The widespread damage of global warming is being felt not only across the nation, but around the world. We are seeing its impacts in human suffering, threats to wildlife and flora, and property damage that result from uncontrollable wild fires, droughts, floods, hurricanes and melting glaciers among other unprecedented impacts. It is impossible to pick up the news without hearing a story about the tragic effects of global warming. Many nations, state and local governments and corporations are looking to develop net-zero carbon emissions.
Yet, while the vast majority of states are moving forward with policies to advance energy efficiency and renewable energy in order to reduce the impacts of global warming, Ohio is stepping backwards to favor costly fossil fuel interests over clean energy options.
For example, Ohio’s laws on setback requirements for wind turbines is among the most regressive in the country. Ohio's wind setback law requires a minimum of 1,125 feet from the tip of the turbine's nearest horizontal blade to the nearest adjacent property line. By contrast, new oil and natural gas wells and production equipment need only be at least 100 feet from homes despite that fact that the risks to a homeowner from fracking are far greater.
New laws also give local communities the ability to stop a solar or wind development impeding landowners’ rights to use their property as they chose. S.B. 52 allows county boards of commissioners to designate all or part of an unincorporated area of the county as a “restricted area” meaning that wind and solar projects between 5 and 50 MW in size cannot be permitted by the Ohio Power Siting Board (OSPB). This only applies to renewable energy and prevents the OPSB from approving a project that meets all state requirements.
Barriers to renewables should be repealed.