It is a great day in Van Wert County as the community celebrates the Apex Clean Energy decision to abandon the Long Prairie Wind project. Congratulations go out for the sustained efforts of warriors like Jeremy Kitson who fought against overwhelming odds, took an initially unpopular stand and educated his friends and neighbors. Congratulations go out also to County Commissioner Thad Lichtensteiger who weathered aggressive negative campaigning from “unknown” forces and won a huge victory last year. An educated community and the support of elected officials are powerful weapons against profiteers who seek to wreak havoc on unsuspecting rural communities.
Apex notes in a letter to the Commissioners that they are “blessed to work with communities across the state to create economic development opportunities.” Well, what communities might they be? Seneca County? In a repeat of negative campaigning, Seneca County Commissioner candidate, Mike Kerschner, is getting the smear treatment from “unknown” forces. Kerschner enjoys strong support from the community and we look forward to the rebuke of those working against him. Does Apex have a role in this smear?
Apex goes on to say that “Unfortunately, the state’s current anti-business policies are making it necessary for us to reduce our investment exposure in the state and to choose which of our projects we continue to advance in Ohio. “ Yeah sure. And, once again, just what would those other projects be? As for the “current anti-business policies”? Might those be protective setbacks measured from property lines? Apex please go back to Virginia.
As was previously reported, the campaign against Seneca’s Kerschner has a sister campaign in Ford County, Illinois where Cindy and Ann Ihrke are running on a safe setback platform. A third mass mailing was launched this week from the same address in Columbus, Ohio from which anti-Kerschner mailers are sent. What do these candidates have in common? They are both trying to protect their districts from wind projects sponsored by Apex. The attached flier is the most recent attack on the Ihrke’s and implies that protective setbacks measured from property lines could somehow unfairly prevent a neighbor from signing a lease for a wind turbine. The wind industry is trying to flip the property rights issue known as trespass zoning into an issue concerning the “rights” of a neighbor to do whatever they want on their land even if it harms their neighbor. This argument would put strip joints next to schools and artillery ranges next to churches. Come on! Zoning exists to separate incompatible uses and zoning always measures from property lines.
The Ihrke’s must be making headway to attract such opposition but they cannot possibly match the deep pockets of their opposition. Other wind warriors should take note and be forewarned that big wind does not want elected officials who serve their communities. They want elected officials who do the bidding of big wind. Everyone should be recruiting even now for their next elections at the township and county level.