It’s a ‘mad world’ (for BigWind right now)

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Mad dashes, mad men, mad money—its a mad world!! Loads and loads of news this week.  Important Ohio news is presented but the big picture news is a focus this week as well.  It is important to understand the big picture and context in which each local battle is being waged.  The upcoming elections at national, state and local levels will shape the future direction of energy development.  Left-wing environmentalists (mad men) have billions of dollars (mad money)  invested in the fight and many angry Ohioans are seeing the effects in their own backyards.   Developers are madly dashing to secure 100% funding from the Production Tax Credit (more mad money!) but as a back-up, they hope to retake the US House of Representatives and EXTEND the PTC for wind.  Stay informed!

Regional Economic Development Alliance Study Committee

Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof has appointed Senator Rob McColley (R-Napoleon) and State Senator Jay Hottinger (R-Newark) to the Regional Economic Development Alliance Study Committee.   The committee is charged with studying the features, benefits and challenges of establishing regional economic development alliances and partnerships between Ohio communities.   Senator McColley has worked hard to address the concerns of NW Ohio residents who face the threat of industrial wind development.    Senator Hottinger represents an area where one of Amazon’s data centers is located.  Amazon is seeking to power their data centers with renewable energy.

The study committee is composed of 17 members: three members of the Ohio Senate; three members of the Ohio House; the Governor or their designee; two representatives of academia; two economic development professionals; the chairperson of the Regional Prosperity Initiative or their designee; the president of the Ohio Association of Regional Councils or their designee; and three persons appointed by the Governor based on recommendations from an Ohio-based advocacy group, an Ohio-based foundation and a metropolitan planning organization.  The study committee is to complete a report for the Governor by August 1, 2019.

Update on Van Wert county blade failure

After several weeks have passed since the failure, Rep. Bill Seitz inquired about the status of the investigation and findings of the Ohio Power Siting Board relative to the incident.   It appears they knew nothing about it and the developer may not have reported it.   The OPSB is now alerted and promises to make a report to Rep. Seitz as soon as possible.

Seneca County Poll Confirms Public Rejection of Industrial Wind

A new poll of more than 1,000 Tiffin area residents found that 75.84% of Seneca County residents oppose the area’s proposed wind projects, while 21.67% support and approximately 2.5% said they’re unsure/don’t know how they feel on the issue.   The poll breaks down respondents by varies classifications and it is clearly not a partisan issue.   In the meantime, residents with Good Neighbor Agreements up for renewal claim the developer will not release them if they do not want to renew.  The developer claims the projects are “under construction”.    Seneca County folks who signed setback waivers (aka Good Neighbor Agreements) should remember that the OPSB was charged with establishing a rule for waivers but they never did.  Are the waivers enforceable?    Against this backdrop, the State of Ohio has announced Seneca Wind qualified to receive PILOT under the terms of the local AEZ….see article link below

“Fake” Conservatives for a Clean Energy Future honors Champions of Clean Energy

CCE  has applauded three Ohio lawmakers as “champions” of clean energy.  Sen. Matt Dolan, (R-Chagrin Falls), Rep. Rick Carfagna (R-Westerville), and Rep. Laura Lanese (R-Grove City) are among elected officials receiving the group’s praise. Jon Cross, Republican candidate for the 83rd House District, was also honored.  Mark Pischea, the group’s president, called each “vocal supporter(s) of conservative energy policy solutions that emphasize clean, renewable energy and energy waste reduction. It’s polices like these that spark true innovation, create jobs, protect ratepayers and grow the economy in states like Ohio.”    Given the Seneca County Poll maybe these elected officials should decline to accept the awards. Do YOU reside in any of their districts? Have you shared YOUR opinion with them??

Lake Erie Icebreaker Project Blasted by Boaters

Boating Associations of Ohio and the Michigan Boating Industry Association, along with environmental and fishing groups, are blitzing members of the Ohio Power Siting Board with petitions from hundreds of boaters in both states ahead of a closed meeting Monday, Sept. 24 in Columbus, Ohio.  The article below notes “More specifically to boating and fishing interests, the turbine installations are expected to trigger large security zones similar to those around Great Lakes power plants. This will prohibit thousands of boating and fishing families from accessing large areas of the very waters held in the public trust. That alone should be unacceptable to the Ohio Power Siting Board, not to mention protecting the health and aesthetics of the state’s most important natural resource.”  This is a must read. See the link to article below

 

The Sierra Club and Columbus are getting Ready for 100% renewable energy

The Sierra Club is working with Columbus on a campaign establish a path to 100 percent renewable energy in the city and how to attain that goal in the next 30+ years. While they ramp up to launching their campaign, the Ready for 100 team will be adding updates to their Facebook page.   What’s not to “like”?    NW Ohio should be forewarned  that Columbus is on the march!

