Cohocton Wind Watch: July 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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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Bliss Photos of Industrial Turbine Project




Wind drives local politics: Candidates increase in Steuben towns with proposed wind farms Republican primaries slated for Hartsville, Howard, Cohocton

Steuben County towns featuring the biggest wind battles are also the towns that boast the larger numbers of candidates running for elected office in the fall.

According to information from the Steuben County Board of Elections, the towns of Hartsville, Cohocton and Howard all feature Republican primaries with at least one wind farm opponent throwing their hat in the ring. Primary day is from noon to 9 p.m. Sept. 18, while the general election will be Nov. 6.

One of the most vocal of the wind opponents in the area - Hartsville's Steve Dombert - is on both the Republican and Democrat lines for a two-year supervisor term. Dombert will face incumbent Republican Gene Garrison and Republican challenger Ken Porter for the Republican bid for supervisor.

As for a four-year term as town council member, incumbent Democrat Mattie Parini will face a challenge from Conservative Larry McCormick and Republican Michele HerrNeckar for her seat.

Meanwhile, Republican Clerk Kay Miles and Republican Highway Superintendent Thomas DeWall are both unopposed in their bids to return to office for another two years. Republican Benjamin Ray is unopposed for filling the remainder of a two-year term on the town council.

In the Town of Howard, there will be a Republican primary to fill two councilman seats, with incumbents Robert Palmer and William Hatch facing a challenge from Eric Hosmer, a wind opponent. Supervisor Don Evia, listed on the Republican and Conservative lines, is unopposed for a two-year term, while Clerk Loreen Karr also is unopposed in her bid to return for two more years.

The Town of Cohocton will have Republican primaries for the supervisor, clerk, justice, two councilman seats, highway superintendent and two assessor positions, spearheaded by an anti-wind development contingent there.

Incumbent Supervisor Jack Zigenfus is being challenged by Robert Strasburg II for a two-year term, incumbent Sandra Riley will face off against Blair Hall for a two-year clerk term, incumbent Justice Hal Graham will be opposed by Stoner Clark for a four-year position, while incumbent councilmen Milton LeVesque and Wayne Hunt are being challenged by Cesare Taccone and Steve Sick. The other Republican primaries include incumbent Thomas Simons against Charles Mohr for a two-year highway superintendent position, and incumbents Joanne Damboise and Mark Densmore - who also is listed on the Conservative line - facing off against Rebecca Conrad and Christina Brautigam for two four-year assessor slots.

(Click to read entire article)

Monday, July 30, 2007

Town of Castile Passes Law Banning Industrial Wind Turbines

Residents filled the Town of Castile Fire Hall Thursday evening, July 26, awaiting the Town Board's decision regarding Wind Energy Conversion Systems (WECS). At the last regularly scheduled town board meeting, the Castile Planning Board submitted a very comprehensive 19-page law, which in effect, would prohibit industrial-sized wind turbines, while allowing personal home and farm models to 125' in height. The Town Board held a special meeting on July 19 to extend the moratorium for another 6 months until the Public Hearing could be held, a decision reached, and the law put on the books.

The meeting opened, as always, with the Pledge of Allegiance. A dozen people had signed up to speak in favor of the proposed law, with Supervisor Joe Gozelski announcing he had also received a couple of letters in support of the law.

Ruth Lavin, President of the Silver Lake Association, opened the comment period of the meeting by commending the Town Board for its' openness to debate, and willingness to listen to all citizens' concerns. She also commended the due diligence and dedication of the Planning Board in their thorough research which led up to the 19-page law.

Bob Payne, Mick Griffin, and Roy Schneggenburg, all lifetime Silver Lake residents for some 70+ years each, spoke of the beauty, peace and quiet that the area has always offered its' residents, and asked the Town Board to support the law as proposed.

Town of Castile resident, Gerald Sahrle II, said that it was up to the board to protect the grandeur of the Letchworth State Park area, and the welfare of all the children by passing the law. "My children would have had 410' tall turbines just 800' from their bedroom windows if these corporate bullies had gotten their way," he said.

Dave Conaway, another Town of Castile resident, said, "I've attended meetings in many towns across Western New York regarding the wind issue. I have witnessed other boards tell their citizens to 'sit down and shut up', or even ask them not to come to a meeting. Half of these other places don't even say The Pledge before their meetings. I'm glad to live where democracy still rules - in Castile!"

Kathy Schaefer, a Silver Lake resident, encouraged the Board to pass the law and went on to say, "Your professionalism and commitment to the people you represent is a testament to how town governments should be run! We want you to know the respect we have gained for the Town of Castile as a result of your conscientious efforts."

Robert Firestine, en economist who lives in the area, Mary Kay Barton, resident in the Town of Castile, and Pam Bliss, one of the founders of Citizens for Responsible Energy Development (CRED), all thanked the boards and encouraged them to pass the law. Each also addressed the looming threat of State intervention in Home Rule, if Article X is passed (legislation currently under consideration in New York State which would no longer allow decisions regarding placement of mammoth-footprinted wind installations to be made locally), which would strip our constitutional rights of the democratic process to rule ourselves in our hometowns. Each one encouraged all to remain wary of this looming threat and to stay involved by writing their State representatives.

Referring to her recent contacts and experience in the Democracy School, organized by attorneys from the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (www.CELDF.org), Barton went on to say that Towns need to go even further to protect themselves from the encroaching threat of State and corporate aggressions which would over-ride local decision-making. She cited the fact that other communities who have put binding general laws on the books which do not allow huge corporations to declare "personhood" in pursuit of corporate gain in their towns, have been very effective at protecting their local governments' and citizens' Constitutional rights to rule themselves as they see fit.

After the comment period concluded, Supervisor Gozelski asked the board members if they had any comments. Councilman Steve Tarbell noted that he had kept a tally since the debate over the issue had began, which totaled 238 people that had contacted him who were against industrial wind turbines in the Town of Castile, and only 6 that had contacted him who were for industrial turbines in the Town of Castile. Councilman Tarbell said, "We have to listen to what the majority of our constituents are telling us."

Councilman Stan Klein questioned the crowd, "Is there anyone here who has an opposing viewpoint to what has been stated this evening? You don't have to say anything, just raise your hand." No one answered or raised their hand.

Councilman Tarbell then made the motion to pass the law banning industrial turbines in the Town of Castile. Councilwoman Linda Little seconded the motion, and all present (Councilman Sam Monteleone was absent) voted unanimously to pass the law.

The vote was followed by a standing ovation from the crowd for the Town Board. Supervisor Gozelski then said, "It is really the Planning Board who we should be thanking for all their dedication and hard work on this law." Gozelski then asked members of the Planning Board who were present to stand, and they were given a standing ovation by the crowd and the Town Board members. ~ mkb

US Fish and WIldlife Service Denys DEIS for Clayton & Orleans Townships

July 13, 2007, The Town of Clayton Planning Board received an official letter from the United States Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service denying the approval for the 62 proposed wind turbines called Horse Creek Wind Farm in the townships of Clayton and Orleans. This 16 page document reprimanded and frankly quite strict with PPM Energy in their lack of the many ommissions and incomplete information pertaining to natural resources found or expected in the project areas.

We are elated but surprised at the outcome? No, as we believe it was in the plans of PPM Energy to subject us to a DGEIS (yes generic in nature). They have further game plans in motion. They have been in this game far longer than us and they know all the game rules more than we do, but we are trying desperately to be kept informed. PPM has put them and us through, unnecessarily, a great amount of work that should not be there in the first place. We should have been given a DEIS with specific detail not a DGEIS.

ECCO of Jefferson County is a newly formed group since April of citizens of Clayton, Orleans, and Brownville Townships. We are located along the St. Lawrence River,(home of the scenic 1000s resort), Wellsley Island and 11 miles inland to Gunns Corners, NY and we are located next to Ft. Drum, NY which is the home of one of the largest military bases in the US.

We must continue in our efforts to oppose proposed wind energy plant locating around homes until they are proven without a doubt to be safe for humans and wildlife. We need alliances to stand together and offer each other as many resources that we can. I have written to many agencies seeking their help and I get no where. It however shows that we have not gone far enough to reach the right people when I hear that someone like Carol E. Murphy,Executive Director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York, Inc., who is one of the prime agencies who gets quoted by the newsmedia across the country all the time in their stance on wind energy, says that she has received very "little responses" regarding a problem with noise from turbines. Maybe it is time to write to the right people. So send to her your documentations and your concerns. While at it copy these to Lt. Gov. Patterson's Task Force. They want to hear our concerns and do it now. (Look up NYS Lt. Gov. Patterson's Task Force and send a copy to each of the persons on the task force. Let them hear of our concerns. They will be making recommendations to our government for future development.I am sure other states will follow what this task force does, if they have not already propsed their own)

P.Miller Vice-Presdient
ECCO

Conservation Is More Effective Than Wind Energy

Pointing to the very small contribution of wind, National Wind Watch calls for conservation instead of industrialization of rural and wild landscapes

Press Release Contact: Eric Rosenbloom, East Hardwick, Vermont, President
David Roberson, Rowe, Massachusetts, Vice-President


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Rowe, Mass., July 30, 2007 -- The International Energy Agency (IEA) projects that if the world's nations pursue carbon-reducing plans they are currently considering, then in 2030 there could be 18 times more electricity generated from the wind than there was in 2004.{1}

But because of continuing growth in demand, that would still represent less than five percent of the world's electricity production.{2}

In the U.S., the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the U.S. Department of Energy projects that wind's share of electricity production will be less than one percent in 2030.{3}

National Wind Watch (NWW), a coalition of groups and individuals providing information about industrial wind energy development, says that conservation could easily make up wind's small potential contribution.

