Cohocton Wind Watch: June 2007
Cohocton Wind Watch is a community citizen organization dedicated to preserve the public safety, property values, economic viability, environmental integrity and quality of life in Cohocton, NY and in surrounding townships. Neighbors committed to public service in order to achieve a reasonable vision for a Finger Lakes region worthy of future generations.


READ about the FIRST WIND Connection to the Obama Administration

Industrial Wind and the Wall Street Cap and Trade Fraud




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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Law that gives authority to industrial development agencies expires Sunday by Jay Gallagher

CWW calls for all IDA's to be eliminated. These non accountable quasi-public agencies are dens of corruption. Urge that you contact your representatives to abolish all IDA from NYS.

(June 29, 2007) — ALBANY — Projects planned by nursing homes, associations for the handicapped and low-income housing providers are among those that could be jeopardized starting Sunday because of a squabble in the state Legislature over industrial development agencies.

The IDAs, quasi-public agencies whose main job is to provide low-cost financing and tax breaks to projects that generate new jobs, also assist nonprofit groups with construction projects.

But the law that allows them to help out those groups expires on Sunday. The Senate and Assembly couldn't agree on how to change the law, so they left the Capitol last week without adopting any legislation to extend that authority.

The Assembly sponsor of a measure to extend the authority for seven months, Local Governments Committee Chairman Sam Hoyt, D-Buffalo, said the next step is up to the Senate.

"If they pass the seven-month extender when they come back (to the Capitol) on July 16, no problem,'' Hoyt said.

But Hoyt's counterpart in the Senate, Elizabeth Little, R-Queensbury, Warren County, instead steered a bill through the Senate that extends the authority for two years.

"The Assembly needs to come back and pass my bill,'' she said, since seven months isn't enough time for projects to be completed.

Caught in the middle of this dispute are projects like a trio in Monroe County. They are the renovation of the Friendly Home, a nursing home in Brighton, the fixing up of two stores owned by the Association for the Blind in Brockport and Webster, and renovation of low-income housing owned by Ridgeview Special Needs in Irondequoit.

"If they don't have access to low-cost loans, these projects may have to be abandoned or scaled back,'' said Judy Seil, executive director of the County of Monroe Industrial Development Agency. She estimated the total value of those three projects at about $30 million.

More than $1.4 billion in total projects could be held up, said Brian McMahon of the state Economic Development Council, the IDA trade group. Hoyt said that authorization for the state's 117 IDAs to finance projects has been regularly renewed by the Legislature for years.

But this year he insisted on new provisions to make their operations more open and accountable and designed to encourage environmentally friendly construction.

JGALLAGH@Gannett.com

Friday, June 29, 2007

Parts of the true costs of wind production energy by Glenn Schleede

a. The 1.42% "system benefit charge" (the "tax" imposed by the NYS PSC) that is added to the electric bills for customers of all NY investor-owned utilities -- the proceeds of which flow to NYSERDA and is then handed off to others (i.e., subsidies). That's the source of the $295 million that your Governor, NYSERDA and NYS PSC. on April 19, 2007, promised to 9 "wind farm" owners and a few small hydro and biomass producers.) (See Attached paper for details.)

b. The added costs you pay via your federal and state income tax bills because the federal and state governments have decided to give "wind farm" owners huge tax breaks -- which breaks mean that the tax burden escaped by "wind farm" owners is shifted to ordinary taxpayers who don't enjoy the tax shelters enjoyed by "wind farm" owners. The three principal tax breaks are:

1. The Federal Production Tax Credit of $0.02 per kilowatt-hour of electricity produced during the first 10 years of the project's operation.

2. Five-year accelerated depreciation deduction from income subject to federal corporate income taxes.

3. The deduction in #2 above "flows through" and results in lower state corporate income taxes.

Again, see attached paper for details.

c. There are other costs that DO flow through your electricity bill but they may be too complex for your presentation to your town board. These added costs are due to the intermittence, volatility and unreliability of electricity from wind turbines. Examples include the cost of providing reliable generation backup, reduced efficiency for the backup generation unit because it is running at less than full capacity, added burden of grid management. These parts of the true costs are, in effect, hidden in your electric bill.

Energy East chief gets $21.8 million lump sum payment by Jeff Platsky

Wesley W. von Schack, in addition to continuing as a chief executive of Energy East following its acquisition by Iberdrola, will receive a lump-sum payment of $21.8 million from the Spanish company to satisfy all benefits due him under the Energy East's supplemental executive retirement program.

Details of the agreement between von Schack and Iberdrola were contained in a regulatory filing released Thursday evening. The executive contract indicated that the man who has been in charge of Energy East for the past 11 years will continue in that role, serving as head of the regulated utility that will be owned by the company based in Bilbao, Spain.

Iberdrola announced on Monday that it would acquire Energy East for $4.5 billion, or $28.50 a share. The transaction is expected to be completed by mid-2008.

In addition to salary and bonus, von Schack will be eligible for an annual $2.5 million payment in stock or cash if he meets certain self-established "performance objectives."

The contract between Iberdrola specifies that von Schack is also due an annual salary of $900,000, the same base salary that he now receives. In addition, he will get a "retention bonus" of $900,000 annually for at least three years if he remains with the company that long. The veteran utility industry executive also qualifies for annual bonus payments up to two times his annual base salary.

When added together, the base salary, bonus and retention payments could total as much as $5.2 million yearly. The most recent Energy East proxy statement put von Schack's energy East stock holdings at 1.7 million shares, for which he will be paid $28.5 million at the announced purchase price.

The 70-page document filed with the Securities Exchange Commission provides that all Energy East executive stock options, vested and unvested, will be paid to those who qualify when the deal closes.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

FMCE: Wind Development/RG&E sold to Spanish Corp?

Dear Assemblyspeaker Silver and Senate Majority Leader Bruno,

Most, if not all the utilities in New York State (LIPA, NYSEG, RG&E,Con Ed, Niagara Mohawk, Orange and Rockland), offer NewWind Energy, an electricity commodity, premium, "block" or green energy certificate marketed by Community Energy Incorporated. http://www.newwindenergy.com/

On May 02, 2006, IBERDROLA of Madrid, Spain "entered the US wind energy market after signing an agreement to acquire full ownership of Community Energy Inc (CEI). "
Click here: Web Iberdrola - Press Release - 02/05/2006 http://www.iberdrola.es/wcorp/corporativa/iberdrola?IDPAG=ENMODULOPRENSA&URLPAG=/gc/en/comunicacion/notasprensa/060502_NP_empresaEEUU.html

How will the PSC's statements of "keeping the dollars spent on energy in the State's Economy" be affected by this acquisition?

Ask PSC states:

For only a few pennies more a day, you can choose Green Power and make a world of difference for generations to come. Green Power:

Helps to diversify the fuel supply, increasing the reliability of the New York State electric system and contributing to more stable energy prices.
Reduces use of imported fossil fuels, keeping dollars spent on energy in the State's economy.

Should the definition of commodity, premium, block, energy certificate or utility be revaluated to protect the consumer and uphold the stated goals?

With the new Energy Bill of August 8, 2005, how will these definitions affect the Eminent Domain status of hundreds of thousands of acres affected by these land intensive industrial wind farms??

Most of all, who is(are) the responsible party(ies) entrusted to protect the State and those who reside in it, when the energy entity (block, certificate, premium) is not clearly defined within the laws of the State of NY?

I Love NY,

Dr. Alice Sokolow
34 Avonmore Way
Penfield, NY 14526

Letter to the Cohocton Planning Board by Bonnie Palmiter

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE, the Town of Cohocton Planning Board is holding a special meeting on June 27, 2007 immediately following the scheduled public hearings, to continue with its review and consideration of the special use permits, site plan applications and the FEIS (Final Environmental Impact Statement) which were submitted by Canandaigua Power Partners, LLC and Canandaigua Power Partners II, LLC.

In my opinion this is very irresponsible of you to put a rush on this project, it is not two projects but one, UPC has acknowledged this to the PSC. There is no exact sites for these turbines, Chris Swartly state this project is still a work in progress, you have not once been able to show the exact map of where these turbines are going, nor have the transmission lines been placed in any one location, two times they have been moved, and still not stated where they will be located. Until a final map comes into play I don’t see how you can go forward with a FEIS.

If you were at the Town Board meeting last Tuesday, you would have heard Jack having a problem signing a contract for Tom Simons to do road work,(Tom being an employee of this town, not an out of state, out of country employee) Jack needed dollar amounts not blanks, Mr. Levesque, Mr. Wise and Jack stating that they couldn’t sign a contract they weren’t going to give him a blank check (yet that is what you are doing with UPC).

My point being, I am a resident of this town, have been for 28 years, and I have a problem with you signing contracts, special use permits, site plans applications, final FEIS giving UPC, Canandaigua Power Partners, Canandaigua Power Partners II a blank check to our town to change things along the way as they see fit, their track record to date, just with meteorological towers, is without following the laws we already have in place right now. You are allowing foreign owned companies to come into our town and do as they see fit with you, the planning board’s permission. This is irresponsible and not without liabilities to this town.

Putting a 6 month moratorium on this project is the responsible thing to do, wait till all court rulings are in, and get a finished and final map to where the turbines, substations, and transmission lines are to be placed. This meeting tonight should stand without any decisions made to get all the lose ends securely put in order, allowing the residents of Cohocton to truly believe that you are looking out for the best interest of this town, not the best interest of UPC.

