EPA preparing to unleash a deluge of new regulations
Al Gore could become world’s first carbon billionaire
Dozens Report Illnesses Caused by Wind Turbines
Latest Ohio News:
Bill preserves Ohio renewable targets
Ohio energy bill getting a rewrite
Lake Erie wind turbine project to hold an Ohio-mandated public meeting
Jay Lehr Testimony
Broadview Heights will make few changes to wind-turbine regulations
Friends: (12-3-13) Today’s Toledo Blade ran an Editorial. Yesterday the Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote one as well. On Wednesday the Senate Public Utilities Committee will vote to pass Senate Bill 58 which has our strong support. It is possible that the bill will go quickly to the Senate floor for a vote and IT MUST PASS. Please take a moment to comment on the Editorial in today’s Toledo Blade. You must be on Facebook to comment. We need as many as possible to comment TODAY.
We continue to remind people that Ohio is not a wind rich state. The National Renewable Energy Lab estimates that there is only .22% of land available in the state capable of producing at 35% of rated capacity. The two operating wind developments in the Van Wert area have yet to even reach 30%. Moreover, we believe Iberdrola sold the power from Blue Creek to OSU for about $54 per MWh while the cost in the PJM (grid operator) market is around $30. The citizens of west central Ohio have been studying this issue for quite a while because our communities are the target for turbine siting due to lack of wind resources in the rest of the State. In the last biennial budget, citizens tried to get more reasonable turbine siting measured from property lines instead of homes. But the “green activists” and the wind lobby won out and we have unsafe setbacks. Result? The property values in the footprint of the Blue Creek project have fallen 26%. The Mercer Township Trustees Association passed a resolution last spring stating that wind is unwelcome anywhere in Mercer County. Almost 90% of Shelby County respondents to a newspaper poll said NO to industrial wind. The people of west central Ohio – whose zoning authority was preempted by the wind lobby – have no one to defend them except Sen. Seitz who, thank God, has been willing to listen to the people, understand the facts about the value of wind and see the wind lobby for what it is.
(11-26-13) Three timely articles for your review:
GOP Senators Cry Foul in Wind-Energy Settlement for Killing Eagle
Wind Turbines Are Climate-Change Scarecrows
Green Energy: The Rotary Dial Phone of the Future
(11-24-13) There are three stories of note we wanted to share with you:
1. A Judge orders Falmouth to run wind turbines on 12-hour schedule to be turned off from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. every weekday as well as Sundays and holidays Acoustical expert, Rob Rand, notes that “This will reduce the town’s wind-derived income compared to running all the time and will put pressure on their financial accounts, as they owe millions to the State for the ARRA “loans” whose payback was blindly based on being able to run all the time. The cost of operating improperly sited wind turbines is becoming visible.”
2. Duke Energy Pleads Guilty To Killing Birds At Wind Farms and has been fined $1 million for illegally killing eagles and they have admitted they knew their siting was wrong prior to construction and would lead to eagle kills;
3. A clause inserted into a Coalition Agreement May End Germany’s Green Energy Shift and could have the effect of requiring wind and solar plants to pay for the baseload back-up power required when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine. This is thought to “seal the fate” of renewables if they have to shoulder these costs rather than dumping them on the backs of consumers who never agreed to pay for them.
Each of these stories indicate that unseen costs of wind energy are at last coming into public view. To be sure, there are other costs that remain to be demonstrated to the public and to policy makers. Yet, these three stories are very encouraging and they make a fine step in the right direction. They are something to be thankful for this holiday season. Blessings to you all and a Happy Thanksgiving.
(11-22-13) The Urbana Daily Citizen reports that the Ohio Power Siting Board has scheduled a hearing on January 6th to review Everpower’s request to modify Buckeye Wind Phase One. The hearing will address issues raised by moving the staging area 1.3 miles west from the original approved location at the NW corner of Ludlow Road and East US Hwy 36. You may recall that, while Everpower represented that this would be the location of the staging area, they never had a lease for the land nor, to our knowledge, did they ever disclose that fact to the OPSB. The new proposed location appears to raise concerns with respect to the planned expansion of the Robert Rothschild Company and the related sewer line extension. However this matter is ultimately resolved, should the project go forward, it ought not be forgotten that the Phase One approval was based on representations by Everpower that were not true and now they have to fix it. What other misrepresentations were made by Everpower in order to gain approval?
In a tizzy over threats to the renewable mandate, a huge ad campaign is being launched by the Sierra Club (some Logan County folks refer to the Sierra Club as a “terrorist organization”!). Perhaps Sierra’s screams of protest, in fact, belie the truth that Ohio ratepayers are paying considerably more for in-state generated wind. The wind developers want the public and the media to focus on the hysteria of the environmental lobby so they will not see the money pouring out of our pockets and into theirs.
Environmentalists Launch Ad Campaign, Release Study To Defend Clean Energy Law:
Opponents of a GOP-led effort to roll back Ohio’s green energy law issued a glowing review Thursday of how renewable and energy efficiency requirements have benefitted consumers, while another organization launched an ad campaign targeting the bill.
Advocates also cast a harsh light on the measure in the way of a highly visible electronic ad towering over Capitol Square.
