The relationship between Ohio and BigWind is now unknown

As more information is made public about the predatory practices of former Ohio Senator Cliff Hite there is talk of possible of criminal charges.   We have no idea what the outcome will be but think that Cliff Hite is now safely in the rearview mirror of Northwestern Ohioans.  So the question becomes NOW WHAT?  Will SB 188 remain viable? Who will succeed Hite?   Who will take up the crusade to destroy the northwestern quadrant of the state?

Hearings on SB 188 have been suspended for the moment.   Let us remember and share with our friends, that  “Setbacks are a ZONING issue.”

By modifying setback measurement to habitable structures rather than property lines, the adverse effects of shadow flicker and noise are allowed to burden the neighboring property of the non-participating landowner.  The consequence of this trespass is an uncompensated easement for nuisance.   No other industry in the entire State of Ohio enjoys such a right of easement.  Only industrial wind energy.   Eminent domain would be a more fair action because at least the neighbor would be compensated.  This point can be reinforced by showing that wind developers, like Invenergy, call their Good Neighbor Agreement a “Wind Farm Easement Agreement”:

Invenergy contract language states:

“1.          Grant of Effects, Sound and Shadow Easements. Owner hereby grants and convey to Developer an exclusive easement on, over, under and across all of the Owner’s Property to permit Generating Units or other wind energy conversions systems on adjacent property or elsewhere to cast shadows or flicker onto the Owner’s Property; impact view or visual effects from the Owner’s Property; and cause or emit noise, vibration, air turbulence, wake, and electromagnetic and frequency interference. “

Developer project maps defining the reach of turbine effects readily illustrate cases where an absentee landlord with a Good Neighbor Agreement is compensated for effects which will never be felt while the neighboring property owner who does live on his land would experience the effects but receive no compensation if setbacks are measured from the home.   Senator Balderson found these materials to provide credible support for our position and encouraged us to make this case with members of his committee.  We intend to follow up over the coming weeks.

At this juncture, we believe the law as currently in effect should remain untouched.   The only circumstance in which we could see a modification of the current law would be if the residents of an impacted township voted affirmatively to make a modification.

Without their champion, former Senator Hite, the industry is going to the know-nothing/adoring media to hammer away at the renewable mandates and the property line setbacks.  InsideClimate News, a left-wing enviro publication wrote a scathing article which was also published in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.  Pointing a finger at legislators, like Bill Seitz, as being a tool of fossil fuels and they accuse any organization critical of wind as being biased, untruthful and funded by rich anti-wind groups.  Sounds like the mirror image of AWEA, Sierra, EDF, NRDC, League of Conservation Voters, Greenpeace and the developers.   An excerpt from  InsideClimate News states:

“Seitz despises wind turbines, and his dedication to rolling back Ohio’s energy standards stems in part from his passionate opposition to wind power. In fact, the only reason he voted for the standards back in 2008, he said, was a promise by the Senate president that he could write the language on turbines. Over time, Seitz has been behind restrictions that have wiped out any large new projects. “There will be no wind farms!” he said, with satisfaction.

 Turbines, Seitz said, take up too much room, don’t work when the wind doesn’t blow, and are not a good fit for his district, in the far corner of the state where it borders Indiana and Kentucky. His neighbors love spending time in their yards and don’t want any turbines wrecking their “view sheds,” or chopping up bats and birds, he said. And it doesn’t help matters that “it seems to be a cabal of urban millennials who love wind [power] and want to inflict the damage on rural landscapes—stick it out there in the country where all the bumpkins can’t do anything about it. That’s not very nice. So I’m not a big fan of wind.”

 Commenting on the story, Ned Ford, activist and perennial witness on behalf of renewables, wrote:

Seitz has harmed Ohio’s renewables not by his attacks on the standards, but by his promotion of the 2014 change to the wind siting rules.  The original rules were fine, but the 2014 rules make it nearly impossible to find a large enough property in Ohio to build wind.  Ohio’s wind setback rule is by far the most restrictive in the nation.  (Fake News!)…When we defeat the Republicans and Ohio has all the wind it wants Representative Seitz won’t need to look at a wind turbine ever, because his district is an urban one, and there won’t be any need for wind generation in urban areas to keep Ohio’s cities powered with clean and cheap electricity.  Farmers who lease land to wind turbines double their revenue per acre and lose only 5% of the useful land.  (More Fake News)

Additional articles speak to HB 114 which continues to be heard in the House Public Utilities Committee chaired by former Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bob Cupp.  HB 114 would do away with renewable mandates.  In that regard, Governor Kasich who harbors thoughts of another Presidential run, seems to be more aggressively in favor of wind and solar which is, in the opinion of many, intellectually dishonest. One business journal writes:

“Ohio’s wind energy setback restrictions are also hindering the ability of businesses to access cost-effective renewable energy. Lifting this barrier to wind energy development through proposals such as Senate Bill 188 will make Ohio more attractive to new investments and help the state capture new jobs and tax revenues.  …   Gov. John Kasich understands that keeping the state open to renewable energy development is critical to drawing businesses to Ohio. The governor recently said, “it is critical that we continue developing the renewables, because, believe me, at the end of the day, if the Facebooks and the Googles and the PayPals and the Amazons think that we are not committed to renewable energy, they will not come here. Period, end of story.”

The above statements are absolutely false.  Ohio is a choice state and anyone who wants renewable energy can obtain it.  Moreover, we note that no industrial plant like Honda, Whirlpool or Ball has been prevented from building on-site wind turbines.   It is distressing that Governor Kasich is willing to perpetuate an untruth presumably to make millennials think he is pro-environment.

But it seems society and the media is corrupt from every point.   In Indiana, Apex is trying to convince elected officials that a 60 decibel noise limit is scientifically proven to be acceptable.  Included is an enjoyable article about the Mars Candy company and their extensive peer-reviewed research.  It sounds just like the wind developers when speaking of their “peer-reviewed” science on noise or cleaning carbon from the environment.  We leave you with this thought thanks to Mars:

“[Funding cocoa science] is quite clearly a sales thing to sell more chocolate because [the studies] suggest it’s not all that bad for you,” Coe said. “Chocolate companies can say they have scientifically proven that chocolate will lower your blood pressure, keep you from heart attacks.” …But Big Chocolate’s foray into nutrition research is a great case study in how industry can steer the scientific agenda — and some of the best minds in academia — toward studies that will ultimately benefit their bottom line, and not necessarily public health….Since then, mainly through the company’s scientific arm Mars Symbioscience, established in 2005, it has flooded journals with more than 140 peer-reviewed scientific papers….

 

With scare studies, policy drafts and political donations, industry groups turned Ohio lawmakers against policies they once overwhelmingly supported….

Source: InsideClimate News: How Fossil Fuel Allies Are Tearing Apart Ohio’s Embrace of Clean Energy

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…