PLEASE FOR ONCE, ACT RESPONSIBLE AND WITH A CONSCIENCE

Bonnie Palmiter

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Letter to Cohocton Planning Board by Don Sandford

No new special use permits for test towers or pending commercial industrial turbines should be considered or issued until fines levied for previously violations of illegally erected test towers by UPC, if still outstanding, have been paid in full. I am aware the planning board is considering issuing special use permits for erecting commercial industrial wind turbines. The Town of Cohocton planning board should be primarily concerned at this particular time with the several pending court cases under litigation such as an article 78 pertaining to local law#2 with Steuben County Surrogate Court Judge Maryann Furfure, and local law #1 under appeal, both challenging the process and content contained under local laws written and approved by both town boards in conjunction with UPC.

Also a federal anti-trust complaint is a reality as it progresses. Recently, The Public Service Commission had an “Evidentiary Hearing” involving UPC and its pending proposed Town of Cohocton’s wind project .Representatives of UPC, Mr. Chris Swartley and others testified under oath as to information in part specifically requested by PSC officials with answers expected to be provided to the court at the time of the hearing. However, much of the information requested was still not made available, was deemed confidential or site plans as an example, not finalized when requested. Again many more questions than answers were apparent when the hearing ended.

Considering all the suspect, questionable testimony and/or lack thereof by the less than candid answers by both Town of Cohocton Attorney Mr. John Henry before Judge Furfure’s court and UPC representatives before the PSC, it would not be unreasonable to assume that forthcoming decisions by the courts could potentially affect the validity of any special use permits issued under present local law #2, requiring mandatory changes to be made. It certainly then would be premature and short-sighted for the planning board to issue any permits at this time until these cases have been resolved.

There also should be a sense of concern among the members of the planning board as to what the legal & financial consequences could be if it unwisely decides under pressure from others, to issue even a single permit not knowing the outcome of the pending litigation and then at a later date being required by law to immediately void those same issued permits. It is not at all surprising the courts now have assumed the role of the independent, impartial entity as called for over a year ago and ignored time after time by our boards, free from the inside influences, designs or demands of UPC, town officials and involved lease holders.

Justice is by design is slow and deliberate at times and will be playing itself out in the weeks/months ahead involving the various courts, exposing the bad law made by the boards in collusion with UPC. For this planning board to knowingly and intentionally proceed any further at this time by issuing any special use permits before and until all these legal matters are finally settled would be exhibiting undeniable bad judgment and negligence, with undoubtedly only additional future litigation and expense for the town taxpayer to be gained as its result.

Respectfully submitted,

Don Sandford

New York Lt. Gov. Paterson Convenes Renewable Energy Task Force

Do you really believe that this NYS government plan will will lead to bright economic future?

Cohocton Wind Watch opposes this corporate welfare scam that will cost every New York state resident dearly.

New York Lieutenant Governor David A. Paterson today convened the first meeting of the state’s Renewable Energy Task Force, which will work to attract clean energy industries to New York.

“Increasing the use of clean renewable energy is good for the economy, the environment and public health. Renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar, hydroelectric and fuel cells, can help to re-charge our Upstate economy while reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Governor Spitzer. “I am pleased to have the Lt. Governor leading our efforts to make New York a national leader in bringing clean renewable energy into our communities.”

(Click to read entire article)

Dan Wing analysis of Energy East purchase by Iberdrola

Apparently NY and Federal formal approval has not yet been obtained for finalization of Iberdrola's purchase of Energy East.

Iberdrola's scheme is simple.

Own the companies (Energy East, RG&E, NYSEG, etc.) that BUY windpower at the END POINT for REGIONAL CONSUMPTION. Then Iberdrola has those END POINT companies greatly increase the BUYING , MARKETING, and REGIONAL DISTRIBUTION TO CONSUMERS of windpower -- that windpower being GENERATED / PRODUCED by Iberdrola (and its subsidiaries') owned WINDFARMS.

When owned by Iberdrola, Energy East, RG&E, NYSEG, etc., will be directed by Iberdrola to purchase a lot more windpower from Iberdrola (and its subsidiaries') owned windfarms, resulting in INCREASED DEMAND for Iberdrola-generated windpower, resulting in the construction of more windpower turbines and windfarms built and owned by Iberdrola (and its subsidiaries) which, in turn will result in Iberdrola obtaining more "freebie" tax credits (state and federal massive giveaway monies for windpower -- which is currently still a technologically very inefficient and very unprofitable source of electricity which CANNOT economically exist without massive "freebies"). The more wind turbines and windfarms Iberdrola builds resulting from this scheme, the greater the windpower load carried and transmitted by the TRANSMITTER / SUPPLIER company CEI (owned by Iberdrola), resulting in vastly increased "freebie" windpower tax credits for Iberdrola owned CEI. In this scheme, Iberdrola owned Energy East, RG&E, NYSEG, etc. also reap a windfall of "freebie" tax credits (for their owner Iberdrola) resulting from their anticipated increasing purchases of windpower, which is Iberdrola's objective. "Freebie" windpower tax credits across the board to all Iberdrola-owned companies.

Additionally, the scheme allows Iberdrola (and its subsidiaries) to control windpower PRICING and DEMAND by controlling OUTPUT SALES, by controlling TRANSMISSION / SUPPLY PRICES, and by controlling END POINT BUYING / PRICING by ensuring that Iberdrola's produced and supplied windpower is the only windpower available at the END POINT (as is currently the case with END POINT'S Energy East, RG&E, NYSEG). Availability (of windpower-produced electricity) is limited in regional consumer markets (such as in Rochester, NY) solely [or mostly] to only Iberdrola-generated windpower, resulting in monopolization windpower price fixing and price gouging by Iberdrola and the subsidiaries Iberdrola owns.

The wholesale selloff to Foreign Corporations of our Nation's power generation grid (nuclear power generation being the only exception), as aided by the quick bucks attitude of some of oour Local Governments, and by our State and Federal Governents, poses a National Security Concern. Our Nation is in deep trouble being that it is on the verge of no longer controlling nor owning its very own electric power supply.

$471M deal puts Alstom in the wind game: French company rounds off energy portfolio with purchase of turbine producer

Alstom already had gas, hydro and nuclear projects in the fold - now it's added wind to its energy portfolio.

The French-based engineering company has announced the purchase of the Spanish wind turbine company - Ecotècnia - for $471.1 million.

According to the Alstom Web site, Ecotècnia, headquartered in Barcelona, designs, assembles and installs a wide range of onshore wind turbines spanning 640 kilowatts to 2 megawatts. It is currently developing new wind turbines with a capacity of up to 3 megawatts. The company has taken a significant part of the development of the Spanish wind energy market, which is ranked second in Europe, and currently generates about 50 percent of its sales from other European countries.

The Spanish company has installed or is installing more than 1,500 wind turbines in 72 wind farms, totaling a capacity of 1,433 megawatts. Ecotècnia also has recently become involved with the solar panel market in Spain.

Ecotècnia employs 765 people. Its five factories in Spain are located in Coreses (the Zamora region), Somozas and Rio de Pozo (Galicia), Bunuel (Navarre) and Pla de Santa Maria (Catalonia).

Alstom's acquisition of Ecotècnia will be finalized once the legal consultations and the procedures necessary to modify the company's structure have been successfully completed. Ecotècnia is currently a cooperative and will be transformed into a limited liability company prior to the planned acquisition by Alstom.

Alstom CEO Patrick Kron told Forbes.com Tuesday Alstom would not rule out other acquisitions in the renewable energy market, "or in any other of the activities" in which it already operates.

“This acquisition, when completed, will consolidate Alstom's position as the company with the broadest and most complete range of products and systems in power generation,” Kron was quoted as saying on Forbes.com.

Letter to the Cohocton Planning Board by Steven W. Verbanic

June 27, 2007

Cohocton Planning Board
15 South Main Street
Cohocton New York 14826

Dear Raymond Schrader and Planning Board Members:

My name is Steven Verbanic and reside at 8988 Pawling Rd Cohocton, NY. I firmly do not believe that this wind project is complete and should not be accepted as such. Any “rush to get it done” attitude would be irresponsible, especially with out all the data in place or being heard from all concerned, pro or against. I am writing to say that I am one of those people.

My property borders two other land owners where the turbines or substation is sited for and til this day I have NEVER been contacted in person or by mail or E-mail, voice mail or cell phone by anyone concerning project of wind turbines. The two properties are the Farrels and Walters that I border.
Others facts that would lead anyone to believe that this project is far from complete are:

• The access road has been changed from VanUcker Rd to Pawling Rd. Obviously this has not been well thought out. Concerns are for drainage, pitch of road, curves, etc….
• Pawling Rd is a dead end road ending almost directly in front of Sue Farrels house, then there is a tractor path that leads up to proposed sites. I own to the center of this path and without my permission this path will not be used as part of the access road. Major excavation would have to be done to reroute a access road on Farrels side and without throwing off drainage and ruining landscape with water gauging.
• One has got to wonder since I live at almost the highest point in Steuben County, why on earth would you need the tallest turbines allowed? If it needs to be that high on one of the highest points then maybe, just maybe you’re in the wrong spot or do not need to be that high. Where is the data that states what the readings were at all levels? I would not know because once again no one has communicated with me at all.
• Apparently Sue Farrels sited turbine has been moved off her property over to Walters. I do not know where this site is. Is it in the 500ft/ 1500ft rule? I would not know because once again no one has communicated with me at all.
• My land falls within the 1500ft mark (danger zone I believe most call it) UPC says sure go ahead and build anything you want in it (maybe a house for one of the children) but nobody has told me if anyone will insure it or if they could even get a loan. I have not seen any contract or data concerning ramifications of this “danger zone” and what exactly does it entail. What kind of insurance do I have for this? If I could get insurance for a structure but at a steep price will UPC compensate me?
• I do not know if the maps that I have seen (which I had to find on my own) are accurate as far as distant to my land and resident.

