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Wind-powered energy needed in Ohio

It seems as though some residents near Cleveland could take a lesson from West Virginians when it comes to wind-powered electricity generation. Instead, residents of the village of Bratenahl — which has the highest per capita wealth of all Cleveland’s suburbs — took their cues from the Cape Cod, Mass.-area residents who fought the Cape Wind project. Then, wealthy liberal families successfully delayed a 130-turbine project off the coast that would have been within sight of the Kennedy compound. It took 16 years of fighting to kill that one. (A smaller project in federal waters south of Martha’s Vineyard has since been approved).

Back then, the likes of U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., wanted everyone else to welcome renewable energy … but he fought like heck to keep it from disturbing his view. Meanwhile, residents of one of the states whose fossil fuel history was criticized by politicians like Kennedy said “yes” to having wind turbines in their backyard. There are now 376 wind turbines operating in West Virginia.

Ohio’s Supreme Court ruled the Icebreaker Windpower project — a mere 6 turbines — can proceed, and that the residents’ pretended worries about the environment were unfounded. The court said not only had multiple studies determined there will be a low impact on birds and bats in the area and “a minimal impact” on people’s ability to enjoy Lake Erie, but the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a 2019 environmental assessment that found no significant environmental concerns.

No, this lawsuit was little more than a not-in-my-backyard situation; and the court recognized that. Now perhaps the Lake Erie Energy Development Corp.’s project can move forward to help provide the diversified energy portfolio Ohio needs.

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