The Ohio Power Siting Board(OPSB) has not yet voted on granting or denying a permit for the Icebreaker Industrial Wind Turbine development in Lake Erie. Following is an update and a way to have influence:
The OPSB Icebreaker permit application hearing began in September in Columbus. It was similar to a court trial with the OBSB as the jury. There were expert witnesses, cross examinations, filings, answers to filings, etc. The OPSB was scheduled to vote in January. Icebreaker asked for a delay in the vote until the middle of February. At Save Our Beautiful Lake, we suspect that the sentiment has been going against the development and they wanted more time to plead their case. Also, you may recall that the staff of the OPSB, in July, recommended granting the permits with 34 conditions. Two of those conditions were strenuously objected to by Icebreaker. Both involved protecting and monitoring the huge number migrating birds and bats. They are 1. Icebreaker has to shut down night time operation from April through December and 2. install radar that would monitor the birds and bats 24/7. The Ohio Division of Natural Resources ruled that the project would have a “significant adverse impact to wild animals.” So these conditions were firm. We don’t know what kind of back room dealings Icebreaker is planning but the grass roots support against the Turbines makes it difficult for that kind of nonsense.
In the meantime, information has been published that is detrimental to any proposed Lake Erie giant wind turbine development. Economic benefits to the local economy has been largely debunked. The same exaggerated benefits of jobs were used on other wind turbine developments and those jobs never materialized. The opposite occurred. Just across the lake in Ontario Canada their large development of on shore wind turbines resulted in sky rocketing electricity prices which cause massive amounts of manufacturing to shift to less expensive locations, or caused bankruptcies. Citizens lost jobs and also paid large increases in the cost of electricity….a double whammy. On shore wind energy costs 5-6 times more than natural gas and again, many times more for off shore wind energy. A new Ontario Premier was elected by primarily campaigning to end these mandated high renewable energy arrangements. Germany has put a moratorium on new wind energy due to cost. In France the yellow vest protests started in response to new taxes and this was trailed back and credited to mandated rate increases for wind energy and solar. Similar occurrences are happening in many, many places. The entire eastern sea board has been zoning for 30 mile set-backs which makes them out of site. In New Jersey the state rejected the Nautilus Wind Turbine development for the third time, ruling that it was too costly to rate payers and provided no economic benefit. It’s become evident that well connected people get large tax credits and government grants to build them. In the case of Icebreaker it’s a Norwegian billionaire who makes his money in Oil and gas as well as shipping and cruise ships. It’s an awful arrangement for us regular citizens.
Keep in mind that manufacturing, installing and maintaining the giant wind turbines results in more net increases in CO2 than natural gas or nuclear. Ohio has reduced its CO2 output each of the last nine years and currently has plenty of excess power capacity. Many new carbon free energy technologies are in operation and or in development….too many to mention here. So not only is the Industrial Wind Turbine develop expensive, it’s an environmental loser.
A major deficiency is that the Industrial Wind Turbine development has not been required to go through an environmental Impact Statement (EIS) which is normally required for a development like this. This is something the State can and should require but hasn’t. All the studies have been commissioned and paid for by Icebreaker, clearly this invites bias. We have been emphasizing this point and will continue to do that these next two weeks.
We have a unique, vital and precious resource in Lake Erie that we can’t afford to destroy by turning it into an industrial wind complex. If you love Lake Erie, and want to save it to be enjoyed by your kids and grandkids and those beyond then please take 10 minutes to send an e-mail to…”
• Mary Mertz, Director, Ohio Department of Natural Resources Mary.Mertz@DNR.STATE.OH.US
• Steve Gray, Asst. Dir., Ohio Department of Natural Resources Steve.Gray@DNR.STATE.OH.US
Mary Mertz is also on the OPSB Board. We are hearing that Steve Gray is close to the Governor and would be the person likely to relay views on Icebreaker directly to the Governor.
Again, please send an e-mail directly to Mary Mertz, copying Steve Gray. In this e-mail, state your reasons for opposing building Wind Turbines in Lake Erie and ask them to speak to Governor DeWine about this issue. If each of you ask one like-minded friend to send similar e-mails, our opposition will be large enough to be noticed by Governor DeWine and Mary Mertz. We can stop this from happening.
Talking points for an email or letter:
– Terrible for the economy and a large environmental risk.
– Many thousands and possibly millions of birds and Bats will be sacrificed for no benefit to C02 emissions or the cost of energy
– Wind Turbine proposals are failing where you have an informed public
– If approved this will be a disaster for our beautiful lake.- An EIS Environmental Impact Statement should be required
– The Wall Street Journal didn’t even mention Ohio when they wrote about potential Wind Turbine manufacturing centers.
– The cost of energy will drive manufacturing jobs out of N.E. Ohio and result in higher utility costs for Ohio citizens.
– Turning Lake Erie into an Industrial Wind Turbine corridor will ruin Ohio’s most precious natural resource and cost the region millions in tourism dollars.