In response to Jim Donaldson’s Nov. 27 Letter to the Editor titled “Koch brothers back anti-wind efforts,” I want to offer the following rebuttal.
Right off the top, let’s make it clear that Donaldson couldn’t be further from truth with his baseless allegations. I want it to be clear that there has been zero funding provided to Seneca Anti-Wind Union from any outside big oil, big coal or dark money organizations! If Donaldson has proof of such funding, I would encourage him to provide the documentation that proves his allegations to be true!
This same unoriginal argument is used nationwide by Big Wind all the time. When there is a resistance that is motivated and organized, pro-wind people like to continually make that same false allegation.
It should be noted that we, the people who are in opposition to these projects, are not evil people, set out to try and destroy our planet. We are merely people who are fighting to protect our families, neighbors, children, grandchildren, homes, properties and health.
The SAWU has received hundreds of monetary and other valuable donations that all have come from families who are just trying to do their part to help aid in stopping these projects from happening. Since Donaldson has so much concern over outsider forces allegedly spending their money in Seneca County, attempting to influence us, let’s dive into the “whole truth.”
• A Big Wind political action committee, Economic Prosperity Project, has been spending tens of thousands of dollars to influence Seneca County residents. They have done this with an expensive marketing campaign designed by a Florida-based outfit named Strategic Image Management, which included many radio commercials and six defamatory mailers.
• Seneca County Commissioners Shayne Thomas, Holly Stacy and Tiffin-Seneca Economic partnership’s David Zak worked over the last couple of years to execute a coordinated pro-wind campaign that was all orchestrated behind the scenes by Tom Bullock and Susan Munroe. Bullock and Munroe work within Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy, which is a clean energy lobbying group with no affiliation to the Chamber of Commerce. Through public records requests, we learned CICE wrote and submitted (without her approval) Commissioner Holly Stacy’s testimony to Ohio’s Senate Committee for Energy and Natural Resources. This testimony showed her support for the active bill SB 238, which aims to reduce the setback distances for the siting of industrial wind turbines. This would enable Big Wind to utilize trespass zoning to infringe on non-participants land in order to move these massive turbines closer to our homes.
• Donaldson’s main source for his research for his letter comes from the Checks and Balances Project. This group may not be the greatest non-biased source to use, as it is funded by clean energy organizations. This group has proven it is nothing more than a schoolyard bully for big, special-interest groups, which try to use intimidation tactics to stifle any resistance by any means necessary! It not only has attacked me and my family but many others in their suspect past.
• Big Wind companies are using their corporate law firms to ensure their projects pass through the Ohio Power Siting Board application process with ease while shielding their projects from any local opposition. APEX recently bullied some Seneca County residents from not being able to have their concerns and voices heard in the OPSB’s process. On July 3, APEX filed a memo with OPSB that stated, “Republic opposes intervention of those Residents whose properties are not located within the project area.” These people, whom APEX opposed intervention, either lived right next/on the projects boundary or were less than one mile from the boundary. To suggest that these Seneca County residents should not be afforded the opportunity to be a party in the OPSB’s formal intervention process is a travesty.
• Commissioners Shayne Thomas and Holly Stacy have hired a corporate law firm to represent their interests in the Republic Wind Project to the tune of $480 per hour. This same law firm has previously represented many Big Wind companies. The total estimation of costs to Seneca County taxpayers is expected to exceed $100,000.
• Aug. 3, Thomas’s mother-in-law’s trust signed into a lease agreement through APEX Clean Energy.
• sPower has spent a ton of money to run many full-page ads in The Advertiser-Tribune. This is in an effort to try and convince the majority of people in opposition that these industrial wind turbine projects actually are a good thing for us.
• Recently, the lobbying group Clean Jobs Ohio began dumping endless amounts of money into marketing efforts to reach the masses in our area. This has been done via roadside billboards, Spotify ads and even Pandora ads, all in an effort to get the public behind SB 238 that aims to reduce the setback distances for the siting of these industrial wind turbines.
• The day after the election, The Ohio Environmental Council decided to jump in on the big money that was being spent to push industrial wind. They did this by paying for a massive video billboard in downtown Columbus, across the street from the offices of the House of Representatives, urging legislators to “get Ohio’s wind energy back on track.”
In closing, I hope next time Donaldson and people like him will think twice before making completely false assertions about the SAWU and the people who are behind it. If you want to look at money that is being spent to influence things happening here in our county, then it takes no Sherlock Holmes to figure out that the real money is being spent by the wind turbine companies and their special-interest groups. He is right that there are thousands of yellow “NO Wind Turbines in Seneca County” yard signs, but those were bought and paid for by my neighbors, friends, family and a whole lot of other people in the county and not by the Koch Brothers or anyone with out of state agenda.
aka Anti-Wind Gadfly,