With those efforts, environmental groups are taking full advantage of a legislative pause while Sen. Bill Seitz‘s (R-Cincinnati) colleagues review his controversial proposal (SB 58) to ease compliance with mandates for utilities to procure 12.5% of their electricity from renewable resources and cut customer consumption 22% by 2025.
Sen. Seitz, who chairs the Senate Public Utilities Committee, called off a vote on the measure this week to give members more time to review a substitute version, which he said represents a compromise with his original plan to eliminate the requirement for half of Ohio’s renewable energy to come from in-state sources. (See Gongwer Ohio Report, November 18, 2013)
The Sierra Club Ohio Chapter took its fight against the legislation to a huge electronic billboard across from the Statehouse on the corner of Broad Street and High Street with an ad stating: “Stop electric rate hikes, consumer rip-offs, and hand-outs to utilities. Stop SB58.”
Meanwhile, Environment Ohio issued a report indicating that energy efficiency requirements have generated 5 million megawatt-hours of cumulative energy savings – enough electricity to power Cincinnati, Cleveland and Dayton for a year – between January 2009, when the law (SB221, 127th General Assembly) took effect and December 2012.
During that time it has also reduced peak electricity demand by 1,583 MW, the equivalent capacity of Ohio’s sixth-largest power plant, the report said. In addition, 313 MW of wind power and 25 MW of solar energy were added in 2012, which could produce more power than Dayton households use in a year.
“The clean energy law is getting results for the Buckeye State,” Environment Ohio state associate Christian Adams said. “Four years in, Ohio’s Clean Energy Law is reducing pollution, cutting our dependence on coal and gas, creating jobs, and saving Ohioans money.”
Dan Litchfield, senior business developer with Iberdrola Renewables, said passage of the law prompted the company to shift its focus from Indiana to Ohio when deciding where to build the Blue Creek Wind Farm, a 304 MW project that came online in June 2012.
“We knew the law would create a market for clean energy that we could compete for,” he said. “We are looking forward to further investment in the state and hopefully a higher percentage of Ohio labor now that there are some firms with wind energy construction experience.”
Mr. Adams said the report shows Sen. Seitz’s proposed changes to the law are unnecessary.
“The clean energy law’s proven track record in delivering energy savings and spurring renewable energy development in Ohio show that the law is working as intended. Senate Bill 58 would take Ohio back to the bad old days of wasteful energy use and overreliance on dirty energy sources,” he said.
Proponents of Senate Bill 58 say it would prevent electricity rate spikes as the energy efficiency benchmarks ratchet higher in coming years and would allow large mercantile customers that have already implemented their own electricity-saving measures to opt-out of paying for their competitors’ upgrades.
(11-21-13) On Nov 21 the battle against wind is being fought on two fronts: State and Federal. We will cover both and ask that you take action if you have not done so already. Each voice counts and we are only as strong as our collective effort. Thank you. We have much additional news that we will be reporting in the coming week.
STATE UPDATE AND CALL TO ACTION Thank you for contacting your state officials concerning Sub SB 58 and its companion House Bill 302. The landscape is changing from moment to moment and you are a part of the dialogue on that change. If you have not yet contacted Rep. Adams and Senator Faber with copies to Senator Seitz please do so today. If you live outside of the Districts which Adams and Faber represent, email your own State Rep. and Senator but also copy Seitz and Faber. This is still a moving target and the wind industry and its allies are pulling out all the stops. Please email Senator Faber AND Rep. John Adams to DEMAND the elimination of the instate mandate for wind. Less than 10% of Ohio is marginally suitable for the commercial development of wind. That means that the BURDEN of the state mandate falls disproportionately on their constituents. Fulfillment of the mandate will only be possible with the continued use of unsafe and inadequate setbacks that threaten health and safety and destroy property values. Ask FABER and ADAMS not to support the destruction of the very people they are sworn to represent. A copy of your two emails will go to Senator Seitz as well. Attached is a the email sent from property appraiser, Mike McCann, a nationally recognized expert on home values near wind developments. McCann discusses the impacts on Van Wert homes inside the footprint of the Blue Creek project where values dropped around 26% and 7 homes went into foreclosure.
In the article at the bottom of this post, Sen. Seitz describes the opponents as “…the usual suspects,” a group that he said includes ” enviro-socialist rent-seekers” who depend on government mandates, while he said its supporters include a wide array of businesses and labor groups. Among those identified as opponents are Honda and Scott’s Miracle Grow in Marysville. Both of these companies want to appear “Green” but, in the case of Honda, “green” also means $$ as they take advantage of the federal subsidies and tax credits to install two giant wind turbines at their transmission plant near Indian Lake. The turbines are under construction and we suspect the people who live in the area or vacation there will soon have the pleasure of their noisy company. By limiting the size of the project, Honda was able to avoid Ohio Power Siting Board scrutiny.
With respect to Scott’s, Michael Shelton is the company’s “Sustainability Manager” and in his spare time serves as the Chairman of the Ohio League of Conservation Voters, a left wing group supporting as Seitz would say “Enviro-Socialism”. Much of the problem is a dangerous combination of ignorance and ideology. If you would like to express your opinions to Scott’s you can call 937-644-0011 or E-mail: Scotts . Many of Honda’s and Scott’s employees live inside the proposed footprint of the Everpower project but apparently these companies have little regard for their well-being.