"It is obvious -- even in the IEA's very hopeful scenario -- that wind will never be an important part of electricity production," says NWW president Eric Rosenbloom, author of "A Problem With Wind Power".{4} "Wind does not now nor will it ever replace other sources to any significant degree," Rosenbloom says. He adds, "That is not to endorse any other source as problem free, it is simply facing the fact that wind is not a viable alternative."

Since wind's potential contribution is so small, modest conservation would avoid the adverse impacts of wind energy development, according to National Wind Watch.

Industrial-scale wind turbines are now typically well over 400 feet tall to the tip of their blades. They weigh anywhere from 150 to 350 tons. The blades sweep a vertical air space of 1.5 to 2 acres with tip speeds between 150 and 200 mph.{5} Each turbine requires acres of clearance and is secured in a buried platform of tons of steel-reinforced concrete.

Wind energy companies are targeting vulnerable rural communities and landscapes for their construction. Developers are building roads and wind power plants in wilderness areas, particularly on prominent ridge lines.

In May, the U.S. Congress was told about the increasing threat to birds and bats from unregulated wind energy development in migratory pathways and the degradation and fragmentation of habitat.{6} The results of a 5-month study of the new giant turbines on New York's Tug Hill plateau suggest that the annual toll for the complete facility is more than 16,000 birds and bats.{7}

Reports of health problems caused by noise from the machines are increasing. A team in Portugal investigating heart, lung, and nerve damage from industrial low-frequency noise has found that the conditions for causing "vibroacoustic disease" exist inside houses near large wind turbines.{8} Canadian News has reported families forced to leave their homes because of headaches, dizziness, irritability, and sheer lack of sleep.{9} A couple in England has publicized their experience of intrusive noise from turbines near their farm.{10} An English physician has interviewed residents around wind energy facilities and found serious noise problems to be commonplace.{11} In Maine, neighbors of the Mars Hill facility were shocked by the noise as soon as the first turbine was turned on.{12} Most of these people were initially supportive of the projects and believed the developers' assurances that they would not experience any problems.

"This is not green energy but a destructive boondoggle. It is even more intolerable that we as taxpayers are paying for it -- in so many ways", says NWW member Sue Sliwinski of New York.

Since the IEA shows that large-scale wind energy will not change anything for the better, and increasing evidence shows how much damage it does, National Wind Watch says that conserving even a small amount of electricity every year is obviously a better choice.

A little conservation can replace the perceived need to build giant wind turbines that do so much more harm than good.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Beware of easements easing out property rights by Doug Kniffen

Abuse of easement rights can be, in some ways, worse than eminent domain condemnations for private party benefit. With eminent domain, a local government takes away private property for public benefit, and compensates the property owner for the loss. Typically, governments do this when expanding public benefits, such as roads, that are paid for by public money.

This issue was in the national news not long ago. Some local governments started using eminent domain to benefit private interests. The argument was made that economic redevelopment may potentially generate more tax revenue, and that that alone was sufficient to condemn current use of private property.

Initially, disagreements over eminent domain resulted when a for-profit developer wanted to acquire an assemblage of small residential parcels. Some property owners were willing to sell, some were not, and some recognized that free market principles made their parcel more valuable than it would be without assemblage.

The developer convinced the local government to condemn the desired properties, not only forcing sale upon those not willing to sell, but also driving down the price of those rightfully asking more than their property would be worth without assemblage. Opposing arguments went through the courts and decisions favored private moneyed interests over individual property rights. There was considerable public outcry at these decisions.

(Click to read entire article)

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Farm group calls for cautious approach to wind farms; Warns of possible adverse effects on tourism, taxes

The Bruce County Federation of Agriculture is calling for measures to protect the county's tourism industry, farming operations and municipalities from the rapidly developing wind energy industry.

"Recent studies in other countries have shown that large wind generating areas and tourism are not compatible. It would be a shame to lose the gains we have made in tourism by not having planning in place to make sure our tourism industry stays vibrant," federation president Robert Emerson told Bruce County council's agriculture, tourism and planning committee on Thursday.

The committee was looking at wind energy policy as part of the county's five-year review of its official plan and because of concerns raised by residents and the industry over the lack of adequate regulations.

Committee members later approved 15 recommendation that chair Charlie Bagnato described as a beginning of more policies to regulate wind energy development.

The recommendations include one calling on developers to provide clearer information about shadow flicker and noise and a provision for a complaint protocol, so members of the public can make their concerns known to the developer and the county.

(Click to read entire article)

Friday, July 27, 2007

The Devil IS in the Details by Judith Hall

It has recently been brought to my attention from a legal source that Board members, and consultants and attorneys providing expertise to those boards can be sued if it is found they were negligent in the granting of Special Use Permits. Part of the case law cites specifically the need to due proper diligence and following the SEQR process correctly.

“A town and its principals have an obligation to abide by the law and act responsibly in considering the application for special use permits. If the town or its principals act negligently in granting such a permit, they could be sued by persons who may have been injured or suffered damage to their property as a result of the act.”

A town has a lawful and substantial interest in the safety of its citizens. It also has a liability exposure from the granting of special use permits on private land. To those in Cohocton where we know the Local Windmill Laws are still under litigation tread carefully before you issue any more permits for which we know the process has been flawed.

Judith Hall

Schumer wary of utility sale by Daniel Wallace

(July 27, 2007) — Sen. Charles Schumer won't support Iberdrola's proposed takeover of Energy East until the Spanish utility company puts a few promises in writing.

"This merger requires the sign-off from both federal and state regulators. ... I want more specifics from Iberdrola to ensure that monthly utility bills will remain low and service quality remains high for Rochester-area residents," Schumer said Thursday.

Low-cost energy, redevelopment of the Russell Station and job retention are other issues of concern to New York's senior Democratic senator.

"We're putting them on notice we're not going to let what happened with National Grid happen here," said Schumer, who met Thursday with Jose Ignacio Sanchez Galán, Iberdrola's chairman and chief executive, and Wes von Schack, chairman and CEO of Energy East Corp.

Under National Grid, a Great Britain utility company that took over Niagara Mohawk four years ago, central New York and Capital Region customers frequently have experienced "soaring" energy rates, power outages and blackouts, according to Schumer.

Though Iberdrola is in a different class, with an A-credit rating for reliability, Schumer said he doesn't want to see New Yorkers go through another "shoddy" foreign takeover.

The Spanish utility giant is offering $4.5 billion cash for Energy East, which is Rochester Gas and Electric's parent company.

Iberdrola serves 24 million customers in eight different markets. Energy East would be its only U.S. presence.

DJWALLAC@DemocratandChronicle.com

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Robert C. Strasburg II Challenge to Debate

COHOCTON VOTERS

THIS IS THE SIXTH PUBLIC CHALLENGE FOR A PUBLIC DEBATE THAT I HAVE OFFERED WITH NO TAKERS FROM COHOCTON TOWN SUPERVISOR JACK ZIGENFUS, ANY UPC LEASEHOLDER, ANY YES WIND MEMBER, AND ANY PRO UPC COHOCTON GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL TO DEBATE ME. I ASK AGAIN, PLEASE DEBATE ME BEFORE SEPTEMBER 15TH OF THIS YEAR ON THE SUBJECT OF:

IS INDUSTRIAL WIND POWER “AS CURRENTLY PROPOSED” THE RIGHT THING TO DO FOR COHOCTON?

I HAVE REPEATEDLY MADE THE ABOVE CHALLENGE AND THEY WILL NOT ANSWER ME. THIS SPEAKS VOLUMES TO THE FACT THAT THEIR CURRENT AGENDA WILL NOT STAND PUBLIC SCRUTINY… YOUR SCRUTINY. IT IS TIME FOR CHANGE. CHANGE IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. NONE OF THE FOLLOWING IS A PERSONAL ATTACK ON ANYONE. THERE IS GREAT CONTRAST BETWEEN MY OPINION OF WHAT IS RIGHT FOR COHOCTON AND THAT OF THE CURRENT ADMINISTRATION. POINTING OUT THE DIFFERENCES IN OUR OPINIONS IS NOT PERSONAL ATTACK.

MY NAME IS ROBERT C. STRASBURG II. I HAVE BEEN A 19 YEAR RESIDENT IN THE TOWN OF COHOCTON AND I AM RUNNING IN THE REPUBLICAN PRIMARY FOR TOWN SUPERVISOR ON SEPTEMBER 18, 2007 AND I ASK FOR YOUR VOTE.