BIG GREEN powered by billions of left wingers and maybe a few Russians

Recharge reports “Ten liberal foundations gave $3.7 billion to environmental groups and causes over eight years….”Foundations have promised $3 billion more to “reduce the rate of global warming.”  Major foundations handed nearly $4 billion to global warming activists, anti-fossil fuel campaigners and other environmentalists over the past eight years, according to a database debuted Monday by the Institute for Energy Research. IER president Tom Pyle said the vast web of funding detailed by Big Green, Inc. shatters the notion environmentalists are locked in a David versus Goliath-like struggle against energy companies.  “The truth is the environmental left is a deep-pocketed and powerful force in American politics that is working to stop all natural gas, oil, and coal production in the United States.”  Meanwhile, Congressman Devin Nunes, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee might have found Russian collusion.

New Gas Plant in Ohio will produces 1,182 MW of reliable power

South Field Energy LLC  will build a $1.3 billion combined-cycle energy plant in Columbiana County, Ohio. The 1,182-megawatt facility WILL (unlike BigWind) be able to power a million homes. This story notes “Owners and developers of power plants and other energy-generating facilities are increasingly trying to find ways to provide enough power to their customers… The 53 natural gas projects, however, created more installed capacity in megawatts than all the others combined.”

Everyone should read this article from American Thinker: Wind and Solar Good For Nothing

Wind or solar is an appendage to the electrical grid rather than an essential part of the system. If all the wind or solar vanished, the grid would continue operation without the slightest problem, because the grid has to be able handle the load without wind or solar. Thus, wind or solar does not reduce capital investment for traditional generating plants. You may read in the press that coal plants have been replaced by wind or solar. That is never true.”

 Federal Clean Power Plan Scrapped and Affordable Clean Energy Plan (“ACE”) Developed

Renewable advocates are furious that states will be given more authority to establish their own air quality program fearing that older coal plants would be able to continue to operate if they still have a useful life. Ohio Energy Policy director for the Natural Resources Defense Council Dan Sawmiller adds that clean and renewable energy sources will be the losers should ACE be approved, as the proposed rule pits certain power plants against others.   Boo hoo.

Production Tax Credit Race Nearing the Finish

Recharge Reports “After stockpiling gigawatts of wind turbines in 2016 to qualify projects for 100% production tax credit (PTC) value, US developers may have begun to lose a race against the clock if they want to have all of them in commercial operation as federal law requires by the end of 2020.   Without full-value PTC – an inflation-adjusted $24/MWh for electric power sent to the grid for the initial 10 years – many projects would not make economic sense and by extension, not obtain financing. “  

Corporate demand for wind power keeping wind developers in business.

Recharge reports “As US wind developers look to make maximum use of the fading production tax credit (PTC), one of the biggest questions has been whether there would be enough off-takers for all their proposed projects.   Any such concerns seem increasingly quaint. This year is proving to be a blowout for US wind power-purchase agreements (PPAs), with more than 5GW signed in the first half — a 44% increase compared to the same period in 2017 — the highest level since the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) began tracking PPA activity.” 

Operating Expense is starting to surpass the Capital Expense of Wind portending a possible slowdown in new developments. (Recharge-Wind OpEx will soon eclipse CapEx in North America: IHS Markit)

“By 2021 more money will be spent maintaining existing North American wind farms than building new ones, according to market researcher IHS Markit. Each year the existing base of wind farms expands, regardless of how many new projects get built, fueling the ever-expanding global wind operations and maintenance (O&M) market.   ….“The transition from CapEx to OpEx is significant, and the wind industry will need to shift its focus away from infrastructure build and toward providing services and minimizing costs at existing projects,” says Maxwell Cohen, associate director at IHS Markit. The shift has big implications not only for owners of wind farms, but also for turbine manufacturers – most of whom have put a far greater emphasis on O&M revenue in recent years.”

 Tiffin residents OPPOSE BigWind

Boaters say NO to BigWind

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Van Wert blade shear gets NO media attention? Help us change this!

Against the backdrop of an upcoming election and a diminishing legislative calendar, the wind lobby is working overtime to press its case for reduced setbacks.   President Trump is a broken record on fake news but what about “no news”?   A blade failure occurred at Avangrid’s Van Wert County Blue Creek project on August 26th.    The turbines in the project are 476’ and a 10-foot section was documented by the local people via use of a drone to have flown approximately 825’.    Neither a 1.1x turbine height from the property line nor a 1.2x distance as suggested in H.B. 114 would have protected the neighbors, children or livestock from the thrown fragment.   

 

In this recent case, it appears the “systems” designed to stop the turbine did not work.  The rotor continued to spin for at least ten minutes after the blade fragment was thrown.  Neighbors called 911.  The Avangrid representative arrived two hours after the failure.  As far as we know, there has been NO media report or statement from the Blue Creek operator. 

