It is high time that real environmentalists stand up. Government subsidies and business cronyism to despoil pristine nature is surely a call-to-arms about the limits to growth.
Al Gore? Bill McKibben? Where are you? Do you want another data point for a sequel to Michael Moore’s Planet of the Humans?
As it is, a group of Ohio Representatives and Senators is showing their environmental bona fides–and respect for electricity ratepayers– regarding the Icebreaker Wind Turbine Project (aka Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation, or LEEDCo).
Refresher: LEEDCo is a six-turbine, 20.7 MW offshore wind demonstration project eight miles from downtown Cleveland in Lake Erie. The first freshwater offshore wind project in North America, the project has received huge subsidies from the US Department of Energy in addition to the federal Production Tax Credit. But with $20 million spent since 2009, economic, ecological, and political problems have LEEDCo on death watch. (The last press release from October 2019 reported a $10 million DOE grant to LEEDCo.)
Chairman Sam Randazzo
The Ohio Power Siting Board
180 East Broad Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Case Number: 16-1871-EL-BGN
As members of the Ohio General Assembly, we would like to comment on the decision made by the Power Siting Board as it relates to the Icebreaker wind turbine project. This project would be the first offshore wind facility in the freshwaters of the Great Lakes. This project is being sold as environmentally and economically friendly, but we see this as an environmental and economic gamble with Ohio’s most precious natural resource.
LEEDCo stated that the conditions approved by the Power Siting Board are a “poison pill” for the project and are requesting reconsideration. We have serious reservations about this project, and while we do not want this project to move forward in any form, we would urge the Power Siting Board to remain firm in their original ruling and retain ALL conditions in the approval ruling.
Specifically, we have grave environmental concerns about this project:
We have economic concerns about this project:
We understand and respect that all jobs are important, but we do not think Lake Erie should be put at irreparable risk for a handful of permanent jobs when the economic losses associated with an unhealthy Lake are far greater than these hypothetical gains.
Mr. Chairman, thank you for your consideration of this perspective. We respectfully request that you remain firm in your conditions for approving the development of these turbines in our precious Lake Erie.
Bill Reineke (88th House District); Craig Riedel 82nd House District); Bill Seitz (30th House District);
Matt Huffman (12th Senate District); Rob McColley (1st Senate District); Dave Burke (26th Senate District);
Nino Vitale (85th House District); Jon Cross (83rd House District); Dick Stein (57th House District);
Sara Carruthers (51st House District); Don Jones (95th House District); Tracy Richardson (86th House District);
Cindy Abrams (29th House District); George Lang (52nd House District); Phil Plummer (40th House District).