Ohio Senator Hite reaches ‘New Low’

As reported previously, Sen. Cliff Hite has introduced Senate Bill 188 to reduce setbacks for industrial wind turbines.  The legislation has now been referred to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee chaired by Senator Balderson.  It is anticipated that hearings on the bill will begin soon.  

Hite is promoting his bill as a “compromise” that meets the needs of property owners as well as developers.  He bases this on extending the property line setback from 1.1 times turbine height to 1.2 times turbine height. Notwithstanding, “The idea that the bill is a compromise is wrong, according to House Majority Leader Bill Seitz, who opposes the bill. “ “If it comes at the expense of the quiet enjoyment of adjacent property owners, then I disagree with him,” he said.  Turbines can hurt a person’s ability to enjoy their yard, he said. “Shadow flicker, ice throw, snow throw, failure, fire, toppling over, blades flying off,” he gave as examples of how turbines can negatively impact homeowners.”   

“Seitz is open to compromise, he said. His suggestions would be to let local voters decide setback distances or to allow for shorter setback requirements when the adjacent property is neither a home, livestock farm or business. “It is important to protect the neighboring properties that will have to absorb these impacts,” he said. Hite anticipates the bill will pass in the state Senate but will face opposition in the House. He’s hopeful it could pass by the end of the year.”

Hite says he is prepared for a fight but he hit a new all-time low on Wednesday when he held a press conference at the Statehouse with “health professionals” touting the health benefits of reduced setbacks.  “The Ohio Environmental Council hosted the event, which featured comments from Aparna Bole, pediatrician and medical director of community integration for University Hospitals; Dan Sullivan, medical director of the Solon Family Health Center; and Lauren Kleinman Koch, project manager for Healthcare Without Harm.   (Note to self: What about Wind Without Harm?) 

What no one will read in press reports are that Aparna Bole is the Chairman of the Board of left-wing group called Practice Green Health. She is a community organizer in addition to being a pediatrician.  At the press conference “Bole said there is a consensus among the scientific and health professional community that addressing climate change is critical to improving the overall health of the world’s population. I’m so thankful for Sen. Hite’s introduction of a bill that makes it easier for wind development in Ohio,” Bole said. “This action will in turn make it easier for kids to play outside and to stay in school instead of sitting sick at home.” (Note to self again: What about the kids who will be sick IN their homes?)

The Vision statement for GreenHealth is: “Health care mobilizes its ethical, economic and political influence to create an ecologically sustainable, equitable and healthy world.” And the Mission statement is: “Transform health care worldwide so that it reduces its environmental footprint, becomes a community anchor for sustainability and a leader in the global movement for environmental health and justice.”   For more go to  https://practicegreenhealth.org/

Comrade Hite and Aparna Bole were joined at the presser by Lauren Kleinman Koch who is a staff member at GreenHealth.    We wonder if these shills even know that the World Health Organization has standards for noise?   Are they acquainted with the considerable research done by the Cochlear Fluids Lab at Washington University?   It’s is cinch they don’t care about the Hippocratic Oath that compels medical professionals to “First Do No Harm”.     Hite certainly does not bring any honor to the Republican Party and he makes Trump’s “swamp” look like a mud puddle.  

Elsewhere, another recent article demonstrates the increasing heights of wind turbines- up to 720 feet! And,  G.M.’s announcement that they will buy the power from a proposed wind project in Van Wert/Paulding Counties…

Statehouse News

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Hite, Health Professionals Tout Wind Setback Bill

Recently proposed legislation that would revise wind setback restrictions was praised by environmentalists and medical professionals during a Statehouse press conference Wednesday.

Sen. Cliff Hite (R-Findlay) said his SB188 offers compromise legislation between those who want to harvest wind and those who do not want turbines near where they live. According to the bill, the actual setback distance required is increased from 1,125 feet to 1,225 feet. However, the distance is only measured from the tip of its nearest blade at 90 degrees to the exterior of the nearest habitable residential structure on an adjacent property, not to the property line.

Hite said the wind farms in his district have helped the community greatly, noting the technological equipment that has been purchased by local schools. He said it is also important to advance policy that improves the environment for younger generations, citing his four grandchildren.

The Ohio Environmental Council hosted the event, which featured comments from Aparna Bole, pediatrician and medical director of community integration for University Hospitals; Dan Sullivan, medical director of the Solon Family Health Center; and Lauren Kleinman Koch, project manager for Healthcare Without Harm.