FEDERAL UPDATE AND CALL TO ACTION Lisa Linowes of WindAction writes that our Congressional delegation in the US House of Representatives, who favor expiration of the wind PTC, need our help.
Fifty-two of them signed a letter organized by Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo opposing extension of the PTC and their action earned them the wrath of the Big Wind Attack Machine.
Two Ohioans: Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Urbana) and Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Portsmouth) signed the letter. We need to thank Rep. Jordan and Rep. Wenstrup by calling or emailing their Washington offices at the numbers listed below. If you need assistance, let us know.
It would be useful to remind all of the members that ONLY RENEWABLE ENERGY RESOURCES RECEIVE UNLIMITED, OPEN-ENDED CREDITS for the electricity they generate regardless of where the project is located or whether the energy is needed or not. No form of fossil generation has a production-related subsidy. Rather, tax credits granted fossil fuels are akin to those available to any industry involved in mining and mineral extraction. The generation side does not received any subsidy.
(11-20-13) In a disturbing turn of events, the Ohio Senate Public Utilities Committee and Chairman Senator Seitz have agreed to compromise on the renewable mandate for wind and solar. It is a disappointment – but perhaps just another setback in our ongoing fight. Here is what has happened:
- The bill will require renewable energy to be ” deliverable” into Ohio which will eliminate Canadian Hydro power – for now. A transmission line is being built to deliver the power and when it is built, Canadian Hydro will be eligible to compete.
- The mandate will stay as long as in-state wind and solar will not exceed the cost of out of state renewables by more than 5%. (This might help a little because Ohio wind is expensive.)
- The mandate will phase out at a yet-to-be determined time and may perhaps be tied to the two-year extension of the PILOT that was put into the budget bill last summer..
- If the mandate is found to be unconstitutional by a court, the bill provides that any renewable energy deliverable to Ohio from anywhere will count toward Ohio’s renewable goals. Senator Seitz continues to believe the instate mandate is unconstitutional.
We will keep you posted as we learn more. Van Wert County Republican Senator Cliff Hite and Cleveland area Republican Senator Frank LaRose are the two Committee members who are catering to the special interests of big wind.
Separately, an unknown group will be submitting a ballot issue to the Secretary of State to put an issue on the November 2014 ballot to provide $1.3 billion in bond financing for wind and solar development. An article follows below on this issue. It is interesting to note that even the Sierra Club has a problem with this proposal. Diane and Julie
Gongwer – Bill to Amend State Green Energy Law Diluted
The sponsor of a controversial plan to dilute Ohio’s green energy law said Monday that he was willing to let the in-state renewable requirement live on a few more years and drop references to Canadian hydroelectric power in a new version of the bill.
Sen. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) said in an interview that he planned to back off somewhat from his original plan to eliminate the requirement for half of Ohio’s renewable power to come from in-state sources when he introduces a substitute version Wednesday before the Senate Public Utilities Committee votes on the measure (SB 58 ).
For months wind and solar power developers, aligned with environmentalists, consumer and some manufacturers’ groups, have fought hard to preserve clean energy standards, which require utilities to produce 12.5% of Ohio’s electricity to come from renewable sources, while helping customers cut consumption 22% by 2025 (SB221, 127th General Assembly).
While opponents say the bill jeopardizes Ohio-produced clean energy along with wind turbine and solar panel manufacturers, Sen. Seitz believes the in-state renewable energy requirement violates the Interstate Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. “There will be some level of compromise on in-state renewable resources where, very reluctantly, we will continue the current unconstitutional state of affairs for some extended period of time before replacing it with a more conventional buy Ohio provision,” he said.
Rather than eliminating the requirement, the substitute bill will include a preference for Ohio-produced renewable energy as long as it doesn’t cost 5% more than out-of-state renewables, he said. The provision is in line with other “buy Ohio” language already in state law. Furthermore, the current 50% in-state requirement will continue “for a period of time that remains under negotiation,” the sponsor said.
Sen. Seitz said he wants to tie the new provision to a tax break program for alternative energy projects, which the biennial budget (HB 59 ) recently extended by two more years. (See Gongwer Ohio Report, September 11, 2013)
The substitute bill will also include a severability clause in case a court invalidates the 50% in-state renewable requirement or the new buy-Ohio language, he said. If that happens, the legislation will revert back to the original proposal allowing any renewable energy that is “deliverable” to Ohio to qualify toward the renewable portfolio standards (RPS).
Other revisions to the proposed “deliverability standard” will remove specific reference to Canadian hydroelectric power, the sponsor said. “Having said that, if Canadian hydropower at some point in the future is able to be deliverable into the PJM footprint, it would count. But it doesn’t count now because it’s not deliverable,” he said.
Wind and solar developers say allowing cheap and plentiful Canadian hydroelectricity to qualify as renewable would effectively gut the RPS once a new transmission line is completed beneath Lake Erie that connects Canada to the PJM network.
Sen. Seitz said the project would likely make Canadian hydropower “deliverable” to Ohio, thus qualifying toward the RPS without the need to spell it out in the legislation. “Why shouldn’t we be green at the cheapest price possible? Again, I ask, is it about being green or making green? That is the question posed by this bill,” he said. As for changes to the energy efficiency standards, Sen. Seitz said there would be several complex technical revisions, but no significant departure from his plan to allow far more energy-saving upgrades to qualify toward satisfying the requirements.