THE LOGIC BEHIND THEIR REFUSAL TO DEBATE ME IN PUBLIC IS SIMPLE. AS LONG AS THEY CAN SIT BEHIND THEIR TABLES IN A BOARD MEETING, THEY CAN CONTROL THE DIALOG. CONTROLLING DIALOG WITH NO BACK AND FORTH INTERACTION ASSURES THAT THEIR AGENDA IS ALWAYS PUT FORTH IN A POSITIVE WAY WITHOUT EXPOSING THE OTHER SIDES OF THE ISSUES. NEWSPAPERS WILL TAKE ANY PRINT. THEY PRINT ONLY THEIR SIDE OF THEIR AGENDA AND WILL NOT COME OUT IN THE PUBLIC DEBATE ARENA WHERE THEY ARE REQUIRED TO ANSWER QUESTIONS THAT WILL PROVE THAT THEY ARE NOT PROVIDING SOUND GOVERNING PRINCIPLES IN THEIR ADMINISTRATION FOR THE PROTECTION OF ALL COHOCTON RESIDENTS, THEIR AGENDA WILL BE EXPOSED IN FULL, AS IT IS, AND IT WILL BE OVER IF THEY DO.

IT HAS BEEN CLAIMED THAT I AM OPPOSED TO ALL WIND PROJECTS IN COHOCTON AND THAT IS WHY I AM RUNNING FOR SUPERVISOR. IF YOU HAVE FOLLOWED MY POSTINGS ON THE INTERNET AND THIS PAPER, YOU KNOW THAT IS NOT THE CASE. I AM OPPOSED TO WIND IN COHOCTON “AS CURRENTLY PROPOSED” BY THE CURRENT ADMINISTRATION BECAUSE WE AS RESIDENTS ARE NOT BEING SUFFICIENTLY PROTECTED. IN MY OPINION, THE PROJECT, AS CURRENTLY PROPOSED IS A LIABILITY TO OUR TOWN AND NOT AN ASSET. IT IS BEING SOLD BY THIS ADMINISTRATION AS AN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM THAT WILL OFFER GREAT TAX SAVINGS TO OUR TOWN RESIDENTS.

FACT: THE RESIDENTS OF TUG HILL (THE HOME OF THE LARGEST WIND FARM IN NEW YORK STATE) JUST EXPERIENCED A PROPERTY TAX INCREASE AFTER THE FIRST YEAR OF THE WIND FARMS OPERATION. A SELECT FEW LANDOWNERS MAKE A LOT OF MONEY AND THE REST OF THE TOWN NOW SUFFERS FOR IT! FACT: POLITICIANS FROM OTHER TOWNS HAVE RAILROADED THESE WIND FARMS IN AND THEN RESIGNED

THEIR POSTS IN THE GOVERNMENT AND WENT TO WORK FOR THE WIND FARM!

THE MAJORITY OF PRO-WIND ADS BEING POSTED IN THE VALLEY NEWS ARE FROM PEOPLE IN LINE TO RECEIVE A CHECK FROM LEASING THEIR PROPERTY TO UPC, ARE CURRENTLY ENGAGED IN SURVEYING LAND FOR A FEE FOR UPC, ARE CURRENTLY FAMILY MEMBERS OF LEASEHOLDERS, ARE CURRENT GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS, AND/OR ARE ON THE PAYROLL OF UPC. THESE ARE THE THINGS HIDDEN BEHIND THE PRINT YOU SEE. THIS IS WHY NONE OF THEM WILL COME OUT AND DEBATE ME!

THE TEST TO SEE IF YOU ARE BEING TOLD THE TRUTH IS TO DEMAND THAT YOUR GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS, ESPECIALLY SUPERVISOR JACK ZIGENFUS, MEET ME IN PUBLIC DEBATE BEFORE THE SEPTEMBER 18TH REPUBLICAN PRIMARY. IF HE WILL NOT MEET MY CHALLENGE FOR A DEBATE IN PUBLIC, IN FRONT OF YOU AND BE ACCOUNTABLE FOR HIS ACTIONS TO YOU, THEN I ASK YOU TO VOTE FOR ME AND MY FELLOW REFORM COHOCTON CANDIDATES IN THAT SEPTEMBER 18TH PRIMARY. I INVITE ALL VOTERS, NO MATTER YOUR PARTY, TO VOTE FOR MY FELLOW REFORM COHOCTON CANDIDATES (PLEASE WATCH FOR OUR COMING ADS WITH THEIR NAMES) AND MYSELF IN THE GENERAL ELECTION IN NOVEMBER AND I PLEDGE TO YOU AN OPEN AND HONEST GOVERNMENT THAT WILL IMMEDIATELY OPEN CHANNELS WITH ALL TOWNSPEOPLE AND BE ACCOUNTABLE FOR OUR ACTIONS IN FRONT OF YOU.

I INVITE YOU TO JOIN ME BY VOTING FOR ME, ROLLING UP OUR SLEEVES, DUSTING OFF THE COMPREHENSIVE PLAN FOR THIS TOWN THAT HAS NOT BEEN UPDATED SINCE 1970 (37 YEARS!) AND GO TO WORK UPDATING IT TO BUILD A FUTURE FOR THIS TOWN BY PROPER PLANNING, RESEARCH, AND ACTION.


THE REASON THIS COMPREHENSIVE PLAN HAS NOT BEEN UPDATED IN MY OPINION, IS THE FACT THAT THE LAW DEMANDS THAT THAT PROCESS OF UPDATING BE OPEN TO PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT IN DETERMINING THE FUTURE OF COHOCTON. IN MY OPINION, THIS IS THE LAST THING THIS CURRENT ADMINISTRATION WANTS IS THE PUBLIC INVOLVED. INVOLVEMENT MEANS BACK AND FORTH DIALOG AND ACCOUNTABILITY. YOU HAVE NOT EXPERIENCED THIS FROM THIS GOVERNMENT.

THE TOWN OF COHOCTON IS STRUGGLING FROM THE EFFECTS OF NEGLECT. IN MY OPINION, THIS NEGLECT IS WILLFUL BY THE CURRENT ADMINISTRATION. POLITICS AS USUAL HAS PRODUCED AN ADMINISTRATION CONCERNED ONLY WITH A SELECT FEW, WHILE THE REST OF THE MAJORITY WATCHES OUR CHILDREN GROW UP AND LEAVE THIS TOWN FOR AREAS OF GREATER OPPORTUNITY. WHY IS THERE NOT MORE OPPORTUNITY HERE FOR THE MAJORITY? THE VERY SIMPLE REASON IT IS NOT HERE FOR THE MAJORITY, IS BECAUSE IT WAS NOT PRUDENTLY PLANNED FOR IN THE PAST FOR THE MAJORITY. WHAT IS BEING PLANNED FOR NOW IS THAT THE SAME SELECT FEW WILL REAP HUGE FINANCIAL BENEFIT, WHILE THE REST BEARS THE BURDEN OF THEIR PROSPERITY.

YOUR VOTE IS VERY IMPORTANT. IT, ALONG WITH OTHERS CAN PUT THIS TOWN IN THE LEADERSHIP HANDS OF PEOPLE COMMITTED TO SERVING COHOCTON AS A WHOLE, NOT JUST A SELECT FEW.

NOW I WILL PREDICT THE RESPONSE TO THIS ARTICLE FROM JACK ZIGENFUS AND HIS ADMINISTRATION AND THOSE IN LINE TO RECEIVE A CHECK FROM UPC. I PREDICT IT WILL BE, NOT TO ACCEPT MY CHALLENGE TO BE ACCOUNTABLE TO YOU IN PUBLIC, BUT INSTEAD, WILL BE THAT OF SILENCE, NO RESPONSE AT ALL, OR PERSONAL ATTACK. ATTACK ON ME, REFORM COHOCTON AND AGAIN… ONLY THEIR ONE-SIDED PORTRAYAL OF ISSUES. THERE IS NOT ONE OF THEM WITH THE COURAGE TO FACE ME (REALLY THEY DO NOT WANT TO FACE YOU) IN PUBLIC WITH ANSWERS TO THE HARD QUESTIONS THEY ARE AVOIDING.

IF YOU CARE ABOUT COHOCTON, LOOK DEEP INTO THIS ISSUE AND VOTE ACCORDINGLY. PLEASE, DO NOT BE FOOLED BY ONE SIDED PRINT! THERE IS NO SPIN IN THIS ARTICLE. I AM WILLING TO STAND IN FRONT OF YOU, IN PUBLIC, AND ANSWER ANY QUESTION ASKED OF ME. IS SUPERVISOR JACK ZIGENFUS WILLING TO DO THIS?

Robert C. Strasburg II 585-384-9318 www.reformcohocton.org

Sweep clean past failures!
A bright future demands new leadership.

Second lawsuit filed against Town of Howard: Town's wind law being challenged by residents again by ROB MONTANA

The Town of Howard is headed back to court.

Art Giacalone, a Buffalo-based lawyer representing a group of Howard residents, informed members of the media via e-mail that his clients have filed a second lawsuit against the town in regard to its wind energy law. The case will be handled again by Judge Joseph Valentino, and the first appearance is slated for 2 p.m. Sept. 6 in Rochester.

The Article 78 proceeding was filed on behalf of the Howard residents - Eric and Kyle Hosmer, Gerald Hedman, Richard Mariotto, James Lindsay, and William and Nikki Harkenrider - against the Howard town and planning boards, EverPower Global, Howard Wind LLC and Councilman Bill Hatch.

The suit calls for the annulment and setting aside of the town's Local Law No. 1 of 2007, the town's code of ethics law; Local Law No. 2 of 2007, the town's planning board law; and Local Law No. 3 of 2007, the amended wind energy facilities law. It also requests the negative declaration - under the State Environmental Quality Review Act - for the adoption of the wind energy facilities law be annulled and set aside.

