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Last call to block Lake Erie wind turbines?

Cleveland gets no respect. Their citizens remain an optimistic bunch, considering how often their sports teams come up short of a first-place trophy (2016 Cavaliers notwithstanding); still get teased for their river catching fire and Mayor Kucinich running the city into bankruptcy.

Now, in the name of job creation, many union leaders and government officials are getting duped by wind industry promoters to support off-shore wind turbines within sight of their downtown skyline.

However, if this foolish project is approved by state regulatory agencies, the joke will be on their citizens who will pay inflated electrical rates for the privilege of occasionally seeing blades spinning on the horizon.

The primary winners will be the hucksters who will cash in on tens of millions of dollars of our tax money to conduct this experiment in which the results are all but pre-determined.

Some of us will not live long enough to see it, but despite untested promises to the contrary, I’d wager that as these ugly monoliths cease to operate as expected in 20-to-30 years, their obsolete carcasses will spoil the scenery for decades to come, joining the factory ruins already surrounding the lake from Detroit to Buffalo.

Radar images, GPS transmitter tracking data and evening bird call flight recordings document millions of birds and bats crossing the lake during their spring and fall migrations – a prime reason to site wind farms inland.

Monopolizing fishing spots, creating a boating obstacle course not pin-pointed on GPS navigational map chips and a fall zone for blades which may shear off are recreational boating concerns.

Excuse me for being fiercely protective of MY Lake Erie, a public trust resource that I dedicated my career to understand and protect. I do not want to see thousands of acres of surface water privatized to the exclusion of my own or other like-minded citizen’s use.

I am also offended knowing that the promoters resort to dishonesty to further their objectives, because the public would not support wind energy if the true environmental and social costs were known, such as:

— Hiding the true magnitude of birds and bats killed by the blades and tower by deliberately manipulating and withholding mortality data, citing trade secrets.

According to the 501 (c) (3) organization, Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, (CFACT), “No other industry has ever been or would be allowed to operate under such regulatory blindness.”

— Down-playing problems with noise, shadow flicker and flying debris when the blades shear off (disassemble)- and paying neighbors “hush money” to not complain.

— The cost of the energy produced using wind vs. fossil fuels and the inability to produce electricity during calm or high wind periods.

According to CFACT, the cost to install the offshore units off of the coast of Rhode Island was $150,000 per household served.

Germany, a nation that provides over 1.1 trillion in subsidies to get 16.3 percent of their power from wind (Clean Energy Wire), has halted offshore wind turbine construction there as too expensive – even by wind standards.

During most of July 4, none of the four wind turbines were spinning at the Wood County landfill because of calm winds, while temperature was in the 90s. It’s a good thing that we still have reliable sources of electrical production to keep our air conditioners running.

The American Bird Conservancy and the Black Swamp Bird Observatory are solidly opposed to construction of wind turbines anywhere within three miles of the Great Lakes, based upon scientific bird migration data.

Unfortunately, some other conservation organizations have endorsed the project despite their toll on migratory birds and bats as part of their bigger agenda against the politically incorrect fossil fuel industry.

Bat populations, already devastated by a rampant disease called white-nose syndrome, are spiraling toward extinction due to overwhelming wind turbine mortality.

Norm Schultz, President Emeritus of Ohio’s Lake Erie Marine Trades Association, recently wrote that they and the Michigan Boating Industries Association both oppose destroying the unique vista of an unbroken horizon that lakefront property owners; resort, park, marina and beach-goers; and others currently enjoy – in trade for a few megawatts of electricity.

If properly sited, many of us do not fundamentally oppose wind turbines, but off-shore in the Great Lakes and in migratory bird corridors are unacceptable, illogical locations to erect them.

If you agree, please considering attending the last Ohio Power Siting Board public meeting about the Cleveland wind turbines, scheduled for 6 p.m. on July 19 at the Cleveland City Council Chambers, 601 Lakeside Avenue- 2nd floor, to offer comments on the topic.