Now a little from the heart. My family and myself moved on Pawling RD because it was a dead end road in the country. At night on the back porch do you know what I hear? Nothing absolutely nothing. When my children were younger they used to have to walk a half mile down the road at barely daylight to catch the school bus because the bus would not come up the road due to pitch and condition. These are sacrifices we were willing to make to have our peace and privacy. I will not even get into the huge concerns I have for the wildlife and the landscape. If the wind turbines are accepted this will all change. This project is far from complete there are too many facts that need to be addressed. These are my concerns and I am sure there are others that need to be heard.

Steven W. Verbanic
8988 Pawling Rd
Cohocton, NY 14826

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Energy East deal catches PSC off guard by George Spohr

Monday's announcement that Energy East had been sold to a Spain-based company caught even the state Public Service Commission off guard.

"We saw that announcement today, just as you did," Anne Dalton, a PSC public affairs officer, said this afternoon. "Nothing has been filed with the Public Service Commission."

Iberdrola, of Bilbao, Spain, said Monday it would buy a 100 percent stake in New York State Electric & Gas Corp. (NYSEG) parent Energy East. The $4.5 billion purchase requires state and federal approval, which is has not yet received, Energy East said.

The deal, which company officials said likely would close in 2008, also is subject to Energy East shareholders' approval. Industry analysts have said that's seen as likely, as the $28.50-per-share price for Energy East represents a 26 percent premium over the company's closing price -- $22.54 -- on Monday, when the sale was announced.

The deal's impact on NYSEG customers is unclear.

Asked how the sale might affect the rates consumers pay for gas and electric, Dalton said, "We have nothing filed with us. We literally have no comment."

Energy East's news release announcing the sale offered little insight, other than to say the sale would "enhance our commitment to customers, through improved quality of supply."

Iberdrola is the nation's second-largest producer of wind power.

New York State Renewable Energy Task Force Members Named

Paterson to Lead Effort to Attract Clean Energy Industries to New York

June 24, 2007 -- New York Lieutenant Governor David A. Paterson today announced the appointment of members to New York's Renewable Energy Task Force. Under Lieutenant Governor Paterson’s leadership, the goal of the Task Force will be to identify and recommend ways of expanding the state’s use of renewable energy and alternative fuels.

(Click to read entire article)

IBERDROLA-SCOTTISHPOWER TRANSACTION TAKES EFFECT

• Ignacio Galán, Chairman and CEO of IBERDROLA, said that “today sees the birth of one of the largest energy companies in the world, with a total enterprise value of more than €65 billion”

• IBERDROLA and ScottishPower have a combined installed capacity of around 40,000 MW, are world leaders in renewables (16,500 MW) and reach more than 21 million consumers in Europe and the Americas

IBERDROLA and ScottishPower have completed the transaction signed on November 27 of last year, following sanction as required under UK legislation (Companies Act 1985) at the meeting of the Court of Session held this afternoon in Edinburgh.

With this final step, IBERDROLA has acquired all issued ordinary shares of ScottishPower: approximately 52.3% in exchange for cash or loan notes and the remaining 47.7% (approximately) in IBERDROLA shares.

As a result, and following the corresponding Board approval, IBERDROLA has today increased its share capital by €8,031 million, equivalent to 245,225,982 new shares which are expected to start trading on the Spanish continuous market (symbol: IBE.SM) on Wednesday 25 April.

The new IBERDROLA shares have a nominal value of €3 and a paid-in surplus of €29.75, making up 21.4% of the new share capital of the Company after the capital increase, which amounts to 1,146,775,163 shares.

Not for release, publication or distribution, in whole or in part, in or into or from, the United States, Australia, Canada or Japan.
Ignacio Galán, Chairman and CEO of IBERDROLA, expressed his satisfaction at the closing of the transaction, which “marks a major milestone in the 100-year history of the Company with the birth of one of the largest electricity companies in the world, a leader in renewables with an enterprise value of more than €65 billion.”

With the integration of IBERDROLA and ScottishPower the new Group has a combined installed capacity around 40,000 megawatts (MW) compared with the 30,500 MW of IBERDROLA alone (a rise of 28%). Of this new capacity, 32,500 MW relates to conventional generation, an increase of 25% over IBERDROLA’s current level of 26,000 MW.

World leader in renewables

The new integrated group will consolidate IBERDROLA’s world leadership in renewable energy – including large-scale hydroelectric power – with an installed capacity of 16,500 MW that in the coming years the Company expects to exceed 20,000 MW.

The combination of IBERDROLA and ScottishPower will at the same time reinforce world leadership in wind power, adding the almost 2,000 MW of ScottishPower capacity, mostly from its PPM subsidiary in the United States to the nearly 5,000 MW of IBERDROLA, an increase of 40%.

The new Group has a significantly larger consumer base (+18%), with the 3.3 million of ScottishPower adding to the 18.4 million of IBERDROLA to total 21.7 million in Europe and the Americas.

At present, the Company has 2.7 billion cubic metres of gas storage capacity in the UK and the United States, with significant expansion potential.

The geographical footprint of IBERDROLA and ScottishPower is now of significant proportions, creating an Atlantic energy platform. It has operations in Spain, the UK, the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Greece, Portugal, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Guatemala, Bolivia and Chile. The group also has a substantial project pipeline that will enable it to continue growing in the future.

The release, publication or distribution of this announcement in certain jurisdictions may be restricted by law and therefore persons in any such jurisdictions into which this announcement is released, published or distributed should inform themselves about, and observe, such restrictions. Any failure to comply with the restrictions may constitute a violation of the securities laws of any such jurisdiction.

This announcement does not constitute an offer for sale of securities or an invitation to purchase or subscribe for any securities or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities pursuant to the announcement or otherwise in any jurisdiction in which such offer or solicitation is unlawful.

The New Iberdrola Shares to be issued to ScottishPower Shareholders pursuant to the Scheme are not and will not be registered pursuant to the U.S. Securities Act or any other U.S. regulations applicable to securities. The New Iberdrola Shares will be issued pursuant to a registration exemption provided by Article 3(a)(10) of the U.S. Securities Act.

Terms defined in the scheme circular dated 26 February 2007 have the same meaning in this announcement.

Energy East sold for $4.5 billion by Jeff Platsky

A Spanish company has agreed to acquire Energy East for $4.5 billion, the companies announced this afternoon.

Under the terms of the deal, the company will pay $28.50 for each share of Energy East stock, a 26 percent premium over the Monday's closing price.

The company acquiring Energy East is IBERDROLA, which is described as a "global energy Platform."

"The combination with Energy East fits with the philosophy of our Strategic Plan, will serve to enhance the international expansion we initiated several years ago in markets with stable growth, and consolidates our position as one of the world's leading electricity companies," said IBERDROLA Chairman and CEO, Ignacio Galan said.

Energy East has been the subject of acquisition rumors for several years. Wesley W. von Scack said last year that the energy industry was undergoing upheaval, and expected there to be some consolidation of transmission and distribution companies, though he would not speculate on future of Energy East.

"This transaction is a unique opportunity to deliver enhanced value to Energy East's shareholders and to build a stronger future for our company, employees and the states we serve," said von Schack.

"The energy industry is at a major inflection point," continued von Schack. "Policymakers now recognize the need for our industry to make significant investments in our energy infrastructure. Our objective is to team with the States in which we do business to help meet the goals they have established to increase renewable sources of energy, improve energy efficiency, and invest in a secure and reliable energy infrastructure. We believe our combination with IBERDROLA will not only accelerate our progress but will transform the way we do business."

"Furthermore, while IBERDROLA is a global energy company, its operations are managed locally. I'm therefore delighted to assure Energy East's three million customers that they can continue to rely on the same local people whom they've come to know and trust to provide exceptional customer service," concluded von Schack.

Alstom does not rule out acquisitions in wind turbines, other activities

PARIS (Thomson Financial) - Alstom does not rule out making acquisitions in the wind turbine business, 'or in any other of the activities' in which it already operates, chief executive Patrick said at a presentation on the acquisition of Ecotecnica.

Alstom this morning announced it had signed an agreement to acquire Spanish wind turbine manufacturer Ecotecnica for 350 mln eur, in order to gain a foothold in the market for wind energy equipment.

Iberdrola Agrees to Buy Energy East for $4.5 Billion by Greg Chang

June 25 (Bloomberg) -- Iberdrola SA, the Spanish power company that acquired Scottish Power Plc earlier this year, agreed to buy Energy East Corp. for $4.5 billion, fulfilling its ambition of gaining a foothold in the U.S. utility industry to supplement its growing wind-power business.

Energy East shareholders will receive $28.50 in cash per share, the companies said today in a joint statement. That's 26 percent more than the $22.54 closing price in New York today for Portland, Maine-based Energy East.

Iberdrola, based in Bilboa, Spain, has sought more assets in the U.S. and investments in renewable energy since its 12 billion pound ($24 billion) purchase of Scottish Power in April. European utilities are expanding overseas because of increasing competition in their home markets, said Amin Bishara, global sector leader for utilities at consultant Capgemini in Dallas.

``Energy East is in a good geographic location and can help Iberdrola establish a foundation to grow further in the U.S.,'' Bishara said. ``The next wave'' of acquisitions in the utility industry ``is going to be the big European companies buying assets in the U.S.,'' he said.

Other European utilities that have expanded in the U.S. through acquisitions include National Grid Plc of the U.K., which owns utilities in New York and Massachusetts and is working on a $7.3 billion takeover of Brooklyn-based KeySpan Corp., the largest natural-gas distributor in the Northeast.

Buying Energy East ``will serve to enhance the international expansion we initiated several years ago in markets with stable growth,'' Iberdrola Chief Executive Officer Ignacio Galan said in the statement.