The lawsuit also asks that Hatch be removed from his position as town board member, alleging he had been “engaging in fraudulent conduct, violating the letter and spirit of General Municipal Law Article 18 (Conflicts of Interest of Municipal Officers and Employees), and breaching his fiduciary duty to the residents of the Town of Howard.”

Giacalone, as well as his clients, declined to comment on the record concerning the pending lawsuit. Giacalone, however, did not that Valentino had not yet ruled on the town's motion to dismiss “as moot” the surviving claims from the first lawsuit. He said that means two suits are now pending against the town.

Tom Reed, Howard's town attorney, could not be reached for comment by press time.

The new suit is taking on a trio of laws approved by the town board in March, despite numerous complaints from the nearly 100 people that attended the public hearings on the then-proposed laws. After dealing with public comments for around two hours, the board approved all three local laws unanimously.

The wind law amendments changed the way permits will be approved, taking the power from the town board and giving it to the planning board, which Reed said was done as a result of the first lawsuit against the town that alleged conflict of interest by board members that had ties to a proposed wind farm in Howard.

Giacalone had comments on the town's code of ethics, saying it would not help anyone, and does not let the residents know what the standards are.

“This code of ethics should be letting the town board members know what is right and what is not right,” he said. “Your code of ethics does not do that.

“What's the purpose of this law?” he said. “If it's just to check it off, then you're doing the public a disservice.”

The planning board local law provided for the appointment of up to four alternates to the planning board, to be appointed by the town board. The alternates would serve if a regular member is “unable to participate in matters before the Town Planning Board because of a conflict of interest, illness or other absence.” Alternates would be appointed for one-year terms.

Giacalone had issues with it, saying the planning board law would just help the town board avoid having to make difficult decisions. He said it was a “cozy way” for the town to remove the conflict impression of the decision-making process.

“You're passing on a very important power,” Giacalone said. “It's a very inadequate way to deal with it.”

Monday, July 23, 2007

Jordanville Wind Project In Court

Members of Advocates for Stark have begun Article 78 proceedings with the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of Onondaga against the Town of Warren Town Board, Town of Stark Town Board, Jordanville Wind, LLC, Inc., and Community Energy, Inc. The Warren Town Board is the lead agency under New York State's Environmental Quality Review Act
(SEQRA) for a project proposed by Community Energy, a subsidiary of the Spanish multinational corporation Iberdrola, which would result in 68 wind turbines spread over 6,000 acres in the towns of Warren and Stark.

The SEQR process provides a way for state and local agencies to look closely at the possible environmental impacts of a proposed action. As lead agency, the Town of Warren Town Board was responsible for ensuring that a thorough and complete environmental review was conducted regarding the Jordanville Wind Power Project. The Article 78 lawsuit � created by the New York legislature in 1937 � challenges action, or inaction, by agencies and officers of state and local government and sometimes, as in this case, private corporations.

The Article 78 was filed on Friday, July 20 by Grant & Lyons LLP on behalf of 13 petitioners � Sue Brander, Louise Doubleday, Edward and Dorayne Peplinski, Elena Perekrestov, Carrie Greenland Reichenbach, Stephen Reichenbach, Hamilton D. South II, Karen South, Diane Marie Thomas, Nicole M. Zaikoff, Yuri Zaikoff, and Leon Zgirski.

Chief among the causes of action as outlined in their Article 78 is that the petitioners believe the Warren Town Board issued findings on the Jordanville Wind Power Project without taking the required "hard look,"
and that the SEQR process here improperly deferred development of full investigation of the project impacts and plans to mitigate them.

"There are a number of unknown impacts that have not been adequately identified and mitigated by the Warren Town Board. They have taken the approach that many of these open issues can be studied later or mitigated after a problem actually occurs, which is contrary to how the process should work," said Sue Brander, Advocates for Stark spokesperson. She cited impact on birds and bats, TV reception, water resources, noise, and real estate values in the area, none of which, according to Advocates for Stark, have been fully investigated.

"During a State Environmental Quality Review, all significant environmental impacts are to be identified, studied, and thought through before the project is approved, not after," explained Brander. "We have concerns about pollution or diversion of drinking water and water supplies for livestock. Despite requests for a well survey for over a year, this developer has yet to conduct a survey of area wells."

"We are very concerned about noise impacts," Brander continued. "We believe the developer's noise analysis is seriously flawed. There has been no credible study of impacts to real estate values, despite the fact that at least one homeowner lost several offers when the potential buyers learned of the turbines."

According to cultural landscape preservation experts, the Jordanville Wind Power Project will have major adverse visual effects on Otsego Lake, the Glimmerglass Historic District, and other neighboring historic areas and scenic resources, including the Route 20 Scenic Byway.
Therefore, the concerns of Advocates for Stark are shared by both Advocates for Springfield and Otsego 2000, two community-based environmental organizations that have taken an active interest in the proceedings since plans for the wind farm were first introduced two years ago.

According to Henry S.F. Cooper, Jr., president of Otsego 2000, his group supports the Article 78 and "is very concerned that the extraordinary scale of the project is much too large for the entire region. With 68 turbines each almost 400 feet tall striding for seven miles along the rim separating the Mohawk Valley from the Otsego Lake Watershed, this will be by far the largest development in the entire region, an industrial intrusion on a major scale in a land sacred for its spiritual, historic, and natural significance, nationally and internationally.

"The impact will be felt not only in Stark and Warren but in many adjoining communities, all of whom have a stake in the outcome. This is a transformational project that should be very carefully considered and evaluated before going forward," Cooper added.

Advocates for Springfield is supporting the petition as well. According to Harry Levine, president, "Project impacts will be most severe in the host communities of Stark and Warren, yet the consequences of this project are much broader in scope. As neighbors, we believe that the lead agency has failed to take a hard look at the regional impacts of the project. Night lighting, real estate values, visual disruptions affecting the Route 20 Scenic Byway and the Glimmerglass Historic District, and the eligible Waggoner Patent Historic District are foremost in our minds."

The Article 78 also contends that the determinations and approvals for the project failed to comply with the Freedom of Information Law, the Open Meetings Law, Public Officers Law and even the town's own wind energy laws.

"The project was the subject of a series of illegal steps to prevent the public from its constitutional right to petition government � the result here is that the town boards committed a gross violation of due process," the document reads.

In the final cause of action, the Article 78 states that Councilman Tom Puskarenko, a member of the Town of Stark Town Board, entered into a contract to lease his land for the project yet continued to participate in meeting deliberations and sit with the board when the project was on the agenda, which constitutes a conflict of interest.

Justice Department Investigating NY Energy Markets

New York's wholesale energy market is being investigated for possible antitrust violations, according to a recent news report. A Newsday story indicates that a subject of the investigation may be possible withholding of capacity from the market, to drive prices up. This revelation has raised further questions regarding the proposed merger of National Grid and Keyspan, which controls significant amounts of generation capacity in the New York City markets.

Wholesale prices for electricity are under FERC jurisdiction. In a recent case at FERC, some market participants and the New York PSC claimed that due to withholding of capacity from the market, prices were inflated by as much as $157 million in 2006. See Did Electricity Market Manipulation Cost New York Consumers $157 Million in the Summer of 2006? That case involved no claim for refunds of unreasonable charges, which were passed through to retail customers by New York CIty area utilities, principally Con Edison. Instead, the parties sought to revise flawed rules of the NYISO to limit the amount of future overcharges. A proposal to that effect was rejected by FERC.

It is unclear whether there is an antitrust remedy that would protect consumers. Indeed, the structure of the private utility markets allowed by FERC to set rates seem to allow sellers to withhold electricity from the market through various techniques and bidding strategies. Sellers accused of price manipulation may invoke FERC's approval of the NYISO market rules that allow price manipulation through withholding tactics and gaming that does not involve overt conspiracy.

The situation illustrates a major weakness of FERC's market rate system. FERC allows wholesale prices to be set in secret auctions; inflated new prices can be charged without the possibility of public scrutiny and regulatory review, and unreasonable charges are passed through to retail consumers, with no refund remedy. The lack of transparency, elimination of regulatory review and elimination of refund remedies, in the view of some utility consumer advocates, including PULP, violates the Federal Power Act. Cases in the D.C. Circuit Court and in the U.S. Supreme Court are now raising the issue whether FERC exceeded its powers in allowing unfiled unreasonable rates and rate changes.

Is wind energy compatible with agriculture? by J.P. Michaud


This is a compelling question given the proliferation of wind farms. The wind might be free, but harvesting it comes at a hefty price, in terms of the technology required, and the large areas of agricultural land required to site turbines.

The net value of wind energy to society is a controversial and technical issue, but farmers might be concerned whether the land can remain a farm in the conventional sense, as most wind developers claim.

I recently took a guided tour of the Spearville Wind Park just east of Dodge City, Kansas. You can't help but be impressed by a rotor assembly of three 14,000-pound blades that begins to move by itself at a wind speed of 8 miles per hour, even if energy generation doesn't peak until 31 mph. I also noticed that the fields around the turbines had wheat growing up to 10 feet away from the towers. The farmer mentioned that some minor adjustments to crop management were required, especially for pivot irrigation, but the bulk of land was still in production.

