Wind farm is USA. Author: Tripp. License: Creative Commons. Attribution 2.0 Generic
A compromise measure to reform rigid wind turbine setback rules in Ohio has failed to get backing from the House of Representatives.
The measure was advanced last week by Senate lawmakers in the state's proposed biennial budget.
Ohio's current wind setbacks, adopted in 2014, require wind turbines to be at least 1,300 ft (396.2 ft) from the nearest property line. The wind industry says these are among the most restrictive in the US and have stopped wind development in the state.
"It’s hard to understand why the Ohio House under the leadership of Speaker Rosenberger would stand in the way of USD 4.2 billion dollars of economic development," Andrew Gohn, eastern region policy director for the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), said in a statement on Wednesday. The estimate is from a recent study by AWEA and the Wind Energy Foundation, which says that restoring Ohio's wind setback policy to pre-2014 standards would bring over USD 4.2 billion (EUR 3.7bn) in local economic benefits.
AWEA said the decision is bad for rural communities and for businesses wishing to power their facilities with renewable energy. The proposed setback fix had received support from Ohio's business community and big companies like Amazon that want access to low-cost, clean energy.
"We appreciate the strong leadership shown by Senator Cliff Hite, Senate President Larry Obhof, and the Senate leadership team who championed this vital regulatory reform," said Gohn. "With their support in continuing the fight, as well as support from Governor Kasich, we’re confident that common sense will soon prevail and that Ohio will grow more prosperous by unlocking the vast potential of wind power."