On May 5, commissioners in Crawford County, Ohio voted to ban wind project development in all unincorporated areas of the county and puts the kibosh on a proposed 300-megawatt project being promoted by Apex Clean Energy. The move marks the 330th time that wind energy has been rejected or restricted in the U.S. since 2015. The vote matters because Big Wind is currently lobbying in Washington for another extension of the production tax credit, the most-expensive energy-related provision in the federal tax code. I also read parts of an article published in the Bucyrus Telegraph-Forum about the vote and why one opponent said “We’re a farming community and we want to promote farming, not wind turbines.”
Robert Bryce 0:04
Hi, everyone, welcome to the power hungry Podcast. I’m Robert Bryce today, a power brief and just five minutes or so on
what’s going on with the renewable rejection database and updates on the renewable rejection database on May 5. Commissioners in Crawford County, Ohio voted to reject a wind project, a proposed wind project that marks the 300 and 30th time that when projects had been rejected or restricted across the US, since 2015, the rejections have happened from Maine to Hawaii. Now, you won’t read about this. I’ve reported this many, many, many times. You won’t read about it in The New York Times, you certainly won’t read about it in the National Public Radio or the Washington Post. But the reality is that these land use conflicts across the country, are already hindering the growth of renewables, both wind and solar 330 rejections of wind and by my count now 37 rejections of solar since 2019, in the renewable rejection database, which you can see on my website, Robert price.com. But a couple of points about why this matters, why this 300 and 30th rejection matters. Well, it matters now, because the wind industry is desperately trying to get yet another extension of the production tax credit. This is the subsidy call it what it is, that has been driving the growth of the wind industry since the beginning. It’s a decades old subsidy. It’s been extended 13 times, but it expired in January. So now, big wind and the American clean power Association are pushing for furiously lobbying in Congress to get yet another extension of the production tax credit, because the wind industry is now in freefall the because without the subsidies, they do not build wind projects. That bottom line for all this talk about oh, wind and solar are cheaper. The reality is they have always been dependent on subsidies and mandates and the subsidies have been the key driver. Why does it matter? Well, so now this this lobbying is going on. Second, this is the most expensive energy related provision in the federal tax code. This decade alone, the wind energy business will collect something on the order of $34 billion in tax credits. Because of the production tax credit, and companies like NextEra Energy, the biggest producer of renewable energy in the world, are feeding at the trough who the financial statements of NextEra Energy, they have $4.6 billion in tax credit carryforwards on their financial statements NextEra Energy does. So this is critically important to them. And of course, they want federal tax dollars. They don’t want to spend their own money. But this is colliding with the reality on the ground in places like Crawford County. So it matters because obviously this effort to get more more tax subsidies. And second matters, because it shows yet again, yet again for the 330 of time that local communities don’t want large scale renewable projects in their neighborhoods. So I want to read very quickly I’m gonna keep this power brief to less than five minutes this article that was in the booth Cyrus telegraph forum, published on May 5 Wind Farm opponents celebrate commissioners vote. It’s written by Jerry Goble. I think I have our first name correct. A 22nd Ovation followed Crawford County Commissioners vote to restrict industrial wind farm development in all unincorporated areas of the county, with members of Crawford anti wind rising to their feet. The resolution passed two to one at a regular meeting on Thursday. Effectively Barr’s construction of Honey Creek wind Apex clean energy’s 300 megawatt industrial wind farm at least for now, if you remember, Apex clean energy has a bad reputation in New York State for its efforts to push through the lighthouse wind project in near the towns of Yates and Somerset. That project was opposed by both Yates and Somerset and three counties. And that kind of that project has apparently now been suspended. The article goes on many of the 50 plus people who crowded into the lower level conference room at the county administration building were Crawford anti winds signature yellow shirts, group members circulated petitions seeking a ban on wind farm development attended countless public meetings across the county and organized anti wind information sessions. Member Paula Eiler said she was proud of the commissioners vote. We’re sustaining our schools without money from Apex. We’re a farming community and we want to promote farming, not wind turbines. There’s a place for them. But that’s not in this community. This is the reality in rural America. And the reality in rural America is that they are pushing back and pushing back hard against the encroachment of big wind and big solar. As I said in the renewable rejection database, which I’m updating regularly, I do it because I have the bitten my teeth on this issue. W Edwards Deming said In God We Trust all others bring data. Well, I have the database you can look at it on my website, Robert bryce.com. The wind industry, the solar industry have never never, never challenged my numbers never changes the database. They don’t want to talk about this. But the reality is that land use conflicts are the binding constraint. And the Crawford County vote is just one of many one of hundreds now that it shows that rural Americans don’t want these projects in their neighborhoods. And but you know, don’t count on the Sierra Club or Natural Resources Defense Council or the New York Times to report on this, because it doesn’t fit the narrative. But that’s the reality. So the end of this power brief now, just wanted to bring this to your attention. It is.
I wrote about this last week in real clear energy on May 20. I published a piece about this, you can find that on real clear energy.com but wanted to update you on what is actually happening. 330 communities 330 examples of wind energy rejections across the country since 2015. That’s the real story. The numbers don’t lie. So thanks for tuning in to this power brief. Until next time, see ya.