Letter to the Editor, Cleveland.com/Plain Dealer
Sherri Lange — May 31, 2020
Please accept our comments to your editorial “Gov. DeWine needs to direct energy panel he appointed to reconsider its anti-Cleveland wind energy ruling”.
It appears your editorial board is calling on the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) to alter its path of action regarding the conditions for the operation of the six-turbine LEEDCo/Icebreaker project. Although it is no secret that our organizations have long been opposed to any industrialization of the Lakes, I have no doubt that these stipulations include a challenge to the developer intended to take him at his word, allowing him to show that he cares about the environment. In this instance the requirements are also a “test case.” How sincere is the developer about the environmental espousals of his project? If he is indeed confident that he can operate without killing endangered species, some deeply at risk at a planetary level, he should be willing and able to “prove” it. The OPSB seems to be offering something of a chance. (Unfortunately, we have zero doubt that endangered species would be harmed and killed, even with these conditions.) We also recollect that this developer has insisted for an exceptionally long time that birds do not fly over the Lake. (Historically, it is clear that wind developers do not routinely monitor in a remotely honest fashion their outrageous kill rates, their accidents and fires, and other industrial failures such as oil spills or Liberated Components.)
Under the leadership of former Chair Todd Snitchler, in 2014 LEEDCo was required to undertake a laundry list of to dos: thirteen, I believe, omissions, errors, and incompletes that to this day, in our view, have not been undertaken or corrected.
The Plain Dealer and Cleveland.com continue to express that this project will provide meaningful long-lasting jobs, a manufacturing chain, with turbines in, as you say, “the Lakes,” and that the ultimate cost is worth it. Block Island has now cost about $300,000,000, for five turbines. There are some six to nine permanent jobs, depending on which outlet is reporting. There are cable problems that persist, cables rising and floating dangerously, which now need to be reburied: again, at a mounting cost. (The turbines will be shut off from September 2020 to Memorial Day 2021 to facilitate the geo tech corrections.) In addition, the LEEDCo/Icebreaker project’s mono bucket design has failed in testing in Europe recently and been recalled. Is this the kind of technology experiment we wish for Lake Erie?
We deeply hope that this platform of misinformation does not continue. The myths of reduced CO₂, cleaner air, and job chains are extremely dangerous, urging everyone on a flight of fancy that ends in ruin. (And more expensive power most deeply affects the less advantaged.)
Consider the disaster of wind in Ontario, Canada, which has lost 300,000 manufacturing jobs in eight years. Look at the disastrous Green experiment of Europe. In Germany it has been a technological failure, a complete insanity of blackouts, load shedding, and vaulting power prices. The environmental cost in both places, no one will ever be able to “count”. It is too large. (While the world appears to be cutting advantages to wind developers, Ohio must not lag in diligence and scrutiny of the biggest fraud of the modern age.)
With conditions as they are, with additional conditions, with or without an EIS, this misconceived LEEDCo/Icebreaker project must never see the light of day. It is founded on dissembling and profit taking, all the way to Norway.
Scarborough, Toronto, Ontario
CEO North American Platform Against Wind Power
Great Lakes Wind Truth
VP Canada Save the Eagles International
Letter to Samuel Randazzo, Chairman, Public Utilities Commission of Ohio
Suzanne Albright — May 31, 2020
Good Morning, Chairman Randazzo,
Having been an active opponent of the Icebreaker Windpower, Inc. project since it was introduced about a decade ago, I sometimes review past information pertaining to the project to see what has changed over time. The comments below were posted four years ago today in response to an article. The only significant change since then is that the Ohio Power Siting Board unanimously issued a permit for construction of the project, albeit with restrictions, on May 21, 2020.
As I reviewed my comments, it immediately occurred to me that nothing I wrote has changed. It saddens me, and thousands – if not millions – of others to think that there is forward movement for this heinous project. Although some are saying that the condition in the permit that requires feathering, or shutting down, of the turbines at night during migration will render the project nonviable, others are saying the condition will be removed from the permit, allowing the turbines to rotate at night. Thus, our angst continues and worsens.
As we fear for the countless flying animals facing massive slaughter, we are equally fearful that this "demonstration project" is the beginning of the end of the Great Lakes for any other purpose than an industrial power facility spanning multiple states and two countries. Without the protection and preservation of these precious lakes for our drinking water, there is virtually little left for human need and consumption in a large region of both countries.
We are hoping the appeal process for the Icebreaker project will result in the reversal of the permit decision, and ultimately a strengthened movement to clean up and protect the Great Lakes, starting with Lake Erie.
Suzanne Albright says ... May 31, 2016
All excellent points. I live on the shore of Lake Ontario, the shoreline facing northeast. Twenty nautical miles east of here is Ginna Nuclear Power Plant, also bordering the shore. Every night as I close the blinds, I look out at the parking lot lights, yes, 20 nautical miles away. Food for thought.
On to avian issues. On 3/14/2011, Jeff Schmidt, Director, PA Chapter, Sierra Club, testified the following before the PA State Legislature: “Lake Erie is unique among the Great Lakes because its shallow depth provides forage grounds for ducks, loons, horned grebes, and other waterfowl across its entire surface. Shorebirds, songbirds and raptors all cross Lake Erie at varying altitude and locations.Migratory birds are already highly stressed…”, but then goes on to say how placement of offshore turbines is critical (Placement or siting? REALLY??). He further states, “Many raptors inhabit the Lake Erie environs and the US Fish & Wildlife Service has observed the migration of five raptor species across Lake Erie: peregrine falcons, short eared owls, osprey, bald eagles and harriers.”
Let’s be honest here. Wind turbines in Lake Erie will become avian slaughtering machines. LEEDCo can talk about siting and mitigation all day, but it is no more than meaningless garble. If the reader cares little or nothing about the painful, horrific, bloody killing of these avian creatures, that speaks volumes about their character. Keep in mind that birds, primarily raptors, are indicator species. That is one of the main reasons we count them during spring migration. Decreasing numbers of them are an early indicator of harm in the ecosystem, harm that will impact humans. So, if there is no regard for the protection of these defenseless (against human activity) marvels, at least consider their value to the ecosystem and human health. We need them, but they don’t need us!
Further, looking at the picture of that couple enjoying the beach (or not, as they stare at industrial turbines), visualize them sitting there with bloody bird carcasses washing up on shore. Lovely. Or, on windy days with 6 foot waves, the bird parts being flung through the air.
It is appalling to me (and countless others, but primarily average citizens who are not in control of federal tax dollars and who lack the power and resources to make these decisions) that projects like LEEDCo could possibly move forward. Until we all become educated regarding this filthy hoax called industrial wind energy, the desecration of our countrysides, mountains, and now even our fresh waters, will be allowed to continue. And we will pay for it, financially and in every other way.
Great Lakes Wind Truth