Farmers should be conscious that wind energy plants are a form of heavy industry. Apart from the turbines, wide access roads are required, many trenches will be dug to accommodate power lines, and eminent domain may be exercised to place power lines across neighboring properties that refuse to sell easements. There will also be substantial damage to the land during the construction phase, largely due to soil compaction and erosion, even if most of it can be returned to agricultural production.

Nevertheless, it is my opinion that wind energy projects could be profitably sited on farms in a socially acceptable way provided a number of criteria are met.

The land should be already disturbed by tillage, as recommended by the governor's energy task force. Undisturbed rangeland and native prairie should not be developed for wind farms because of the large area of ground that suffers disturbance during construction. Natural soil profiles and plant ecology cannot be restored following such disturbance and native plants and animals will be negatively impacted.

The land should not be adjacent to residential development. Numerous studies are identifying significant health risks for people living near wind turbines. Large wind turbines are visually intrusive, being visible from 18 miles away, and if they mar the views of adjacent residents who are not receiving income from them, they will become a source of local contention because of concerns about reduced property values and diminished scenic outlook.

The process of negotiating with a wind energy developer should be a democratic, open, and public process for the entire community whereby all local citizens have a fair opportunity to voice concerns, ask questions, and provide input to the county planning commission. Otherwise, the development may be resented by local residents who feel their rights are being ignored while others are being permitted to profit at their expense.

Finally, a thorough, independent environmental impact assessment should be undertaken by qualified professionals commissioned by the government, not the developer, to produce estimates of potential impacts on surface water runoff, wells, birds, game animals, endangered species, and overall ecological health of the area.

The Spearville project in Kansas meets most of these criteria. Already disturbed land was used, and it was generally accepted that this was a unique opportunity to revitalize a small town of 900 people and obtain funding to help keep the local school open. The project was also suitably sited to the north of town where, for the majority of residents, sunrises and sunsets would not be marred by whirling blades.

The Spearville project can be contrasted rather starkly to the 200 megawatt facility currently proposed for 11,000 acres just west of Hays, Kansas, that appears to meet few, if any, of the above criteria.

Hays, Kansas, is a growing community of more than 20,000 with a state university and an agricultural research center. More than half of the area proposed for development is undisturbed rangeland that has never been tilled and is known to contain breeding habitat for prairie chickens. No independent environmental impact assessment was ever commissioned.

The planning process took place largely behind closed doors over a period of several years, with little snippets of information leaked here and there to a largely uninformed public, until a notification of a special use permit application caught local residents completely by surprise.

The Hays site was selected very close to the western edge of town, where sunsets would forever flicker through spinning blades, largely because of the interests of particular landowners and the proximity of an existing substation.

Unfortunately, the site encompasses secluded residential developments that highly value their rural privacy in close proximity to town.

To these more than 100 families, the development represents a forcible industrialization that threatens to destroy their rural quality of life.

Under these conditions, farmers seeking to embrace wind energy can expect to pay a heavy price in terms of public opposition that has the potential to adversely affect their relations with the larger agricultural community.

Farmers who remain serious about agriculture should view wind energy development with caution. It is not farming, it is industrial energy generation with many of the attendant externalities of heavy industry.

Such development might be compatible with agriculture when appropriately sited, but it should not divide communities, otherwise agricultural interests may suffer adverse social and economic consequences, even if cows are willing to graze up to the base of wind turbines.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Glenn R. Schleede Response to - Franklin County Wind Farm Could Have Large Economic Impact

Dear Ms. Raymo:

Thank you for your story in today's Press-Republican, "Wind farms could have large economic impact."

I respectfully suggest that you get a copy of the detailed analysis presented to county legislators in Malone by the president and chief economist for the Center of Governmental Research and check the validity of the analysis and conclusions. It appears to be seriously in error on several points.

Please be aware that the favorable economic impact of "wind farms" is often overestimated. For example, I'm attaching a recent evaluation of the of the Energy Plan for New York State announced on April 19, 2007, by Governor Spitzer, NYSERDA and NYS PSC. As this evaluation points out, the claims of economic benefit made for that plan are grossly overestimated because of fundamental errors in the economic analysis (e.g., assumptions about the economic benefit of the capital cost of the "wind farms" selected for additional subsidies from NYSERDA). (See pages 10-12 in attached "Evaluation" paper.)

I also suggest that you investigate the claim that the "wind farm" developer "would make about an 8-percent return on its investment each year of operation." That number is almost certainly a gross underestimation. In this connection, you may want to look at the detailed tables in the attached paper which shows the amount that "wind farm" owners would receive in tax breaks and subsidies that would flow to the developer.

It's unclear from your story how the "8-percent...on its investment" was calculated. However, recent news stories have indicated that a large share of the capital cost of Noble "wind farms" in New York would be financed by borrowing from GE, which means that Noble's equity investment would be only a minor part of the capital cost. You should be aware that, under very generous federal (and NY) tax laws, "wind farm" owners can recover the entire capital cost of a "wind farm" (whether financed by equity or debt) in the first tax year. In fact, 52% of the total can be recovered in the first 2 years. Because of these generous accelerated depreciation allowances (called 5-yr, 200% declining balance - MACRS), it is highly likely that Noble would be able to recover all of its equity investment in the first year or two of operation. Thereafter, the company would, in effect, have no outstanding equity and it's return on equity would be infinite!

This rapid recovery of equity does not take into account the additional generous tax shelter that would be available to the company in the form of the federal Production Tax Credit of $0.02 per kilowatt-hour for each kWh of electricity produced by the "wind farm" during the first 10 years of operation.

You should also be aware that claims about local job impact of "wind farms" are generally overstated. An overwhelming share of the jobs during the relatively short construction period are generally filled by people with specialized expertise (e.g., assembling towers, turbines, blades, electronics) who are brought into the area for temporary work. (In the case of one wind farm in Iowa, only 20 of 200 construction jobs were filled by local workers. Also, the workers brought in temporarily may pay income taxes in other states rather than in NY) Jobs filled by local workers are likely to be among the lower-paid ones. The estimate of 38 jobs during "regular operations" also appears unusually high.

Another area of common error when estimating favorable economic impact occurs when considering local purchases. Often, analysts will incorrectly count the entire cost of a local purchase rather than local (or state) value added. (See page 11 in attached "Evaluation" paper.)

Please recognize that overestimation of favorable local and state economic impact of "wind farms" is a common problem. In fact, a second paper that is attached explains that an economic model developed for the National Renewable Energy "Laboratory" (NREL) contains serious errors that result in overestimating favorable economic and job impacts.

I recognize that the above may seem complicated but, the attached paper should be helpful to you in gaining an understanding of the issues quite quickly.

Clearly, the claims made by Noble and the center of Governmental Research need to be investigated in more detail so that local government officials and your readers can have a more complete story on true economic impact of "wind farms" proposed for your area.

Respectfully,

Glenn R. Schleede
18220 Turnberry Drive
Round Hill, VA 20141-2574
540-338-9958

Advocates Supports Article 78 Petition Opposing Wind Project

ADVOCATES FOR SPRINGFIELD
P. O. Box 25
Springfield Center, New York 13468

Update #39

July 19, 2007

Advocates Supports Article 78 Petition Opposing Wind Project Jordanville Wind Project Approved Advocates for Springfield will be supporting the Article 78 petition filed today on behalf of individual citizens of the Towns of Stark and Warren.

The Warren Town Board has issued its Findings under SEQRA and determined that the negative impacts of the Jordanville Wind project have been properly and adequately addressed. The Warren Board and the Stark Board both approved issuance of Special Use Permits under their local wind ordinances, giving further approval for the project to proceed.

We have two main complaints about these actions:

1) The environmental review was not well done. Many issues were never addressed. And others were addressed only by offering to conduct tests and evaluations after the project is completed. The Lead Agency failed to take the required "hard look" at the project. As only one example, under SEQRA, the Lead Agency must look at alternatives such as other locations, downsizing, phasing development, or use of smaller turbines. In the Jordanville analysis, the applicant has stated that none of these options is economically viable. But the Lead Agency never asked for evidence about the project economics. Further, the original plan was for 75 turbines and that plan was described as the minimum size needed for economic viability. Since then, the project has been reduced to 68 turbines with the same claim as to economic viability. The Findings recommend a further reduction of 2 turbines with once again the same result that this is now the minimum for economic viability. So the assertion about minimum size was not true and yet the Lead Agency still has not requested financial information.

2) There were many procedural errors committed in the approval process. These errors are important because of the taint of conflicts of interest (one town board member is getting a turbine on his land and he participated in the board's deliberations), the failure to properly notify the public of meetings, and (most importantly) the conducting in closed sessions of the entire review of the Special Use Permits.

Our only recourse is to support the filing of an Article 78 petition to force the two towns and the developer to go back to square one and conduct a reasonable SEQRA review without the process errors that taint the current review.

Otsego 2000 has voted to endorse this petition as has Advocates for Stark. There are about 10 private landowners who will be the actual petitioners with standing (that is, they will be personally damaged by the approval). Our participation is important to demonstrate that the proposed project impacts extend to the surrounding communities.

We expect the petition to be filed by the time you receive this Update.

Home Rule and Regional Impacts

New York is a home rule state, meaning that local governance is a valued concept. We support this concept and have been active proponents of local decisions for local issues.

