[ exact phrase in "" • results by date ]

[ Google-powered • results by relevance ]


News Home

Subscribe to RSS feed

Add NWW headlines to your site (click here)

Sign up for daily updates

Keep Wind Watch online and independent!

Donate $10

Donate $5

Selected Documents

All Documents

Research Links


Press Releases


Publications & Products

Photos & Graphics


Allied Groups

Residents supporting final hour fight for wind energy ethics amendment  

Credit:  By Deanna Allbrittin | WTTV | April 19, 2017 | bs4indy.com ~~

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – One state lawmaker is making his last-ditch effort to address one of his constituents’ most pressing concerns.

For nearly a year, some people living in representative Tom Saunders’ district counties have begged him to do something about what they say is unethical behavior in wind energy-related decisions.

In response, he introduced a bill at the start of the legislative session.

“I think there’s some transparency issues,” said Saunders. “I can understand why the constituents I represent have some concerns.”

The wind farm bill was intended to introduce a myriad of concerns about wind development, including the distance a turbine sits from a non-participating house. One of the most important pieces, was an ethics policy meant to prevent what Saunders called “questionable” behavior by some Henry County officials.

“I’ve been privy to some emails that have been requested from local elected and appointed officials who have had some questionable contact back and forth with the wind turbine people,” said Saunders.

If the ethics policy in Saunders’ bill does make it into a final hour amendment, it would give the state Attorney General’s office a new power. They could investigate conflict of interest violations by wind companies and officials.

But Saunders is running out of time to even make the ethics portion of the bill law.

With the legislative session wrapping up, the only option is for the conference committee for the budget bill to decide to add the ethics policy as an amendment.

So far, there have been no indication that will happen, although Saunders pitched his amendment to conferee and House Ways and Means committee chair Tim Brown.

That concerns some residents who feel at least one elected and appointed official haven’t been transparent.

Their concern grew after reading emails obtained through a records request.

Just last week, Melissa Elmore and other Henry County residents confronted county commissioners with some of those emails.

“The whole point was to say to him, here is a map that has your wife’s name on it, here is an email, here are the policies,” said Melissa Elmore, who filed the initial FOIA request. “This is why we have continually talked about this conflict of interest.”

They read aloud two email threads they felt represented their fight.

In one thread, Olene Veach, a planning commissioner who votes on wind issues, states she “might be interested” in leasing her farm for a turbine.

In response, a former county administrator tells her “Ed had to recuse on NextEra because he had a tentative agreement with them”.

Ed here, refers to Ed Yanos, a county and planning commissioner.

An email earlier in the year also states Yanos’ “wife owns property with a turbine sited on it”.

Yanos says the writer of the emails was mistaken.

But a map submitted by NextEra to the county, also shows his wife’s property as an alternate site for a turbine.

Yanos says that map is wrong too.

At the public meeting and today, Yanos still denies he or his wife have ever been interested in leasing their land for wind turbines.

But his opponents aren’t buying it, partly because of this response Yanos gave to their concerns at that public meeting last week.

According to the State Board of Accounts website, there is no conflict of interest filed for Veach.

Yanos didn’t file a conflict of interest until nearly a year after the emails that state his wife had a tentative agreement for her property.

Saunders’ policy would lay out more exacting guidelines for when those disclosures need to be made for officials making wind energy decisions.

“If you have the opportunity to get a wind turbine on your property or your wife does or your brother or your father, are you acting in the best interests of your constituents or are you looking out for your own financial gain?” questioned Saunders.

Source:  By Deanna Allbrittin | WTTV | April 19, 2017 | bs4indy.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding
Donate $5 PayPal Donate


News Watch Home

Get the Facts Follow Wind Watch on Twitter

Wind Watch on Facebook


© National Wind Watch, Inc.
Use of copyrighted material adheres to Fair Use.
"Wind Watch" is a registered trademark.