 

Likewise, in Texas where a blade failure caused an overspeed situation and possibility of fire, a family of five was evacuated from their home.   There has been almost no press coverage of this event which occurred on the same day as Blue Creek   Lack of access to timely, actual  failure reports is one more compelling reason for statutory protective setbacks measured from property lines.  As seen in the story below, the mechanical safeguards intended to prevent the Texas overspeed situation, did not work.  ….

Texas family forced to leave home

Van Wert, Ohio Turbine BREAKS and throws debris >800 feet!

 

This blade failure happened Saturday in Van Wert County, Ohio. Second failure here in Van Wert in less then 7 yrs of operation. Here are the significant FACTS about this failure:

This wasn’t a storm incident with high winds and still managed to throw debri over 800’.

The debri from this turbine was thrown past the setback distance that was in place at the time it was installed (7 years ago).

With the new proposed setback distances in Ohio here is how far these turbines will be from your property line.
475’ turbine as shown. 570’
600’ turbine new proposed. 720’

One thing that this failure DIDNT do was throw debris past the current standing setback law of 1000’ to a property line.

Doesn’t take too much common sense here to see that Ohio current setback laws were made to protect the community and if anything need to be lengthened.

Which local news media will get out from under the thumb of the wind industry and post this???

Love of $ is the root of all evil (BigWind)

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It seems more and more that the pursuit of money is the only justification left for building wind facilities.  In today’s issue, the article “Love of Money is the Root of All Evil” is included.  Maybe it will resonate with your experience or maybe you might like it share it with your elected officials.

A quote from the article states:  “This general affluence, however, brings neither an increase in human decency nor real happiness.  Instead, the more gadgetry we have, the more choices we have in the marketplace, the more economic security we have – if we have defined those as the center of our lives – the more desperately wretched we become inside.  Moreover, no one who makes money the center of his life is ever satisfied with what he has.  The lust for wealth is a narcotic just as insidious as heroin or pornography.  It consumes us.  We barter away everything that ought to matter in our lives and silently mock those things that truly matter, and we encourage the rest of us to mock those things as well.

 A letter to the Editor from a resident of Tipton County, Indiana amplifies the above quote.  Jane Harper writes, “Wind companies prey on counties with weak ordinances. Think about why they chose you. It’s nothing more than a business deal to them in order to make money and they care not about the chronic wounds of strife left behind. To most, the price of happiness and serenity and community cohesiveness is price-less, and no amount of money flashed in front of county leaders from a wind company “for the good of the county” will make a measurable positive difference in one’s daily lives.  So the “numbers” of what “wind” brings to the community are immaterial if you all believe that happiness does not have a price tag.”

 Do county commissioners, township trustees and school board officials understand that to most of their constituents, the justification of money coming into the community will not really make a “measurable positive difference in one’s daily life”  because the happiness of their constituents does not have a price tag?

Elsewhere in the news:

 

  • The Van Wert School Board writes an open letter to the community to justify why they are willing to barter away serenity and community cohesiveness in exchange for money saying, “Wind revenue is important to VWCS because it would allow the district to continue to meet prudent student and facility needs for a longer period, without going to the voters.”   How arrogant. What a lousy bargain.

 

  • The Sandusky Register reports on the annual bird migration across Lake Erie. “ In recent news, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology introduced a real-time animated bird migration map called BirdCast which shows actual nocturnal bird migration patterns based upon 23 years of U.S. NEXRAD weather radar surveillance observations. Only recently has the magnitude of nocturnal migration been realized, with many species flying great distances at night at altitudes dictated by species and weather conditions. As wind farms continue to be built and expanded without proper oversight concerning their locations, millions of birds and bats, including endangered species will suffer accelerated, unsustainable additive mortality rates, which continue to be hidden from the scientific community and by extension, the general public.”  On a small positive note, Lucas County Commissioners have agreed to support turning off all non-essential lighting during the migration.

 