Energy East has 2.9 million customers and owns U.S. Northeast utilities including New York State Electric & Gas, Central Maine Power and Rochester Gas & Electric.

Tax Incentives

Iberdrola, the biggest producer of electricity from windmills, also said the acquisition will help the company reap tax savings tied to U.S. government incentives for wind power. The company had 4,500 megawatts of wind power at the end of the first quarter and its purchase of Scottish Power made it the second-largest wind-power producer in the U.S.

``Iberdrola has really made known its intention to diversify into the United States,'' said Carl Seligson, a senior vice president with consultant Nyack Management Co. in New York.

Iberdrola, which also owns power plants in Brazil and Mexico, has been buying U.S. wind-power developers. The company in April agreed to purchase Maryland-based CPV Wind Ventures LLC and said it would invest 1.5 billion euros ($2 billion) to develop wind energy in the U.S.

Environmentally Friendly

State governments in the U.S. are requiring utilities to buy more environmentally friendly energy such as wind power to curb pollution and reduce reliance on fossil fuels such as gas and oil. The U.S. Congress debated mandating that 15 percent of the nation's electricity come from renewable sources by 2020 before dropping the measure last week.

Wind-power developers in the U.S. added facilities that can generate more than 2,400 megawatts last year, bringing total wind capacity in the nation to more than 11,600 megawatts, according to the American Wind Energy Association.

Iberdrola's Scottish Power acquisition added about 5.2 million customers and 6,200 megawatts of power-generation capacity in Britain, including two wind-turbine farms.
Energy East's utilities primarily distribute and transmit electricity and transport, store and distribute natural gas. The company owns hydroelectric generating plants, natural-gas fired plants and one coal generator with a combined capacity of 555 megawatts, according to its most recent annual report.

Energy East also owns the Seneca Lake Natural Gas Storage Facility, which can hold 1.4 billion cubic feet of gas.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Greenhill & Co. were advisers to Energy East.
To contact the reporter on this story: Greg Chang in San Francisco at gchang1@bloomberg.net

Monday, June 25, 2007

Mars Hill wind project sound level study

Summary:

In response to noise complaints at the Mars Hill wind facility, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) requested developer UPC Wind Management LLC conduct a sound level study at the site. Here is the cover letter and document ("Sound Level Study - Ambient & Operations Sound Level Monitoring") submitted by UPC to the Maine DEP.

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Download File(s):
UPC Letter to MEDEP Filing RSE Re Sound 06 21 07.pdf (130.73 kB)
Mars Hill Sound Study w Appendices.pdf (4.86 MB)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Open Letter by Latisha Snyder

To Whom It May Concern,

My name is Latisha Snyder, and I would like to voice my opinion about these turbines.

To put these in, you have to destroy the very same land you believe you are preserving.

You would be killing the wildlife, trees, and the land itself. Plants and animals need certain kinds of environments, such as forests or wetlands. You would be changing their environment, and changing the environment may also harm the quality of our own lives. These will not benefit me, or my future! DO THE RESEARCH!!!!

You people have no right to take what belongs to the wildlife, nor do you have the right to take our freedom of speech away from us!!! The Board members believe that they and their followers have every right to voice their opinions, but when it comes to us who do not want the turbines, you tell us to GET THE HELL OUT OF DODGE; which you have no right to do.

I am only eighteen years old, but I thought if you got my opinion you might change your minds and dig a little deeper into more research. If it doesn't, maybe you're the ones that should GET THE HELL OUT OF DODGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank You,
Latisha Snyder

Dansville Wind Turbines Storage

Industrial Wind Turbine will destroy Cohocton - Tiffany M. Washburn (Weber)

Over the last few months, I have heard more and more about the proposals for the Wind Farms in Cohocton. I spent 20 years of my life in this sleepy little town, and I wouldn't change it for anything! Especially not something that is going to be unsafe for the environment and the people. The moment that a question could not be answered, is the moment that the whole thing should have been thrown away.

When I heard about the Wind Farm proposal and UPC Wind, I asked myself numerous questions:

What will it take to build these wind turbines? It will take 10-30+ acres of land, and over $2 million per wind turbine. Not to mention the destruction of the roads and land to transport them to their respective construction site.

Who is going to pay to fix the roads after UPC Wind comes in here and tears them up to get their monstrous machines onto our hills? WE are going to pay as taxpayers. We are the ones that pay to make sure our roads are kept in good shape.

Where will they get the materials to widen and construct new roadways? According to websites from around the world...they make "borrow pits" and hope that the surrounding towns do not notice them blasting apart land. They don't buy the materials locally they make or acquire them locally!

Who is going to benefit from these Turbines? UPC Wind and NEW YORK CITY! Our electricity isn't going to get cheaper, because all of this "Saved wind Energy" is going to the New York City grid!

How much more in taxes will each resident of Cohocton have to pay? No one really knows. Supposedly, UPC wind will be paying taxes to our towns for using our land. It seems that the only money they will be paying is the ridiculously minute amount that the lease holders will receive.

Will this impact the environment? I read an article on a hydraulic failure on a 1.5 MW turbine. It dumped 160 gallons of hydraulic fluid into the ground which seeped into the drinking water for a local town. Another article I read mentioned that the wind turbines had killed over 700 bats within a period of 6 weeks. I've also seen pictures of birds and owls that have been murdered by the turbine blades.

What kind of damages can these Turbines cause? Besides the mechanical failures that can cause hydraulic fluid to leak, many reports have been made that these turbines can malfunction and spin out of control, throwing debris over 250 meters. If they catch on fire, nothing can be done accept watch and hope that all of the surrounding land doesn’t catch on fire. They fling large chunks of ice which can be deadly projectiles. Lighting strikes cause pieces to fly off and be thrown, need I say more?

What about the shadow effect from these Turbines? If you know someone who is epileptic, you know exactly what I'm talking about! The shadow effect or "strobe" effect from these turbines can cause an epileptic to go into a seizure.

How loud are they? Apparently, they are as loud and an idling jet engine at 750ft away. Add a little bit of humidity and some wind that blows towards town and it amplifies that noise a great deal.

And now I ask...What exactly does UPC stand for? It's amazing, that when a close friend of mine asked what UPC stood for, the person they asked who works for this company couldn't even give them an answer.

I'm pretty sure by now, you get my point! There is nothing I can say or research that would benefit our small town of about 1,000 people. It will benefit certain people, who sign over their land to build these wind farms, by giving these people a small amount of money, compared to the millions that this power company will make from the energy they will generate.

Many landowners are going to lose land. Surrounding land owners are going to lose building privileges. Farmers are going to lose rich farming soil, their land, and possibly lose buildings and livestock due to damage caused by these Turbines.

People on Brown Hill, Dutch Hill, Lent Hill, Pine Hill....the damage that these Turbines can cause, can be devastating. I've seen reports and pictures of ice and debris flying over 250 meters penetrating buildings, entire turbines collapsing, catching on fire. Have you seen what lightning does to a tree or a house? Picture lighting hitting a 500 foot Wind Turbine!

The transport of these enormous monstrosities can cause fatal accidents. A crane has already tipped over at Foster Wheeler while unloading a Turbine base. What would have happened if someone had gotten killed or injured from this? Would it make people think twice about being for or against this proposal? I'm not sure!

I wonder every day if these lease holders, town seats, and power companies realize the impacts that this proposal will have upon this town and the amazing people that live in it. This proposal, in my opinion, is in no way a positive one for this town.

I have served this country for the past four years and the words and actions expressed by our community leaders have angered me. Daily, we have many men and women fighting and dying to protect the rights that we have come to know, that many have taken for granted. The property rights that are in danger of being violently stripped away from so many of our community’s land owners is unbelievable. Why is it that many feel they can just take away those rights?

For those of you who are for this, I pray for you and every other person who will have to suffer from the end result. And for those that are against it, I stand behind you all 110%. I hope that in some way this may change the minds of those who are blind to the consequences, and also change the minds of those who are full of greed. There is no amount of money in the world, worth the well-being of our community.

I have included references from some of the sites I have personally researched. If you are one that is against this proposal then you have done your research and are possibly aware of some of the things that I have mentioned. If you are for this proposal, then I hope that you will consider doing more research into the “cons”, rather than ignore them and think of nothing other than the “pros” of this proposal. And, if you don’t care or you’re not sure, then all I can do is hope that you will read this and trust my findings and opinions to help you make your decision.

Tiffany M. Washburn (Weber)

http://www.stopillwind.org/downloads/WindTurbineAccidentComp.pdf

http://www.powernaturally.com/Programs/Wind/toolkit/7_visualimpactupfront.pdf

http://www.eswr.com/latest/307/nrcwind.htm

http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~hills/cc/gallery/index.htm#photos

http://www.wind-watch.org/

http://capecodliving.blogspot.com/2006_06_01_archive.html

These are just a handful of the places that I have gotten my opinions from. What says that some, if not all of these problems will or will not arise in Cohocton?

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Albany power grab?: Local wind projects could be impacted by proposed state energy law; Winner says it would keep towns in the loop, provide ‘one-stop

How much money wind projects blow into local communities is still up in the air - and it could be changing as the state Senate and Assembly work on Article X, a bill to regulate energy production in New York.

State Sen. George Winner, R-Elmira, is part of the conference committee comprised of Senate and Assembly members to come up with a joint bill. He said the two bodies are “very far apart” in terms of coming to terms on a joint offering.

The bulk of the bills deal with natural gas and clean air standards, but wind energy could be impacted as well.

“To the extent that a wind project would exceed - in the Senate bill - a 50-megawatt level,” Winner said, adding the Assembly bill calls for regulations to kick in at the 30-megawatt level. “It would obviously be subject to Article X.”

