‘The’ Weather Channel attacks conservative Ohio citizens

It was quite a week.  “Head spinning” – to use a wind term.   One thing is clear, Apex is under attack in many communities (across America) and it is interesting to see the different ways they are dealing with the communities who are challenging them.

The wind industry is pulling out all stops in what appears to be a last ditch effort to hold onto renewable energy mandates and to repeal property line setbacks in Ohio.   The phase out of the federal Production Tax Credits is looming and the risks that a number of Ohio, Indiana and Michigan projects might not meet deadlines or be derailed because of stricter local zoning ordinances is probably driving much of this.  Wind has a lot to lose and we are seeing their aggression in full force.

The Ohio Power Siting Board was directed to go back to the drawing board and redraft their rules on setback waivers which Rep. Bill Seitz challenged as being inconsistent with the law. At issue is how many nonparticipating property owners must sign a waiver in order for the current 1,125 foot setback to be suspended.  It is anticipated OPSB will refile their rule at the end of the month.

The Ohio Conservative Energy Forum released a questionable state-wide poll of “conservative Ohio voters”  finding that 85 percent would pay something extra in their monthly bills for power generated by renewable technologies such as wind and solar. “Nearly half of those polled said they would be willing to pay between $10 and $20 extra every month for green power. The release of the polling results by the Ohio CEF comes as state lawmakers begin hearings on legislation mandating renewable energy, minimum property setback rules for wind turbines, as well as new subsidies for old coal and nuclear power plants.”  The poll results are being used to lobby for increased mandates and reduced wind turbine setbacks.   

In response to the Conservative Energy Forum “poll,”  Rep. Bill Seitz (who has been working tirelessly to pass HB 114 repealing mandates) unleashed one of his signature diatribes against the CEF.  In an open letter to members of the General Assembly and the Governor’s Office, Seitz takes on the CEF point by point.  THIS IS A MUST READ!   Seitz makes the point that if Ohioans are so supportive of wind, there should be no opposition to giving local township voters a say in the matter.  “If that’s so, then they will gladly vote in local elections to adopt lesser setbacks for wind farms in their backyards. As a “conservative voter”, I have proposed allowing township, city, or village voters to approve lesser setbacks in an election held for that purpose. If Big Wind really has 76% support for changed limits, these elections should result in landslide victories. (In Michigan, Big Wind lost 14 consecutive elections, though–an inconvenient truth!).”

Attacks from the wind lobby and the radical left were aided by extremist publication Inside Climate News who with the Weather Channel prepared a 13 minute video documentary called Killing Clean pummeling Rep. Seitz and any Ohio lawmaker who would oppose renewable mandates and other pro-wind policies.   This is a vicious production full of inaccurate reporting – but it also features our own Van Wert warrior, Jeremy Kitson.  We regard these polls and attacks as a sign of desperation and a call for all wind warriors to fight back by staying in constant touch with your local elected officials to prove that the wind lobby is spreading falsehoods.

On Wednesday, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held its first hearing on SB 238 to repeal property line setbacks.  Bill sponsor Sen. Matt Dolan of Chagrin Falls provided testimony and offered an amendment to the bill specifically stating county engineers’ responsibility to make sure wind developers restore damaged roads or infrastructure to their condition prior to development. It also states police and fire personnel must be trained for emergencies stemming from wind farms.   Dolan asserted that while these provisions were already in the law, he was clarifying them as part of demonstrating that local control of wind development already exists.  Good grief.   There are no further hearings scheduled at this time.

In Huron County, local wind warriors provided information to the County Commissioners in opposition to their possible consideration of designating the county as an Alternative Energy Zone (“AEZ”).   An AEZ makes PILOT automatic anywhere in the County. This designation is being pushed by Apex who threatens that they will not proceed with the Emerson Creek project unless they receive tax abatement through the PILOT program.   In addition, Sam Randazzo wrote an opinion piece for the local Norwalk paper further describing the negative consequences of PILOT.  THIS IS MUST READ.   Among Randazzo’s points is “For example, the commissioners indicated that the state (and more specifically the Ohio Power Siting Board) would make sure that any Apex wind farm would not negatively affect the environment. Most of the local property owners who have been active in Ohio Power Siting Board proceedings know that the Ohio Power Siting Board is either unwilling or unable to protect the public interest.   For example, as I explained in the attached prepared statement, the Ohio Power Siting Board lacks technical expertise to evaluate proposed wind farms and has typically used a method of evaluating wind turbine noise output that is unacceptable for use in rural areas. The Ohio Power Siting Board also has ignored minimum safe distance warnings of wind turbine manufacturers with regard to ice throw and fire risks.”

