The Michigan Boating Industries Association is joining environmental groups, boating associations and property owners in opposing the proposed Icebreaker wind-power turbines in Lake Erie.
“MBIA is not opposed to alternative sources of energy,” said MBIA executive director Nicki Polan in a statement. “But, regarding wind farms in our Great Lakes, we find far too many unanswered questions and documented risks to the health and aesthetics of these unique and often fragile bodies of water. We stand opposed to plans such as the one being considered in Ohio and we encourage all boaters and boating businesses to join us in communicating this to Ohio.”
Michigan borders four of the five Great Lakes, including a large portion of Lake Erie. Many Michigan residents also boat on Lake Erie.
“Building wind turbines in Lake Erie will threaten clean water, boating access, one of the world’s best perch and walleye fisheries, bird migration, the safety and health of coastal residents, and so much more,” said Polan.
The initial goal of the Icebreaker plan is to place 6 wind turbines, with a final goal of 1,200 wind turbines in Lake Erie, costing an estimated $24 billion.
“Wind power has proved to be very high cost with low return,” said MBIA board member Jim Coburn of Coburn & Associates. “Many wind turbine projects in the U.S. and overseas have been abandoned because of this. Why this is even being considered in our Great Lakes is beyond me.”
The group is asking boaters and residents to voice their opposition by writing to the Ohio Power Siting Board; Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio; and Reps. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, and Dave Joyce, R-Ohio, and to reference “Icebreaker Proposal, Case number: 16-1871-EL-BGN.”
The addresses can be found at www.boatmichigan.org.