  • In Hardin County, the Ada Exempted Village School District Board of Education has authorized legal action against two companies over their failure to remove an inoperable wind turbine on school district property.  The turbine was struck by lightning in 2016 and the developer has refused to repair it.  The turbine is inoperable and needs to be removed.  The taxpayers may get saddled with the expense if legal action fails. What about the ONU turbines? 2 out of 3 were not working in the past few years…
  • General Motors will buy 200 megawatts of wind energy from Ohio and Illinois wind farms in a move the company said will power 20% of its global energy use. The electricity will be generated by wind farms under construction in Ohio – including the 60 turbine 100-megawatt Northwest Ohio Wind Farm in Haviland – and Indiana. “They will enable GM to power all its Ohio and Indiana manufacturing facilities with 100% renewable sources once the turbines come online by year’s end, according to the company”.    Haviland is a village of about 200 people located in Paulding County.  One commenter on this story noted “Nice project but misleading. Those GM plants will need on line generators to run 24/7 because the wind does not blow all the time…and the sun does not shine much of the time around here. Since corporations are willing to buy into this type of energy, the need for tax breaks has long since passed. All the tax breaks do is give these turbines unfair competition to the nuke and coal plants that provide the back up to run 24/7, not to mention tax revenue losses to local and state governments. These nuke and coal plants won’t run forever, but they still have useful life in them and employ a lot more people that wind turbines.”    The project is under construction in Blue Creek and Latty townships.
  • Icebreaker Windpower proposes to construct six wind turbines located approximately 8-10 miles offshore Cleveland. Each turbine would have a nameplate capacity rating of 3.45 MW, resulting in a combined generating capacity of 20.7 MW. The project would include an approximately 12-mile-long submerged electric transmission line to transmit the electricity generated by the turbines to Cleveland Public Power’s onshore Lake Road substation.  A public hearing on the project is scheduled for July 19 at 6 p.m. at Cleveland City Council Chambers in Cleveland City Hall.  An adjudicatory hearing in this proceeding will begin at 10 a.m. on Aug. 6 at the offices of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio in Columbus, Ohio. Icebreaker is being aggressively promoted by a group called Windustrious Cleveland under the direction of Sarah Taylor who thinks filling up the Great Lakes with wind turbines will reverse climate change.

 

  • A mystery man from North Olmsted in Cuyahoga County by the name of Tom Schock writes a letter of support for the Dolan setback bill.  We don’t know who Schock is but he has been popping up in papers in different cities for a number of years advocating for reduced setbacks.  Schock was writing back when Cliff Hite was making efforts to reduce setbacks.  Readers should be aware that this fellow is kind of a career letter to the Editor writer and he is writing from a community that will never see a wind turbine.

 

  • A Seneca County couple writes a letter to the editor after being offered a good neighbor agreement.  The proposed contract would pay them $500 a year to waive adverse effects and comply with a confidentiality clause. They have filed a complaint with the PUCO.

 

  • The Ohio Country Journal distributed across Ohio to farmers and rural landowners waded into the setback controversy.  The reporter is a graduate of OSU and Benjamin Logan High School in Bellefontaine. Joel Penhorwood writes for the Ag community and lives on a farm in the Bellefontaine area.  In his article, Penhorwood coveys the money justification for reducing setbacks and granting PILOT echoed by Sen. Dolan and State Rep. Reineke of Tiffin. With respect to projects planned for Seneca County, Commissioner Holly Stacy is quoted saying “In order for our community to have the opportunities that others have had, what you’re hearing today is what we must do. We must have some change in the Ohio regulations for the wind industry. Otherwise that economic development can’t happen in the other sections of the state. Our county has had the local control, and we made that evident by previous commissioners putting the PILOT in place in Seneca County.” The article reinforces Dolan’s misguided belief that the ability to grant PILOT constitutes local control of wind development.

 

  • In Seneca County, the County Commissioners continue to hear from residents opposed to industrial wind development that would destroy their community and create safety issues. They were joined in their opposition by firefighters concerned about the ability of medical helicopters to reach people living near the turbines in the event of emergency. Again, instead of addressing the concerns of the people, Apex manager Dalton Carr defaulted to the money that could be generated saying “the area would realize at least $90 million in revenues, even if the devices don’t operate.” 

 

  • American Electric Power (AEP) expects to learn the fate of its 2GW Wind Catcher project by the end of June, later than it had hoped, although chief executive Nicholas Akins insists the wind farm could still be built in time to meet the production tax credit’s (PTC) deadline. Wind Catcher faces lengthening odds, not least because any further delays could make it difficult to build the 800-turbine wind farm by the end of 2020, in time to lock in the full PTC. Wind Catcher, among the largest advanced-stage wind projects in the world, would be built in the Oklahoma panhandle, and deliver power to AEP customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. GE Renewable Energy is the turbine supplier.

 

  • The Natural Resources Defense Council makes clear that the only acceptable energy policy for Ohio is full wind and solar.  They want clean nuclear energy phased out and they want gas shut down while bombarding the state with renewables.  NRDC even takes a shot at property line setbacks knowing that their plan is a non-starter with safe setbacks.

