, resumption of the mandates will put pressure on communities where developers want to build. Almost every community with the exception of Hardin County and perhaps Seneca will, like Logan County and now Van Wert, object to the burden of hosting an industrial wind facility or granting tax incentives for doing so. Why mandate a source of power generation that requires tax incentives that most are unwilling to support in their community? The reality of Ohio is that we rank 7th nationally in population density and we are not a suitable place for the development of industrial wind. Perhaps, Commissioner Wolfrum has made that point a little clearer for our legislators.

In Indiana, the story is the same. Multiple counties are pushing back hard and “A wind-farm aversion is driving a handful of other rural counties – including some that already have turbines – to put moratoriums on any future development as local debate unfolds. “They’re losing favor all over the state,” said Campbell, who’s now working with like-minded opposition in other communities. Ben Kenney, of the Indiana Office of Energy Development is reported to have pledged that “the state won’t push for wind-energy projects where they’re not welcome. “ via:  http://www.batesvilleheraldtribune.com/news/local_news/wind-farms-whipping-up-opposition-across-rural-indiana/article_c0e2464e-b771-50a9-a4ac-14cd84f738d2.html  

How about it in Ohio? We think the Ohio Public Utilities Commission and the Ohio Power Siting Board has one of the worst records of facilitating wind development over the objections of Ohio communities who do not want them. And now comes the appointment of Vorys attorney Howard Petricoff to the Public Utilities Commission. Word on the street is that Mr. Petricoff has demonstrated a poor record of acting in the public interest during his career representing wind developers and others in the electricity business. In fact, the Statehouse news reports are that “The top Democrat on that Senate panel, Sen. Sandra Williams (D-Cleveland), likewise wants hearings on whether Gov. John Kasich’s nominee is the best fit for the office…. As the committee’s ranking minority member, Sen. Williams said in an interview she is “not impressed” with the governor’s selection.” Petricoff’s confirmation hearing is scheduled for Tuesday at 1:00 in the Senate Finance Hearing Room. 

Tuesday is a double header of sorts in that oral arguments will be heard in the Ohio Supreme Court on Champaign County’s appeal of the OPSB approval of Amendments to the Buckeye Wind project. The Court will convene at 9:00 a.m. sharp and anyone who is able to attend is encouraged to do so. A show of support for Champaign County and the Townships would be appreciated.  The County and Townships assert two points in their appeal:

A. The Board’s approval of Applicant’s amendments in its Order of February 18, 2014 and its Order of May 19, 2014, without holding a required hearing was unreasonable and unlawful, as such amendments would result in a material increase in the environmental impact of the facility or a substantial change in the location of all or a portion of such facility.

B. The Board’s approval of the amendments in its Order of February 18, 2014 and its Order of May 19, 2014, without hearing was unreasonable and unlawful, as it denied Appellants County and Townships the only opportunity to be heard.

If the Court finds in favor of Champaign County and the amendments are sent back to the OPSB for a hearing, it is presumed that property line setbacks would be applied to the EverPower Project. A separate pending appeal from Union Neighbors United in connection with the extension of the certificate for Buckeye I has not been scheduled for a hearing.

Recent maddening news is that the wind lobby (aka Big Wind) is ramping up their $$green$$ machine to go after more of everything: more “purchased” politicians to deliver more federal tax credits and more local tax incentives; more lenient conservation rules; more renewable mandates; more biased news reports; blah blah blah. American Wind Action (“AWA”) has been born. “AWA, a nonprofit 501(c)(4) advocacy group, can engage in political campaign activities as long as those efforts are not its primary activity. At its launch, it claimed an “initial seven-figure budget.” Enfield declined to specify just how much AWA has raised so far or where it will target its funding. But he indicated the main focus will be states where pro-wind-energy policies such as tax breaks and minimum requirements for renewable energy appear to be at risk.” Look for AWA recruits in your neighborhood or under a rock at your area career center and defend against them because, as we said at the outset, “You create your own future.”….

The U.S. wind energy industry is the fastest-growing new source of electricity in the country. But it’s not resting on its laurels, especially in an election year.

Hence the launch of American Wind Action, a group that will promote the benefits of wind energy to the public…

“We will be working to identify and activate supporters of wind energy to encourage action from their elected officials, and we will educate the public about the actions and positions those officials take on wind energy…

Source: Turbine industry aims to keep tailwind blowing

Pay attention Ohio- Board member who regrets deal with BigWind

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Will Ohioans share the same sentiment, as BigWind spreads across our state? If you think this won’t affect YOU, then think again. BigWind plans to blanket our state. Just read about it on our home page. Every wind site has multiple ‘phases’ in the works, that usually, quietly begin before the 1st site is even completed….

I am writing to you all as a former commissioner colleague who aided in the negotiations and agreements with E.ON Climate Renewables with Tipton County (Indiana)in 2011. From the onset, I was open to windfarm development in a small section of Tipton County because the commissioners had received no opposition and I felt that the landowners wanted it. … As you know, public notices are small and often overlooked in the newspaper, so not much resistance was present……………until the towers went up, and people saw how enormous and intrusive they were. The red blinking lights even disturb my own summer evenings and my home is 6 miles from the closest tower….. !!!! You don’t have the time to read what all I could tell you, so in a nutshell I just want to say that I wish I had the knowledge then that I have now….

In Tipton County……….my 83 year old mother is mad at me (since I signed the agreements) because she no longer has colorful birds coming to her feeders……..my brother’s view from his family dining room table used to be a vast expanse of crops and natural habitat…….now that pristine ‘vista’ is forever marred by giant metal structures………….neighbors hate each other…………back and forth letters to the editor have been selling papers for over a year now………….families are torn apart,,,,, and because the physical presence of the towers will be there for 30 years, these relationships will never be repaired. In short. . . . this has become an issue that has divided our community like no other.

It has torn our county apart….

If I had this to do over, I would NEVER enter into an agreement with any wind company now that I know what it has done to my home community. I am not proud that my name is on those documents. The wind company has breached many parts of the agreement, but insist that their failures are “minor”. Their field representative is arrogant and cavalier in his attitude toward the people who are suffering with the effects of the noise and flicker.

You can’t lose something you never had…………so you are not “losing” the supposed ‘windfall’ of money that the project purportedly brings in. What you WILL lose however, cannot be measured in dollars. You will lose the rural landscape as you know it and you will lose the closeness of “community spirit” because people will hate each other over this and the presence of the towers will always be a constant reminder of the rift…………thus the wounds will never heal.

Please consider this: What do you think of a company that KNOWS it has fierce opposition from a segment of the Howard County citizenry, but would STILL want to build in your county? It is akin to forcing themselves onto you when they KNOW they are not wanted by those in the project area who would be affected by their presence and are receiving no compensation for the change in their environment. How much of a “community partner” would they be when they really don’t care about the wishes of the people?…

Any issue that has become so contentious that it has caused large groups of people to assemble and vehemently oppose it. . . . and which has caused so much heartache and angst among the citizenry . . . . just cannot be good for the whole. I do not feel that Tipton County will ever wholly heal from the deep personal wounds incurred by many from the placement of wind turbines in our county….

 

Jane Harper
Tipton County Commissioner 2009-2012

Source: Meet Jane Harper – Board member who regrets voting pro-wind –