However, the substitute measure will include a new reporting requirement for large industrial customers that choose to opt-out of energy efficiency programs, he said, noting the original proposal would have allowed non-participating mercantile ratepayers to simply submit verified statements outlining their electricity-saving efforts. “Annually, thereafter, we’re probably going to require that they submit some sort of a report with respect to what they actually did so that it’s not simply a verified statement of what they plan to do. It would be some accountability as to what they actually did, or, if they didn’t do it, why not,” he said.
The sponsor said he planned to scale back, somewhat, provisions that would grant utilities shared savings incentives for complying with the annual energy efficiency benchmarks to ensure they don’t get bonuses for upgrading their own infrastructure. Otherwise, he said there will likely be no major changes to the shared savings incentives, including the 33% cap.
Opponents, such as the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel, say the shared savings proposal would create a windfall for electric companies by essentially making customers pay them $33 million for every $100 million that energy efficiency programs save. (See Gongwer Ohio Report, October 9, 2013) The OCC recently teamed up with the Ohio Manufacturers Association and other business and environmental groups to pitch an alternative approach to Sen. Seitz’s plan.
“Our proposal strikes a fair balance for Ohio’s energy efficient future, unlike the current legislation that enriches utilities at the expense of millions of Ohio consumers and businesses,” Ohio Consumers’ Counsel Bruce Weston said in a statement.
The coalition’s proposal would remove all the changes that would raise electricity bills, such as the shared savings language, and would eliminate provisions that water down energy efficiency standards, such as allowing utilities to count old power plant upgrades, the coalition said.
The proposed amendment would preserve the streamlined industrial opt-out provision, but require those customers to bid their energy efficiency savings into PJM auctions, which lowers the price of electricity for all customers, the coalition said.
“This compromise amendment strikes the right balance by helping the largest energy users while maintaining the existing energy efficiency framework that is helping Ohio manufacturers lower costs and improve their competitiveness,” OMA President Eric Burkland said.
In addition to the OCC and OMA, the alternative proposal was supported by the Ohio Hospital Association, Ohio Advanced Energy Economy, Ohio Environmental Council, and Ohio Partners for Affordable Energy.
The coalition’s proposed amendment is unlikely to get any traction, at least as long as Sen. Seitz is managing the bill. “That’s not a compromise, that’s a capitulation,” he said when asked about it. “In your dreams.”
Gongwer – Ohio Clean Energy Amendment
A mysterious group pushing a constitutional amendment to generate funding for green energy projects is back with a slight tweak to its $13 billion bond proposal, which is set for a hearing before the Ballot Board on Tuesday.
Supporters of the Ohio Clean Energy Amendment recently collected the requisite 1,000 valid signatures and had their summary of the ballot issue approved by Attorney General Mike DeWine – the initial hurdles to start collecting the 385,247 signatures required to place the issue before the voters.
Before that can happen, the Ballot Board will convene to determine whether the amendment consists of only one or multiple separate measures.
The proposal to require the state to issue $1.3 billion in bonds for 10 years to fund green energy-related projects is nearly identical to a plan that emerged last year before a coalition of environmental groups came out in strong opposition. (See Gongwer Ohio Report, March 1, 2012)
Yes for Ohio’s Energy Future Committee spokesman German Trejo said the group hopes to put the measure before voters in the 2014 general election.
The difference between this proposal and last year’s version is the new one doesn’t tie the start of the bond measure to a specific date, he said.
“The initiative is important not just for clean energy but also for the creation of jobs in the state of Ohio,” he said. “We believe it is time that the state of Ohio brings a broader and serious clean energy component and the people of the state of Ohio benefit from this type of initiative.”
The plan will generate an estimated 300,000 direct and indirect jobs in the state, he said.
Sierra Club Ohio Chapter manager Jed Thorp said environmental groups still aren’t convinced.
“This was bad policy last year, and it’s bad policy now. There are better ways to advance clean energy in Ohio,” he said in an email.
Environmental groups have expressed concern that the constitutional amendment would send $13 billion to a corporation based in the state of Delaware that would have sole control over how the money would be spent. They say nothing in the language spells out how members of the Ohio Energy Initiative Commission would be selected.
Opponents have also criticized a provision that would give the out-of-state entity up to $65 million a year for administrative expenses and said the language describing eligible projects was so broad it could include virtually any technology.
Mr. Trejo dismissed the criticism, saying the proposed commission would prevent political interests from interfering with the best funding decisions for the state.
“The reason why it is important to have an independent commission to manage the funds that would be allocated by the state of Ohio is because we often see politicians put partisan interests before the people’s interest,” he said.
When asked who provided funding for the campaign, Mr. Trejo said simply that it was a “citizen-driven initiative” backed by individuals that want a clean energy future for the state.
“We have a very robust fundraising strategy,” he said. “No oil, no coal, and no large corporations are behind this initiative.
“We want the people of the state of Ohio to be well-informed about what this initiative is in order not to be tricked or mislead by individuals who do not understand this initiative and are actually acting against the best interests of workers and the environment in the state,” he added.