In the case of the Jordanville Wind project, we are crossing the line into two neighboring towns to ask that they consider the impact of this project on us. And since, at least in our opinion, they have failed to adequately consider these impacts, we are asking the court to insist that our view point be taken into consideration. We are not attempting to undermine the concept of home rule; we remain strong supporters of that concept. But when an action in one town has a clear and dramatic impact on the lives of people living in another town, it is incumbent upon the first town to consider the effect on the second town.

It is interesting to note that New York State is now debating whether to take wind turbine project siting decisions away from local decision-makers. The legislature is discussing revisions to Article 10 (concerning the siting of utility plants) so that local voices would have no say in where such plants are located. We disagree with this direction and hope that our legislators will see the wisdom of keeping home rule decision-making for such projects.

Financial Support Required

Many of you have generously contributed funds to help defray the costs that we have and will incur. We are grateful for your support.

Voluntary contributions in any amount will help us protect our area against a very large project that will create damage or potential damage along many lines. We had hoped to resolve our most critical issues through negotiations and compromises while the project review was taking place, but now must rely upon the judicial system. This is an expensive undertaking. Please continue to send your donations to Advocates for Springfield at the address at the top of this Update.

If you are receiving a copy of this Update in the mail, please remember to send us your current e-mail address so we can save postage and handling costs. Send your e-mail address and/or comments to barry.levine@patmedia.net.

Monk Challenges Turbines Otsego 2000 Also Set To Sue Over Jordanville Project

With Otsego 2000 poised to take legal action against the 68-turbine Jordanville Wind Farm, the director of Holy Trinity Monastery’s seminary jumped in first. Wednesday night, July 18, Father George Schaefer reported he was at his desk filling out the necessary application to file an Article 78 petition seeking to block the forest of 400-foot-tall windmills Community Energy hopes to erect between Van Hornesville and Jordanville.

He called the Article 78 “our last hope” to stop the project, then amended that to say, “our last earthly resort.” Already, Father Schaefer said the monks can hear rumbles from a nearby quarry that will be the source of the gravel and cement needed for the prospective 18-month construction job.

Earlier in the day, Holy Trinity Monastery had released the full text of an archbishop’s letter to Gov. Eliot Spitzer and 11 other top state officials calling the project “monstrous” and “appalling.”

“Please, I pray, intercede now,” wrote Hilarion Kapral, Russian Orthodox bishop of Australia and New Zealand, former abbott at Holy Trinity. The Otsego 2000 offices were a bee hive of activity in the past few days, as the board of directors met Monday, July 16, for a final strategy session, and staff focused on preparing the necessary background documents.

Until Otsego 2000’s lawyer Drayton Grant actually filed that Article 78, she was reluctant to say much, other than she was facing a “brisk” deadline. (Some were expecting the papers to be filed by the time you read this, although it had not been when this edition went to press, while Father Schaefer was completing his paperwork.)

An Article 78 challenge, the vehicle included in the state Environmental Quality Review Act process, would have to be filed within 30 days of the towns of Warren and Stark’s acceptance of the final Environmental Impact Statement. Warren acted on June 20; Stark on June 21.

In recent days, the town supervisors, Richard Jack of Warren and Richard Bronner of Stark, released a statement denying the public was improperly excluded from deliberations and repeating the belief that
the Jordanville undertaking is “the most heavily scrutinized wind turbine project in upstate New York, by far.” (See Page 4)

In Albany, Anne Dalton, spokeswoman for the state Public Service Commission, confirmed that Community Energy, a subsidiary of Madrid-based multi-national Iberdrola, has filed for a PSC certificate of necessity, the next step toward construction. If, after investigation and a public hearing, the PSC approves that certificate, the towns could issue building permits and work could begin.

In his letter, Archbishop Hilarion traced the history of Holy Trinity as his church’s spiritual center abroad and noted that now, “the serenity that the monks and pilgrims have long sought will be gone, literally gone with the wind! ... How can such an appalling situation exist.”

In addition to Spitzer, Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, a Republican, and Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, the letter went to key cabinet members and legislators.

PSC Finds Studies Deficient by Kelly Vadney

CAPE VINCENT — If the St. Lawrence Wind Farm wants to satisfy the state Public Service Commission, it should rewind six months and start its environ­mental review over.

For the wind farm to build its 96 proposed turbines, it needs approval from the PSC in the form of a certificate of necessity, spokeswoman Anne P. Dalton said.
The commission's comments on the review say the town Plan­ning Board accepted a draft en­vironmental impact statement that is incomplete and "does not address any topic in sufficient detail."

An impact statement is a col­lection of studies that must be done before a project can be ap­proved. Its purpose is to identify any adverse effects a project may have. A project can be turned down if its effects cannot be mitigated.

"The 'DEIS' document is, in effect, the functional equivalent of a draft scoping statement in­dicating many studies to be per­formed at a later date," the PSC said. "The 'DEIS' should be reis­sued with a significant amount of additional supplemental in­formation for public considera­tion and comment."

The commission recommends that the Planning Board restart the environmental re­view process and begin with a scoping document. In January, St. Lawrence Wind chose to for­go the optional scoping stage, which identifies what studies need to be done. Planning Board Chairman Richard I. Edsall did not return a call for comment.

PSC is not the only entry to have expressed concern that studies for the St. Lawerence Wind Farm's environmental review are incomplete. The state Depertment of Environmental Conservation has suggested more studies since March. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also has made extensive comments on the project.

The PSC identified several concerns with the review, including:

A 75-foot "setback from adjacent property lines," which the PSC said would be the smallest setback in the state.

Failure to assess the impact on Route 12E as a Seaway Trail Scenic Byway.

The proximity of proposed turbines to historical buildings.

The unidentified location of a 9-mile overhead transmission line.

Lack of cumulative study concerning the wind projects in the area.

Incomplete migratory bird and wedand studies.

Urban C. Hirschey, chairman of the Wind Power Ethics Group, which opposes much of the wind farm plan, declined to comment on the PSC's state­ment.

St. Lawrence Wind Farm proj­ect manager Todd R. Hopper was not discouraged by the commission's response. Taking the advice of experts, he said, is part of the environmental re­view process.

Mr. Hopper said he doesn't believe the environmental re­view process for the project has been rushed.

"We always said we are going to do these studies," he said. "How are we rushing?"

Mr. Hopper said there are sev­eral studies, including wetland studies, that simply could not be done in the late fall when the company filed its application.

He said several of the PSC's concerns have been addressed in the list of requirements the Plan­ning Board gave the company.

Mr. Hopper said the company voluntarily will abide by set­backs requested by the Planning Board, which require turbines to be 1,000 feet from nonpartici-pating property lines.

The Planning Board also re­quested visual impact studies from the St. Lawrence River, which Mr. Hopper said he be­lieves would address issues with the byway. The commission rec­ommends studying several dif­ferent views along the byway of the project area itself. Mr. Hop­per said the company plans to do an analysis of how turbines will affect the view from these areas.

He said the company has started but not completed its study on how turbines would af­fect historic properties.

The Planning Board also in­structed the company to work with Cape Vincent Wind Farm, which is proposed to cross Cape Vincent and Lyme town lines, on mapping a single transmission line.

Mr. Hopper said the PSC's re­quest for a study into the cumu­lative impacts of surrounding wind farms is "standard."

"The issue with that is we cannot do that without a final project layout," Mr. Hopper said. "How would it be fair to in­clude a project that doesn't ex­ist?"

Plans for the Cape Vincent Wind Farm have not been released. Mr. Hopper said he has not seen a final layout for the Wolfe Island Wind project, which would be built on the Canadian island in Lake Ontario just off Cape Vincent.

He acknowledged that several studies in the company's envi­ronmental review are incom­plete, but said he does not regret submitting me review ahead of time.

"People were saying they wanted this information filed," he said. "Everyone was asking us about 'doing this behind our backs.' What if we were sitting in this office with no maps and do­ing all these studies? What would people think we were do­ing?"

Friday, July 20, 2007

Cohocton Planning Board ready to approve "Special Use Permits"

THE COHOCTON TOWN PLANNING BOARD WILL BE HOLDING A SPECIAL MEETING ON JULY 30, 2007 @ 7:00 P.M. AT THE HATCH HOSE FIRE HALL IN ATLANTA. THIS MEETING IS BEING HELD FOR SITE PLAN APPROVAL AND SPECIAL USE PERMITS APPROVAL FOR THE APPLICATIONS SUBMITTED BY CANANDAIGUA POWER PARTNERS 1, LLC, AND CANDANDIGUA POWER PARTNERS 11, LLC FOR THE DUTCH HILL AND COHOCTON WIND PROJECT.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

CWW email letter to Congressman Kuhl

http://kuhl.house.gov/Contact/

Congressman Kuhl,

It is the position of Cohocton Wind Watch that H.R. 969
Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) is a flawed bill and needs to be OPPOSED.

Any legislation that is bias towards more costly electric generation at the expense of individual property rights is un-American.

Also the proposed purchase of Energy East by the foreign company Iberdrola and the recent acquisition of Horizon by another foreign corporation Energias de Portugal (EDP) are tragic betrayals of American independence.

The US government must stop the sell out of our domestic energy infrastructure.

Cordially,

James Hall for Cohocton Wind Watch

Monday, July 16, 2007

Mandating Renewable Energy:It’s Not Easy Being Green by MICHAEL HEBERLING

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Conrad Fink Letter to the Editor on Article X

To The Editor (for publication):

From kindergarten, Americans are taught to get involved in local government, to exercise local control over local affairs.

