Has BigWind made the Ohio Chamber of Commerce CRAZY?!?

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The Ohio Chamber recently provided testimony to the Ohio Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee on HB-6 and their representative referred to the provision allowing a local referendum on wind projects as a “dangerous precedent”. Who else is drinking the BigWind KoolAid now???

Excerpt from their testimony: “Finally, there is one provision of HB 6 that must be removed, due to its likely detrimental impact on economic development. Currently, the bill permits a local referendum on wind energy projects after they’ve received Ohio Power Siting Board certification – and even after construction has begun. No other generation source is subject to a similar public referendum, and such a requirement would kill almost every wind project moving forward in the state. This represents a dangerous precedent and reverses the regulatory certainty developers and investors rely on to make business decisions and investments in Ohio.”

Full Testimony here: http://search-prod.lis.state.oh.us/cm_pub_api/api/unwrap/chamber/133rd_ga/ready_for_publication/committee_docs/cmte_s_energy_pu_1/testimony/cmte_s_energy_pu_1_2019-06-25-0930_774/keithlaketestimony.pdf

Since when is allowing people a voice in what drastically alters their communities a “dangerous precedent”? This is very unfortunate and NEEDS to be corrected immediately. We have quite group of people that are VERY UPSET with the Chamber’s stance on this and expect a formal response from the Chamber to clarify why you are taking a stand with big business and trampling on the rural citizens of Ohio!- Mr. Andy Doehrel’s Email: adoehrel@ohiochamber.com

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BigWind FAILS in Hawaii. Will Ohio learn?

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Ohio will become a graveyard of industrial wind turbines, unless our citizenry educates themselves and others, about the realities of this industry. We canNOT rely on our legislators to protect us, as many have either been bribed by or have drunk the BigWind Kool-Aid.  Why is is that our legislators will not educate themselves about these realities? Why are they ONLY listening to the BigWind lobbyists, paid for decades, by our tax dollars??????? Maybe it is time for some new policitians, who know how to THINK…..

Recently, my wife and I were blessed with an early Christmas gift from our son. We spent a week in the beautiful state of Hawaii….I wish instead to tell you what I observed and discovered with relevance to the Hawaiian people’s experience with wind turbines.

At 7,000 feet above sea level, we stopped at a ranger station, and I had an interesting conversation with a young ranger who held a degree in biology from the University of Oklahoma….

When I asked about the wind turbines that rest silent and unmoving on the jetties close to the rugged seashores of the mountains, he responded with the following statement.

“We are more concerned with the ecology of our island than of wind energy. We have two species of bats that near extinction. That is more important to our people.”

He continued, “I am not an expert of wind turbines, but I do know they were installed around 2008, and they did not prove to be as efficient as they were advertised to be.”

We continued up the mountain to our destination, stopping at a sheep-shearing station around 9,000 feet for a meal. It was there our tour bus driver — another ranger, with a degree in wildlife management from UCLA — continued with his knowledge about the subject. He had listened quietly to the conversation that was engaged earlier in the day.

“The wind turbines are not cost efficient. When they stop working, the maintenance to repair them is not a good business move. Although we built them on shorelines where people do not live, their appearance is ghastly. Most of them remain still as they rust away. The big energy companies took advantage of the Hawaiian people.”

Broken promises:

The rusting wind turbines of Hawaii

A breathtaking sight awaits those who travel to the southernmost tip of Hawaii’s stunningly beautiful Big Island, though it’s not in any guidebook. On a 100-acre site, where cattle wander past broken ‘Keep Out’ signs, stand the rusting skeletons of scores of wind turbines….

Yet the 27-year-old Kamaoa Wind Farm remains a relic of the boom and inglorious bust of America’s so-called “wind rush,” the world’s first major experiment in wind energy.

At a time when the EU and the British Government are fully paid-up evangelists for wind power, the lesson from America — and the ghostly hulks on this far-flung coast — should be a warning of their folly.