 Bowling Green is touting its reputation as the “Greenest City in Ohio” drawing 41 percent of total power usage from sustainable energy sources, providing a home to Ohio’s largest solar field and the state’s first utility-sized wind farm.  Sen. Randy Gardner of Bowling Green is a co-sponsor of SB 238 to reduce setbacks.   We note, however, that while  the local wind farm located on a landfill outside of town was the first in the state, it was also the last for Bowling Green which has turned to solar and hydro.  But hey – why not let the good green people of Bowling “Green” have all the turbines and reduced setbacks they want?  Why don’t they start with declaring Wood an Alternative Energy Zone?

At the Ohio Public Utilities Commission a hearing took place to reconsider whether a November ruling should be changed.  The PUCO ruling reduced the amount that private owners of wind turbines and solar panels can receive for selling excess power back to the utility.   PUCO’s concern was that as more and more consumers and businesses generate their own power, others who rely on their utility will have to shoulder a higher cost of maintaining the grid.  ONE Energy of Findlay which supplies wind turbines to Ohio manufacturers was among those criticizing the November ruling.

The PUCO has ordered the state’s utilities to prepare to lower rates it has been charging customers to “recover” federal taxes, as allowed by state law. The commission reasons that the lower tax bills utilities will now enjoy because of the cut in federal corporate tax rates from 35 to 21 percent should go to customers. Under state law, the regulated utilities can pass along tax burdens to customers.   The PUCO also agreed to give Amazon a discount on the rate it will pay for electricity….. If electricity rates rise, in the future, do you think Amazon (EXTREMELY PRO WIND) or Ohio ratepayers will pay for the increase??

COMMUNICATION TO ALL HOUSE AND SENATE MEMBERS & GOVERNOR’S OFFICE FROM REP. BILL SEITZ     January 12, 2018

 

The wind lobby is ramping up its minions to tout a new “statewide poll” commissioned by the (astroturf) Ohio Conservative Energy Forum purporting to show that conservatives “overwhelmingly support clean energy policies.” They even went so far as to draft “social media posts that we’d appreciate your help in amplifying the message and results.”

 

I’m here to do my part to “amplify the message” with some inconvenient truths. Here goes.

 

CLAIM:

“76% of conservative voters SUPPORT changing setback limits to allow more wind energy development”

 

RESPONSE:

If that’s so, then they will gladly vote in local elections to adopt lesser setbacks for wind farms in their backyards. As a “conservative voter”, I have proposed allowing township, city, or village voters to approve lesser setbacks in an election held for that purpose. If Big Wind really has 76% support for changed limits, these elections should result in landslide victories. (In Michigan, Big Wind lost 14 consecutive elections, though–an inconvenient truth!).

 

CLAIM:

“85% of conservative voters voiced willingness to personally pay more for their electricity if sourced from renewable energy sources”

 

RESPONSE:

That’s great news, because all Ohioans can make that choice now! As Representative Roegner has amply demonstrated, there are electric suppliers on the PUCO website from whom anyone can buy 100% renewable power if they are indeed willing “to personally pay more.” With that kind of support, mandates are simply unnecessary. All that needs to happen is for those “85% of conservative voters” to put their money where their polling mouth is! A better question, neither asked nor answered by the poll, is: so why aren’t these “conservative voters” taking advantage of the options they currently have to buy energy sourced from renewables? (An inconvenient truth: very few are doing so).

 

CLAIM:

“Conservative voters overwhelmingly support clean energy policies”

 

RESPONSE:

You bet they do. But mandates are not a conservative’s way of getting there. True conservatives use their own money to further policies in which they believe. I needed no “mandate” to install rooftop solar on my house last year. Legislation that we have supported promotes customers choosing to opt-in or opt-out of renewable and energy efficiency mandates; expands the definition of efficiency to include more means of becoming efficient; expands the definition of renewables to include additional kinds of renewable energy; and promotes property assessed clean energy as a financing tool to fund energy efficiency projects that businesses and homeowners voluntarily choose to undertake (inconvenient truth: supporting clean energy policies does not mean exporting some people’s policy preferences by having other people pay for those choices).