Bole said there is a consensus among the scientific and health professional community that addressing climate change is critical to improving the overall health of the world’s population.

“I’m so thankful for Sen. Hite’s introduction of a bill that makes it easier for wind development in Ohio,” Bole said. “This action will in turn make it easier for kids to play outside and to stay in school instead of sitting sick at home.”

Sullivan said further wind development in Ohio could lead to public health benefits through the reduction of fossil fuel use.

“Ohio is a state that is very reliant on fossil fuel sources of electricity which produce harmful pollution that causes asthma attacks, heart attacks and other smog-causing pollution,” Sullivan said. “The more we can advance clean energy, the less reliant we have to be on these polluting sources of energy.”

Kleinman Koch noted the state would see financial gains as well as health and environmental benefits if the bill is passed…

 

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Ohio Senator Cliff Hite doesn’t understand the purpose of zoning, with new legislation

In a Press Conference held near the Hog Creek wind project site near Dunkirk in Hardin County, Sen. Cliff Hite announced his introduction of Senate Bill 188 to reduce setbacks for industrial wind facilities.   It has not yet been scheduled for a hearing nor has it been referred to a Committee.  The bill has 14 co-sponsors, all of whom are Republican except for Sen. Joe Schiavoni who is seeking the Democratic nomination for Governor.  Three co-sponsors are members of the Senate Leadership and 4 serve on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee while two sit on the Public Utilities Committee.  Most of the sponsors will never be affected by a wind facility.  Sen. Randy Gardener of Bowling Green is likely the only exception.  Gardener represents Erie, Fulton (part), Lucas (part), Ottawa and Wood Counties and he is not eligible to run again.  

Hite also claims that he has resolutions passed in Paulding, Putnam, Sandusky and Seneca counties in support of his language but it is unclear exactly what entities passed such resolutions. It could be County Commissioners, Township Trustees, the Farm Bureau or the local branches of the Sierra Club, the Environmental Defense Fund or Friends of Al Gore. 

In announcing his bill, Hite said “”It just moves it a little bit into what some people wanted who were against these projects – more safety room – but it doesn’t hinder people who want to do these projects,” Sen. Hite said. “So it was a really nice compromise.”    Of course this is laughable.  The issue continues to be the unwanted appropriation of private property by wind developers.   Hite wants to give land that he doesn’t own away to the wind industry for free.   But as the people who are impacted by the trespass of wind turbine nuisance effects onto their land, there is fierce resistance.  People living in and near the footprint of the Blue Creek project in Van Wert are the poster children for these harmful effects. 

Despite all of this, Hite said in his press conference today that ““People don’t want a monstrosity blocking their sunset. I don’t know what to say about that,” Hite said. But he said the setback rules interfere with the right of property owners to decide how to best use their land.”   Message to Cliff: That is what zoning is all about – separating incompatible land uses and protecting neighboring properties from the intrusion of nuisance.

We remind our readers that turbine size continues to increase while SB 188 proposes to cut setbacks in half.  In fact, the bill enables projects that were certified prior to 2014 to retain their 750 foot setback from a property line even the project is or was subsequently amended.  Below are illustrations of how turbines have increased in size over time as well as a sample of what some setbacks look like.  This past Tuesday, G.E. introduced its newest onshore model. “The new 4.8 MW turbine is equipped with a 158-meter rotor and a range of tip heights up to 240 meters”   Consider that 240 meters is 787 feet.   First Nordex announced a new taller model and now G.E.   The G.E. blade is 77 meters long  which is 252 feet long.   These longer blades cannot help but vibrate and emit low frequency noise.  

It is notable that while Hite is busy trying to legalize theft of private property rights, Germany’s largest state is working “to implement a distance rule of 1,500 metres ( about 5,000 feet or a mile) to pure and general residential areas,” the two parties say in a 125-page-long coalition agreement, arguing such a rule would help maintain the acceptance for wind energy among the population.”   Back in the U.S. a turbine fire in Wyoming has burned more than 1,500 acres.