He said there are lots of issues to consider, and they are still under discussion.

“We're in the process of trying to deal with issues such as how it would impact projects that are already in development, how they would be grandfathered in, if any would be,” Winner said. “We're looking at the impact to local land use planning processes, and how it would affect those.

“We certainly don't want to diminish the municipalities' involvement,” he added. “The whole theory of Article X is to provide a one-stop shopping for the siting of power plants, not to have them subject to lots of varying local rules.”

Winner said municipal officials, as well as wind proponents and opponents have been consulted while developing the proposal. He said the proposal would have municipal officials as mandatory members of siting boards for proposed wind farm projects. He also said he's had conversations with a UPC Wind Management lobbyist in Albany.

“I think their concern is whether they would be grandfathered in if they are a certain ways down the road in developing their projects,” Winner said, adding he feels if a company has already gone through the SEQR process it should be grandfathered. “If they've already gone through that process, I think it's fair that should be the major hurdle for them, rather than having them do it all over again.

“In the proposed Article X, some of what they may have done through SEQR may be, in some instances, more comprehensive than what they would have to do under the proposed siting board,” he added, “but we haven't agreed to any of this yet, it has not been finalized.”

The fact that UPC Wind Management contributed $1,000 to Winner's 2006 campaign has impacted him “not one bit” in his decision making, Winner said. He raised $202,285 in 2006, the top contributor - Friends for Kuhl - giving $6,036.

“If that's where this is going, it's unfortunate,” Winner said after being asked about the contribution. “Some of the proposals we're trying to make sure the municipalities are involved, as well as wind opponents.

“They're the ones that have raised the issues of land use planning, municipal impact fees, requiring assured PILOT agreements and other tax revenues to municipalities,” he added.

The only other wind company proposing a project found to have donated to an election campaign in 2006 was Airtricity - proposing a project for Hartsville and Hornellsville - $1,000 to Eliot Spitzer's campaign for governor.

Winner said the conference committee is trying to figure that out and how municipalities' rights to impact fees could be preserved. He said the new legislation would have no negative impact on Payment in Lieu of Taxes agreements being worked on in local municipalities for wind farms.

“It has not been finalized as to what municipalities would be entitled to in the form of impact fees. Notwithstanding, those can be part of what the company can be offering,” Winner said, “there just hasn't been any discussion about precluding them. Nor has there been discussion about requiring them.”

Winner touted a provision in the legislation that would allow local residents to have a voice through “intervenor funds,” that would be available to groups opposing development, such as Cohocton Wind Watch. Municipalities would be eligible to receive up to 50 percent of the intervenor funds - if they apply for it - under the proposal.

Developers would be required to pay $100,000 to the intervenor fund on its pre-application stage, with ability for another $25,000 to be requested at the pre-application or application stage, Winner said. He said projects that exceed the 80-megawatt level would be required to cough up another $500,000.

“It's not taking public participation away, the whole issue is that participation is being strengthened,” Winner said. “Right now, in municipalities that don't have land use, planning or zoning, they don't have a lot of involvement now. The whole siting process would be much stronger.

“Anyone with concerns would have a major opportunity to make sure they are addressed, whether it be a wind farm, a coal plant or a gas plant,” he added. “If anything, this is strengthening major public participation.”

Winner said there would a host of hearings and notifications, and the ability to use the intervenor funds paid by developers to hire lawyers, experts and others to challenge any aspect of the development.

“Whether it's wind or anything else,” he said.

Friday, June 22, 2007

New York Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency

(Click on link to visit program information)

See Federal Incentives

See All Summaries

See Homeowner Incentive Summaries Only

Financial Incentives

Corporate Tax Credit
Green Building Tax Credit Program - Corporate
Industry Recruitment
NYSERDA - Clean Energy Technology Manufacturing Incentive Program
NYSERDA - Energy Star Home Builders
Personal Tax Credit
Green Building Tax Credit Program - Personal
Solar and Fuel Cell Tax Credit
Property Tax Exemption
Energy Conservation Improvements Property Exemption
Solar, Wind & Biomass Energy Systems Exemption
Sales Tax Exemption
Solar Sales Tax Exemption
State Grant Program
NYSERDA - Assisted Home Performance Grants
NYSERDA - Assisted Multifamily Program
NYSERDA - EmPower New York
NYSERDA - Renewables R&D Grant Program
State Loan Program
NYSERDA - Energy $mart Loan Fund
NYSERDA - Home Performance with Energy Star - Loan Program
State Rebate Program
NYSERDA - Energy $mart New Construction Program
NYSERDA - Enhanced Commercial/Industrial Performance Program
NYSERDA - On-Site Small Wind Incentive Program
NYSERDA - Peak Load Reduction Program
NYSERDA - PV Incentive Program
NYSERDA - Small Commercial Lighting Incentives Program
Utility Rebate Program
Freeport Electric - Commercial Energy Efficiency Partnership Rebate Program
LIPA - Solar Pioneer Program
Long Island Power Authority - Energy Efficient Commercial Construction Rebate Program
Long Island Power Authority - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
Alternative Fuel and Vehicle Incentives
U.S. Department of Energy's Alternative Fuels Data Center

Rules, Regulations & Policies

Appliance/Equipment Efficiency Standards
Appliance and Equipment Energy Efficiency Standards
Building Energy Code
New York Building Energy Codes
Generation Disclosure
Environmental Disclosure Program
Green Power Purchasing/Aggregation
New York - Renewable Power Procurement Policy
Suffolk County - Green Power Purchasing Policy
Interconnection
Interconnection Standards
Net Metering Rules
New York - Net Metering
Public Benefits Fund
New York Energy $mart Program
Renewables Portfolio Standard
Renewable Portfolio Standard
Solar Access Law/Guideline
Solar Easements
Alternative Fuel and Vehicle Policies
U.S. Department of Energy's Alternative Fuels Data Center
Related Programs & Initiatives

Green Power Network: Buying Green Power in Your State
The U.S. Department of Energy's Green Power Network provides news and information on green power markets and related activities. This site provides state-by-state information on Green Power Marketing in Competitive Electricity Markets and Utility Green Pricing Programs.
In addition, the site lists marketers of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs)(also known as green tags or tradable renewable certificates), which represent the environmental attributes of the power produced from a renewable energy project. Whether or not consumers have access to green power through their local utility or a competitive electricity marketer, consumers can purchase RECs without having to switch electricity suppliers.

Wind Powering America
The U.S. Department of Energy's Wind Powering America site provides state-by-state wind project information, including validated wind maps, anemometer loan programs, small wind guides, legislative briefings, wind working groups, and state-specific news.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Impact of wind farms on the value of residential property and agricultural land

Windfarmsfinalreport.pdf

At what stage do wind farm developments start to impact on property values For those surveyors who believe that residential property values are lower as a result of wind farm developments, a majority (67%) believe that there is an impact on values as early as the planning application stage. A further 22% report that the impact is first evident at the construction phase of development (Figure 3). The results suggest that buyers are wary of potential developments at a very early stage in anticipation of a negative impact because of uncertainty over the size and location of a proposed wind farm.

Use fuel-neutral terms in New York plant plan

Your June 11 editorial, "Power politics," spoke of setting an example for the nation by embracing clean, renewable energy within the context of the currently debated Article X siting law. Yet you also stated that it is unrealistic to assume that alternative energy sources alone can meet the demands of today.

You were correct on both counts, which is why it is imperative that the state's next power plant siting law be fuel-neutral, ensuring that New York does not face threats to its electric system reliability.

New York already sets an example for the nation through its Renewable Portfolio Standard program, which aims to have 25 percent of the state's power provided through renewable resources by 2013. However, by 2011 (according to the New York Independent System Operator), New York's energy resources will have dipped to a level that puts electric system reliability in jeopardy.

The reason: New York needs additional generation but does not have a power plant siting law that facilitates the development and construction of this much-needed generation. What kind of example would it set for the country if New York were unable to provide its own reliable power?

To avoid such a circumstance, New York's siting law must be open to all technologies that conform to the state's existing environmental regulations (which happen to be among the strictest in the country).

If a plant can operate within New York's existing regulations, why shouldn't it be part of the solution to meet rising energy demand? Clean coal technology has the potential to allow plants to operate at near zero emissions; nuclear power already achieves that goal. It makes no sense to institute a policy that excludes their contributions.

GAVIN DONOHUE

President and CEO

Independent Power Producers of NY

Albany

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Article X could put more power in New York

You make some excellent points in your June 11 editorial regarding the Legislature's attempt to revive Article X to permit power plants. While few plants were ever built under Article X because of economics, the mechanism is necessary and would encourage new power plants.

However, I disagree that nuclear and coal are "looking backward." While new renewable energy and conservation are needed, they aren't enough.

GE and other energy companies have been improving and building improved modern nuclear plants almost everywhere in the world in the last decades -- except the United States.

Lack of public education and political courage has damaged us here, as in many other areas of public concern. It may yet happen, but not without a policy permitting and promoting it. Nuclear has no carbon dioxide, and we can deal with the waste technically -- it's just politically that's the problem.

And coal can be clean too, even without the advanced technology of integrated gasification combined cycle and supercritical pulverized coal technology -- not sure if one of those is the "coal fusion" you referred to; but there are several of those operating now.

Existing plants could practice carbon capture and sequestration to remove carbon dioxide at existing coal-fired power plants virtually "tomorrow," if Bush ever had a forward-looking idea in U.S. energy policy. Now there's where the "backward looking" really is. There are signs of hope, though.

New York with its Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative could team with California and the budding Western States Climate Initiative to promote these technologies, as well as renewing Article X with provisions to include "good old" energy technologies, but with incentives for carbon dioxide and other pollutant reductions.