 

CLAIM:

“Ohio conservatives are ready to allow the farmers the opportunity to decide what’s best for their business and property.”

 

RESPONSE:

Conservatives also believe that farmers’ private property rights don’t extend to stealing their neighbors’ land to satisfy the required setbacks of wind turbines from neighbors’ property lines. Farmers and their neighbors should be allowed to waive required setbacks (current law allows this), and they should be able to enjoy a local vote on whether setbacks should be reduced to promote wind farms. And when those farmers are deciding what’s best, maybe they need to know the inconvenient truth: according to the world’s leading renewable energy insurance underwriter, every year on average there are 3,800 incidents of blade failure, 1,200 incidents of gearbox failure, and 50 turbine fires—each with an average claims cost of $4.5 million. See attached May 23, 2017 article.

 

CLAIM:

“Conservatives realize that if Ohio wants to attract businesses such as Amazon and Facebook, renewable energy is key”

 

RESPONSE:

And both under current Ohio law and HB 114, Amazon and Facebook are free to buy as much renewable energy as they want. They just want YOUR constituents to pay the premium! Not very conservative. The inconvenient truth: if “renewable energy is key” to Amazon’s business location, then why did Amazon spend over $1 billion to locate in Kentucky—a state with NO MANDATES and NO WIND FARMS?

 

If you have any questions about this, please feel free to give me a call. Even if the poll is correct, it only proves that the path we are taking is consistent with what true conservative energy voters want.

 

Sincerely,

 

William J. Seitz

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Michigan has had enough with BigWind. NO MORE TURBINES

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In areas where residents are EDUCATED and INFORMED about BigWind, the tides turn. Such is the case in Huron county, where residents have learned, first hand, that the turbines DO create problems for their residents….

2017 may prove to be a turning point for wind energy development in Huron County.

After residents and officials spent several years debating whether or not wind turbines are good for the county, voters turned down additional development in Sherman, Sigel, Sand Beach, Lincoln, Dwight and Bloomfield townships in May.

The referendums for wind energy overlay zones proposed by NextEra Energy Resources and DTE Energy failed in county-zoned municipalities by a 2 to 1 margin…

Huron County ended the year with 472 turbines standing, and still has more of the structures than any county in the state.

There are no current wind development proposals in the county, and there is a moratorium on wind development…

 

via No. 1 Voters turn down wind energy development – Huron Daily Tribune

BigWind setback debate revived in Ohio

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Wealthy Chagrin Falls, Ohio Senator Matt Dolan has introduced SB 238, a carbon copy of the Hite setback bill which measures setbacks from homes rather than property lines.  In addition, the bill repeals all previous requirements for property line setbacks for any project which received approval from the Ohio Power Siting Board under the old rules.  It appears that Sen. Dolan and a number of his colleagues drank the Kool-Aid that AWEA and lobbyist Terrence O’Donnell have been serving. 

In his press statement, Dolan says “ Local control remains a crucial aspect of this bill as well, by allowing county commissioners to approve construction on a project-by-project basis or declare the entire county an alternative energy zone, which qualifies all projects.”    Laughable!  Dolan can only be speaking of the PILOT program to grant tax abatement to a project. He asserts that vitally important local control is protected,  presumably because county commissioners can deny PILOT.  That is no guarantee whatsoever that a project will not go forward and, in fact, EverPower’s  Dagger has been quoted more than once saying failure to be granted PILOT is not an impediment to development.  The truth is that tax abatement has nothing to do with setbacks…NOTHING.

SB 238 does what its predecessor bill did – grant an uncompensated easement across neighboring properties.   We continue to illustrate this point with legislators, a number of whom have never considered this fact.  When they understand that Dolan’s bill totally disenfranchises a property owner, stripping them of their rights, they begin to wonder about whether it is possible to find common ground.  We believe that common ground lies in giving the electorate in the affected townships the affirmative right to vote on wind turbine setback reductions.  Chairman Balderson indicates hearings on the issue will resume after the first of the year.

