As the Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee gears up for its first hearing on HB 6, the opposition is flooding the print media with articles and opinion pieces that argue against the provisions of the bill, advocate for closing the nuclear plants and reducing wind turbine setbacks. An assortment of articles is provided below. You are encouraged to click on the links and post comments on these stories. Do not let the opponents and the wind lobby win the PR war! They need to be challenged! If you feel comfortable, write letters to the Editor of major papers. We draw your attention to a letter in the Dispatch from Sam Gerhardstein of Marysville that reflects support for the local referendum provision of HB 6. Supporting comments on letters like this are important too. Most of the papers require the comments to be made via Facebook.
In a disgusting turn of events, the Icebreaker Wind developer, LEEDCo, is asking senators for a portion of the funding that would be made available through HB 6. Democrats have proposed numerous changes to HB 6 including an Icebreaker subsidy. Recall that Icebreaker is a pilot project designed as a test to see if putting 1,500 wind turbines in Lake Erie is feasible. They don’t seem to care that it would be in the middle of the world’s third most important migratory flyway. Senator Sandra Williams was quoted as saying LEEDCo wants an earmark of 10₵ for every dollar raised in the Clean Air Program. They are shameless enough to not even pretend that their subsidy would be based on the amount of power they produce.
“LEEDCo leadership is meeting with senators to discuss the importance of Ohio being the first location in North America to build a freshwater offshore wind facility,” spokeswoman Nancy Lesic said. “Our goal is for leadership in Columbus to recognize the economic significance of this project and provide the necessary support to allow us to access federal and international investments.”
One definition of being “green” is to pursue policies and actions that claim reduced, minimal, or no harm upon ecosystems or the environment. Being green means having the smallest ecological footprint. This is achieved in energy generation by utilizing resources that have energy density. Generation sources that are not dense are called “dilute” . Wind and solar are dilute. Attached is a great issue of The Wind breaker from Seneca County. In this issue, Jim Feasel does a density calculation and determines that 33.65 of Ohio’s 88 counties would be covered with 600 foot tall turbines (9.99 million acres) if you replaced current generation with wind. That is not GREEN.
- We also encourage you to read Michael Shellenberger’s article on solar energy called, If Solar Panels Are So Clean, Why Do They Produce So Much Toxic Waste? It is reported, “The fact that cadmium can be washed out of solar modules by rainwater is increasingly a concern for local environmentalists like the Concerned Citizens of Fawn Lake in Virginia, where a 6,350 acre solar farm to partly power Microsoft data centers is being proposed.
- “We estimate there are 100,000 pounds of cadmium contained in the 1.8 million panels,” Sean Fogarty of the group told me. “Leaching from broken panels damaged during natural events — hail storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc. — and at decommissioning is a big concern.” There is real-world precedent for this concern. A tornado in 2015 broke 200,000 solar modules at southern California solar farm Desert Sunlight.
- How ironic that just as the dirty truth about solar panels is being exposed, the Governor Michigan in a moment of true lunacy, removed conservation protections on more than 3 million acres of Michigan farmland, opening up previously protected land to commercial solar development. The Governor says the land must be returned to a state allowing for agriculture production after solar panels are removed. “This administrative decision will not result in a loss of usable farmland,” McDowell said. “The change ensures that Michigan’s farmland is preserved so we can continue to feed our communities while also balancing the need to develop renewable energy sources.” Would you like a little cadmium with your corn? Reminds us of the lead in the drinking water.
- A lady from suburban Cincinnati writes an Opinion piece about wanting to come home to Ohio to build wind turbines. Kim Smith is vice president of Engineering & Construction for ACCIONA. “As the Ohio Senate considers this energy policy proposal, my hope is that they’ll to listen to local county officials who are hoping for the added revenue that utility scale renewable energy projects can deliver, and that they hear the landowners who have already reached agreements with developers to bring projects to their land.” This opinion piece definitely deserves some comments! Ask her what Acciona’s position is on local zoning or a township referendum.
- Governor Strickland wins the Pelosi-Schumer Award for excessive whining about HB 6. It was Strickland who took our right to zoning away and gave uncompensated easements over our land to wind developers. Hey, Governor Strickland remember the one about pigs get fed and hogs get slaughtered?
- The US Department of Energy officials attended a conference this week in Salt Lake City where they said they are committed to making fossil fuels cleaner rather than imposing “draconian” regulations on coal and oil. Secretary Rick Perry previously said the administration wants to spend $500 million next year on fossil fuel research and development as demand plummets for coal and surges for natural gas. “Instead of punishing fuels that produce emissions through regulation, we’re seeking to reduce those emissions by innovation,” Perry said at the conference. DOE believes the US economy will continue to run on baseload power provided by coal, gas and nuclear energy.
- Consulting firm Wood Mackenzie reported that “well over half of the $15bn the onshore wind industry will spend on operations and maintenance (O&M) this year will go to unforeseen repairs and correctives caused by component failures. Unplanned failures are currently costing as much as $30,000 per turbine each year for repairs and spare parts, as well as leading to an average seven hours of lost production per machine – not including downtime for pre-emptive shutdowns or long delivery-times for materials, equipment and technician call-outs, all totting up to a total $8.5bn a year.”
- G.E. is having a hard time with tower collapse. Two went down in separate incidents which were said to be isolated events. BUT! Any third turbine collapse involving a GE machine in quick succession should set alarm bells ringing at the manufacturer, given the rarity of such incidents globally, said a leading insurer of renewable energy projects. Fraser McLachlan, CEO of specialist insurer GCube, said the two collapses so far this year of GE turbines at US wind farms is already enough to give pause for thought.