Republican Lawmakers and Local Chamber CEOs Call for Fix to Wind Setbacks

Watch video here.

Wind energy in Ohio, they said, comes down to a story of “haves” and “have nots.”

Four years ago, policies for wind energy changed. This resulted in some communities benefiting from wind investments and some losing millions because the new policies stopped investments in some communities.

But, said Sen. Matt Dolan (R- Cuyahoga), there is a better way.

“I see that Ohio has an opportunity to not only be a leader in energy but to create a new economy—and that new economy in this case can be the economy of the wind industry,” said Sen. Dolan, sponsor of SB-238, the wind turbine set-back bill, which would strike a compromise to protects property rights and allow wind development to continue.

Rep. Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin), who moderated the press conference, called SB-238 “a good bill for getting this subject going.”

A new report by the Wind Energy Foundation released at the conference found:

“By failing to restore the state’s property line setback law for new wind power projects to a reasonable limit, the Ohio Legislature is putting $4 billion in projected economic impact at risk from approved and proposed in-state wind farms, most of which would flow to its rural counties.”

Those speaking at the conference—which included chamber of commerce CEOs, economic development leaders, school superintendents, and county commissioners—all live in wind-rich communities, said Susan Munroe, President and CEO of the Van Wert Area Chamber.

“But some of us have experienced the promise of economic opportunities with wind farm development, and some of us have been denied that same opportunity,” she said.  

Sen. Reineke said he hoped SB-238 would be passed this summer—noting the benefits would more than northwest Ohio.

“These turbines need to be made. These turbines need to be delivered. These turbines need to be installed. And these turbines need occasional maintenance. And all that work can be done by industries in Ohio,” he said.

Watch the video here.

Read the report here.

Pictured at top from left to right: Rep. Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin), Holly Stacey, Seneca County Commissioner, Mikayla Pieper, Executive Director, Paulding Chamber of Commerce