While members of the General Assembly are home during the holidays, it is a good time to ask for a meeting and inquire about what kind of documentation they may have that supports a 1,225 foot setback from a home.   We believe this is an arbitrary number designed to accommodate the wind developer/leaseholders rather than protect the public.  One area of science supporting increased setbacks comes from the study of ice throw as well as the throw of other detached objects.

Two papers have come to our attention concerning ice throw.   The first is a  2017 Ice Throw Ph.D. Thesis from Texas State University. This was primarily a survey of ice throw knowledge of people around turbines in Texas. 75% of turbine personnel had witnessed an ice throw incident from a wind turbine. Each person who had witnessed seeing ice thrown, reported on average seeing 15 ice throw incidents. This is a 2017  “peer reviewed” current technical publication that completely debunks the idea that turbines don’t throw ice. It reports a multitude of ice throw incidents actually seen by industry personnel. The study is based on Texas turbines, with Texas being the largest wind energy state in the US. The authors also found that most community members do not witness ice throw and therefore do not have an appreciation of the danger.

 The second paper is a 2016 Peer-Reviewed Research Paper in the journal “Wind Energy” / Wiley Online Library titled “Analysis of throw distances of detached objects from horizontal-axis wind turbines”, Hamid Sarlak and Jens N. Sorensen. Wind Energy, 2016: 19:151-166.  This document can be purchased online by going to http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/we.1828/full.   The paper is protected by copyright and anyone who chooses to purchase it should explore obtaining permission to use it.  The authors of this study estimate throw distances for ice, full blades, and blade fragments for current typical turbine designs, operating at normal and high rotational speeds. Consideration is given to normal operating speeds of a typical 500′ turbine with 100 m/sec tip speed (very similar to a Vestas V112).  A full rotor blade can be thrown 2,000 feet, a partial blade shell 3,300 feet, and typical ice pieces 2,600 feet.   For larger turbines, full blade and blade fragments could possibly be thrown over 6,000 feet.

Perhaps our dear Senators would like to share the research upon which they are relying.  Our guess is they have been given outdated information, if any.  As we understand it, turbines don’t just fall over, the spinning blades can propel ice, debris, or blade fragments for very large distances. The Sarlak and Sorensen Wind Energy paper concludes that throw distances are determined primarily by the tip speed, not height. Tip speeds have been increasing, especially as the industry has moved to variable speed turbines….Wake up Ohioans and speak up now, or you may regret your silence later…

Statehouse News

Dolan Takes Up Effort to Revise Wind Turbine Setback Restrictions

 Sen. Matt Dolan is picking up the effort to loosen wind turbine setback requirements left unfinished after the abrupt resignation of former senator Cliff Hite.

 

Mr. Hite was the legislature’s leading proponent of easing the restrictions and authored a bill to that effect SB 188 that received two legislative hearings this year.  But when Mr. Hite resigned Oct. 17 following sexual harassment allegations, wind groups lost a key ally and the future of the bill fell into question.

 

On Wednesday, Sen. Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) introduced his own bill SB 238, which is identical to Sen. Hite’s, in an attempt to get the effort back on track…

 

Sen. Dolan said he made the bill identical so everyone can start on the same page. That means the bill calls for increasing the setback to 1.2 times the blade’s length – up from the current 1.1 times – while at the same time requiring the minimum distance from the nearest blade to be measured from the nearest residential structure rather than the nearest property line. The net impact of those two changes is a shortening of the required setback distance.

 

In modeling the legislation after the same bill, he said, all prior testimony received on the Hite proposal will still apply to the new bill, thereby speeding up the legislative process. The bill is likely to be assigned to the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee, which conducted hearings on the Hite bill…

 

The sponsor said he is eying some changes, particularly in making it clearer that county commissioners have the authority to grant approval for a wind farm project.  “I feel there’s a misunderstanding of what the setbacks actually do,” Sen. Dolan said. “It doesn’t interfere with the ability of the county to say yes or no to a project.”

