By B.N. Frank
Opposition to wind turbines and farms on land and offshore is likely to increase in the U.S. and worldwide until significant biological, economic, environmental, and safety issues – including fires (see 1, 2) – are eliminated or greatly reduced (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17). Commissioners in one Ohio county recently put the decision to allow industrial wind farms (or not) up to voters.
Crawford Co. voters will decide wind farm issue, elections board rules
Credit: Voters will decide whether to allow industrial wind farms in Crawford County | Elections board approves referendum for November ballot | Gere Goble | Bucyrus Telegraph-Forum | Aug. 16, 2022 | www.bucyrustelegraphforum.com ~~
In November, voters will decide whether to allow industrial wind farm development in Crawford County.
At a meeting on Tuesday morning, the Crawford County Board of Elections approved placing a referendum vote on the fall ballot. Crawford County will be the first in Ohio to have this kind of referendum on the ballot.
On May 5, commissioners passed a resolution blocking wind farm development in all unincorporated areas of the county for 10 years, effectively barring construction of Honey Creek Wind, Apex Clean Energy’s planned 300-megawatt industrial wind farm. But under the terms of Senate Bill 52, which became law last year, wind farm supporters were able to submit petitions forcing a November referendum vote on the issue, which could overturn the commissioners’ action.
Honey Creek Action, a political action committee backed by Apex, submitted petitions with 2,615 signatures, Kim Rudd, the elections board’s director, said during the meeting. Of those, 1,692 were ruled valid – well above the 1,181 required under the rules set out by SB 52.
‘We’re the guinea pig for Ohio’: Ballot language has not been determined
While the board unanimously approved putting the issue on the ballot, the actual ballot language has not been set.
“We’re the guinea pig for Ohio and trying to make it as clear and concise as we can, but we all know referendums are not known for that,” Rudd said.
Matt Crall, Crawford County prosecutor, attended the meeting to discuss how the issue will be worded since there’s no Ohio precedent to follow, he explained.
“This is something I’ve been bouncing around since I knew this was going to be a possibility,” he said. “Because my personal opinion is referendums are always very confusing … you hear a lot of people afterwards, after every referendum, saying ‘I think I voted the wrong way.’ … Regardless of anyone’s opinion on the issue, we need a clear and concise result.”
For months, wind farm opponents have used yellow signs that say “No.” Supporters have posted signs that say “Yes,” often with the “Y” formed by the arms of a wind turbine.
But in the referendum, voters will be deciding whether to approve the commissioners’ decision to ban development or reject it – so anti-wind voters would need to vote yes, and supporters, no.
Wording on referendum to be determined
Crall suggested using “approve” or “reject” in place of “yes” or “no” in an effort to avoid confusion.
“I think we as an election board need to maybe not look at what has been done the last two years because it wasn’t an issue for the ballot,” Rudd said. “I don’t want that to sway a decision on something because each side has their signs or whatever.” Since each side is now represented by a campaign committee – wind farm opponents formed Crawford Neighbors United earlier this year – they’ll have new signs, she said.
Both sides have been eager to know for sure what the ballot language will be, Crall said.
“I look at it like, however we decide to put it on the ballot, it’s up to these people to get the word out as to how you will vote,” board member Patricia Armstrong said.
Rudd said that while she’s not aware of any deadline for ballot language, it needs to be decided “soon” so she can prepare for the election. Proposed ballot language has been submitted to the Ohio Secretary of State’s office, so she’s hoping to receive feedback.
Ultimately, Rudd pointed out, the board didn’t have to vote on the ballot language – it just needed to accept the issue for the ballot. The board members voted unanimously to do so.
9 other issues approved for November ballot
Also during its meeting Tuesday, the board approved nine other issues for the November ballot:
- Crestline, additional 9.5-mill continuing levy for safety services.
- Galion Precinct 1B, allowing Sunday liquor sales by 24 Store/Valero.
- Galion Precinct 2A, allowing Sunday liquor sales by BPOE Lodge 1191.
- New Washington Village, 1.5 mill renewal levy for maintaining fire apparatus and appliances and current operation of the fire department.
- New Washington Village, 2.5 mill, five-year renewal levy for maintaining fire apparatus and appliances and current operation of the fire department.
- North Robinson Village, 2.5 mill renewal levy for current expenses for tax years 2023-2027.
- Auburn Township, allowing Sunday liquor sales by Wagon Wheel Campground.
- Chatfield Township, 1.5 mill, five-year renewal levy for road maintenance and improvement.
- Jackson Township, 1.75 mill, three-year renewal levy for fire protection and emergency medical services.
Source: Voters will decide whether to allow industrial wind farms in Crawford County | Elections board approves referendum for November ballot | Gere Goble | Bucyrus Telegraph-Forum | Aug. 16, 2022 | www.bucyrustelegraphforum.com
Despite widely reported wind energy infrastructure risks, earlier this summer, the Biden Administration and administrations in 11 states formed a federal-state offshore wind partnership (which will require billions in funding). This decision even has environmentalists concerned.
Activist Post reports regularly about wind power and unsafe technology. For more information, visit our archives.
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