— By Tom Leonard, a correspondent for Hawaii Free Press (www.hawaiifreepress.com/ArticlesMain/tabid/56/ID/6350/Broken-promises-The-rusting-wind-turbines-of-Hawaii.aspx)

Why do we not listen to the people in Hawaii, Indiana, Colorado, California, and New York when they warn us about the exploitations of wind energy companies? Is it the genuine desire to save our planet that makes us rush to hasty decisions created by outsiders? Is it the temptation of financial rewards for our family? It certainly cannot be based on research or history, for research warns of extreme danger and history speaks of consequences that result in regret as we rush to discover clean renewable energy…

Original article January 2019

 

Supreme Court rules AGAINST the (Say Yes to BigWind Board) in Ohio

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A bit of good news!  On Thursday, the Ohio Supreme Court filed its decision in the Black Fork Wind case.  In a 5-2 decision, the OSC ruled in favor of the local citizens who have been fighting this battle since 2009.  A copy of the decision is attached.

As we reported last August:

This project has a long and tangled history including an application filed in June, 2014 to amend the project with bigger turbines. This amendment was filed only days before the “new” revised setbacks measuring from property lines became law.   We think the timing of that filing was purposeful and was intended to dodge the new setback requirements. Since that time, the developer has requested other amendments to their certificate,  including additional extensions of time.  But after the 2014 setback law became effective, requiring amended projects to lose their grandfathered status and adhere to the revised property line setbacks, the developer and the Ohio Power Siting Board chose instead to consider these changes by way of “motions” not “amendments”.  

 The Ohio Supreme Court case challenged the OPSB’s use of motions when amendments are required by law.  The decision in favor of the local citizens was written by Justice DeGenaro and joined by Justices O’Connor, Kennedy, French and DeWine.  Justice Fisher wrote a dissenting opinion in favor of the Power Siting Board and he was joined by Justice O’Donnell, father of wind lobbyist and attorney, Terrence O’Donnell.   Justice Kennedy separately wrote an opinion on why the Fischer/O’Donnell dissent was wrong and Justice DeWine agreed with Kennedy.    Sadly, Justice DeGenaro was defeated in the recent election.   Justice O’Donnell has been forced to retire due to age limits.  Both DeGenaro and O’Donnell will be replaced in the New Year by Cleveland Democrats, Melody Stewart and Michael Donnelly.

The Black Fork case will now be sent back to the Ohio Power Siting Board.   We think the project should be considered “dead” because the certificate has expired.  Black Fork, which is owned by Capital Power of Alberta, Canada should be required to start from scratch.  The Court’s decision acknowledges that the OPSB could declare the Black Fork certificate to be expired. It remains to be seen what OPSB will do.

Unanswered is the question of whether the Ohio Power Siting Board will require the developer to abide by property line setbacks.  On page 12-13 of the decision, the Court states:

“Because this case can be resolved on the issue whether the board properly extended Black Fork’s certificate by granting its motion and because the board did not fully address the setback issues in the orders on appeal, we decline to decide in this appeal the applicability and constitutionality of the setback provisions in R.C. 4906.20(B)(2) and 4906.201. Resolution of those questions must await a case in which the issues are squarely before us.”

 The wind developer wanted to submit an additional document which challenged the constitutionality of the setback provisions but the Court denied their request.   The issue of whether the setbacks are constitutional was raised in a lawsuit filed last November in Paulding County by four leaseholders and MAREC (Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Coalition) whose attorney is Terrence O’Donnell.   See www.toledoblade.com/business/energy/2018/11/15/property-owners-sue-over-wind-turbine-setback-requirements/stories/20181115180  for more information….

 

Board Must Reconsider Change to Wind Farm Construction Plan

photo of wind turbinesAmended plans for a proposed wind farm must return to the Ohio Power Siting Board and go through the board’s amendment process. (Image: Thinkstock/mj0007).

Altering a wind farm’s construction timeline is an “amendment,” and a proposal for a 91-turbine farm must return to state regulators for an extension, potentially subjecting the facility to stricter state rules, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled today.

