by Richard Stegman
If one drives from Bellevue to Attica you will notice the numerous Anti-Wind for Seneca County signs in the front yards of homes. They do far out-number the Pro-Wind Energy signs. One will also be struck that most of the pro-wind signs are in areas without homes; just open fields. And on the evening of May 31st a trip to the Attica Fairgrounds was clearly a meeting for SAWU to address over 500 supporters.
Before the primary speaker addressed the crowd, two SAWU leaders, Chris Zeman and Deb Hay spoke to their supporters. Zeman, addressing the possibility of 58 wind turbines with the Republic Wind Project at 591 ft. focused on two needs. One need is that the set-backs, presently at 1,125 ft. from property lines, should be changed. He and SAWU support the bill sponsored by Sen. Matt Dolan (R) that would put the set-back to 1,450 ft. And for the second need, he was clear that the constituents of the affected areas “have a right to a vote”, which received a quite loud applause. Deb Hay stated that the McCulley amendment sponsored by Senator Rob McColley (R) was important and would allow local residents to vote on the future of the wind projects in their communities.
The evening’s main speaker was Kevon Martis, the Executive Director of the Interstate Informed Citizens Coalition (IICC) of Blissfield MI and also a senior policy fellow of the Energy and Environment Legal Institute in Washington DC. According to his website, Kevon has testified numerous times before the Ohio House and Senate Public Utilities Committees. Kevon also has testified on wind energy land use issues across the Midwest, including OH, IL, MI and Kentucky as well as in Nebraska and North Dakota. Martis has also been invited to testify before members of Congress in Washington, DC.