Renewable Energy / Wind Energy

Paulding County farmers, wind industry association sue state over restrictive wind setback law

Timber Road II wind project in western Ohio. Photo by David Grant / Creative Commons

PAULDING —  “A group of farmers in Paulding County has filed suit against the state of Ohio, alleging that the Ohio General Assembly violated the state constitution when it passed a dramatic increase in wind setback mandates.

In a case joined by the wind industry, the farmers assert that the legislature passed the amendment in House Bill 483 in 2014 in a totally unrelated piece of legislation, which is in violation of the “single subject” rule. The legislature adopted the surprise mandate just before the bill’s passage, without any opportunity for input from affected landowners. Plaintiffs are requesting that the court strike down the provision due to this egregious constitutional violation.

…”It’s incredibly unfortunate that the last four years of potential economic development in our community have been thwarted by an unconstitutional provision that was snuck into an unrelated piece of legislation,” said Roy Klopfenstein, Paulding County commissioner. “Had we had a chance to comment on the amendment, perhaps the outcome would have been different. Fortunately, the court has an opportunity to right this wrong and open our community to these jobs and economic prosperity.”

The single subject rule in the Ohio Constitution states that “no bill shall contain more than one subject, which shall be clearly expressed in its title.” The purpose of this rule is to prevent the legislature from engaging in “logrolling” – the practice of combining unrelated proposals to appeal to legislators that may support the entire proposal in order to secure some part of it.”

Paulding Progress

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