As we approach Halloween, the wind industry, the Ohio Senate and Cliff Hite just get scarier.   A new task force  has been created in the House and it will be chaired by Rep. Bill Seitz.   When the Senate gets through with SB 188, it might go to this Ad Hoc Energy Panel for review.   According to one report, “The task force forms at a time when several controversial energy-related bills are pending in either chamber, including proposals to render renewable energy standards unenforceable goals (HB 114) ); subsidize both nuclear plants (SB 128 & HB 178)  and costs for Ohio Valley Electric Corporation owners (SB 155 & HB 239); regulate submetering (HB 249 & SB 157); and reduce wind setbacks.”  …

Statehouse News  September 14, 2017

Lawmaker Unveils ‘Sensible Compromise’ Bill On Wind Turbine Setbacks

 Sen. Cliff Hite on Thursday announced a bill to loosen wind setback requirements and predicted a “groundswell” of support from House Republicans who earlier this year sidelined his budget proposal on the issue.

The Findlay Republican made the announcement at the Hog Creek Wind Farm site in Dunkirk alongside local business leaders, saying the bill (SB 188) will strengthen Ohio businesses and land more revenue in the coffers of local governments and schools.

“It just moves it a little bit into what some people wanted who were against these projects – more safety room – but it doesn’t hinder people who want to do these projects,” Sen. Hite said. “So it was a really nice compromise.”

The lawmaker from the wind-rich 1st Senate District has long pushed for walking back 2014 legislation that critics contend stalled wind farm development. His most recent effort – the budget amendment – was nixed by House Republicans in the closing days of budget talks.

The sponsor said 14 Republican senators have already signed onto the legislation as cosponsors and that he’s making progress enlisting support from the House. He predicted a continued “groundswell of support” from House Republicans and said the Democratic Party shouldn’t have a monopoly on pro-renewable energy views.

“What astonishes me is why one political party – and not mine – seems to have a corner market on these types of projects,” he said. “I think this is a Republican idea. I think this is a conservative idea.”

The bill would increase the setback to a minimum of one and two-tenths times the total height of the turbine compared to the currently required one and one-tenth requirement. But it would decrease overall setbacks by requiring a distance of at least 1,225 feet in horizontal distance from the exterior – rather than the property line as under current law – of the nearest, habitable residential structure.

The bill also seeks to strengthen public notification requirements, according to the latest draft language provided by Sen. Hite’s office. In doing so it would require developers to hold a public meeting no later than 90 days before filing an application and provide notice through publication in newspapers and through a letter to each property owner and tenant residing on property abutting the proposed wind farm.

In addition to spurring wind farm development, Sen. Hite said the bill would open up new markets to Ohio-based wind turbine manufacturers…

 

BigWind fire burns 1600 acres, yet Ohio Senator Cliff Hite wants it next to your home!

To the Cleveland, Ohio Democratic Senators and Ohio Republican Senator, Cliff Hite, WHY do you want to put a 660 foot turbine next to an Ohio home?  Could YOU be legally liable if you successfully pass such shortened protective setbacks between turbines and home- and a fire damages neighboring property? YOU SHOULD BE!…

The (turbine) Cowboy Fire is burning on an estimated 1,592 acres northeast of Evanston, and as of Sunday the blaze is 50% contained…

County Fire Warden Eric Quinney said crews made progress Sunday as they worked to get around 18 miles of fire line. Air crews made retardant drops Saturday, but no air resources were utilized Sunday…

Source: Cowboy Fire sparked by wind turbine burning on 1,592 acres near Evanston | fox13now.com

You didn’t know BigWind will be building beside YOU in Ohio? See FAA approvals

Could BigWind be planning a move next to you?  Visit the link, below, which is the Federal Aviation Administration’s website.  Pending applications for approval of wind turbines are listed here.  The FAA has three categories: 1) Proposed; 2) Interim and 3) Determined.  As of today, there are seven cases involving 22 industrial wind turbines under review by the FAA.  These may include cases not currently under review by the Ohio Power Siting Board because they may fall below the size threshold which triggers OPSB review.  For instance, there is one turbine proposed for a rural area near Celina in Mercer County. It appears that the turbine may be intended to support a CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feed Operation).  Notwithstanding, there are smaller homes in the area that are very close to the proposed turbine.  Do the neighbors know?  What protects them?