(11-19-13) Senator Seitz has asked that we SPREAD the word about what Big Wind is doing. Please email Senator Faber AND Rep. John Adams to DEMAND the elimination of the instate mandate for wind. Less than 10% of Ohio is marginally suitable for the commercial development of wind. That means that the BURDEN of the state mandate falls disproportionately on their constituents. Fulfillment of the mandate will only be possible with the continued use of unsafe and inadequate setbacks that threaten health and safety and destroy property values. Ask FABER and ADAMS why they support the destruction of the very people they are sworn to represent. A copy of your two emails will go to Senator Seitz as well.
PLEASE WRITE TODAY – THE HEARING IS TOMORROW
Spread the word: Big wind is demanding continuance of the unconstitutional in-state mandate thru December 31, 2019 (I offered December 31, 2016) AND no further changes to the definition of renewables, which would mean that we could not allow Senator Coley to amend the bill to add Ohio River hydro or Senator Patton to amend the bill to include certain forms of anerobic digesters and methane gas contraptions. In other words, whatever benefits Big Wind and three Ohio counties (Paulding, Van Wert, and Hardin) is preferable to other, cheaper renewables that benefit the other 85 counties.
William J. Seitz
(11-18-13) We did not want to lose sight of last week’s effort by Everpower owner, Terra Firma, to sell its European renewable energy business, Infinis. Terra Firma sought to begin the spin-off (pun intended!) of Infinis by issuing stock in the company through an IPO (Initial Public Offering). Headlines from the stock offering last week were: “Hands’ wind power venture Infinis heads trio of flotation flops ” and “Infinis Energy, Just Retirement and TCS Group make poor debuts on London bourse“
Today’s article makes some important points about financing wind energy:
• “Private equity firms and their investors are turning away from renewable energy investments and focusing their attention on deals to extract and produce fossil fuels, as massive discoveries of shale gas in the Unites States push down energy prices and put returns from renewable energy investments under pressure.”
• “At the same time, heavily indebted governments in southern Europe have removed support for solar and wind power, leaving such investments to stand on their own feet and at the mercy of market forces.”
• “However, the reaction among private equity dealmakers and their investors has been to shift their attention to these new forms of fossil fuels as a better way of making a bigger return.”
• “Returns from wind energy developments that could have presented solid mid to high teens results a couple of years ago have dropped, just as less complicated deals for more familiar sectors such as industrials or healthcare have returned.”
• “If the economic environment is better for industrial businesses outside of renewables that’s where the capital will go. It’s not just a shale gas thing, it’s also about where the big money guys think they can make a better return.
• “If you are a developer in renewables, you have probably got to offer more return than possibly might be available.”
What does all of this mean? It means tremendous pressure on the federal government to extend the PTC; pressure on state government to keep renewable mandates; and tremendous pressure on local governments to grant tax abatement through PILOTs.
We will continue to monitor each level of government – eyes wide open! And we are grateful to those federal, state and local elected officials who understand they are part of the game played by Terra Firma/Everpower and other wind developers to hang on to $$ in a changing market environment. Could this be the beginning of the end?
Another related story:
Investors’ actions say much about the appeal of ‘clean’ energy
(11-14-13) I am sharing this timely request with all on my e-mail list who are constituents (or closely adjoin) Senator Cliff Hite’s Ohio Senate District One. The request below has been sent to many who are in the footprint of Everpower’s proposed Scioto Ridge Industrial Wind project in Hardin and Logan Counties.
Please take a moment right now and contact Senator Hite–he is very pro-wind and believes that all in his district agree with his view.The sample letter below was written by an individual in the footprint of the project.
Please revise the letter or compose your own. E-mail Senator Hite and CC Senator Seitz, Senator Hite’s aide Chris Collins, and Senator Faber.Thank you so much for your help. Quantity is necessary–please share this e-mail and encourage others to contact Senator Hite immediately.
To friends in Ohio Senate District One: I am sending an urgent message for your help in emailing Senator Cliff Hite, a major proponent of the wind industry. Senator Bill Seitz has introduced Substitute SB 58 bill to scale back parts of Ohio’s renewable energy and energy efficiency standards. Passing this bill would repeal the in-state mandate requiring utilities to buy Ohio generated wind which far exceeds the cost of wind energy generated out of state. The Senate Public Utilities Committee has received a legal opinion that the in-state mandate violates the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution. Senator Hite is pro wind and claims everyone in his District supports Big Wind and opposes any repeal of the mandate. Sen. Hite needs to know many people in his district do not approve of Big Wind. The Committee will vote next week.
Below is the message I am sending to Senator Hite, Senator Hite’s aide, Chris Collins, Senator Seitz and to Senate President Keith Faber.
You may copy or revise my e-mail or compose your own.
Please e-mail Senator Hite immediately and CC Senator Hite’s aide Chris Collins, Senator Bill Seitz and Senate President Keith Faber.
Encourage your spouse, your children, your friends and neighbors to e-mail as well.
Senator Cliff Hite:
Senator Hite’s aide:
Senator Bill Seitz
Senate President Keith Faber
Contrary to your belief, not everyone in your district supports wind energy. I am a homeowner in the footprint of the Scioto Ridge Wind Project and am not willing to sacrifice property value, health and deal with noise issues and shadow flicker caused by turbines. Wind energy is costly and subsidized heavily by taxpayers and does not reduce our usage of natural gas and other energy resources. In addition, the cost of generating wind energy is still prohibitively expensive when compared to natural gas and fossil fuels.
