Hey BigWind, OH citizens have the right to HEAR!

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Isn’t our government supposed to be BY and FOR the people? Then why is it that the people, of Ohio, have a government board, the OPSB (Say Yes to BigWind Board) which is allowed to APPROVE BigWind projects Looooonnnnng before Ohio citizens know anything about it? Case in point is below. Land was leased 10 years ago, for a BigWind project, yet the first public informational meeting was not held until 2018!?! This is outrageous. Ohio citizens have the right to have the light shown on these deceptive, unethical practices of BigWind…..

The project slated for Erie and Huron counties impacts the following townships: Groton, Oxford, Lyme, Ridgefield, Sherman, Norwich and Richmond. Townships were an ideal choice for this project’s location because, absent a referendum, the residents have no direct voice in the matter.

Most residents want a referendum, and the time for one is critical. I agree that a referendum should not be held after a project receives certification from the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB). The time for both a referendum and a public meeting is when leases are offered to landowners. Although land for the Emerson Creek Wind Project was leased as long ago as 2009, the first public information meeting required by the OPSB was nine years later in November 2018….

Information about the cost and financial backing of this project is not available. When I asked the Power Siting Board about that, public spokesman Matt Butler replied, “It is not uncommon for an applicant to request confidential treatment of financial data, as APEX has done in this case.” A number of published sources state that without tax benefits and outright subsidies, no company would be involved in building a wind project.

The issues are serious. These turbines are 655 tall…

Anne Southworth

Monroeville

Ohiocitizensneedtohear

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A big hooray for Sandusky County where the County Commissioners have rescinded their designation as an Alternative Energy Zone (AEZ).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  Readers will recall that the Seneca County Commissioners rescinded their AEZ earlier this summer and it took effect June 30th.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

Will Ohio legislators guzzle BigWind koolaid?

The Ohio Senate and House have currently removed the option for local landowners to vote a BigWind project up or down. We are afraid their butts are in the air, and their heads are guzzling the BigWind koolaid. What will it take to get their attention? Phone calls and votes, period. Have you done your part, yet???

Ohio’s best wind resources are Iowa’s worst. So why build thousands of massive 600- to 650-foot wind turbines in northwest Ohio? It’s all about the subsidies.

Wind turbines aren’t green by any stretch of the imagination, although corporations have spent millions in Ohio to convince the public otherwise. Wind turbines produce energy that is intermittent and unpredictable. They must be backed up by fossil fuels in new “peaker plants” which produce at least 25 percent more pollutants than the baseload facilities and cost at least 25 percent more to operate than baseload plants.

Why would Ohio build inefficiency and extra air pollution into our grid? Follow the money in renewable energy subsidies. Turbines require hundreds of gallons of oil laden with PCB’s. Do these turbines leak oil or crash to the ground? Absolutely! Do these turbines ever catch on fire? Yes, and the PCB laden oil burns with the neodymium magnets to release a highly cancerous toxic cloud.

Estimates put the tear-down cost of a single modern wind turbine at over $200,000. The blades are a fiberglass composite, those are not recyclable and they can’t be sold. Consequently, 47 million tons of unsustainable blade waste could be added to the world’s landfills within the next few decades. Some landfills refuse to take the biohazardous components of wind turbines….

The turbines proposed for the Firelands region of Ohio have blade tip speeds of 180 mph and a blade span which would can engulf a Boeing 747. There are a total of 8 known wind projects in various planning stages in the four-county area of the Firelands. An area known to be riddled with sinkholes, caves and Karst formations with a water table that is very close to the surface at times throughout the year. This water in northern Ohio flows through underground rivers to feed the cold trout streams in Erie County and eventually to the lake. Just one oil spill into these precious aquifers could have devastating environmental impacts.

Ohio’s two nuclear facilities provide 90 percent of the emission free energy in that state. Even if we buried an area of Ohio about the size of Rhode Island in industrial wind generators, they still would not produce the consistent, robust energy that our two nuclear facilities provide. In 2013, Ohio had an extended polar vortex in which natural gas pipelines could not keep up. What saved the day in 2013 and kept us all from freezing in northern Ohio? It was our two nuclear plants.