 

  • In sharp contrast to the left-wing Natural Resources Defense Council’s blather stands the reality of energy development on the eastern side of the state. It’s a signature of where growth in new energy will develop in America and what it will look like. This section of northeastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania – with its abundance of natural gas from the Utica and Marcellus shales – has emerged as the fulcrum for the industry’s future.” “What attracts power generation projects to Ohio is the abundance of low-cost natural gas derived from the Utica and Marcellus shale plays. Across Ohio, 11 new combined-cycle electrical generation plants worth an estimated $10.5 billion are either recently completed, under construction or in the planning or permit stages. These plants will provide meaningful, reliable power in an area of the state familiar with power production.  These plants will not be spread across thousands and thousands of acres of rural Ohio benefiting a few and destroying the landscape for precious little more than public $ubsidie$.

 

  • In Indiana, the Farm Bureau recently sent out membership information identifying counties with the highest membership numbers. Four out of five of counties with the highest % of members either fought or are fighting wind projects. Indiana wind warriors think It is time to send the Farm Bureau a message. In Fulton County, many members of the Fulton County Property Rights group did not renew their membership or insurance with Farm Bureau following their fight, and they let IFB know it is because Farm Bureau supports wind energy in Indiana.

 

  • In Hopkinton, NY the county commissioner equivalent body voted 4-0 to adopt a new law calling for a setback requirement of five times the total height of a turbine from non-participating property lines, public roads, wind overlay boundary, non-WECS building, farm or commercial structures or any above-ground utilities, registered historical sites and the APA boundary.  The local law requires adherence to a maximum 40 dBA at the nearest non-participating property line, school, hospital, place of worship or building existing at the time of the application.

 

  • In Oswego County, New York, local officials will provide no property tax abatement for developer Avangrid Renewables’s proposed Mad River Wind Farm“Just out of the concern for fairness for the rest of the county taxpayers,” said County Administrator Philip R. Church. “We understand that there are a variety of concerns to the impacts of the region up there.”  “Why not get full taxation if they are going to go through with it?”
  • Reflecting the urgency of reducing costs as $ubsidie$ are phased out, Buffalo NY manufacturer, Moog Inc announced it will exit the turbine pitch control system business. “Moog executives had hoped to jumpstart the wind energy business by developing a new line of more reliable pitch control systems for wind turbines. By tapping into Moog’s motion control expertise and designing new systems that used fewer components, the company believed its products would save wind farm operators money in the long run by lasting longer and reducing operating and maintenance expenses. But Moog’s new products cost more upfront, and wind turbine manufacturers, mainly based in China, were reluctant to adopt new systems that would push up the price of their turbine systems at a time when the wind energy market is highly competitive, Scannell said.”

 

  • A study by the Energy Information Administration concluded total federal $ubsidie$ for renewable energy dropped to $6.7 billion by the 2016 fiscal year, a 56 percent decline from 2013. “Though even with the decline, renewable energy consisted of 46 percent of total federal energy subsidies. U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry requested updated energy subsidy information as part of the office’s study on grid resiliency. Biofuels accounted for the largest share of 2016 energy subsidies in 2016, down from 77 percent in 2010 but up from 31 percent in 2013, largely due to the expiration of the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit in 2011.” 
  • “TerraForm Power’s electric generation fell by 7.5% in the first quarter, after the US yieldco switched off 70 turbines at its Raleigh and Bishop Hill farms to investigate the collapse of a Invenergy-built GE turbine earlier this year.  In January, a blade at a GE 1.5MW turbine spinning at the 78MW Raleigh wind farm in the Canadian province of Ontario cracked and sheared the tower, causing the tower to fold in half. No one was injured.  TerraForm’s Stinebaugh says. “What we are seeing, though, is that within the renewable power sector, development is becoming more capital intensive – and there’s a number of developers looking to align themselves with people who’ve got greater access to capital.”

 

  • In an effort to appear fresh and informative, long time wind-industry consultant Ben Hoen and wind friends have dusted off their old “study” about public acceptance of wind facilities.  They posit “In general, we have observed that the media coverage of attitudes toward wind energy tends to be very anecdotal. Vivid stories of suffering dominate the discussion, which is often devoid of fundamental or methodical analysis of public opinion, the severity of the associated annoyances or even the extent of discontent among people living next to or near wind farms.”   Hoen’s work has been challenged for years because he threw people living within a 1,000 feet of turbines into a pool of people living as far as five miles away.  His work was diluted then and is more suspect now that turbines have dramatically increased in size.  We see this effort to drag out an old “hedonic model” to cover over the real stories of real people as shameless. But we are not surprised.  Do these folks think we lack any common sense?  Hoen also claims there is no property devaluation.

 

If Hoen and his gang would like to dredge up old reports, we can do that too.  A study from the London School of Economics places a value on the extent of devaluation experienced by property located near wind turbines due to the VISUAL IMPACT of the turbines.  Touché….

VW schools

Ohio birding

GM Ohio wind site

Ohio IceBreaker

Ohio setbacks

Ohio NRDC

NY Big setbacks

Pay FULL taxes BigWind

China makes most BigWind machines

Fed subsidies

Canada blade/tower collapse

Wind turbine objections

 

Is Apex Clean Energy trying to influence Van Wert, OH commissioner election????

