I respond to the Thursday Dispatch article “Amazon: Ease limits on wind farms” about Amazon’s testimony on rules for locating industrial wind turbines in Ohio. The company sent a representative to the Statehouse for a hearing on a bill that would encourage development of wind farms in northwestern Ohio by reversing some recent rule changes.
The article is misleading in the sense it did not cover the questioning posed to Amazon’s spokesperson, John Stephenson. Given that there are benefits associated with Amazon’s fulfillment centers and data storage facilities, and given that there are known detriments to a community hosting turbines, Stephenson was asked if Amazon would balance the benefits and the detriments by locating its facilities in the proposed wind corridor. The answer was no.
Stephenson testified that Amazon would not get involved in the placement of the turbines. The follow-up question was whether the company is willing to at least have standards that would limit the purchase of wind only from facilities with protective setbacks. Again, the answer was no.
Siting is not something Amazon cares about. The rules being proposed by the wind industry do not provide for compensating a neighboring property owner when the adverse effects of noise and moving shadows diminish the neighbor’s amenity. Wind developers and their “green” adherents are indifferent to the property rights of northwest Ohioans.
Testimony indicated that to respect property rights would be “cost prohibitive.” It appears the population density of Ohio makes it an unsuitable state for wind development.
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