Call Senators Burke 614-466-8049 and Gavarone 614-466-8060. Tell them to do the right thing for Northern Ohio and pass HB 6…

http://www.norwalkreflector.com/Letter-to-the-Editor/2019/06/27/Not-so-clean-wind-energy-and-House-Bill-6

BigWind tries to ‘huff and puff’ Ohio House down

As the Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee gears up for its first hearing on HB 6, the opposition is flooding the print media with articles and opinion pieces that argue against the provisions of the bill, advocate for closing the nuclear plants and reducing wind turbine setbacks.   An assortment of articles is provided below. 

In a disgusting turn of events, the Icebreaker Wind developer, LEEDCo, is asking senators for a portion of the funding that would be made available through HB 6.  Democrats have proposed numerous changes to HB 6 including an Icebreaker subsidy.  Recall that Icebreaker is a pilot project designed as a test to see if putting 1,500 wind turbines in Lake Erie is feasible.   They don’t seem to care that it would be in the middle of the world’s third most important migratory flyway.  Senator Sandra Williams was quoted as saying LEEDCo  wants an earmark of 10₵ for every dollar raised in the Clean Air Program.  They are shameless enough to not even pretend that their subsidy would be based on the amount of power they produce.

“LEEDCo leadership is meeting with senators to discuss the importance of Ohio being the first location in North America to build a freshwater offshore wind facility,” spokeswoman Nancy Lesic said. “Our goal is for leadership in Columbus to recognize the economic significance of this project and provide the necessary support to allow us to access federal and international investments.”

One definition of being “green” is to pursue policies and actions that claim reduced, minimal, or no harm upon ecosystems or the environment.  Being green means having the smallest ecological footprint.  This is achieved in energy generation by utilizing resources that have energy density.  Generation sources that are not dense are called “dilute” .  Wind and solar are dilute.   Jim Feasel does a density calculation and determines that 33.65 of Ohio’s 88 counties would be covered with 600 foot tall turbines (9.99 million acres) if you replaced current generation with wind.  That is not GREEN.

