Letter: In Northwest Ohio, wind is our shale

A picture of my four beautiful granddaughters is a daily reminder of what we are trying to accomplish here in the General Assembly. As tough as it is at times, the only thing that pulls me away from spending time with those smiling faces is the understanding that the decisions I make here are right for my constituents in Northwest Ohio, and that we are creating a climate for economic development.

It saddens me that at this very moment, overreaching wind turbine setback laws are preventing just that. They have halted a tremendous economic development effort that is estimated to bring jobs and a $4.2 billion wind industry to an area that has not been able to reap the benefits of Ohio’s shale boom. Many parts of the state have neither the interest nor ability to generate significant amounts of energy using wind. That is fine—and they are pursuing economic development by other means. However, in my district, wind is our shale. And every day that goes by with this arbitrary setbacks rule in place is another missed opportunity to get this industry back on track for Northwest Ohio.

Corporate purchasers such as Amazon, manufacturers like Timken, and state and local government treasuries all stand to benefit from these wind projects, incentivizing more and more business investment in our area. Northwest Ohio is an ideal region for this viable and renewable energy source. The current setback laws are bad for business, the environment, and our families.

My goal when I joined the legislature was to leave Ohio a better place than when I started. I strongly believe the development of these wind farms will benefit our state for generations to come.

State Sen. Cliff Hite, 1st District, Findlay

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