 

The bill has the same cosponsors as the prior iteration – 13 Republicans and one Democrat…

 

 

 

 

BigWind ‘kicked to the curb’ in Nebraska

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Yet, another example, of a BigWind setback being EXPANDED….well beyond Ohio. But you would never hear of this if you only listened to the BigWind lobbyists in Ohio, where the industry cries that our setback hinders their growth….that our setback is too restrictive…that there is no danger or problem with having 600 foot industrial wind turbines as neighbors.  Read below, and you will see that Nebraska has become wise. Setbacks have been expanded to 2,700 feet and banned in another. Congrats!…

Wind turbines will not be dotting the Stanton County landscape anytime soon.

The Stanton County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously today to approve a land use matrix that did not allow for wind developers to purchase conditional use permits – effectively preventing any wind farms from attempting to build in Stanton County…

 

The Board also passed regulations extending the setback requirements for a windmill to 2,700 feet and capping the potential noise generated at 50 decibels. These requirements would only matter if the Board retracted the ban on wind permits in the future…

 

via Stanton County Bars Wind Development Sandhills Express

(Yet another) county pursues INcreased BigWind setback…wake up, Ohio legislators!

Yet again, we find an area that is experienced with BigWind, now seeking to INcrease the distance between turbines and property lines. Yet, Ohio wants to DEcrease the distance? Well below any measurement mentioned below. All of this comes down to $ from BigWind. We will never know if deals were made, unbeknownst to the public, between BigWind and certain individuals…which explain the lack of common sense from certain legislators. Read below, and you will find excellent arguments for INCREASING the  safety setbacks.  That’s right, SAFETY setbacks, something many legislators seem to forget…

Members of the public on Monday night urged Ford County Board members to consider, among other measures, the need to increase the minimum distance that wind turbines can be located from homes….

Ann Ihrke told board members that it was their duty to protect the “health, safety and welfare of all citizens of the county.” She presented board members with a packet containing a letter written by attorney Brent Holmes concerning many of the issues citizens have complained about, such as the inadequacy of the county’s 1,500-foot setback for non-participating landowners.

Numerous studies by independent professionals recommend a 2,500-foot setback between a wind turbine and the property lines, not the foundations of structures, of non-participating landowners, Ann Ihrke said.

Such studies also reveal numerous health problems when turbines are allowed too close to homes, including frequent sleep disturbances when sited closer than 2,500 feet.

Ann Ihrke also questioned whether the county’s ordinance governing wind farms adequately protects the county from liability if turbines need to be removed. She noted that there will be no new revenues generated for the purpose of demolition, adding that the county may be stuck having to pay for decommissioning if the companies that have owned and operated Ford County’s wind farms become defunct or bankrupt before turbines need removed…

Ted Hartke, a licensed professional land surveyor and licensed professional engineer in Illinois, said he has concerns about wind farms after living near a wind turbine in neighboring Vermilion County. He and his family moved due to problems with wind turbines being too close to their home, and they finally were able to sell their house…

“You guys already have problems,” Hartke told the board. “There is a safety manual that says in case of a fire or malfunctioning turbines, the employees of the wind company are supposed to run upwind a minimum of 1,640 feet. If my house or my land is within 1,640 feet from my property line to the wind turbines, that’s the distance they are to run upwind from. So if you are downwind, I seem to think that the distance should be about 2,000 feet.”…

“Your only job as a county board is to protect all of your citizens,” Hartke said.

Meanwhile, Leo Weber, a road commissioner for Rogers Township, said there remain issues with the repair of roads used in constructing the Kelly Creek Wind Farm.

“We have a meeting set up to go back to our attorney to assess what our next steps will be,” Weber said, “and we look to the board to get any support they can extend our way to get this resolved.”

Weber said the owner of the Kelly Creek Wind Farm — EDF Renewable Energy — has “failed to uphold the road-use agreement” it made with his township and others.

“Roads that our school buses travel on are dangerous,” Weber said. “There are deep drop-offs where a truck got too far to the edge and rolled over. … Five miles (of roads) in Ford County are not fixed correctly.”

Weber also told the board that as a taxing body, his township was given inaccurate information a year ago on the assessed valuation of land in the wind farm’s footprint. That error or omission, he said, cost Rogers Township $12,000 of revenue that it could have captured, and it cost the Tri-Point school district $44,000.

