APEX in Ohio…”The rural residents in this community are overwhelmingly against the Apex project. Setbacks are not holding it up, lack of landowner participation is. We have a color coded plat map of the entire Apex Long Prairie footprint proving close to 70% of rural landowners ARE NOT willing to participate.”
To Whom This May Concern,
First of all, I apologize for the length and breadth of this email. I respectfully ask that all of you read every word. This is something that has been accumulating for quite some time and it’s time for you and the entire Van Wert County community to hear the other side of the story.
I am Jeremy Kitson, and I am proudly in the leadership of Citizens for Clear Skies as stated by Susan Munroe. And yes, from this point forward, we will post every single name of any community leader involved in wind issues from now on, when we feel the community has a right to know of the consistent back door/behind the scenes tactics employed by Apex Clean Energy and Susan Munroe. So here are some things I would like you to consider that have built up over time::
Apex has routinely used the line, “all your neighbors have signed up for the project”, “this project is coming so you might as well participate”, and “there is nothing you can do to stop this project”. Many people in the rural community have been told these lines only to investigate it on their own and the truth is barely any of their neighbors chose to participate leasing to Apex but were told the same lines. Are those bullying tactics and ethical?
When I personally started asking questions of Sarah Moser (a former personal family friend) she quickly got defensive and called me a “communist” for wanting to control my neighbor’s ground. She also continued with, “there is a nothing a 2 acre land owner can do to stop it” (my family actually owns 38 acres in rural Harrison Township to correct the record), and “it’s coming no matter what so I might as well accept it”. Is that a nice thing to say to a rural resident asking questions let alone a personal friend? Is that ethical?
Apex approached a Harrison Township Trustee candidate the last election cycle and offered to cover their campaign cost. This came right out of this candidate’s mouth. Most people know, I was running for trustee too. Thankfully this candidate did not take them up on their offer. Why would Apex offer to fund a campaign of one of my opponents on the ballot? I wonder why. I am sure they were relieved that I missed being elected by 16 votes. But what they fail to realize is the outgoing retiring trustee is the only trustee that would be alright with turbines in the township. The three that will be in office next January are all opposed to more wind development in our township. Mr. Lee, you and I live on the same road in the same township. Have you even discussed your position with anyone in our area let alone your neighbors? There is little support in our township. Most township trustees in the Apex project are opposed, other than the ones who have leased their ground. You want to talk about a conflict of interest? We have the list of every lease holder in this County.
As for Susan, ask her personally if she and former Iberdrola project manager Dan Litchfield had a conversation in a local official’s office in that person’s presence, inquiring about college scholarships for local students. Ironically, her son, was a recipient of one of those scholarships. In a later conversation, her son actually said to one of his friends, who happens to have family actively engaged with our group, “the only reason I am majoring in environmental economics is because my Mom had a connection with someone to the wind company that gave me a scholarship”. That is right from her son’s mouth. Is that moral and ethical? Susan has unequivocally denied this.
Susan also contributed a letter to the editor of the Bellefountaine Examiner (I have a scanned pdf file of it if you want to see it) in which she provided false statements apparently at the request of another wind developer, Everpower and project manager Jason Dagger. More specifically that “Van Wert City Schools was about to receive their first million dollar wind payment” (paraphrasing). Is that accurate? How can it be when there are no active turbines in the Van Wert City School District zone? When I was contacted by other like minded individuals in that community I wrote a letter myself correcting the record. My letter was forwarded by Susan, via email, to former Van Wert City Schools Superintendent Ken Amstutz as an “FYI”. I told the truth in my letter. My letter was factually accurate. What were Susan’s intentions? Was it because I am a teacher at Van Wert High School and she didn’t like that I am a vocally outspoken rural resident that has educated myself on wind turbines? Is it ethical for my son’s elementary school to host wind turbine assemblies where wind companies give out goodies to the kids including my own son? My own son was very upset about attending that. Yet when I speak out, I am demonized because I hit the problem head on. I call it like I see it. Susan must not like that very much. Have I said aggressive things that I regret? Yes. Am I sorry for fighting for my family and many others quality of life? NO. I ask you to put yourself in my shoes, if all you have worried about for 2 straight years is whether your quiet rural lifestyle was going to be destroyed forever by big money and politics would you like it?
Citizens for Clear Skies received an email from someone powerful in the community that refuses to reveal who they are because of their community standing who directly heard members of the local arm of Apex, Harvest the Wind, verbally plot to “ruin” my life and “get me to move away” so they can “look like the good guys”. Is that moral and ethical? Susan has attended plenty of Harvest the Wind meetings, whether she was at that particular meeting I cannot say. But we have the email.
Susan participates in a monthly nationwide conference call of some sort with major wind energy advocates. Citizens for Clear Skies has entire audio files of these meetings, one in which Susan was a major speaker. In that conference call she commends Paulding County officials for their vision while slighting our County officials. If you want to hear the audio file we have it. I would assume our local County officials wouldn’t appreciate it.