"Clean coal" is here today, but needs incentives -- these, too, will be encouraged with a good Article X in New York.

Renewal of Article X needs support and encouragement in the right places, to get the power industry moving again in New York -- and moving toward clean energy.

PETER DESROCHERS

Ballston Lake

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Article X legislation utility siting law letter to NYS by James Hall

Dear Legislator,

Cohocton Wind Watch regrets that NYS is considering an Article X bill that has serious public policy flaws. While we favor "Home Rule" we recognize that NYS has a fundamental responsibility to protect the public safety of all citizens.

Therefore, Cohocton Wind Watch urges both the Senate and Assembly to reject Governor Spitzer's version and bring back most of the provisions in the old Article X.

CWW opposes the siting of any industrial wind project that endangers the public health and safety of residents. The distance set backs from all public roads and property borders of adjacent property owners must be significantly increased to ensure the safety of the motoring public and ensure that property rights of any adjoining land can be protected from the sever negative impacts of industrial wind turbines.

All set backs must be measured from property lines, not from dwelling boundaries. Distance for set backs in most local laws are entirely inadequate. Industrial wind turbines need to be sited at least 1.5 miles from any public road or adjacent property border line.

Article X would be beneficial to the general public if strict NYS public safety standards are adopted and regulated, while maintaining the principle of "Home Rule".

Industrial wind turbine projects are not appropriate and certainly not safe to be located near populated residential properties. If NYS wants to encourage alternative energy projects there must be a balance in public policy that will demand that citizen's safety and property rights will not be sacrificed for the business interests of foreign wind developers.

Cohocton Wind Watch opposes the versions of Article X that are being considered. New public protective safeguards need to be the cornerstone of any legislation that reauthorizes Article X.

Your duty is to protect resident's health and safety before any energy development project. NYS can do better. Industrial wind turbines are not a practical solution but are an Enron model scheme to defraud the public and destroy the local tax base of rural New York State.

People need strict and comprehensive oversight regulation over the entire wind industry. Place the public interest first, especially since anti-trust investigations are looking into the suspect business practices of wind developer LLCs. Collusion and corruption of public officials are well known to the voters.

The future of New York State is at risk by ill-conceived and flawed wind projects. Cohocton Wind Watch appeals to your moral conscience and sworn duty to protect the public. If you approve any version of Article X, guarantee that it includes safety standards that are meaningful.

Cordially,

James Hall for Cohocton Wind Watch - June 19, 2007

Energy corridors draw fire

Property in Franklin, Clinton and St. Lawrence counties could be seized in the interest of national security if the land is where a federal commission says power lines should go.

The initiative is meant to improve the delivery of electricity to populated areas along the Eastern Seaboard.

And it is designed to prevent the kind of wide-spread, rolling blackouts and power interruptions that California experienced — situations that experts predict will start in New York and other eastern states in 2011 unless system upgrades are made.

But opponents, such as the Sierra Club and historic-preservation groups, contend that state and local governments would be stripped of the power to control what occurs within their boundaries under the plan and that host communities and land owners would get little compensation.

Anyone interested in expressing views about the plan can submit comments to the U.S. Department of Energy until Friday, July 6.

U.S. Rep. John McHugh (R-Pierrepont Manor) is co-sponsor of three bills in the House of Representatives that would amend parts and rescind portions of the federal policy that granted such broad powers to protect property owners from intrusion.

To comply with the National Energy Policy Act of 2005 to improve electrical-delivery systems in the U.S., the Department of Energy commissioned a study to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the current system and offer solutions.

The study concluded that an answer would be to establish national corridors to link places that could increase their power-production capacity to places that need more power.

Those corridors would be in effect for 12 years.

In April, the Energy Department presented a draft proposal to establish two National Interest Electric Transmission areas.

The Southwest Area National Interest Corridor would include California, Arizona and Nevada.

And the Mid-Atlantic Area National Interest Corridor would include the District of Columbia, eight states including New York — specifically Franklin, Clinton and St. Lawrence counties.

Two factors that make the North Country areas of interest for increased power production are the hydropower-production system operated by the New York Power Authority at the St. Lawrence-Franklin Delano Roosevelt Power Project in Massena and the construction and planned development of wind-energy farms in northwest Clinton and eastern Franklin County.

Losing local voice?

Under the proposal, the final say in where power facilities and transmission lines would be built for these corridors would go to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

But critics say states and local governments lose their voice in the process to a group of commission members who are not elected yet but will determine if, how and when property can be taken.

The Energy Department also wants the Regulatory Commission to have the authority to overrule states when an application for a new transmission facility is denied.

According to its Web site, the department states “if an applicant does not receive approval from a state to site a proposed new transmission facility within a national corridor, FERC may consider whether to issue a permit and to authorize the construction of the facility.”

A right-of-way permit obtained from a federal district court would “empower the project developer to exercise the right of eminent domain to acquire necessary property rights to build the facilities.”

Critics say that is an end run around the law.

Power project in works

Another branch of the issue is the proposed construction of a $1.26 billion power project from Marcy in Central New York to New Windsor in Orange County.

The New York Regional Interconnection is an Albany-based corporation that would build a high voltage, direct current power line to span 190 miles across southern New York.

It includes 400 kilovolt power lines, two converter substations and two transmission stations that would link with the New York Independent System Operator network.

There would also be $13.5 million in upgrades made to two existing substations to generate 1,200 megawatts of power to feed the New York bulk-power system.

Estimates are that the system would save consumers $11.7 billion over 20 years statewide.

The Regional Interconnection plan would also provide the same eminent-domain powers to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that the energy-transmission corridor does.

Backers hope to begin construction in 2008 and have the power project operational by 2011.

It has been in the planning stages since 2004, when Gov. George Pataki was in office, but Gov. Eliot Spitzer has said he will not approve such a project.

Questioning the process

McHugh is co-sponsoring three bills that either repeal sections of the Energy Act of 2005 or amend parts to eliminate eminent-domain privileges for Regulatory Commission members.

The bills, HR 809, HR 810 and HR 829, have each been forwarded to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce for action.

“Letter writing still means something around here, and it still is an effective way to bring about change,” said his press secretary, Matt Lavoie.

That’s why McHugh fired off letters to Department of Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman John Dingell of Michigan and Peter Visclosky, chairman of Energy and Water Development.
“It’s the process he’s questioning, not the policy,” Lavoie said. “It’s not a question of the technology, but he is deeply concerned about the attempt to circumvent state’s rights and the permit process.”

He said the congressman “has been at the forefront of renewable-energy initiatives and finding alternatives to dependence on oil.

“The problem he has is with the process,” Lavoie said. “He is not against energy companies, but the process exists for a reason.”

In the Bodman letter, McHugh and the other co-sponsors point out that 50 million Americans spread out across 117,000 miles will be impacted by the Energy Department’s decision.

They said holding just seven public meetings “in the middle of the work week simply does not accommodate the rights of American citizens to have their voice heard by federal officials.”

The sponsors asked for the deadline for comments to be extended another 30 days so additional public meetings can be held.

The letter to Dingell, the co-sponsors state that the corridors are “setting the wheels in motion to allow federal siting of new transmission lines to shore up an archaic transmission grid.”

They argue that the law does not address or encourage alternative-energy sources, management of electricity demand or other factors.

The group urged Dingell’s committee to consider adding a new transmission grid to its deliberations as it develops a policy on climate change and alternative-energy solutions.

McHugh’s co-sponsored letter to Visclosky declared the energy-transmission corridor flawed and that any corridor designations should be delayed.

Open for public comment

A 60-day public-comment period for both the New York Regional Interconnection and the energy-transmission corridors proposal ends July 6.

Three meetings were initially held to allow public comment before a panel of Department of Energy officials, but they were held in Washington, D.C., San Diego, Calif., and New York City.

After an outcry from members of Congress, who said those impacted the most by the plans were not able to attend meetings hundreds of miles away, four more meetings were added.

The closest to northern New York was held in Rochester last week while the others were scheduled later this month in Pittsburgh, Pa., Las Vegas, Nev., and Phoenix, Ariz.

Written comments can be submitted through the National Interest Electric Transmission Corridor Web site at [http://nietc.anl.gov/] or mailed to The Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, OE-20, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, D.C., 20585.

By Denise A. Raymo
Staff Writer

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Industrial Wind Turbine Bases - Dansville, NY





Steuben County and City of Hornell Industrial Development Agencies Project Approval, Evaluation and Monitoring Efforts

2006mr5.pdf2006mr5.pdf

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 2006-MR-5 March 2007

There are 115 Industrial Development Agencies (IDAs) in the towns, villages, cities and counties of New York State. The powers and duties of IDAs are set forth under Article 18-A of General Municipal Law. IDAs are independent public benefi t corporations whose purpose is to promote, develop, encourage, and assist industrial, manufacturing, warehousing, commercial, research and recreation facilities. The overall goal of IDAs is to advance the job opportunities, health, general prosperity and economic welfare of the people of the State of New York.

Each IDA is governed by a Board appointed by the sponsoring municipality. To carry out their mandate, IDAs offer fi nancial incentives to attract, retain and expand businesses within their jurisdiction. Such incentives could include one or more of the following: issuance of a low interest-rate bond, abatements from real property tax, and exemptions from sales tax and mortgage recording tax. To obtain fi nancial assistance from an IDA, a business must fi le a project application that includes, among other things, the number of jobs the project will create or retain. IDA Boards should monitor and evaluate the performance of IDA project owners to determine whether the businesses are meeting these job goals. IDAs may place provisions in project contracts that allow them to “recapture” economic benefi ts if companies do not meet their project goals.