The Supreme Court voted 5-2 that the Ohio Power Siting Board improperly approved a request by developers of the Black Fork Wind Energy Project to extend the date to begin construction from January 2017 until January 2019. …

Justice Kennedy also wrote a concurring opinion, which both supported the majority’s reasoning and raised objections to Justice Fischer’s dissent. She wrote that the law applies to more than a change in a facility, noting that “the legislature did not hide substantive limitations on the amendment of a certificate in a provision that specifically addresses when ‘the board shall hold a hearing.’ ” Rather than limit the types of changes that constitute an amendment, she explained, the hearing provision “simply distinguishes a category of applications to amend a certificate—those proposing a change in the facility—in which a hearing similar to the one required to be held upon an initial application may not be required.”

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BigWind is suing Ohio b/c they don’t like our laws!!!

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What a week.  In a nutshell, this is what happened:

Senators Randy Gardner and Matt Huffman were elected to the 3rd and 4th top leadership positions in the Senate.  Gardner’s district includes Erie, Fulton (part), Lucas (part), Ottawa and  Wood. Huffman’s district encompasses Allen, Auglaize (part), Champaign, Darke (part), Logan (part), Mercer and Shelby.  These areas are vital to our plight, as BigWind is relentless is pursuing large land takeovers. Many constituents, fighting against BigWind in these areas, want setbacks measured from property lines and a right of referendum or local vote on every proposed wind facility.

BigWind, on the other hand, has decided to fight back, ”the Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Coalition (MAREC) and three local landowners in Paulding County filed a lawsuit against the State of Ohio claiming the current property line setback law established in 2014 in HB 483 is unconstitutional.  MAREC seeks to have the law overturned.  Section 15 (D), Article II of the Ohio Constitution provides: “No bill shall contain more than one subject, which shall be clearly expressed in its title. No law shall be revised or amended unless the new act contains the entire act revived, or the section or sections amended, and the section or sections amended shall be repealed.”

The complaint notes that the purpose of HB 483 (also known as the Mid-Biennial Budget Review or MBR) was “to make operating and other appropriations and to provide authorization and conditions for the operation of state programs.”  The regulation of economically significant wind turbines is a state program run by the Ohio Power Siting Board.  If the setback change in HB 483 is deemed unconstitutional, it is likely to have the unintended consequence of also invalidating many other laws that were adopted in connection with appropriation bills.   The General Assembly would likely not be happy with such an outcome.

Is this is a “Hail Mary Pass” being thrown as the time is running out to enact legislation repealing the 2014 setback?  It is a serious matter nonetheless. The case is in the Paulding County Court of Common Pleas.  If BigWind can’t get what they want through obtaining sufficient Good Neighbor Agreements, they want to take what they need by invalidating the current law.  Paulding County Commissioner, Tony Zartman, is quoted saying, ““We strongly support this action. In fact, our concern over this unconstitutional maneuver is so great that we are currently considering joining the case ourselves. We believe filing this lawsuit is in the best interest of our community and our future economic growth.”

Of interest is the announcement of LafargeHolcim, a large cement company in Paulding.  Along with ONE Energy, LafargeHolcim will build three turbines to power its facilities.   We recall that in 2013, LafargeHolcim was featured in the press as a large provider to the wind industry. They provided the concrete for the Blue Creek turbine foundations and for the roads traveled by heavy equipment used to build the facility….

Paulding county link

Paulding county and farmers

 

 

 

 

Seneca county, Ohio continues its fight against BigWind

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After seeing the information on the proximity of a large number of 650 foot turbines to Seneca East school, and the new World Health Organization concerns about the sound levels that sPower says will be experienced at the school, several people have contacted us about what could be done. We have checked into the issue and learned that the school can intervene at the Ohio Power Siting Board against the project as currently proposed in an effort to get the turbines pushed back farther away form the school for the safety of the children.

If you share these concerns, you can contact the school board members and superintendent. 

We hope that Seneca East takes the relatively easy step of filing an intervention so that all may rest easy that the health of the children is being considered in the siting of the proposed wind project. If this situation is new to you please study the attached map showing the proposed turbine location distances and sound levels around Seneca East school. Anything in the green/tan/gold areas on the sound map is considered unsafe by the World Health Organization.