Now, politicians in faraway Albany say never mind, we will run your local affairs for you.

This treacherous thinking is embodied in the New York State Assembly's 103-39 approval of so-called Article X, which would give the state the right to site electric-generating facilities over local protest.

Now the Senate must vote --and this requires anyone who believes in local rule, in democracy itself, to object immediately.

Article X is aimed , of course, at authorizing the Public Service Commission to approve wind turbines anywhere it pleases, even overruling the many town and village boards across New York State which have passed local laws restricting them.

Much more than wind turbines is at stake here. We are confronted by an all-out assault against a basic democratic principle: that local people, not distant politicians, know what is best for themselves.

Something else is at stake: the feeling widespread in Albany that we upstaters have as our sole function paying taxes and otherwise existing to keep New York City's subways running and its residents supplied with drinking water and, now, electricity.

Contact senators immediately. Tell them we upstaters have lives and interests of our own . The state Senate--and governor--must halt this insanity.

Conrad Fink, Cherry Valley NY

Lisa Linowes on UPC and SCIDA

I understand that UPC et.al. have been able to push their wares in many areas of NY due to the lack of land-use protections. In Lyman, our zoning is very simple -- no structures over 35-feet in height and no industrial uses. Twice UPC tried to get a variance on the height but the entire town came out in opposition to granting it. UPC couldn't prove the hardship. Both times UPC withdrew its applications when it became apparent the zoning board would vote NO.

The key to our success was, in part, meeting each and every effort by UPC with a counter effort, and (most important) getting to the public and the press before UPC could -- particularly the local farmers. It was a scary time, but the law was on our side and the zoning board understood that they would lose in court if we appealed.

But I understand NY is a very different place. There are over 4000MW of wind proposed for your State and your governors Pataki and now Spitzer are using the RPS as a hammer wielded on every agency and IDA. The DEC, assuming it's manned by honorable people, is overwhelmed and hesitant to come out against the governor. Folks are hiding behind the SEQR process and claim it's a comprehensive review of the impacts of these projects, but the town boards and IDAs (if the lead agencies) lack the sophistication to question what they're reading. The ridiculous claims that wind will bring economic development to poor communities are being accepted at face value. Nearly 2 years ago I spoke to James Sharron of the SCIDA. He's the last person I would want looking out for my interests -- to him it's all about the dollar signs. For NY, the wind push is a rural version of the 1960s Urban Renewal. I cringe to think what the state will look like 5-years out but for all of your efforts in opposing the turbines.

There is one issue that I would strongly encourage for NY. NYSERDA is due to reevaluate the RPS rules in 2008/09. If you were to contact the other renewable generators in the state, particularly the biomass sector, it would behoove all of you to get the rules changed so that rec pricing is not a one-size fits all (~$27 a kwh), but is adjusted to reward those renewables capable of producing generation during peak periods. We know, and NYSERDA knows, wind energy is only capable of producing energy on the grid with very limited capacity. Not the case for biomass, methane gas, hydro. If the change were implemented, NYSERDA would be forced to come up with a viable market value for recs on energy produced on peak/on-season and another for off-peak/off-season. So biomass might be paid $45 per kwh and wind gets $15 per kwh. There is NO justification for rewarding generation that does not decrease our use of fossil fuel, does not negate the need to build other power plants, and cannot reliably be expect to deliver when we need it (how summer afternoons) but that's exactly what the NY RPS does.

--Lisa Linowes

Town Of Cohocton Planning Board State Environmental Quality Review Finding Statement

http://cohoctonwind.com/PDFs/071207%20Cohocton%20Findings%20Final.pdf

Please click here for Cohocton Wind's final Findings Statement accepted July 2007.

Background of setback for industrial wind turbines from California

There is no documented substantiation for the setback distances when calculated as (X) x (turbine_height).

Scott Larwood of CA Wind Energy Collaborative and I had several conversations on this topic leading up to the release in Nov'06 of his white paper entitled PERMITTING SETBACK REQUIREMENTS FOR WIND TURBINES IN CALIFORNIA prepared for the CA Energy Commission.
(see: http://www.energy.ca.gov/2005publications/CEC-500-2005-184/CEC-500-2005-184.PDF) (This is an updated paper from his original work from 2004)

In the report, he examines the history of setbacks in CA, the probabilities of rotor and blade failures, etc. He states "The purpose of this report is to summarize wind turbine setbacks in California and to describe any connection between rotor failure and windplant setback requirements."

He makes several statements in the Executive Summary including:

1) From this data the authors developed a picture of how the turbine setbacks were established. The majority of the ordinances were developed by ad hoc groups of local interests and the fledgling wind energy industry.

2) There is no evidence that setbacks were based on formal analysis of the rotor fragment hazard.

3) The authors recommend that a comprehensive model of the rotor fragment hazard be developed based on the results of the literature review. This tool would then be used with a variety of turbine sizes with the objective to develop risk‐based setback standards.


It's a safe bet to assume the setbacks being pushed today evolved from California ordinances. But a word of warning: the intent of Scott's report was to a) determine the reasons behind existing setback values, b) evaluate the extent to which these setbacks are barriers to building taller turbines, and c) determine if the setbacks can be REDUCED.

--Lisa

Executive Director
Industrial Wind Action Group
www.windaction.org

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Bethany latest town to ban wind turbines by Scott DeSmit

BETHANY- Bethany became the third town in Genesee County to ban commercial wind energy systems as board members earlier this week approved an amendment to the zoning laws.

The amendment is similar to the ones approved in the towns of Oakfield and Stafford earlier this year and would allow single, non-commercial wind mills up to 170 feet.

The law, however, would ban commercial towers in any area of the town.

UPC Wind more than three years ago began testing sites in Bethany for wind turbines up to 450 feet high.

The company eventually proposed 40 turbines, sparking numerous town meetings and the formation of a citizens' committee to study the issue.

Oakfield was the first town to ban commercial wind systems, approving a law in January.

Stafford board members unanimously approved a similar law in June.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Dan Wing response to Lisa Linowes regarding the WSJ article

Lisa:

Your analysis is extremely astute.

IMO, Acciona/Iberdrola's strategy (and the overseas windpower companies' survival strategy -- to maintain and increase handouts from U.S. and State governments) is LOCAL Control.

One element of that strategy is to promise to build turbine production factories on the U.S. HOME FRONT in Iowa, etc. That creates LOCAL factory JOBS for the LOCALS that politicians like to endorse and pursue with handouts. Build the LOCAL factory, then start asking (at repetitive intervals) to EXPAND said LOCAL factories to meet Iberdola's (etc.) "need" to EXPAND regional windfarms because more (and bigger) LOCAL factories increase the "availability of turbines". Further exapnd LOCAL Production JOBS by expanding LOCAL factories -- the promises of further increased LOCAL Production JOBS warranting the politicians and government to hand out more FREEBIE INCENTIVES to Acciona/Iberdola (etc.). Control LOCAL politicians by DONATING money to them and by LOBBYING as a LOCAL entity.

In New York State, its a bit different form of LOCAL strategy. Purchase LOCAL energy end user companies which LOCALLY control the type and quantity of electricity they offer and provide their LOCAL communities. Market themselves as if they are LOCAL community companies (by running their foreign-owned LOCAL Companies under friendly regional or community sounding names such a NEW YORK STATE Electric & Gas and ROCHESTER Gas & Electric and Energy EAST. Answer to LOCAL power regulations of those same foreign-owned LOCAL power companies. Have those foreign-owned LOCAL power companies devise and represent the LOCAL power requirements and needs, requesting more incentives'-based EXPANSION of windpower sources and requesting similar freebies as [foreign-owned] LOCAL end users (NYSEG; RG&E, etc.) of substantially increased amounts of windpower that they Procure for the LOCAL. As the LOCAL power utility, constantly cry out for more Windpower GENERATION tubine farms in their LOCAL region. And always repetively hammer on the theme, if only there are more, then the LOCAL economy will benefit.

Dan Wing

Bliss, NY industrial wind turbine now under construction

TOWN OF COHOCTON PLANNING BOARD - Agenda

TOWN OF COHOCTON PLANNING BOARD
JULY 11,2007 HATCH HOSE FIREBALL 7:30 p.m.

1. CALL MEETING TO ORDER
2. PLEDGE TO THE FLAG.
3. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
4. Old Business
a. Sequr 3 Met Towers.
b. Special Use Permits 3 Met Towers.
c. Sequr Finding Statement for wind projects.
5. Adjournment

Hopeful Comments on Article X by Andy Minnig

This is old news, and the focus should not be on Assembly passage, which was pro-forma for their own version of the bill, but on local communities waking up to the loss of home rule and the resultant loss of negotiating position re PILOTS and other financial benefits. I think it is legitimate to ask how many wind farms would be permitted in NYS if there were not such significant financial incentives for rural communities. Strip away the one benefit, and where is the support for this industry?

The Assembly's passage of this legislation was to establish a more formal negotiating position in discussions with the Senate. The regular legislative session concluded with no resolution or action on Article X. I would expect that Article X remains a priority for the Legislature and Governor's Office, but the timeline for accomplishing any program is mid-to-late fall.