Scope and Objective

We audited two active IDAs in Steuben County: the Steuben County IDA and the City of Hornell IDA. We reviewed selected projects between April 1, 2003 and December 31, 2005 that evidenced how IDA offi cials estimated incentives; approved, monitored and evaluated projects; and utilized their recapture provision. The objective of our audit was to address the following related questions:

• Do the IDAs have criteria for selecting fi rms or businesses receiving sponsorship and economic development incentives and are those criteria consistently applied?

• Are the IDAs designing and implementing systems to evaluate and monitor job data, project performance and to recapture benefi ts for performance shortfall?

Audit Results

Both IDAs utilized the statutes and their own various policies to determine project eligibility and to provide some general guidance offi cials should consider when making project sponsorship 6 OFFICE OF THE NEW YORK STATE COMPTROLLER decisions. However, neither IDA developed and documented formal project evaluation criteria for selecting fi rms or businesses receiving sponsorship and economic development incentives. In addition, neither IDA has systems in place to adequately verify project application information.

In order for IDA offi cials and the public to evaluate the effectiveness of IDA economic development projects, IDAs need to have systems in place to monitor project performance and to determine if benefi ts should be recaptured. We were unable to determine if projects achieved anticipated employment levels since neither IDA requires that documentation of employment fi gures be submitted annually. In addition, offi cials from both IDAs informed us that they have never attempted to recapture benefi ts and that they do not have formal procedures to invoke these provisions.

IDA offi cials do not compare estimated sales tax exemptions at application to actual sales tax exemptions reported by sponsored businesses. A comparison of estimated sales tax exemptions with actual exemptions claimed would enable IDA offi cials to identify and investigate large variances, and to use the information to develop more accurate estimates. It would also improve accountability if IDA offi cials were to follow-up with those businesses that reported sales tax exemptions which signifi cantly exceeded estimates to help ensure that the sales tax exemptions were only used for the intended purpose.

Comments of Agency Officials

The results of our audit and recommendations have been discussed with officials from the Steuben County and City of Hornell IDAs, and their comments, which appear in Appendix A, have been considered in preparing this report. Except as specifi ed in Appendix A, Agency offi cials generally agreed with our recommendations and indicated that they planned to take corrective action. Appendix B includes our comments on the issues raised in the Agencies’ response letters.

SCIDA Audit March 28, 2007 OFFICE OF THE STATE COMPTROLLER

Summary of Findings

Our examination disclosed that SCIDA officials have not established formal criteria which can be applied consistently for selecting firms or businesses receiving sponsorship and economic development incentives. In addition, SCIDA does not have systems in place to adequately verify project application information. SCIDA officials do not attempt to evaluate project performance to see if the businesses are producing benefits to the community as intended or if benefits should be recaptured. Finally, SCIDA officials do not compare estimated sales tax exemptions at application to actual sales tax exemptions reported by sponsored businesses.

costeubenida.pdf

Is Your Wildlife/Nature Organization Selling You Out? by Dona Tracy

Warning: This Post Contains Pictures the American Wind Energy Association and Some Environmental and Wildlife Protection Organizations like the Sierra Club Do Not Want You to See.

(Photo credits: Thank you to those organizations and people around the world who provide photographic evidence of this environmental tragedy. Among them are sekano.net, Lygeium, the Center for Biological Diversity, Mark Duchamp, Darryl Mueller and other dedicated organizations and people.)

Do you know where your money and representation goes when you support a wildlife, environmental or nature organization? If you think it is going to save and protect wildlife you might want to take a second look. (A list of some of the National wildlife protection groups can be found below.)

The Sierra Club, who pleads to its members for support to save The Endangered Species Act, is lobbying on the side of the American Wind Energy Association to take the teeth out of it. Even though thousands of birds, bats, eagles and other endangered species die every year from deadly collisions with wind turbines. And it is a global problem.

From the Sierra Club’s website:

“The Endangered Species Act is one of America’s most effective tools for safeguarding our fish and wildlife heritage.

Thanks to this landmark law, wild salmon still spawn in the rivers of the Pacific Northwest, wolves have returned to Yellowstone, and the bald eagle soars from coast to coast. The ESA has been successful in keeping over 99 percent of all the fish and wildlife under its care from going extinct, but the Bush administration is rushing to gut the law by changing regulations to make it easier for developers to pave and pollute the nation’s wildlands and our special places.”

While Sierra Club accuses the Bush administration of rushing to gut the law, and may not be attempting to change regulations, it is backing an industry that wants to ignore the laws by essentially sparing itself from oversight, compliance and responsibility with US Fish and Wildlife requested standards and regulations, the Endangered Species Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the Bald and Golden Eagle Act, the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.

Congressman Rahall D-W.VA proposed a section to a larger energy bill, now being debated in Congress, that would direct the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to publish standards for siting, construction and monitoring of wind projects to mitigate and control further illegal harm to protected wildlife and endangered species.

Of course, the wind energy developers, represented by the American Wind Energy Association, who has gotten a free ride on regulations thus far, went into a tail-spin of public relations hysteria claiming Rahall’s legislation was anti-wind and would “essentially outlaw” the generation of new wind power plants and wind turbines in the US and criminalize this rapidly developing industry.

And the Sierra Club is backing them up on the killing and/or watering down of this life-saving amendment while some important wildlife protection organizations simply refuse, or weren’t aware of it, to take a stand.

The American Wind Energy Association claims Subtitle D would burden wind power with ’sweeping new requirements that have never applied to other energy sectors’. Of course, no other energy sector has been responsible for the direct and irrefutable carnage of thousands of dead birds, bats, eagles and other endangered species in alarming and growing numbers right at the front steps of their industrial plants and facilities.

They also claim the US Fish and Wildlife Service and its scientists are by and large incompetent and ill-equipped to review existing and planned wind projects while omitting the fact that this review would be on behalf of the wildlife and endangered species the US Fish and Wildlife Service is mandated to protect. Not only are they charged with the responsibility of protecting birds and threatened and endangered species but they are also charged with enforcing the laws.

Additionally, the wind industry claims birds do not fly into wind turbines, they simply fly around them. This is based on one industry biased study done in Denmark, who is one of the largest producers and exporters of wind turbines in the world. And has been used over and over again in the media to suppress the truth on bird and bat kills at wind farms.

However AWEA also claims to be working with environmental groups and scientists to address the issue of the deaths to birds and bats at wind farms. So which is it? Are birds and bats being killed or are they not? If they are not, why is this industry claiming to be working to reduce a non-existent impact?

But Rahall, who supports wind power as a renewable energy resource, believes that while wind power should be a part of the Nation’s energy portfolio it needs to grow responsibly “I suspect” he said recently “wind projects are on a regular basis in violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Endangered Species Act, yet no enforcement action is being taken”.

The evidence of Rahall’s statement is born out by the Center for Biological Diversity in California who has been fighting for these billion-dollar businesses to operate in compliance with the law. Over twenty-years there have been 17,000 to 25,000 illegal raptor (eagles, hawks, falcons and owls) deaths at the Altamont Pass Wind Farm and to date the laws have not been enforced, no fines have been paid nor has any meaningful mitigation taken place to prevent more deaths to raptors and endangered species there in the future. Additionally, new studies in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ontario and New York, to name a few, are showing thousands of migratory bats and birds are being slaughtered by wind turbine blades.

According to Donald Michael Fry, PhD, the Director of the Pesticides and Birds Program at the American Bird Conservancy, testimony to the House Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Oceans Oversight Hearing on: “Gone with the Wind: Impacts of Wind Turbines on Birds and Bats”:

“The mortality at wind farms is significant, because many of the species most impacted are already in decline and all sources of mortality contribute to the continuing decline.”

“The wind energy industry has been constructing and operating wind projects for almost 25 years with little state and federal oversight. They have rejected as either too costly or unproven techniques recommended by NWCC” (and other avian experts) “to reduce bird deaths. The wind industry ignores the expertise of state energy staff and the knowledgeable advice of Fish and Wildlife Service employees on ways to reduce or avoid bird and wildlife impacts.”

Please read the congressional testimony of a public interest law firm that provides legal representation to not for profit environmental, conservation and animal protection organizations HERE to understand why this bill is of vital importance to the development of the wind industry in this country and others.

Below are two of the Federal Laws Rahall’s proposal wants to see carried out and enforced by the US Fish and Wildlife Service that is being fought tooth and nail by the wind industry so they will not have to be in compliance or even take them into consideration when siting wind turbines:

(Click to read entire article)

Federal Renewable Portfolio Standard Unfair, Unreliable & Unaffordable - Senator Pete V. Domenici

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Pete Domenici today said that he believes a proposal to impose a 15 percent across the board Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) presents an unfair burden to consumers.

Domenici said that when the Senate takes up energy—expected to be next week--he and other Senators are planning on offering an alternative Clean Energy Portfolio Standard (CEPS) which would create a fair playing field for all low-emission energy resources.

“I support the use of clean energy sources, but the approach I favor would provide for a fairer standard. If our goal is to encourage the use of low-emitting resources, then the playing field should be fair for all resources that meet this standard. For that reason, a Clean Energy Portfolio Standard makes sense,” Domenici said.

The Clean Energy Portfolio Standard would encourage the use of a variety of clean energy resources, such as nuclear power, biomass, fuel cells, solar, wind, ocean, geothermal, hydropower, landfill gas, and clean coal technologies. CEPS also includes provisions that would help states use less electricity in order to meet target goals, such as energy efficiency measures.

Under the proposed federal RPS, a much smaller set of resources would be allowed to meet targets. Most states that have adopted renewable portfolio standards include a broader set of technologies to meet their standards. States that cannot produce the required amount of renewable energy would purchase credits, the cost of which would likely be passed on to consumers.