Elsewhere, 

  • We also encourage you to read Michael Shellenberger’s article on solar energy called, If Solar Panels Are So Clean, Why Do They Produce So Much Toxic Waste?   It is reported, “The fact that cadmium can be washed out of solar modules by rainwater is increasingly a concern for local environmentalists like the Concerned Citizens of Fawn Lake in Virginia, where a 6,350 acre solar farm to partly power Microsoft data centers is being proposed.
  • “We estimate there are 100,000 pounds of cadmium contained in the 1.8 million panels,” Sean Fogarty of the group told me. “Leaching from broken panels damaged during natural events — hail storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc. — and at decommissioning is a big concern.”  There is real-world precedent for this concern. A tornado in 2015 broke 200,000 solar modules at southern California solar farm Desert Sunlight.
  • How ironic that just as the dirty truth about solar panels is being exposed, the Governor Michigan in a moment of true lunacy, removed conservation protections on more than 3 million acres of Michigan farmland, opening up previously protected land to commercial solar development. The Governor says the land must be returned to a state allowing for agriculture production after solar panels are removed.  “This administrative decision will not result in a loss of usable farmland,” McDowell said. “The change ensures that Michigan’s farmland is preserved so we can continue to feed our communities while also balancing the need to develop renewable energy sources.”   Would you like a little cadmium with your corn?  Reminds us of the lead in the drinking water.
  • A lady from suburban Cincinnati writes an Opinion piece about wanting to come home to Ohio to build wind turbines.  Kim Smith is vice president of Engineering & Construction for ACCIONA.  “As the Ohio Senate considers this energy policy proposal, my hope is that they’ll to listen to local county officials who are hoping for the added revenue that utility scale renewable energy projects can deliver, and that they hear the landowners who have already reached agreements with developers to bring projects to their land.”  This opinion piece definitely deserves some comments!  Ask her what Acciona’s position is on local zoning or a township referendum.
  • Governor Strickland wins the Pelosi-Schumer Award for excessive whining about HB 6.  It was Strickland who took our right to zoning away and gave uncompensated easements over our land to wind developers.  Hey, Governor Strickland remember the one about pigs get fed and hogs get slaughtered?
  • The US Department of Energy officials attended a conference this week in Salt Lake City where they said they are committed to making fossil fuels cleaner rather than imposing “draconian” regulations on coal and oil.  Secretary Rick Perry previously said the administration wants to spend $500 million next year on fossil fuel research and development as demand plummets for coal and surges for natural gas.  “Instead of punishing fuels that produce emissions through regulation, we’re seeking to reduce those emissions by innovation,” Perry said at the conference.   DOE believes the US economy will continue to run on baseload power provided by coal, gas and nuclear energy.
  • Consulting firm Wood Mackenzie reported that “well over half of the $15bn the onshore wind industry will spend on operations and maintenance (O&M) this year will go to unforeseen repairs and correctives caused by component failures. Unplanned failures are currently costing as much as $30,000 per turbine each year for repairs and spare parts, as well as leading to an average seven hours of lost production per machine – not including downtime for pre-emptive shutdowns or long delivery-times for materials, equipment and technician call-outs, all totting up to a total $8.5bn a year.”
  • G.E. is having a hard time with tower collapse.  Two went down in separate incidents which were said to be isolated events.  BUT! Any third turbine collapse involving a GE machine in quick succession should set alarm bells ringing at the manufacturer, given the rarity of such incidents globally, said a leading insurer of renewable energy projects.  Fraser McLachlan, CEO of specialist insurer GCube, said the two collapses so far this year of GE turbines at US wind farms is already enough to give pause for thought.

https://deref-mail.com/mail/client/Keku1CJEOlk/dereferrer/?redirectUrl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dispatch.com%2Fopinion%2F20190609%2Fletter-city-dwellers-wouldnt-tolerate-wind-turbines

http://www.sanduskyregister.com/story/201906060037

https://www.ohio.com/opinion/20190608/beacon-journalohiocom-editorial-board-state-sen-wilsons-nuclear-option

https://deref-mail.com/mail/client/Kl4joOY_Zgo/dereferrer/?redirectUrl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.vindy.com%2Fnews%2F2019%2Fjun%2F10%2Fohio-energy-bill-becomes-prize-for-speci%2F

https://www.cincinnati.com/story/opinion/2019/06/10/opinion-closing-door-renewable-energy-bad-news-rural-ohio/1327550001/

https://deref-mail.com/mail/client/S5AoDIB6OBk/dereferrer/?redirectUrl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.toledoblade.com%2Flocal%2Fenvironment%2F2019%2F06%2F09%2Fformer-governor-ted-strickland-frustrated-to-see-ohio-dumping-renewable-energy-goals%2Fstories%2F20190606150

https://deref-mail.com/mail/client/evhllDisNVw/dereferrer/?redirectUrl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.eenews.net%2Fenergywire%2F2019%2F06%2F04%2Fstories%2F1060472835

https://deref-mail.com/mail/client/nntzNvnJvoE/dereferrer/?redirectUrl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.forbes.com%2Fsites%2Fmichaelshellenberger%2F2018%2F05%2F23%2Fif-solar-panels-are-so-clean-why-do-they-produce-so-much-toxic-waste%2F%23d490f8d121cc

https://deref-mail.com/mail/client/mfOgYgXCAcQ/dereferrer/?redirectUrl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.power-eng.com%2Farticles%2F2019%2F05%2Fdoe-making-fossil-fuels-cleaner-better-than-penalizing-coal-oil.html%3Fcmpid%3D%26utm_source%3Denl%26utm_medium%3Demail%26utm_campaign%3Dpower_engineering_e-newsletter%26utm_content%3D2019-06-04%26eid%3D326852857%26bid%3D2458527