It is my request that you vote for Substitute SB 58 exactly as it stands.
Add your name and address
(11-05-13) Good morning, Thank you again for signing the nationwide coalition letter that calls on Congress to let the wind PTC expire at the end of the year. I am happy to announce that 102-organizations signed on. Please find the final version of the letter attached and posted online. We will send this up to Capitol Hill today.
Thank you for your partnership on the issue. If you have questions, please let me know.
Christine Harbin Hanson
Federal Affairs Manager
Americans for Prosperity
2111 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 350 | Arlington, VA 22201
(10-29-13) This morning the Times Herald headlined the Everpower story from New York where the Chipmonk Ridge project has been terminated. We call your attention to the fact that when the Allegany Planning Board tried to get a new noise survey from Everpower in order to understand the impact of the new turbines proposed for the area, Everpower refused and then sued the town and the Planning Board. We have also reprinted an analysis of the cost of wind power that clearly refutes claims by developers of wind’s affordability.
This story is covered in depth at Concerned Citizens of Cattaraugus County website
Several upcoming events you may wish to put on your calendar are the November AWEA protest in East Lansing, Michigan sponsored by Interstate Informed Citizens Coalition Interstate Informed Citizens Coalition. A brochure providing additional information is attached. IICC was very instrumental in organizing and participating in the Ohio AWEA conference protest last month. If you are able to help return the favor by traveling to Michigan, please rsvp to IICC as soon as possible.
Another upcoming important date is November 13th when three panels of national experts will testify in the Ohio Senate on the bill to repeal Ohio’s in-state wind mandate. Some of the “rock stars” of the anti-wind movement will be appearing. We will provide more detailed information on the exact time and place of the hearing as we get closer to the date.
Wind power costs in U.S. are six times higher than claimed
(10-27-13) A new report has been released by the Institute for Energy Research which is staggering. We urge you to read the article and note the following conclusion:
“Wind energy is not nearly as “clean” and “good for the environment” as the wind lobbyists want you to believe. The wind industry is dependent on rare earth minerals imported from China, the procurement of which results in staggering environmental damages. As one environmentalist told the Daily Mail, “There’s not one step of the rare earth mining process that is not disastrous for the environment.” That the destruction is mostly unseen and far-flung does not make it any less damaging.
All forms of energy production have some environmental impact. However, it is disingenuous for wind lobbyists to hide the impacts of their industry while highlighting the impacts of others. From illegal bird deaths to radioactive waste, wind energy poses serious environmental risks that the wind lobby would prefer you never know about. This makes it easier for them when arguing for more subsidies, tax credits, mandates and government supports. “
(10-26-13) In breaking news, Everpower has backed out of its plan to build their project in Allegany, New York. This article is self-explanatory. We congratulate the people of Cattarugus County who were relentless in their opposition to the Chipmonk Ridge project.
(10-25-13) RSVP to Kevon Martis if you plan to protest at the AWEA Wind Energy Forum in East Lansing on Nov. 4.
A successful protest was held in Ohio in September.
Michigan is next–please join in and make your voices heard!
Good afternoon ICC supporters and interested observers!
The plans for the AWEA protest Nov. 4th in East Lansing are coming along very nicely.
THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT MI PROTEST EVENT OF THE LAST 6 YEARS! WE NEED YOUR VOICES!
PLEASE RSVP TO ME IF YOU HAVE NOT ALREADY DONE SO!
Our friends in Huron County are trying to fill a bus for this event. There would be a small charge per person to ride but would certainly be less than the cost of fuel from the Thumb area.
If you are from the Thumb and are interested in riding down and back, please end and email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more details on schedule, etc. If we can fill this bus, it would make a HUGE impact for the event! And I think it would be a lot of fun just to ride together and build community.
The speaker’s list for the AWEA event has been released
The names there are the Who’s-who list of wind profiteers and opportunists in the State of Michigan- Rich VanderVeen who pushed the Gratiot County wind project, John Sarver who said “rural residents do not have a right to peace and quiet”, Rick Wilson of Heritage Energy, Patty Birkholz of MLCV, Doug Jester from 5 Lakes Energy, Chris Kolb of the Michigan Environmental Council- all the names that pushed the failed Proposal 3 ballot measure last year.
Our message to them is simple: NO MEANS NO!!!!
Steve Bakkal of the Michigan Energy Office and MPSC Commissioner John Quackenbush are also speaking. I have sent word to them that we are very troubled by their presence and hope that they will convey to the AWEA crowd that wind energy in Michigan is causing harm and devastating our rural communities. We have several folks who will be attending inside and taking notes. To date I have not received a response from their offices. I will keep you posted.
US Rep. Dave Camp, chairman of the House Ways and Means committee is scheduled to speak as well. I have placed a call in to his DC office asking for clarity on his position with respect to the Production Tax Credit for Wind Energy so that our protest could be properly targeted.
I have not yet received an answer. I have also asked that he cancel his appearance. We may need to take more action here. Keep your phone dialing fingers nimble and I will keep you posted.
Senator Debbie Stabenow is speaking as well. Our efforts to reach her on wind energy in the past have fallen upon deaf ears. We may start a telephone campaign later next week asking her to cancel her appearance as well.
