Press Release: March 22, 2007
Save Western Ohio is an advocate of environmentally and financially responsible, well regulated green energy initiatives, and an educator to communities and rural homesteaders about potentially damaging effects of some other financially inspired energy technologies.
Wind Power specifically, while capable of producing a small amount of unpredictable electrical current without expulsion of significant CO2 or air pollutants, and consuming no fossil fuels directly from its devices, is an inefficient and grossly imbalanced “green energy” technology with respect to its net environmental and financial costs for rural Logan and Champaign Counties.
The wind power industry has indeed targeted these Counties in Ohio, one of the lowest wind power potential states in the country, with the blessing and backing of Governor Strickland, Senator Sherrod Brown and other elected officials looking to aid farmers and spur economic growth in the state. Mr. Strickland has offered substantial state incentives which utilize both state income tax revenue and could mandate surcharges on electric utility bills for all consumers. Combined with Federal green energy production incentives, the windpower divisions of already successful companies stand to receive an ongoing “windfall” of nearly 50% of equivalent gross revenue, and as much as 2/3 of infrastructure cost relief from tax incentives and depreciation allowances.
The wind industry has been quietly working in western Ohio for two years, making only the mandatory and smallest mention of “windmill” related meetings in newspapers, and grossly downplaying their true scale, scope goals, which may result in long term negative impact to the beauty and economy of this rural region.
Windpower companies, many of which are LLC divisions of major corporations bearing recognizable names have been working with financially motivated, primarily medium plat size land owners, as well as various township officials over the period, soliciting property lease agreements, requesting permissive zoning amendments, and aggressively playing up the alleged future financial benefits to landowners and local tax coffers. A few of the big name companies involved in wind power include BP, GE, Whole Foods, Siemens, John Deere, Caterpillar, Chase, J.P. Morgan and Babcock & Brown. Most of them do not associate their known brands with wind energy, allegedly due to the potential controversy and community unrest that the infrastructure may impose.
Six weeks ago I became aware of this long term plan, and immediately took a brief leave of absence from my career position to investigate all angles of the industrial infrastructure proposed for western Ohio’s rural countryside. What I and our large group have found is disturbing at best, in that the environmental and national security benefits are tremendously insignificant and the real costs undeniable – especially to an area with a high rural homestead density in a regionally unique landscape of rolling hills, home to the headwaters of most of the rivers originating in the state.
Detrimental effects of this infrastructure include:
- Loss of view inspired rural homestead property values.
- Persistent noise invasion and repetitive shadow “flicker”.
- Unsightly, widely visible and long term industrial intrusion into scenic and historic rural areas.
- Physical and Mental health impacts.
- Wildlife displacement and damage.
- Displacement of well established families from the region.
- Rural homestead growth decline.
- Lost funding for responsible green energy solutions.
The state power siting board and PUCO could usurp local authority, rendering local decisions moot.
www.savewesternOH.org – dba Save Western Ohio ““ Chairperson, Tom Stacy (614) 296-8574