Third GE wind turbine collapse would be sign something’s wrong’: insurer

CEO of insurance specialist points to relative rarity of collapses as US wind group continues probe

By Andrew Lee  03 June 2019 Recharge

RECHARGE

US wind turbine collapses ‘not linked’, says GE

Incidents ‘separate and isolated’ says OEM as latest academic research flags complex factors at play

by Andrew Lee 31 May 2019Updated 03 June 2019

Ohioans step up their fight against BigWind

This week we achieved a significant victory in the Ohio House of Representatives with the passage of HB 6 which will save clean energy generation at the Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear plants and will give township voters the right of referendum to accept or reject OPSB certificates of approval for industrial wind projects over 20MW.   Projects under 20 MW would be subject to local zoning. We have never been closer to regaining a voice in the future of our communities than we are today….but, this battle is far from over and it is certainly no time to celebrate.

We owe much to the hard work of Rep. Nino Vitale, Chairman of the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee as well as Rep. Dick Stein who co-chaired the Energy Generation Subcommittee.  Thanks, too, go to the support of the Speaker of the House Larry Householder.  Of course, Rep. Bill Reineke’s amendment to allow local voters a chance to accept or reject a wind development was key!

But we need to also recognize the enormous efforts of the citizens of Seneca, Huron, Erie, Van Wert, Logan, Champaign and Richland Counties.  Wow.  Warriors arrived early to rally outside the Statehouse House doors.  Wearing that signature “No Wind Yellow,”  our friends stood out like vibrant points of light in the House Chamber gallery.  Make no mistake – this was a group effort and the geographic representation was critical.  Thank you.

As joyous as the day was, there were a few dark spots.  Rep. Craig Riedel of Defiance who was elected by the anti-wind community in a primary battle against pro-wind Tony Burkley turned his back on his constituents. Despite claiming that he had a need to adhere to his free-market principles, Riedel refused to eliminate artificial state mandates for renewables and energy efficiency.  He was not persuaded by the fact that nuclear support would phase out after six years when no generation source would be subsidized by Ohio rate-payers. Not even the prospect of rescuing his constituents from the predations of industrial wind could sway Riedel.  We do not know how he can look his people in eye without everlasting shame.

Other traitors to the cause of representing their constituents were Rep. Gayle Manning of North  Ridgeville and Riordan McClain of Upper Sandusky.  Mark Romanchuk of Mansfield was another Republican defector.  The final vote was 53 to 43 with 10 of the AYE votes coming from Democrats who supported the labor unions working at the nuclear plants. The Roll  Call of the Votes is attached.

It should be noted that one of the failed amendments to the bill on the floor was one that would reduce the setbacks and restore measurement to a habitable structure.  Rep. Seitz gave an eloquent rebuttal and the amendment went down.

After the vote, various groups immediately issued statements claiming HB 6 is ‘gutting’ our green energy mandates. There will surely be more statements in the coming days. When is the last time you wrote a letter to the editor?

The bill now goes to the Senate where President Obhof says he is eager to get going and plans to launch hearings next week in the Senate Public Utilities Committee.  Members of this committee are Republican: Chair Steve Wilson (Maineville), Vice Chair Rob McColley (Napolean), Andy Brenner (Powell), Dave Burke (Marysville), Matt Dolan (Chagrin Falls), John Eklund (Chardon), Frank Hoagland (Adena), Matt Huffman (Lima) ,  Bob Peterson (Sabina) and Michael Rulli (Salem).  Democrat: Ranking Minority Member Sandra Williams (Cleveland), Hearcel Craig (Columbus) and Sean O’Brien (Bazetta).  

“I think it’s important to note that, if the House passes it, that’s the midpoint of the legislative process,” Sen. Obhof said prior to the House vote. “We still have a whole second chamber that needs to do its work. The budget certainly is going to take up a lot of our man-hours over the next few weeks, but I am confident that we have the ability to give both pieces of legislation and any other of the many pieces of legislation are pending full and fair consideration over that span.”