Finally, I spent all day in Lansing on Thursday. I spoke with many members of the Senate Energy and Tech Committee. I also visited members of the same committee but on the House side.
Our voices are being heard and I expect there to be significant changes to PA295 as a result.
UPDATE: We have secured adequate funding our testimony before the OH Senate Energy committee as well. Thank you to ALL who have assisted. We are making a difference in OH just as we are in MI! THANK YOU!
I will contact you all again as this week progresses.
In the meantime, please take some time to start making protest signs for the event. Feel free to use the names of the AWEA speakers to inspire your efforts. We will again have IICC T-shirts for folks who wish to wear them. It would be good to have a few signs showing the names of which counties are represented.
Signs asking Governor Snyder to protect your communities from predatory wind developers or wind development are valuable as well.
And a few asking for the end of the PTC for wind energy are good..
We have folks traveling from OH, IN and hopefully Ontario to help us out.
Please feel free email this text or the attached flier along to as many as possible.
Kevon Martis, Executive Director
Interstate Informed Citizens Coalition
(10-24-13) Dollars–several thousand–are needed to fund expert witnesses who will testify in favor of Senator Bill Seitz’ Substitute Senate Bill 58!
Tom Stacy is spearheading this effort and the details are explained by him below.
This is another opportunity for those of us who are involved –SB 58 makes future in-state wind development uncompetitive.
Please, please consider contributing to the expert witness fund. The funds are needed very soon.
Share with your friends and supporters, too.
Thanks to Tom for making this happen.
And thanks to you for all that you do.
From Tom Stacy:
Thank you for considering deferring the cost of bringing expert witnesses in support of OH Sub SB 58, who are opposed to further wind energy development in Ohio and across the US.
Ohio Senator Seitz, Chairman of Senate Public Utilities Committee, introduced Substitute SB 58 to reduce the economic impact and taxpayer/rate payer burdens associated with Ohio’s renewable energy and energy efficiency mandates. Senator Seitz then asked me to assemble experts from various fields to testify in support of Sub SB 58 – and specifically to “set the record straight” regarding the high true cost and low true value of wind electricity. I have done so. The witness list is attached.
I now need to fund the witnesses’ travel expenses and, in a few cases, honorarium fees. I currently have commitments for $3500 and need $4500 more within a few days. Your help is needed!!!
This is an opportunity to ensure a good bill is not compromised by its rent seeking and misguided opponents.
It is vital we present strong expert proponent testimony to neutralize the arguments from well funded opponents such as the American Wind Energy Association.
Will you help us “turn the tide” on renewable energy subsidies and mandates in Ohio and beyond? Please act today and feel free to call Tom Stacy (937) 407-6258 to discuss this effort in more detail. Thank you!
Checks can be made payable to Interstate Informed Citizens Coalition. The mailing address is:
Interstate Informed Citizens Coalition, Inc.
101 E. Adrian Street
Blissfield, MI 49228
The IICC’s Federal Tax ID Number is 27-4703482.
Donations are NOT tax deductible.
Here are some additional details:
The bill does not change the mandated levels of either efficiency or renewables, but rather eliminates the unconstitutional in-state requirement for renewables, allows Canadian hydro to count as renewable, and offers an easy opt-out of the efficiency mandate for large and energy intensive businesses whose livelihood already depends on maximizing their energy efficiency – something they pay for themselves on an ongoing basis.
The provisions in the bill will minimize current and future ratepayer impact of renewables by allowing more clean, dependable, and truly affordable technologies to compete – and from a wider geographic region. This makes future in-state wind development uncompetitive, reducing the prospects of future wind plant development in Ohio considerably, if not entirely. Only planned projects that have secured long-term power purchase agreements might still be built.
The bill is good for Ohio and federal taxpayers and Ohio rate payers while giving the legislature and Governor political cover from rent seeker and environmental zealot attacks.
THIS BILL NEEDS TO PASS AS INTRODUCED AND YOU CAN HELP THAT HAPPEN BY FUNDING THE EXPENSES WE ARE INCURRING TO BRING EXPERT PROPONENT WITNESSES!
Attached here are the bill and sponsor testimony.
Checks can be made payable to Interstate Informed Citizens Coalition; address above.
Tom Stacy, Ohioan for Affordable Electricity (937) 407-6258
Kevon Martis, Executive Director, Interstate Informed Citizens Coalition
(10-22-13) Today we bring you news from both sides of the “pond”. In the UK, Everpower’s owner, Terra Firma, has announced that they are taking their British wind company Infinis public in a stock offering. This was the “exit strategy” they had planned on and they hope to generate a great deal of money to launch a new renewable venture fund. Or maybe they just see this as a good time to unload Infinis before public subsidies disappear. Interestingly, they are promising potential shareholders a 6% return on their investment. A pretty rich deal and likely meant to distract investors from the uncertain future of renewable energy. Closer to home, a professional engineer who is employed in the wind industry writes an important editorial in the Olean, New York newspaper stating his strong opposition to Everpower’s Allegheny project on the basis that the company cannot be trusted and that the many ‘unknowns’ associated with the project pose a significant risk to the community. The writer raises many issues that, frankly, we had not thought of before and which are very disturbing.