"In my opinion, states are in the best position to determine what resources fit their needs. In my home state of New Mexico, for instance, we are able to use some energy sources like wind that other states—like those in the Southeast—cannot. And even New Mexico’s current state standard allows for more energy sources to be used than the RPS proposal likely to be introduced in the Senate,” Domenici said.

“I believe that we should find ways for all 50 states to produce clean energy, which is what a Clean Energy Portfolio Standard would do. States have unique resources and the federal government must recognize that and legislate accordingly. A Clean Energy Portfolio Standard, instead of a one-size fits all federal RPS mandate, would provide states with much needed flexibility in meeting their electricity needs, and would help our nation move toward cleaner energy,” he continued.

Cost of wind farms more than monetary by Jack Hunt

The cancellation of a large offshore industrial wind project in South Texas sheds lights on the precarious path that advocates of this so-called alternative technology travel in pursuit of an energy nirvana ("Developer cites cost for pulling plug on South Texas wind farm," Tuesday).

The dollars and sense of this project simply did not add up last year, and they don't now. It is wise that the Australian-based inventors took a second look, put their checkbooks back into the desk drawer and averted what assuredly would have been a big money loser for them and the taxpayers and ratepayers.

The economics of wind farms are only part of the sad story, however. The subsequent pages of this story reveal that there are serious environmental and social costs associated with these enterprises. As an illustration, the proposed on-land projects at the Kenedy Ranch along the South Texas coast are saddled with many of these problems.

Experts suggest that the large wind turbines on the Kenedy Ranch may well create havoc in this pristine wildlife environment, which is located in the major migratory path for birds and bats in North America. Promoters of projects on Kenedy Ranch have asked for future electric interconnections for as many as 600 of these massive turbines covering as much as 30,000 acres of pristine coastline along the Laguna Madre and Baffin Bay.

The construction of these giant turbines — more than 400 feet in the air — will require enormous concrete and steel footing deep into the ground in an area prone to blowing sand and home to many sensitive and important species of plants and animals. Roads and other infrastructure associated with these giants will forever change the land.

It is important to recognize that Europe, the birthplace of modern-day wind-farm technology, is revising some of its most ambitious projects. The Netherlands and Germany have scaled back major projects after well-documented research suggests wind farms are not all they are promoted to be.

With that said, wind farm technology may have a place in the effort to develop alternative energy supplies. Random efforts, however, to score a quick buck or tax deduction by embracing this politically correct energy source are risky at best and can be very damaging in the short and long term.

State and federal governments would be well-advised to consider a reasoned public policy in developing industrial wind project technology. They can start by enacting into law a simple permit process to ensure the environmental concerns of the entire area are considered before the turbines go up and the human and natural environment brace for the aftermath.

No such law or regulatory structure exists in Texas. Shame on us.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Group calls for careful cultivation of regional wind farms by DANIEL LEBLANC

OLEAN - The Concerned Citizens of Cattaraugus County discussed one of the latest issues on its agenda Thursday - responsible placement of wind towers in the Southern Tier.

The watchdog group which monitors a variety of environmental issues, talked about recent proposals to place wind farms in several areas.

While not against the concept of wind farms, most in the group agreed they do not want to see large groupings of wind turbines lining the ridges of the Enchanted Mountains.

With wind farms proposed for areas such as Allegany, Carrollton, Limestone, Portville, Centerville and Farmersville, many people have taken interest in the concept of wind power.

One group of people calling themselves the Allegany Wind Farm Committee have taken a proactive stance against putting large wind towers in the town of Allegany.

Group founder Don Black, attending the meeting Thursday, said the group is "not opposed to wind power, but was opposed to putting them on the Enchanted Mountains."

He pointed out the towers can range in size from 320 feet to 420 feet - far taller than any trees, which average about 60 feet in height. The ends of the blades can reach higher than the top of the Statue of Liberty, he added.

The group has 42 members and is in the process of collecting signatures to submit to the Allegany Town Board.

Also in attendance at the meeting was Gary Abraham, who has been involved with a lawsuit against the Centerville Town Board regarding its local law allowing wind turbines in the town and the distances of the wind turbines from homes and property lines.

While the town board established a perimeter of 1,000 feet from a tower to a home, the law "has no regard for property lines," Mr. Abraham said.

Mr. Abraham went on to describe many safety concerns regarding wind turbines.

Among the concerns are blades breaking off and being thrown as far away as 500 feet, noise pollution, construction needed to get turbines onto wind farm sites, disruption to wildlife, affects on property values and long-term responsibility for the towers themselves.

Some at the meeting were there to gather information, such as Don and Beverly Holcomb of Portville. Mr. Holcomb farms land in the area and said the difficulties of farming have him "looking at some other means of income. I'm here to get more information," he added.

As far as the Concerned Citizens group, their plan is to provide information and closely monitor companies such as Noble Environmental Power and Everpower Renewables, which are proposing some of the projects.

"Wind power is a great thing if it's done responsibly," said Barry Miller of the Concerned Citizens, who organized the meeting with about a dozen people in attendance.

Mr. Miller said he has extensive experience, having managed wind farms in California for about 20 years. Despite his background in wind power, he said he did not think wind farms were right for this area.

"I never dreamed I would have been doing this," he said of opposing wind turbines. "I like wind turbines ... it was the job I loved most."

The Concerned Citizens said they are planning an informational meeting for the end of July which would further explore the concept of wind farms, Mr. Miller said.

The meeting will likely bring in some experts in the wind farm field and include a question and answer session. A date and place of the meeting will be announced at a later date.

For more information on the Concerned Citizens of Cattaraugus County, visit on the Web http://concernedcitizens.homestead.com. For information on the Allegany Wind Farm Committee e-mail enchantedmountains@gmail.com.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Markey compromise gives wind industry free pass

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

http://www.windaction.org/releases/10179

MARKEY COMPROMISE ON ENERGY BILL GIVES WIND INDUSTRY FREE PASS

Amendment offers no protections for wildlife; Provides no guidance or oversight for federal regulators.

NEW HAMPSHIRE (June 15, 2007). Industrial Wind Action (IWA) Group responded today to legislative maneuverings by Congressman Markey (D-MA) that replaced provisions in the Rahall Energy Bill (H.R. 2337) pertaining to wind power - in Subtitle D.

According to Lisa Linowes, Executive Director for IWA, the draft wording[1] proposed by Congressman Rahall would have established uniform standards for wind energy development to protect our wildlife heritage. IWA praised Congressman Rahall (D-WV) for all his hard work in recognizing and trying to prevent adverse environmental impacts of utility-scale wind power.

But Rahall's efforts were undermined by an aggressive campaign launched by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), Sierra Club, and others. AWEA's unjustified claim that the Rahall provision would render wind energy illegal in the U.S. provoked a media frenzy and vicious public attacks on Rahall. "Most disappointing," Linowes said, "was the willingness of Representatives Markey (D-MA) and DeFazio (D-OR) to parrot the wind industry's alarmist assertions about the Rahall bill." She added that by voting to accept the Markey amendment, the House Natural Resource Committee members turned a blind eye to the expert testimony presented at the May 1 oversight hearing that detailed the current and growing cumulative impacts of wind turbines on bats and birds[2].

At this hearing, an expert for Bat Conservation International testified that the estimated kill of bats may be from 400 to 750 bats per Megawatt (MW) over the 25-year lifespan of wind turbines installed along Appalachian ridges in the Mid-Atlantic Region. Given the projected wind energy development levels for this one small portion of the US - over 2,000 MW of wind turbines installed by 2020 - as many as 800,000 to 1.6-million bats could be killed over the operating lifetime of these machines. An expert with the American Bird Conservancy estimated that, at current mortality rates, from 900,000 to 1.8-million birds per year may be killed by wind turbines if sufficient numbers of towers are erected to provide 20% of the electricity consumed by our nation. Finally, Dale Hall, director of the US Fish and Wildlife Service stated "uncertainty and gaps in knowledge have resulted in the inability of scientists to draw definitive conclusions about the threat and cumulative impacts that wind power poses to wildlife."

IWA asserts the Committee "missed a very important opportunity to put standards in place that will better assess the impacts of the turbines before projects are sited. Ignoring the problem can lead to catastrophic environmental circumstances." Wealthy utilities are reaping billions annually in taxpayer subsidies and other public funds. It is reasonable for large-scale wind development to be subject to federal oversight regulations aimed at ensuring safe siting.

Markey's amendment,[3] as written, accomplishes little that's meaningful despite the Massachusetts representative's claim that the compromise wording "would strike a balance between protecting wildlife and acting on the need for more renewable energy[4]." IWA found Section 233 - Enforcement was so vague as to be pointless. "Simply saying that the Secretary of the Interior "shall enforce" all "relevant" laws to "address" impacts offers nothing to current law," Linowes said, adding that the Interior Department is already legally bound to enforce all "relevant" laws involving wildlife and wind projects. "It is simply inaccurate to describe this amendment as a "compromise" since it accomplishes nothing for wildlife advocates and imposes no new obligations on the wind industry or on federal regulators," Linowes said. But worse, IWA warned Markey's wording provides a convenient pretext for the wind industry to continue to avoid and/or defer reforms.

Industrial Wind Action Group seeks to promote knowledge and raise awareness of the risks and damaging environmental impacts of industrial wind energy development. Information and analysis on the subject is available through its website, www.windaction.org. To subscribe to the IWA weekly newsletter, visit http://www.windaction.org/subscribe.


###

Lisa Linowes
603-838-6588
Llinowes@windaction.org

[1] http://www.windaction.org/documents/9586

[2] http://resourcescommittee.house.gov/hearings/hearingdetail.aspx?NewsID=61

[3] http://www.windaction.org/documents/10074

[4] http://markey.house.gov/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=2889&Itemid=125

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