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The facts speak for themselves.  The Moser family and close friend have contributed $3610 to the Vicky Profit campaign for Van Wert, Ohio county commissioner.  This information is public record and listed on the Jon Husted Statement of Contributions Received at the elections office. Connections to Apex Clean Energy represent 84% of the funds raised for Mrs. Profit for county commissioner.  If this doesn’t represent collusion, what does?  Currently, the Van Wert county commissioners have told Apex NO to a PILOT agreement. They have told Apex it will pay full taxes to the Van Wert county residents, not the pocket change of the current PILOT agreement (approximately 16% of full taxation valuation). Apex ‘appears’ to be making a grand effort to change this. If you are dealing with BigWind in your area, its imperative that you stay vigilant and be aware of their tactics…. 

Is BigWind influencing our Ohio elections?

Somebody said that “Bad officials are elected by the good people who do not vote.” Our message here is that the wind industry will try to influence county level races as well as at the state level.   Champaign County observed this a number of years ago.

We are entering the election season and early voting has started.   We hope everyone votes and drags their family and friends with them to the polls.  Most of our readers will have heard by now that the Ohio Speaker of the House has resigned effective May 1st.   Speaker Cliff Rosenberger is under investigation by the FBI for suspected campaign finance violations.  He will be succeeded at least temporarily by Rep. Kirk Shuring of Canton.   Gov. Kasich’s aide, Wayne Struble, has announced he will retire at the end of the week.

With all the hubbub and the elections approaching, we examined the past year’s contributions by the wind industry to Ohio House and Senate members.  From our amateur evaluation, there are clearly three Senators who received the most from wind developers, their lobbyists and the lawyers who represent them:  Senator Bill Beagle of Tipp City, Senator Randy Gardner of Bowling Green and Senator Gayle Manning of North Ridgeville in the Huron and Lorain County areas.  Both Manning and Gardner are members of Senate Leadership.  All three are term limited and cannot run again although Gardner’s term will not end until 2020.

An examination of political donation reports from the Secretary of State’s Office reflects that of the $58,100 raised by Senator Beagle from 4-11-17 to 4-11-18, $16,700 – more than 25% of his funds –  came from wind-related donors and utilities.  AEP was the top donor at $5,000 followed by AWEA at $1,500.   Beagle is term-limited and cannot run again.  On the Republican side, Dr. Stephen Huffman is running unopposed in the primary.  Huffman currently represents District 80 in the Ohio House covering portions of Miami and Darke Counties..   He is related to Senator Matt Huffman, a strong supporter of property line setbacks. The Democrat, Paul Bradley, is also unopposed and will face off in November against Huffman.

Sen. Manning is term-limited and hopes that she is will be succeeded by her son, Nathan, who currently serves in the House of Representatives.  Manning is opposed in the primary by Ryan Sawyer of Norwalk.  It is unknown how Sawyer feels about wind development or property line setbacks but Manning has been disappointing.

Senator Randy Gardner raked in $172,437 over the past twelve months of which $14,550 was energy related.  AWEA contributed $2,500 to Gardner who will serve through 2020.  Bad news!  In the event no setback legislation is passed for the balance of the year, Gardner will likely figure prominently in next year’s attempts to reduce setbacks.

Senator Rob McColley of Napoleon is facing two primary challengers to retain his seat that was vacated by Cliff Hite.  Bob Barker, Jr. and Craig Kupferberg are the Republican primary opponents.  Kupferberg of Findlay, 59, is a former Findlay High School principal (friend of Hite?), and Robert D. Barker Jr., 53,comes from Van Wert.  The winner will compete in November against Democrat Adam Papin, 36, of Bryan, who is unopposed in his party’s primary.  Senator McColley’s district covers all of Henry, Putnam, Williams, Defiance, Paulding, Hancock, Van Wert and Hardin counties; the southeastern corner of Fulton County; and northern sections of Auglaize and Logan counties.  This is a very important race. You can vote right now if you would like. This race will send an important message about wind development in rural NW Ohio.

Rep. Robert Sprague from Findlay is running for State Treasurer.  His House seat is being contested in the Republican primary by Republican Cheryl Buckland, 64, of Findlay, who will face Jon Cross, 39, of Kenton. Buckland is a Republican State Central Committee member. Cross, of Kenton, is president/chief executive officer and economic development director of the Hardin County Chamber and Business Alliance, Kenton.  Given the open door policy of Hardin County toward wind development, we hope every man, woman and child that draws breath will get out and vote for Buckland even though we don’t know much about her.   The winner will face Democrat Ashley Philipp, of rural McComb, in the November general election.  This primary race will be closely watched by officials in neighboring counties.