Gov. DeWine, who made calls to members this week encouraging their support, applauded the chamber for the bill’s passage. He has voiced support for action to preserve the FES plants. 

“I know this issue is difficult because there are so many Ohioans affected and so many parties interested in the outcome, and I support Speaker Householder and House leadership moving this discussion forward,” he said. “As I have previously stated, Ohio needs to maintain carbon-free nuclear energy generation as part of our energy portfolio. In addition, these energy jobs are vital to Ohio’s economy. I look forward to this legislative discussion continuing in the Ohio Senate.”

BigWind ‘pouts’ as Ohio citizens gain a voice

Yesterday afternoon Representative Bill Reineke worked to get language that he drafted into the new version of current bill HB 6. This language establishes a local vote by effected Townships within a given industrial wind turbine project. This would happen only after the project goes through the currently in place process with the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB). Only if the OPSB grants a particular wind turbine project its build certificate would this proposed legislation apply. At that point a petition could be filed with the County Board of Elections that consists of 8% of the total votes cast in the previous gubernatorial election would add a referendum vote within each affected Township.
This still allows projects to move forward if a given Township votes to support the industrial wind turbine project. A majority vote of 51% of voters would be required. Otherwise, the project would NOT be able to be built in that given Township due to a lack of supporting votes. This proposed legislation answers our pleas for more local control in the siting of industrial wind turbine projects.
The new language reads:”Establishes a procedure for electors in the unincorporated areas of a township to submit a referendum petition to approve or reject a certificate issued by the Power Siting Board for a wind farm that is to be located in whole or in part in the township. Provides that the certificate is invalid if rejected at the referendum by electors from all participating townships. Requires the Power siting Board to modify the certificate if not all participating townships’ electors reject the certificate. Applies the referendum only to Major Utility Wind Farms (50 or more megawatts) and Economically Significant Wind Farms (5 to less than 50 megawatts, except for those that are 5 to less than 20megawatts that meet certain requirements). (R.C. 519.214, 4906.10, 4906.101, 4906.13, 4906.20, 4906.201, 4906.203.)”
….

Wind energy experts are pushing back against a change made to the House energy bill, HB6, that allows municipalities to vote on wind farm projects. Opponents of the change say this will dramatically impact the wind industry. Listen Listening…

The referendum provision reflects ongoing local battles among landowners who do and don’t want wind turbines in northwest Ohio.

                                                 Map of Wind Energy Projects in Ohio

Dayna Baird, American Wind Energy Association, says developers already spend years and millions of dollars…

A few residents testified in committee that they want the ability to make the decision among themselves.

Environmental advocates say this creates an unfair process for wind energy compared to other energy sources…

https://www.statenews.org/post/energy-bill-adds-wind-farm-referendum-option-communities

BigWind brings Circus to Ohio

BigWind brought the circus to Ohio and barked about setbacks!! This week the Ohio House Subcommittee on Energy Generation is heard interested party and opponent testimony on HB 6 – the Ohio Clean Air Program.  As expected, a conga line of anti-nuclear/pro-renewable witnesses took the stand.   The Tuesday proceedings can be viewed at http://ohiochannel.org/collections/ohio-house-energy-and-natural-resources-subcommittee-on-energy-generation.  What should be lost on no one is that many witnesses used the opportunity to testify to call for a change in wind turbine setbacks. We suspect that the wind lobby wants to include a revision to setbacks in HB 6 as a bargaining chip to gain votes.  To date, Speaker Householder has not seemed receptive to addressing setbacks  in HB 6.  Time will tell, if he caves to pressure…..

Today’s report excerpts statements about Ohio setbacks from the April 23 testimony.  In addition we provide various articles from around the state reporting on the hearings.  We believe the media are uninformed and/or – to use a popular term – colluding with the green crowd to report much fake news critical of HB 6.   

Michael Shellenberger of Environmental Progress testified before the Subcommittee.  We urge you to read his article, link below, from Forbes  concerning nuclear energy and Ohio energy policy.

