In what turned out to be a real life David versus Goliath saga, citizens in Crawford County, Ohio dealt a crushing defeat to a major energy corporation that had planned a wind power facility in portions of the county.
Using a newly passed law known as Senate Bill 52, and in response to intense public pressure, commissioners earlier in the year had declared the County a “Restricted Area”, which prevented wind farm development of a large industrial scale. That in turn triggered a referendum vote after the developer (Apex Clean Energy’s “Honey Creek Wind”) amassed a small number of required signatures to force the matter onto the November ballot.
Despite being out spent more than ten-fold, a grassroots group known as Crawford Neighbors United was able to win a decisive victory at the polls on Tuesday. One of the townships threatened by the project voted more than 88% against industrialized wind farms, and no township in the county supported such developments at all. The lightest support came from a small urban area, but still came in at 62% plus. The county-wide vote came in at 75% in favor of the restrictions.
The grassroots Crawford Neighbors United is hoping that state legislators and leadership in other counties in Ohio and elsewhere are paying attention to the 3-to-1 mandate.
This is the first time an Ohio County has been afforded the “local control” right to vote on the disruptive, life-changing effects of industrial turbine fields.
Tuesday’s victory solidified restrictions on industrial-scale wind turbine facilities in the county, and sent a crystal clear message to politicians and renewable energy firms: rural America will not take the new green deal lying down.
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