The last time Susan provided testimony to the Ohio General Assembly along with three other community members, Citizens for Clear Skies shared the testimony from the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee link. As you are probably aware, all testimony in the Ohio Assembly is public knowledge. A person NOT ACTIVELY involved in our group simply shared Susan’s testimony on her Facebook page. This person is a great community member that does alot of good, most especially as a past member of Junior Achievement. The very next day, an email was sent to this person by another JA board member saying that this person was free to support the causes they believe in but when it upsets JA donors and hurts JA that is where the other member felt compelled to say something. Correct me if I am wrong, but Susan Munroe is on the JA board too correct? When Avangrid donated to JA this former member was basically forced to be in the donation picture after they expressed that they did not want to participate. Susan and Neil Voje from Avangrid insisted on this person being in the picture stating it was “standard practice”. Why couldn’t another JA member accept it? This very same former board member had a fundraiser setup for JA with Statewide Ford in September. It was a drive a car event. Statewide was “enthusiastic” according to the former board member. After the cease and desist email was sent to the former board member, Susan asked that person to revisit the idea of the JA fundraiser with Statewide. This person called to revisit it and Statewide no longer had any interest whatsoever. So in September Statewide is gung ho, in October, this person shares a Facebook post of Susan’s testimony, Susan directs them to revisit the fundraiser with Statewide, and Statewide has no interest anymore? Many community members including myself, find that either odd or just merely ironic. Do I need to share who is a major employee of Statewide?
Citizens for Clear Skies and many other rural residents fully believe the VWAEDC trustee election was completely unethical. Let me state that NOTHING ILLEGAL was done. That said, in our opinion, that ballot box was completely stuffed by pro wind at the leadership of Susan Munroe to ensure Clint Myers (whom I personally know and like) was elected trustee to push wind. That is not from me or our group, that is from someone that was closely connected and observed the entire process. Thankfully other trustees have seen right through that.
There are plenty of people in this community that question why an Apex employee wants to be on the Visitor’s Board. And it is our opinion, given Sarah Moser’s email desperately trying to strike the BEAT provision from the U.S. Senate’s budget bill and the phase out of the PTC that wind is not honest when they claim they are affordable and are going to be on sound economic footing without continuously bilking the taxpayer billions a year for a resource that is largely built on false promises, says it all. My presentation will address all of our issues with more wind energy development here if you would like to see it. It is many people’s opinion that Sarah Moser is a part of Rotary and the Visitor’s Bureau to garner support through generous Apex “donations”.
I just provided you what Citizens for Clear Skies and myself have gathered about how we believe wind works in a community. The sad truth is we are just one of thousands of other communities dealing with the same exact thing where wind is developed. As I have previously referenced, have a 26 slide presentation as to why wind energy is dangerous to people and dangerous to the financial security of the United States and all of us who are utility consumers. Wind isn’t about climate change, it’s about money and I can prove it with scientific data. My presentation has sources cited and linked so anyone can click and read for themselves. Have any of you personally spoken to people in the Blue Creek wind project who are suffering? I promise you there are plenty who would be willing to meet with you. If you are interested let me know and I will get you in contact with them. The rural residents in this community are overwhelmingly against the Apex project. Setbacks are not holding it up, lack of landowner participation is. We have a color coded plat map of the entire Apex Long Prairie footprint proving close to 70% of rural landowners ARE NOT willing to participate. Ohio’s setback is not restrictive as wind says, considering wind turbine manufacturers recommend a 1640’ safety setback for their own technicians. I have several sources that cite that exact number from Vestas and Nordex, two major turbine manufacturers themselves. Ohio’s current setback is less than that at 1125’ to a property line. That setback still gives a wind developer the right to extend an unsafe zone by their own industry standards onto neighboring landowners. If Apex wants to build, they can build, but we want them to do it safely and with EQUITABLE zoning that protects all landowners, not just leaseholders. The problem isn’t setbacks, it’s that wind developers want the state of Ohio to grant them uncompensated easements rather than taking their case to more local people and negotiating the rights to their ground. This isn’t about preventing investment in this community, we all want that. This is a zoning, health, safety, and quality of life issue for Citizens for Clear Skies. The wind industry is being fought all over this country for those issues. Again, my presentation addresses all of this. I’ve said my peace. I know hundreds of people thank me for what Citizens for Clear Skies do (many of them Van Wert City School employees that could possibly benefit but at the expense to their quality of life) and that I’ve repeatedly stuck my neck out to defend this position. At the same time, I am sure I am not liked by those on the opposite side of this issue. The question you have to answer for yourself, what do you believe? I ask that you put yourself in the rural communities position and think about how you would react to all of this. My cell phone is 419-357-2815 if you would like to meet with me personally. I will meet with you no problem. I am sure Susan will have her response to all of this and that is her right. You can also feel free to share the contents of this email to any member of the public. I have nothing to hide. Apparently in Susan’s response to seeing our page, she felt that it be kept behind closed doors. That is the difference between Susan and me. So who’s TACTICS should you question? Per the Chamber’s tagline, “Together we build success”. Is pushing more wind energy development as often as possible a “togetherness” issue? The only thing successful about pushing wind is it has been completely successful destroying what remaining social fabric is left here. I hope Susan knows that many Chamber members are upset with her consistent and major push for wind energy, an issue SHE KNOWS is dividing the community. We know several major players in this community will not be renewing their Chamber membership in the future. It’s not a mystery to me as to why she will try to discredit me every chance she gets. It’s time for the community to know this.
Finally, this is from another community leader and member of our group who wishes to remain anonymous:
“If “wind” wants to try to buy friends and provide personal compensation to gain support I see nothing wrong with that being public knowledge. She has used her position to promote her own personal agenda while being compensated. Being caught in that publicly surely has caused her stress as she doesn’t proceed in her position sympathetically to all people involved or affected. Not only does wind development have “heartache” affect on the rural population, it has health problems and property value devaluation while creating safety concerns for rural residents to enjoy their property. When you don’t share an opinion with a majority, one has to buy friends to succeed in their own personal agenda.”