In the 85th House District, incumbent Rep. Nino Vitale is facing several challengers.   Rep. Vitale supports property line setbacks and opposes wind energy as a general matter believing the costs do not outweigh the benefits.  The Urbana Daily Citizen recently asked the candidates about their views on industrial wind development.  The responses were as follows:

URBANA – Current Ohio House Rep. Nino Vitale is seeking another term in office and will be challenged by three other candidates for the Republican nomination.

Do you support expanding Ohio’s renewable energy favorability to companies like wind and solar developers, or do you think such projects are an unnecessary threat to property values of nearby uncompensated residents?

“The government continues to pick winners and losers. This needs to stop. While it is true that coal and nuclear companies receive subsidies, the problem is, on a per kilowatt basis, wind and solar are so inefficient, they are extremely expensive and unreliable, especially in Ohio. The free market is the BEST place for industry to innovate and grow. Government intervention and using taxpayer subsidies should be used at a very low level if at all.  “We should not use taxpayer money in private business to any great degree. I also believe in proper setbacks from property lines. I’m a strong supporter of property rights, but when you start to affect how your neighbor can enjoy and use their property, it becomes a public matter and not a private one.”

SIDNEY — Joe Ratermann, 54, of Sidney, has strong ties in his hometown of Sidney.

Do you support expanding Ohio’s renewable energy favorability to companies like wind and solar developers, or do you think such projects are an unnecessary threat to property values of nearby residents?

“Local communities and not the legislative body in Columbus are best able to decide what works best for their communities.  For those whom believe that the federal and state government is too intrusive in their lives, this is an excellent issue to allow the market place to dictate the result – and not the General Assembly in Columbus, Ohio. “That said, I support renewable energy. Renewable energy provides the opportunity to be proactive in preparing for the future. Wind and solar developers are preparing our state for long term economic sustainability as fossil fuel energy resources diminish and become increasingly expensive.”

SIDNEY — Sidney native Justin Griffis, 29, is seeking his first elected office in the political world.

Do you support expanding Ohio’s renewable energy favorability to companies like wind and solar developers, or do you think such projects are an unnecessary threat to property values of nearby residents?

“I am a free-market guy, but I do not support expanding Ohio’s renewable energy favorability to companies. This a pretty big issue right now in Logan and Champaign County. I think energy efficiency is a good thing; however, alternative energy sources, especially wind turbines, have more cons than pros.   “First, each turbine assembly requires dozens of acres of clearance, which alters the rural landscape in which it is located. Second, wind turbines are highly intrusive because they are big structures with rotating blades that generate noise and vibration. The noise and vibration affects the wildlife in the area, often times causing the animals to relocate, and is a nuisance to neighboring property owners.  “Third, wind developers often times try to get neighboring property owners to sign ‘Good Neighbor Agreements.’ If a neighboring property owner signs the agreement, they lose their right to sue the developer over any past, present, and future claims of action that may arise.  They also lose the right to sue for any compensatory or punitive damages. The neighboring property owners are paid a small sum not to interfere with the construction, installation, maintenance, and operation of the wind turbine and also have to sign a non-disclosure agreement. “Fourth, these projects definitely cause property values to decrease for nearby residents. Wind turbines are unsightly, have constant noise and vibration, and have strobe lighting that operates both day and night. “Currently, alternative energy sources are not cost effective. Wind turbines and solar panels do not produce significant amounts of energy and cost lots of money to install, maintain, and operate. Again, I believe that there are more cons than pros associated with these alternative energy sources. Therefore, I do not support expanding Ohio’s renewable energy favorability to companies like wind and solar developers.”

URBANA – Rochiel Foulk is one of four candidates vying for the Republican nomination for the Ohio House of Representatives 85th district. A native of Urbana, Foulk graduated from Ohio State University with a bachelor’s degree and Capital University Law School with a paralegal certificate.

Do you support expanding Ohio’s renewable energy favorability to companies like wind and solar developers, or do you think such projects are an unnecessary threat to property values of nearby uncompensated residents?

“I am in favor of cheap energy, regardless of the source as long as it doesn’t cause harm to or bother anyone. Further discussion would have to incorporate the interests of the people who have no recourse to rid themselves of the broken remains of massive, structures no longer in use, once the lifespan of the windmills is complete, and the land owners who would be affected. “With, the importance of preserving Ohio’s aesthetic landscapes and the threat of ruining this historically valued asset, it would be important to represent what the voters would want, and not what an outside industry might be proposing for the financial benefit of only a small group. Beyond that, state encouragement of development of solar and other renewable energy sources seems like a good thing.”

