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Rural Backlash Against Renewable Energy Surges

'At least eight Ohio counties have implemented restrictions on Big Wind and Big Solar...'

(Robert Bryce, RealClearWire) The hype about wind and solar energy keeps colliding with the hard reality of land-use conflicts. Nowhere is that more obvious than in Ohio, where 41 townships have rejected or restricted the expansion of wind and/or solar projects since last November.

In addition, at least eight Ohio counties have implemented restrictions on Big Wind and Big Solar over that same time period.

The soaring number of rejections – all of which are documented in the Renewable Rejection Database – brings the total number of solar rejections in the U.S. this year to 67.

That total includes the October 12 unanimous vote by the Linn County, Iowa, Board of Supervisors to implement a moratorium on solar projects in their county. In all, since 2017, 94 communities across the U.S. have rejected or restricted Big Solar.

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Wind projects are also facing fierce resistance, particularly in Ohio, a swing state that is critical to presidential candidates.

Thus far in 2022, 46 local governments, 40 of which are in Ohio, have rejected or restricted wind projects. Furthermore, since 2015, 370 communities from Maine to Hawaii have rejected or restricted wind projects.

These hundreds of rejections are routinely ignored by big media outlets. Further, they don’t square with the schemes being promoted by academics from Princeton, Stanford, and other elite universities who routinely claim that the U.S. can build thousands of megawatts of new solar and wind capacity in rural America and do so in just a few years.

On August 23, the Ohio Capitol Journal reported that “At least 10 Ohio counties have passed resolutions blocking the development of new utility-scale wind and solar projects within all or part of their jurisdictions in the last year. At least two more counties are actively considering such a prohibition.”

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The moves in Ohio, as well as the recent rejection by supervisors in Linn County, Iowa, prove yet again that the Midwest has become the epicenter of the rural backlash against Big Wind and, increasingly, Big Solar.

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