Page 12 - Mid America Boating - January 2022 issue
P. 12

back from being the nation’s pollution icon.   adequately vet the impact on birds and bats
                                                                                  We cannot now justify any failure to identify   in confl ict with state law and in violation of
                                                 Icebreaker                       all the risks to Ohio’s most precious natural   the Public Trust Doctrine.
      JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2022     [     MID-AMERICA BOATING     ]     12
                                                                                                                         Finally, aside from any action by the Court,
                                                                                  resource before construction is allowed.
                                                                                   More specifi cally, there should be a full
                                               fails —                            Environmental Impact Statement (EIS),   it’s clearly time for the Federal Department
                                                                                                                       of Energy (DOE) to call for return of what
                                                                                                                       remains of a $50 million grant hastily handed
                                                                                  something required by the federal Bureau of
                                               again…                             Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) for every   to LEEDCo more than a decade ago. More-
                                                                                  proposed offshore development in America –
                                                                                                                       over, just as Canada has declared a morato-
                                                                                  except Lake Erie! Why?               rium on any offshore turbines in its share of
                                                                                   First, the responsibility of BOEM is to:   the Great Lakes, the Ohio General Assem-
                                                                                  “Manage development of U.S. Outer Conti-  bly should boldly do the same and end this
                                                                                  nental  Shelf  energy  and  mineral  resourc-  debacle that will negatively impact Lake Erie
                                                                                  es in an environmentally and economically   for all future generations. MAB
                                                                                  responsible  way.”  But  Icebreaker  would  be
                                                                                  the fi rst offshore installation in North Amer-  Norm Schultz is President Emeritus of the Lake
                                                                                  ica’s fresh water, something that obviously   Erie Marine Trades Association.
                                                                                  fl ew over the heads of BOEM offi cials when
                                                                                  they hastily issued approvals for Icebreaker!
                                                                                  “Where is Lake Erie, anyway,” was likely the
                                                                                  only thought at BOEM!
                                                                                   So, Icebreaker has been able, thus far, to
      By Norm Schultz                       ment Corp. (LEEDCo), is the eventual instal-  avoid a full EIS, even in the face of widespread
                                            lation of up to 1,600 more!           environmental risks that clearly need exten-
      Boaters, conservationists, home owners and   The groups opposing “Icebreaker” quickly   sive  study.  These  range  from  contaminat-
      more are applauding members of the Ohio   highlight what they term a “blatant disregard”   ing the drinking water supply for 12 million
      General Assembly for recognizing the fl aws   for Ohio’s most precious natural resource.   people to thousands of fl oating carcasses of
      in the plan to industrialize Lake Erie with   They cite comments by Will Friedman, the   birds and bats slaughtered by turbine blades.
      wind turbines and refusing to provide funding   head of LEEDCo’s board and president of the   If Ohio lawmakers want to take any action,
      before the legislature adjourned in December.  Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority, as   a formal demand that BOEM withdraw its
        Lawmakers rebuffed a last-minute propos-  refl ecting an unacceptable view of Lake Erie.  previous approval and require an EIS would
      al that would have imposed a surcharge on   Specifi cally, referring to the continuous   be in order.
      all First Energy ratepayers in Northeast Ohio   concerns  in  Ohio  about  building  turbine   Besides lack of funds, there’s a current
      to  provide  funding  for  turbines  in  the  lake.   farms on land, Friedman contends there’s less   legal hurdle for Icebreaker. A challenge by two
      Called “Icebreaker Wind,” it would place 6   concern when the turbines are “out in the lake   courageous Bratenahl residents is now before
      turbines in the lake off Cleveland’s lake-  where there’s nobody around.”   the Ohio Supreme Court. They are asking
      front as a so-called demonstration project.   But that attitude ignores 50 years of clean   the court to direct the Ohio Power Siting
      However, the true intent revealed earlier by   up, restoration and enormous investments of   Board to withdraw its certifi cate of approval
      the developers, Lake Erie Energy Develop-  funds and human capital to bring Lake Erie   for Icebreaker, arguing regulators failed to



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