There are two new FAA applications in the Findlay area each for 2 turbines.  In Darke County near Greenville two rows of three turbines are proposed.  Nowhere has this project surfaced previously.  The turbines are 410 feet tall and presumably they would be more than 1 MW each thus crossing the threshold required for OPSB consideration but there is nothing pending at OPSB for Darke County.   Why not? Other projects include Leipsic (2 turbines), McComb (2 turbines) and more.   All readers should visit the FAA website for additional information.

 The FAA follows federal regulations in determining whether a hazard to navigation may be present.   Portions of the regulations are provided below to introduce readers to aspects of the FAA evaluation process.  More information may be obtained by following the link below or googling “FAA obstruction”.

Also of interest, the U.S. Department of Energy reports Ohio ranks in the top ten for distributed wind energy.   If the FAA reports discussed about is any indicator, it looks like Ohio will move up in the rankings with more manufacturers building on-site wind.  But we were disturbed by the quotes from Patrick Gilman, a program manager with the Wind Energy Technologies Office at the U.S. Department of Energy.    Gilman said wind energy is expected to keep growing in Ohio and across the nation despite legislative obstacles and opposition from certain sects of the population.  He also repeated the bad info about Ohio’s setbacks being more restrictive than other states.  Does AWEA have a D.O.E. employee on the payroll?

Source: Obstruction Evaluation / Airport Airspace Analysis (OE/AAA)

Ohio Senators side with BigWind. It is time to vote them out of office!

IT IS TIME TO SOUND THE ALARMS IN OHIO. Ohio Senate Bill 184  which returns  measurement of setbacks to homes from property lines has been introduced in the Senate.  The bill restores the original setbacks which are 1.1 x turbine height at the tip of the blade to the property line and 1,125 feet from a habitable structure.  When these setbacks were first established in 2008, industrial wind turbines were roughly 375 feet at the tip.  This, just as Nordex announced its newest turbine for onshore low wind sites.  The towers initially available include those with hub heights of 105 to 164 meters (335 to 538 feet)  and the rotor diameters have been increased by 18 meters or 60 feet.  The new Nordex model has a blade length of 72.4 meters which is 237.5 feet making the rotor diameter 475 feet and the overall height at the tip in a range from 572 feet to 775 feet.

You may wonder why Senator Skindell has introduced this bill.  One theory is to establish a mark against which the Hite proposal might seem “reasonable”.   Hite calls his idea a “compromise”.  He has not introduced anything but he does have language which would measure the setback from a property line at 1.2 times the turbine height at the tip of the blade instead of 1.1.  That would equal a minimum property line setback for the new Nordex at 686 feet from the neighbor’s property line depending on the model.  Overall the setback would continue to be 1,125 feet from a habitable structure in the Hite proposal.

It is astonishing that while turbine height has nearly doubled in the past ten years, legislators and the wind lobby propose to measure setbacks the same way they were measured in 2008.   It is also the height of stupidity to think that a wind developer would not want to have the latest technology that yields the greatest amount of power generation.   The older, less productive models will eventually retire and parts for them will cease to be made just like any other product that becomes obsolete.  

Senate Bill 184 is sponsored by Democrat Senator Mike Skindell of Lakewood in Cuyahoga County.  Skindell is term limited in 2018.   He has recruited the following co-sponsors: 

Democrat Kenny Yuko, Richmond Heights,  who  is the Senate Minority Leader from Cuyahoga and Lake Counties.  Yuko is serving his first term and is eligible for re-election.

Democrat Sean O’Brien, Hubbard, representing Trumbull, Ashtabula and Geauga Counties.  He was first elected in 2016.

Democrat Senate Minority Whip Edna Brown of Toledo in Lucas County.  Senator Brown is term limited in 2018.

Democrat Sen. Joe Schiavoni, Boardman, representing Columbiana and Mahoning Counties.   Senator Schiavoni is term limited in 2018.

Democrat Senate Assistant Minority Leader Charleta B. Tavares of Columbus representing Franklin County.  Senator Tavares is term limited in 2018.

Democrat Senate Assistant Minority Whip Cecil Thomas of Cincinnati representing Hamilton County.

This group represents 7 out of the nine members of the Democratic Caucus.   None of these co-sponsors live in an area potentially viable for industrial wind development although Ashtabula County is a possibility. IT IS TIME TO CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATORS and tell them NO!  In introducing SB 184, Skindell’s Office issued a press release which is reprinted below…..