 

via Public urges Ford County Board to strengthen wind-farm rules Paxton Record

What every Ohioan should know about BigWind (as a new neighbor)

If you live in Ohio, you should share these truths (from Indiana) with your legislators. Legislators who are STRONGLY considering SHORTENING the distances between an industrial wind energy turbine and your home.  And our governor supports this nonsense! BigWind lobbies hard and they are extremely well funded, so it is vital that you educate yourselves and SHARE your opinion with your legislators….

As a Tipton County property owner, I did extensive research on the possible effects of having Industrial Wind Turbines. Our county was the first to attempt to have the turbines located close to residential homes and communities. Recently, I read Wind Watch online regarding Fulton, Miami, and Cass counties being interested in having a windfarm. I would like to pass along some findings of over 1,000 hours of research regarding this situation.

I first thought these things were green, non-toxic, and would be great for the environment…

Some counties have changed their setbacks due to health risks. Whitley County is now a half mile from the property line. Noble County has a 3,960 foot setback, and a noise limit not to exceed 40 decibels at 1,000 feet from a turbine, and requires that a tower’s blinking lights be shielded. Tipton County’s setback is now 2,640 feet from a residence. Many other counties have a complete ban on wind farms. If there were no risks, why would all these counties be putting in stricter ordinances??The World Health Organization recommends a minimum setback of 5,280 feet for children, elderly, and the chronically ill. The International Standards Organization recommends community noise limits of 35 decibels during daytime, and 25-30 decibels at night. Many European nations with more than two decades of experience with windfarms have setbacks of 3-5 miles. Denmark’s setback is four times the total height, and Holland’s is 3,280 feet.

Our County Commissioners were initially touting that “everyone was happy in Benton County” with the IWT’s. I sent a letter to the editor of the Lafayette Journal Courier stating I would like input from anyone regarding the impact of their turbines.

I received numerous replies (some anonymous) and others asking me not to use their name.

The following letter is from an individual who supplied her address in Fowler, Ind. My husband and I visited their home, and experienced all of her claims first-hand. Most people who visit Benton County wind farms have appointments set up for a tour with the Benton County Wind Farm EDC. We wanted to go on our own.

Here is the letter:

“I live in Benton County. Feel free to come to visit us. We are right in the heart of the wind turbines. They surround our house. I DO NOT like having them so close to our house. When they put them in, our road was so busy I could not even go walking that summer. The noise REALLY bothers me, and I have never gotten used to it! Depending on which way the wind is out of, you can hear the noise in the house. It seems worse in the winter. I believe it’s due to the density of the air. This time of the year the “FLICKER” effect is really bad in the morning and in the evening. You feel like you always need to duck as you see the blades going around. When my son-in-law visits, he always asks how we can stand that. We feel we should be compensated. The landowners get paid for the rental of their land but we get no compensation and we were here first! When it is all said and done, the commissioners should have made the set back a lot further from the houses. We would still have the noise but at least we wouldn’t have the FLICKER effect. I wish I had known all this before they were put in. Everyone just kept on saying they will be good for the community. They are, only if you are a landowner. They don’t care at all about homes in the community. Then they wonder why nobody wants to live in Benton County. Don’t know that I want you to use my name because we, as well as many others, have received threats and property damage when we’ve complained, but feel free to use this information.”

Here is another letter:

“In response to your letter to the editor, Thursday, February 14, in the Journal Courier, this information may be what you need. Personal property value will fall like a rock. Benton County houses located within the wind farms are selling for whatever the owner can get. Many land owners where these wind generators are located do not live in the county. The average age of the lease owners is retirement age…

The companies brag that the local economy will boom, but that is temporary until the company is done installing these monsters. They tout that they will create hundreds of jobs, but that is not true either. The companies bring their own machinery operators, and in the end there might be 5-6 people that maintain the turbines, or are guards, or both.

In Benton County, this happened because few people knew about the turbines until it was way too late to do anything about it. This is how the companies manage to get this done everywhere. A decision of this magnitude should be decided after a debate over property values, who is responsible for that loss, and other issues such as blinking lights, noise, which is nauseating, and the strobe effect from shadow flicker.”…

http://www.rochsent.com/Content/Local-news/Local-news/Article/Windfarm-neighbor/15/31/26003

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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