***ADDITIONAL BREAKING NEWS***

Seneca County Commissioner Shayne Thomas’s Mother-in-law’s Trust officially signed a wind turbine lease on August 4th 2018 with APEX Clean Energy for the Honey Creek Wind Project!!

Since the signing of this wind lease Commissioner Thomas has passed a resolution to intervene in the Republic Wind Project (APEX) and also has voted to officially hire a Pro-Wind Attorney to represent them. This same attorney’s law firm has had ties to APEX as well!!

Is this a conflict of interest? Is this unethical? We will let you decide!!…

 

At this point, it’s safe to say lots of Seneca County residents oppose potential incoming wind turbines.

On Wednesday night, for a little over an hour, county commissioners listened to concerned citizens’ thoughts and opinions on the Seneca Wind Project.

The meeting was organized by Commissioner Shayne Thomas.

“Nothing is pre-scripted, so we’re coming in with open minds and open hearts, and hoping to understand what the townships’ position is and move on from there,” said Thomas.

Every comment that was made, whether it was by the public or township trustees was anti-wind turbines.

Currently, the APEX Republic Wind project is on hold, but the sPower Seneca Wind Project is moving forward in front of the Ohio Power Siting Board….

Coverage of latest meeting 

Citizens for Clear Skies on facebook for more details and pictures- meeting was attending by some 500 citizens!!!

 

Ohio Power Siting Board WILL say YES to BigWind

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How can we be sure? They ALWAYS do! We have blogged about this board before. Their name should be the ‘Say Yes to BigWind’ board. There has NEVER been even one instance when the board has sided with the people of Ohio. Have they been bribed or infiltrated by BigWind? It certainly appears so…..

Champaign County officials and a handful of townships are opposing a proposal to extend deadlines to begin construction on a controversial Buckeye Wind farm before a possible decision expected later this week.

Members of the Ohio Power Siting Board could decide as early as Thursday whether to extend certificates needed to build the project. The Champaign County commissioners, along with trustees from Goshen, Union and Wayne Twps., recently filed briefs asking the state to take no action to extend the deadlines until a hearing is scheduled and the state provides an opportunity for public comment.

MORE: Lawmaker: Current wind farm regulations ‘stifle’ investment in Ohio

If the certificates are not extended, it’s possible the developer would have to restart the lengthy application process for the project. Attorneys for Everpower Wind Holdings, the developer, argued the projects have been fought in the courts for about eight years, which has created the need for an extensio0n…..

But attorneys representing Champaign County and Goshen Twp. recently argued the developers have had opportunities to begin construction in recent years but have not done so. Instead, they argue, the developers have sought to make changes to the projects and are now seeking an extension just two months before they are set to expire.

RELATED: Champaign wind farm may move forward after nearly decade-long fight

Attorneys for the county also argued that extending construction deadlines would also mean tougher setbacks should be applied to the turbines in the project’s footprint. The Champaign County projects were among the earliest approved in the state, before lawmakers imposed tougher requirements for how far turbines in more recent projects should be from neighboring properties.

County attorneys also argue that the two phases of the project have always been considered as separate, independent projects and to extend the deadlines for both “undermines the spirit of the application and hearing process and the requirement to protect the public interest.”…

 

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Ohio Power Siting Board says YES to BigWind (again)

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Once again, the Ohio Power Siting Board rubber stamps a BigWind application.  We have noted in the past, this board has NEVER rejected an application from BigWind, in favor of Ohio citizens- NEVER. Read the link, below, and you will see where Hardin Wind, LLC, has amended their application FIVE…that’s no typo…FIVE times!! The turbines just continue to get larger and larger. Why is this? Could it be that the original turbines are already outdated? YES  Note that their ‘approved’ setbacks barely exceed the height of the turbines! 

We have reported, many times in the past, that the OPSP is nothing but a Say Yes to BigWind board.  An Ohio body of appointees who live nowhere near any of the proposed site and are thrilled to allow BigWind to flourish across our state.  Despite multiple citizen attempts to slow BigWind down, this board seems awfully ‘cozy’ with BigWind….makes us wonder…

https://dis.puc.state.oh.us/TiffToPDf/A1001001A18B26B42733J05063.pdf