In Van Wert, Ohio, home of the Blue Creek wind facility, the Commissioner race is heating up – well maybe on fire would be a better way to say it.   We blogged, yesterday, about this…

 “There is an interesting development in Van Wert, Ohio as a strongly PRO Big Wind candidate is attempting to oust a current county commissioner….The county commissioners ultimately vote on whether or not to give Big Wind the massive PILOT tax abatement. Vicky and her husband are the owners of Profit & Sons Farms in Van Wert County, Ohio.  The Profits farm approximately 3800 acres and have approx 1200 acres leased within the proposed Apex Clean Energy/Long Prairie wind project. Much of the  remaining 2600 acres, owned by other individuals, is  also leased, per the Van Wert County Auditor’s office. Mrs Profit would be in direct violation of Ohio Ethics code if she takes place in any discussion or voting on any wind matter.  The Ohio Ethics Law and related statutes are found in Ohio Revised Code (R.C.) Chapter 102. and Sections 2921.42 and 2921.43.

 Mrs Profit stated in this publication that Commissioners should make Big Wind decisions withOUT going to a public vote…but legislation is being currently being written allowing Ohio residents to have this decision-making power.  Mrs Profit is also directly supported by Sarah Moser, Project Development Manager of Apex Clean Energy.  In Mrs.  Profit’s Declaration of Candidacy, Sarah K Moser was the signed Circulator of the Candidacy petition. There are also election billboards place throughout the county payed for by SRAL LLC,  A Domestic Limited Liability Company owned by Sarah K Moser. Does this show collusion between Big Wind and this candidate?…”

Again, WHO you vote for may be as important as IF you vote at all.  Respect the rights we have been afforded by our history. Inform yourselves and VOTE!

 

 

 

 

Link to article

Who actually ‘Profit’s if VanWert, Ohio says YES to More BigWind?

There is an interesting development in Van Wert, Ohio as a strongly PRO BigWind candidate is attempting to oust a current county commissioner….The county commissioners ultimately vote on whether or not to give BigWind the massive PILOT tax abatement.
Vicky and her husband are the owners of Profit&Sons Farms in Van Wert County, Ohio.
The Profits farm approximately 3800 acres and have have approx 1200 acres leased within the  proposed Apex Clean Energy/Long Praire wind project. Much of the  remaining 2600 acres, owned by other individuals, is  also leased, per the Van Wert County Auditors office.
Mrs Profit would be in direct violation of Ohio Ethics code if she takes place in any discussion or voting on any wind matter.

The Ohio Ethics Law and related statutes are found in Ohio Revised Code (R.C.) Chapter 102. and Sections 2921.42 and 2921.43

Mrs Profit stated in this publication that Commissioners should make BigWind decisions withOUT going to a public vote…but legislation is being currently being written allowing Ohio residents to have this decision-making power.
Mrs Profit is also directly supported by Sarah Moser, Project Development Manager of Apex Clean Energy.  In Mrs Profits Declaration of Candidacy, Sarah K Moser was the signed Circulator of the Candidacy petition. There are also election billboards place throughout the county payed for by SRAL LLC,  A Domestic Limited Liability Company owned by Sarah K Moser. Does this show collusion between BigWind and this candidate?…

The local Heart Land Patriots group sponsored a Meet the Candidates Night on Tuesday evening, with a featured face-off between Van Wert County commissioner candidates Vicki Profit and Thad Lichtensteiger…

Profit also reiterated her support for renewable energy development in the county, noting that wind energy has been the largest economic development factor in the county, as well as provides needed dollars to the county, its schools, and local property owners.

“I have made it crystal clear that I prefer renewable energy,” she noted. “I completely understand that there are many different opinions about the entire wind industry as a whole, but it’s very difficult for me to sit back and completely ignore what these projects have done for small communities like ours.

“Opportunities like we have been presented in regards to Long Prairie Wind Farm do not come around very often,” Profit said. “We preach economic development in this county consistently, but when you look around, the one and only major contributor … for economic growth, has been renewable energy.”

She questioned why current county officials have not been more supportive of wind energy and new setback laws, and said, if elected, she would make decision necessary for the betterment of the county as a whole.

Profit said, though, that she would listen to all arguments before making a decision on any issue.

A number of wind farm opponents attended the meeting and criticized Profit for her support of wind energy, with some wind energy opponents wondering if her family’s participation in the Long Prairie Wind Farm project would be a conflict of interest problem for her as a commissioner.

Profit answered that, if she felt that was the case, she would abstain from voting on such projects. She also said she felt the county commissioners should make decisions on future wind projects, rather than going to a vote by just the residents of a proposed wind farm district — something being proposed at the Ohio General Assembly level — noting that many groups and the county as a whole benefit financially from a wind farm project, not just those within a wind farm footprint….

https://www.thevwindependent.com/news/2018/04/11/commissioners-candidates-spar-on-wind-energy-issue/#more-101163