Ohio House Subcommittee on Energy Generation Testimony April 23,  2019:

We should instead be investing in Ohio’s growing renewable and energy efficiency sectors by fixing the laws that are holding back renewable energy development in our state, such as our restrictive wind setback law, and continuing to push for stronger renewable and energy efficiency standards. But instead, we’re discussing a bill that would strip money from those programs. 

Anastazia Vanisko Recent college grad looking for a job in a state with energy policies that comport to her values

Finally, it is important to note that any serious review of Ohio’s renewable energy policies must include reconsideration of the draconian setback rules imposed as an amendment to budget legislation in 2014. These rules have significantly impeded the development of new wind resources in the state of Ohio and sent developers looking elsewhere to create jobs and economic development. Ohio can benefit enormously from reforming these problematic setback rules to allow Ohio to be a leader in deployment of new wind projects again.

Andrew Gohn, and I am Eastern Region Director for the American Wind Energy Association.

Rather than propping up nuclear power, I ask you to continue Ohio’s progress towards renewable energy by sustaining the renewable energy standards passed by the Legislature a decade ago and removing unnecessary barriers to expansion of wind farms. I visited a wind farm in Van Wert County last spring and was delighted to hear from a local farmer that the revenue from the turbines was a great source of stability to her family’s business, and that property taxes on the turbines were generating over $800,000 a year in new revenue for her children’s elementary school, which is now excellent.

Ariel Miller, volunteer, Ohio Interfaith Power and Light

I can testify to the fact that Ohio’s leaders commitment to cautiously diversify Ohio’s electricity supply was a success, but it could have been a much bigger one. The legislature started backing away from this commitment in 2014 with the freeze to Ohio’s Alternative Energy Standard and a dramatic increase in the distance that a wind turbine has to be setback from an adjacent property line. …Now we encourage you to consider building an even bigger future for Ohio by backing the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard and reducing the setbacks for wind turbines to a reasonable and safe standard.

Testimony of Erin Bowser EDP Renewables North America

Remarkably, while House Bill 6 concentrates benefits, it increases economic damage across the state by pulling the legs out from under Ohio’s existing renewable energy and energy efficiency standards, as well as by failing to correct the job-killing wind energy setback mandate.

Testimony of Frank Szollosi  Great Lakes Climate Policy Director, National Wildlife Federation

We urge the General Assembly to postpone action on HB 6 to carefully address related issues such as the currently prohibitive wind energy setback rules, grid modernization, utility business models, electric vehicle infrastructure, and on-bill financing as part of a comprehensive energy bill.

Leo Almeida, The Nature Conservancy in Ohio

SB 310, enacted in 2014, froze the renewable energy and energy efficiency standards for two years while gutting many of their key provisions, including the requirement that a portion of the renewable energy purchased by utilities come from sources inside Ohio. In separate legislation that year, the General Assembly also enacted punitive wind turbine setback standards that brought most new wind development to a standstill in Ohio, leaving over $4 billion in capital investment and thousands of jobs on the sideline. In the years since 2014, some in the General Assembly have repeatedly sought to undermine and effectively repeal the RPS, creating uncertainty that has, in turn, suppressed private sector investment in renewables in Ohio.

Testimony of Ted Ford President, Ohio Advanced energy Economy

HB 6 stops short of taking advantage of an opportunity to remove government regulations that are blocking the development of new sources of generation and the opportunities to create jobs, spur economic development, and increase revenue for local schools and communities. Ohio’s energy portfolio should not be focused on creating new, government-run, tax and spend programs, but rather on trimming back existing government regulation – such as the current wind setback.

Tyler Duvelius Executive Director, Ohio Conservative Energy Forum

https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelshellenberger/2019/04/18/republicans-can-own-the-libs-on-climate-change-by-defending-nuclear-plants-on-the-brink/?fbclid=IwAR2UsQBga8KlqgOy_dDTWTS2rWJsyOMmLf_z2rSd4Sv2ifpJdfCFJ2FAFtc#44c2be512bd1