The “wind lobby” continues to crank out reports to persuade Ohioans and Ohio politicians to support their causes. More often than not the authors of the articles and ‘reports’ are supported by surrogates for the wind lobby. Upon closer examination, we see that many are left-wing activists pushing an ideological agenda that has little to do with our welfare or property rights.
In today’s issue, a spokesman for the Environmental Defense Fund again touts the Powering Ohio report issued by the Blue-Green Alliance and assorted Ohio manufacturers who could make money on a guaranteed market sustained by wind mandates. For example, Owens Corning has an R&D facility in Granville, OH focused on fiberglass composites that strengthen turbine blades. This plant is in the district represented by Sen. Hottinger who supports rolling back property line setbacks. It sure looks like Hottinger is catering to rent-seeking rather than the welfare of the people outside of his district.
On the heels of Powering Ohio, comes another dubious report called Renewables on the Rise (attached). This report is the work of Environment Ohio. The article below notes that “In unveiling the research, the group was joined by a number of allies, including representatives of Sen. Jay Hottinger (R-Newark)” Gee…what a surprise.
Renewables on the Rise calls for mandates and policies that support 100% renewable energy. As such, Environment Ohio is critical H.B. 114’s proposed reduction in current mandates. We looked up Environment Ohio to see who they are and
found the three people listed below as the principles according to their IRS 990. They are all activist/community organizers who live outside of Ohio but purport to run an entity out of an address on North High Street in Columbus. We really question why Republican State Senator Hottinger stands with them.
- Ellen Montgomery, IMPACT Field Director
Len recruits, trains and manages Impact organizers who are building support and power for Environment America and U.S. PIRG. Len has worked on and overseen campus-based voter registration efforts in more than 10 states. Prior to her current role, Len organized for Ohio PIRG, the Fund for the Public Interest and the Student PIRGs, and worked as a policy analyst with Frontier Group. Len lives in Colorado, where she’s slowly working her way through all of the national parks and monuments, state parks and other beautiful places.
- Mike Shriberg, Ph.D., is the Regional Executive Director of the National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes Regional Center. Mike has published over 20 articles, testified in many hearings and been quoted in papers ranging from The New York Times to the Detroit Free Press. Mike came to the National Wildlife Federation in 2015 from the University of Michigan, where he served as the Education Director at the Graham Sustainability Institute and as a Lecturer in the Program in the Environment and Earth & Environmental Sciences. Prior to the University of Michigan, Mike was the Policy Director at the Ecology Center and the Director of Environment Michigan. He also previously served as the Environmental Studies Program Director and an Assistant Professor at Chatham University.
- Tiernan Sittenfeld, SVP, Government Affairs League of Conservation Voters. “In order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, we must keep the vast majority – at least 80 percent – of fossil fuels unburned. That is why LCV is working to swiftly transition to an economy powered entirely by renewable energy sources, expand cost-saving energy efficiency measures, and fight fossil fuel extraction, including phasing out new fossil fuel leasing on our public lands and oceans. Investing in clean energy and energy efficiency will drive job growth across the country while lowering energy costs for consumers and reducing harmful pollution that threatens our future and our health.”
Next up in the continuing the left-wing, progressive parade is a report from Ideastream which is a collection of NPR and public radio stations serving NE Ohio. They make a prominent report on a member of the Atlantic Council, a forum for considering “economic and political changes defining the twenty-first century by informing and galvanizing its uniquely influential network of global leaders.” In this instance, renewable energy is generally seen as important to national security and the LeedCo Icebreaker project is a central part of that. Remarkably, the article reports, “Vice Admiral Gunn said all branches of the military are thinking about renewable energy. But still, real national security has a lot to do with what happens right here. “To the degree that we can capitalize on human energy, and innovation, and creativity, we need a set of policies that will exploit those characteristics and put them to use in the areas that are most important for national security,” Gunn said. “And we think one of those is this transition to advanced energy.” And that brings us back to Lake Erie, if not the front line of the energy discussion, certainly a shoreline.” (In the meantime, Ohio is one of only a few states that has done nothing to protect its military aviation assets from wind turbine interference.)
Good grief. We in NW Ohio need to appreciate the constant progressive drumbeat for more wind and solar that NE Ohio media relentlessly pursues. In their world, the future of NE Ohio manufacturing hinges on renewable energy in Ohio made possible by a rigged, subsidized and mandated market. While NW Ohioans are fighting for their homes, one Cleveland area industrialist laughingly says of solar, ““…being against sunshine? It’s like being against puppies. How can you not be for energy from sunshine?” Peplin chuckles.” They lump all renewables in the same pot.
The final decision on the Icebreaker project in Lake Erie will be made on August 6th. The National Audubon Society has given its blessing to the project if the conditions proposed by the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources are required by the OPSB. Their rationale is that 314 species are threatened by climate change and that outweighs the number of birds that will be killed by turbines in the lake. You have to buy into the proposition that some wind turbines are going to halt climate change in order buy into the Audubon’s rationale. We aren’t buying it.
A variety of articles are included concerning the LeedCo project and we note one representative who is quoted saying “We have a vision of a robust industry of multiple projects happening over a 10- to 20-year period,” Karpinski said. “We don’t know how it will play out, but there’s room for thousands of megawatts, for several thousand megawatts of wind (on the lake). We don’t know how it’s going to play out until we build this first one.”… “John Colm, executive director and president of Wire-Net, a manufacturing advocacy group, said the key will be getting past this single pilot project to a point where there is demand for several hundred turbines a year.”
Readers should especially read the Opinion piece from the Toledo Blade’s Outdoors writer who notes that the Black Swamp Bird Observatory’s ” Mr. Shieldcastle has many concerns related to the project, and the apparently flimsy research that has been used to possibly minimize the turbines’ impact on the lake’s frequent fliers. Since he has done extensive studies on bald eagles, cranes, terns, rails, waterfowl, shorebirds, and migrating raptors and passerines, this subject seems to be right in his wheelhouse, but the wind turbine folks have not tapped into his expertise. “This project represents a microcosm of what the concerns are with the wind industry as a whole,” he said. “Extremely poor studies are being conducted, and the conclusions they reach are not based on sound science.”
Interesting to read, also, is the last sentence of this article: “Going green is fine, but not appropriate in every circumstance or in every locale. In certain places, harnessing the wind just carries an unacceptable price tag. We need to be certain Lake Erie is not in that club.” Wouldn’t it be nice if the media took that same view of land-based wind turbines set back at unacceptable distances from property lines and homes?