COLUMBUS, OH – From Ohio State Senator Michael Skindell: Today, Senator Michael Skindell (D–Lakewood) introduced Senate Bill 184, which would return wind farm setback standards to what they previously were before the passage of House Bill 483 in 2014.

The standard established in House Bill 483 was inserted in the bill at the last minute and had no public hearings. The legislation more than doubled the distance wind turbines have to be from “the nearest, habitable, residential structure.” The change significantly reduced the number of turbines that could be placed in a wind project.

“Current restrictive setback standards have created a barrier to wind development in Ohio,” said Senator Skindell. “Since 2014, our state has seen a sharp decline in the number of new wind farm applications. Because of such stringent standards, we have lagged behind neighboring states, losing out on local economic development and jobs for our communities. Ohio should be embracing the renewable energy industry and securing clean energy for our future.”…

 Source: Senator Skindell Introduces Bill to Reinvigorate Wind Industry in Ohio – Columbus, OH Patch

Is Ohio Senator Cliff Hite being bribed by BigWind?

Ohio Senator Cliff Hite must be in bed with BigWind. Are they bribing him? There is no other logical explanation. . We have provided ample evidence, over many years, why BigWind setbacks should NOT be reduced in Ohio, yet, he plans TO INTRODUCE NEW LEGISLATION SIGNIFICANTLY SHORTENING THE OHIO SETBACKS, this fall.  It’s time for Cliff HIte to take a hike and get a new job! Below, is yet another, example of a setback significantly LARGER than Ohio’s….

A wind farm planned for northern Clark County must keep towers a minimum of 3,960 feet from residences, according to a Monday decision in Watertown by Third Circuit Court Judge

“We absolutely don’t want to kill wind energy,” Hass said. “We just didn’t look good enough when we put in the first set. Those towers are fine with the exception of being too close to a residence.

“Towers do make noise, and when the weather is right they make a lot of noise.”

A voicemail was left with Geronimo Energy late Monday afternoon but no return call was received before presstime today.

Jean Stevens, who calls herself a concerned citizen, was in favor of the decision. She and husband Shad Stevens have a farm within the 31,000-acre section of Clark County where the towers would be located.

“This just proves that local government works,” said Stevens. “It’s taken care of its people.”

Geronimo won’t be the only party disappointed by Means’ ruling. A Feb. 8 story in the Clark County Courier covered the commission meeting where citizens voiced their opposition or support of the project, which will bring financial gains to the county.

‘Several who spoke stated that this wind project has pitted friends against friends, neighbors against neighbors and family against family,’ the Courier reported….

Source: Judge approves Clark County Commission’s wind tower minimum setback | Local News | thepublicopinion.com

BigWind electricity is NOT cheaper than other energy. Explained here

Although this is more detail than most of you want to know, this does explain WHY WIND ENERGY IS NOT CHEAPER. Go to the original website and skim through the details and learn something to share…

The Real Cost of Wind Electricity By Norman Rogers

This article is a technical exposition on how to calculate the cost of generating wind electricity. The goal is to show the true cost of wind electricity compared to conventional sources of electricity. Wind is important because it is the lowest cost type of renewable electricity that is also scalable. Some types of renewable electricity may be cheaper but have limited scaling possibilities because they depend special circumstances such as underground steam or favorable hydro sites.

Various agencies and think tanks calculate the cost of generating electricity. The U.S. government Energy Information Agency (EIA) is prominent. The EIA is biased against coal electricity and biased in favor of wind electricity. They, for example, increase the interest rates used for coal plants by nearly 30%.

Usually the cost of electricity is computed by taking the yearly capital cost of the plant amortized over the life of the plant and the annual operating costs. This yearly cost is divided by the number of kilowatt or megawatt hours produced per year to determine a cost per unit of electricity. The electricity is taken as the amount of electricity exiting at the plant fence.

This approach is fatally flawed in the case of wind electricity that is non dispatchable. Non dispatchable means that the grid managers cannot order wind to turn on when needed. Wind can be turned off, but then the power that would have been generated is lost. Rather than ordering wind to turn on or off, the grid is assumed to accept all the wind electricity available and adjust the other generators in the grid to maintain balance between supply and demand. Wind has to be operated this way in order to be remotely competitive. The grid has to supply a backup source of electricity to take over according to the vagaries of the wind. The worst case is no wind, so the backup has to be able to take over 100% of the wind….