(10-15-13) We thought this recent report on the effects of wind turbines on nearby property values in Australia was important to share with you. This study uses real estate valuation professionals and studies the real impacts of real wind projects as opposed to the wind industry’s theoretical mathematical projections based on hedonic regression models. Among the conclusions are that the blight can extend beyond the immediately impacted area to the larger local economy as people are deterred from moving into a community.
(10-14-13) Timing is everything. The result of renewable energy policies promoting wind in Europe have not only driven ratepayers into fuel poverty but have now raised concerns that utilities may not be equipped to handle a cold spell this coming winter. A coalition of ten energy CEO’s are calling for an end to wind subsidies. The group includes the CEO of Iberdrola, the developer of the Blue Creek wind facility in Van Wert and Paulding Counties. Yet, remarkably, Iberdrola’s US representative, Eric Thumma, is leading the charge against Sub SB 58 to save special treatment and incentives for wind. This article from the Wall Street Journal raises the question of how American wind developers can continue to promote subsidies, mandates and tax breaks that have resulted in such harm to European communities. We think this is not only an economic but a moral issue.
(10-10-13) Yesterday there was considerable testimony given before the Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee. Some of you will remember Senator Kris Jordan who joined us in Mechanicsburg a few years ago for the screening of “Windfall”. Senator Jordan testified yesterday in support of his bill, SB 34, to repeal the state renewable mandate entirely. We have attached Senator Jordan’s remarks. Also providing testimony was Ohio Supreme Court Justice Terrence O’Donnell’s son, Terrence O’Donnell II. The younger O’Donnell is a lobbyist for AWEA and Ohio Advanced Energy Economy which opposes the Seitz bill, Sub SB 58. The press coverage of the day from the Toledo Blade provides an amusing quote from Chairman Seitz that many would agree with: “requiring the purchase of more wind and solar power in Ohio is “much like mining for gold in an area that doesn’t have much gold.”
(10-05-13) We wanted to give you a head’s up that October 3 through 6 is the Annual Green Energy Ohio tour and this year it features a stop at the Dick and Margaret Miller Van Wert farm which is in Iberdrola’s Blue Creek Wind factory. The Millers are interviewed in this month’s Green Energy Ohio magazine where they describe some of the downsides of leasing farmland. One example is that they cannot farm up to the turbine because there is a requirement that seven acres surrounding the turbine be cleared for bird and bat kill monitoring. The Millers live three miles from their two turbines. Another stop on the tour is Urbana University. We do not think this is a wind related stop but it might be for solar. Please also take a look at page 17 in the Green Energy Ohio magazine which features a story on an anemometer erected near St. Paris to evaluate the feasibility of powering the Ice River Springs Bottling company.
The Green Energy Ohio Tour provides an opportunity for news stories about renewable energy and its future in light of the bill pending in the Senate to eliminate in-state requirements to buy wind. The Springfield News Sun is working on a story about how the bill could impact the Everpower Buckeye Wind project as well as others around the state. We assume Everpower will use the opportunity to comment that they are on track no matter what. Take that with a grain of salt! This past Wednesday the second hearing was held in the Senate to hear opponents of the bill we have attached three samples from 1) Iberdrola; 2) the Ohio Environmental Council and 3) Union of Concerned Scientists. We understand that the questioning from Senator Seitz was very tough and those testifying were not able to provide convincing responses. Next Wednesday, AWEA will provide testimony opposing the bill. Prior to the hearing on Sub SB 58, the Committee took testimony from Senator Kris Jordan who introduced a bill last February to entirely repeal the Ohio renewable energy law. Senator Seitz has decided to move forward on SB 34 at this time because it makes his bill appear to be less extreme and it provides an even greater threat to the wind industry. We will try to obtain a copy of Sen. Jordan’s remarks.
At the federal level, the Production Tax Credit for wind is getting caught up in the debt ceiling and tax reform. Maybe it will be harder to extend it again this year. If so, this is another factor that Everpower must consider in deciding to move forward.
(10-01-13) Yesterday the Ohio Power Siting Board issued its decision reaffirming its earlier approval of Everpower’s Phase II of the Buckeye Wind Project. This was expected. The process now provides that both the County and Townships as well as UNU have sixty days to appeal the decision to the Ohio Supreme Court.
The news coverage in the Springfield paper indicates that Everpower is ready to move forward but not right away. The type of turbine to be used has not been determined. This may mean that Everpower will not make the current deadline to be eligible for the federal Production Tax Credit subsidy which is due to expire December 31, 2013.
Furthering complicating the matter for Everpower is the introduction of Sub. S.B. 58 which amends the Ohio Renewable mandate. Testimony offered in support of this legislation states a desire by the sponsor, Senator Seitz, and others to have the billed passed by year-end.
The attached article from today’s Urbana paper page one and page two reflects some of Everpower’s uncertainty about “market factors”. We note that UNU intends to proceed to the Ohio Supreme Court and we hope that the County will do likewise.
There are continuing significant health concerns related to the siting of the turbines and the methodology used by Everpower to determine noise levels. Please also read the latest communication from Dr. Alec Salt of Washington University Medical School to Australian acousticians who have tried to dismiss the impacts of infrasound from wind turbines. Dr. Salt accuses the wind industry of misleading the public.
And closer to home, Pioneer Rural Electric also accuses the wind industry of misleading the public in their most recent Country Living editorial.
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