Significant differences between the Senate and Assembly remain. The Governor has not yet even been invited in to Article X negotiations with the Legislature (there have been discussions). Governor's staff supporting this issue is in disarray - Deputy Secretary of Energy Steve Mitnick is mired in a misconduct investigation and has indicated he may be stepping down this summer. PSC Chair appointee Angela Sparks-Beddoe remained unconfirmed for the position by the Senate, and announced last week that she too will be stepping down from the Acting Chair role due to concerns for her lobbyist background for the utility industry and stock holdings in a company that she would have been regulating.

It's going to take some time to put energy policy back together after the
2007 debacle to date. So there is time to force the issue on wind, but wind is not yet a prominent part of Article X discussions by staff on Assembly/Senate Energy committees. Also of note, the most sympathetic member of the Assembly Energy Committee - Paul Tonko - and staff have departed for the Chairmanship of NYSERDA. That imports some sympathy at the head of that agency, but strips the Assembly Energy Committee of some expertise and familiarity with our issues. No word on who heads the committee going forward - odds are, Kevin Cahill, from Ulster County, who has reasonably strong environmental credentials, and knows a number of pro-wind environmental groups well. Education and demonstration of political will be needed there.

Lisa Linowes follow-up on the WSJ article - Alternative energy hurt by a windmill shortage by Keith Johnson

Hi all, regarding WSJ article:

It is important to remember who the WSJ ultimately writes for -- and taken in that light, that article was a direct attack on the industry, an industry that is built on a house of cards.

At the moment, there is tremendous media hype surrounding alternative energy. People want to get into the act and investors are looking at where to place their money. The vast majority don't give a hoot about renewables or saving the planet. It's all about adding to the bottom line and doing it as effectively, and as profitably as possible. Putting your investor's hat on at the moment, this is what the article is telling you:

1) We have a debt-funded industry that is heavily dependent on governmental subsidies just to function -- subsidies that are here today, but can be severely restricted tomorrow;

2) The manufacturing infrastructure is being squeezed by tight customer deadlines and a limited (and choosy) chain of suppliers. Translation, higher costs, longer delays on deliver, and increasing quality problems.

3) With European companies "owning" the next XXX MW of turbines coming off the assembly line, small-time operators are getting knocked out as the consolidation race continues.

4) Meanwhile, as costs go up, policymakers and bean counters will be forced to acknowledge how much more expensive their RPS programs are costing. We will not be looking at 1-2% increases on the average utility bill as they've all been promised, but more like double-digit. Ratepayers are going to scream. BTW: by ratepayers I'm talking about business owners and the poor, not your suburban "do-gooder" who forks over the big bucks to Whole Foods.

Companies like Community Energy are lucky but only a little. They managed to find an angel in Iberdrola. But Iberdrola paid a mere $40M for them. Heck, that's what it will cost to build the CEI 24MW wind factory in Lempster NH. Quite a bargain, until Iberdrola finds out how hostile US opposition to wind projects can be.

When articles like this get written with statements that include: "In a few years' time, those new factories could help ease the current bottleneck." think about what investment folks, who are largely focused on the short term, bottom line, must think. I see it as a warning beacon. In other words, hold the money until we know better what the future holds. And, I suspect we will see more false starts as time goes on. The LIPA project is dead; so is the offshore TX plan, all due to money -- i.e. the wind company could not make it attractive enough for investors.

I don't think the WSJ did big wind any favor with this article. But, of course, time will tell...
So think positive. We play a important role in this much larger picture surrounding wind development.
--Lisa

Lisa Linowes
Industrial Wind Action Group
www.windaction.org

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Europe drying up for wind energy developers by Eric Rosenbloom

http://kirbymtn.blogspot.com/2007/07/europe-drying-up-for-wind-energy.html

'Wind energy in the U.S. "is like Europe was years ago," says Xavier Viteri, head of Iberdrola's renewable-energy business. "There's a lot of room for development there ...."' (Wall Street Journal, July 9, 2007, page A1)

That raises the question, Why isn't Europe like Europe was? Clearly, the momentum has slowed. Even "showcase" Denmark hasn't added new wind capacity since 2004. Doubts have arisen about the utility of wind energy on the grid. Adverse impacts (to wildlife, landscape, and human health) can no longer be denied. Instead of repeating Europe's mistakes, the U.S. and Canada ought to consider the limits of wind energy that European countries have already discovered.

There's a good reason Iberdrola and other European wind developers are moving their efforts to North America. Europe doesn't want them any more. Let's learn from that experience instead of repeating the same boondoggle.

EDP acquires Horizon Wind, forms consortium

http://www.insidegreentech.com/node/1440

Energias de Portugal (EDP) used today, the closing of its acquisition of wind developer Horizon Wind Energy, to announce new wind power initiatives with a group of financiers.

EDP acquired Horizon, a leading developer, owner and operator of wind power generation in the United States, from Goldman Sachs in a transaction that valued Horizon at $2.74 billion.

Horizon is now to develop wind power projects with a consortium including JP Morgan, ABN Amro and Morgan Stanley, which are to collectively invest about $700 million to build a portfolio with an installed capacity of 722 MW.

The company added that the deal is to allow EDP to get the production tax credits linked to the wind power production of the projects, and the depreciation of Horizon's wind parks.

Executives from EDP and Horizon held a press conference today in New York.

EDP is a vertically-integrated utility active in the electricity and gas industries across the entire value chain—generation, distribution and supply—in Portugal, Spain, and Brazil.

Horizon develops, constructs, owns, and operates wind farms throughout the United States.

Horizon is expected to be the third largest owner of wind power generation facilities in the United States by the end of 2007, with 1,324 net MW of generating capacity in operation.

Horizon also has a portfolio of development projects across fifteen states, with a combined aggregate generating potential of over 9,000 MW.

Brad Jones reply to Keith Johnson article in the WSJ

Hi Keith,

There were several factual errors in your article yesterday that we would like to bring to your attention.

1. You stated that the Community Energy windfarm "started churning out enough clean energy for about 6,500 homes." That is simply not true. It could only be true if the windfarm could operate continuously at nameplate capacity. In the real world of our northeast, wind turbines generate power less than 30% of the time since they need a steady wind of around 8 mph to begin to turn the blades. However they do not reach nameplate capacity until we have steady winds of 27 to 50mph. As such winds are decidedly rare here the actual output of a turbine is less than 15% of nameplate. Further compounding the problem is the fact that wind production is out of phase with electrical demand. I.e., our strongest steadiest winds are on winter nights when our electrical demands are the lowest. On hot humid summer days like today electrical demands are peaking (due to AC) but there is very little wind on such days and the windfarms are not producing a single Kw of power. Last year during the brownouts in CA their windfarms produced at less than 2% of capacity. Overall the amount of usable power produced by windfarms is probably less than 5% of capacity.

As a result of these issues, conventional power generators must be ready to immediately back up wind energy (with spinning reserve) when the wind dies, and therefore wind does not offset conventional production nor reduce emissions.

The intermittent and unpredictable production of wind turbines also wreaks havoc on the electrical grid.

Another factor that is often overlooked is that windfarms require electricity from the grid at all times to power control systems, heating and cooling, turbine operations, etc. However none of the developers will share just how much electricity is consumed so we really do not yet know if there is any net production at all. However since they do not get paid by actual net production, they really don't care.

2. You state that rising fossil fuel prices have helped to make wind more competitive. In fact our primary fossil fuel is domestic coal, and the price is quite steady. The American Wind Energy Association has perpetrated the myth that wind power will reduce our reliance on foreign oil (see attached for additional myths). It must be inconvenient for them to not know that we do not burn oil to generate electricity. We do rely on another fossil fuel, natural gas, to assist in meeting peak demands while reserving coal, hydro, and nuclear for base load. Although natural gas is more expensive than coal per Kw it is a logical choice because it can be despatched (turned on or off) very quickly. Coal and nuclear take a long time to bring on line; gas turbines can be up and running in minutes.

3. You state that Europe plans to more than triple the amount of energy from wind by 2020. That is news to us. The only country that continues to aggressively build wind is UK. According to your paper (WSJ, 2--06) Denmark, Germany, Spain, and Switzerland have or are reducing/eliminating subsidies for wind because they cannot afford to prop up a non-competitive technology.

We are part of a large informal network of concerned citizens from across the country. We have researched this topic exhaustively and concluded, somewhat reluctantly, that the entire wind energy industry is an Enronesque scam, kept alive with billions of your and my tax money in the forms of grants, subsidies, tax credits, etc.

To give you some insight into other illegal aspects of this giant fraud attached is a copy of an Antitrust Complaint filed with Department of Justice. In addition to the feds we have interest from the state AG as well as private law firms.

Should you be interested in doing a more in depth examination of wind energy we would be happy to put together a panel of experts for you to interview. We also have an extensive library of documents, reports, and independent studies that support our conclusions.

Feel free to bounce back or call with questions.

brad and linda

Alternative energy hurt by a windmill shortage by Keith Johnson

Iberdrola's strategic advantage stems in part from a €3 billion, or $4.09 billion, bet it made last year to lock up most of the order book of Spanish turbine maker Gamesa SA -- the world's second largest -- through 2009. Iberdrola also holds a 24% equity stake in Gamesa.

In addition to Community Energy, Iberdrola snapped up two other small U.S. developers last year in Iowa and Virginia, both of which lacked the funding and the turbines to get going. Last month, it entered into a deal to buy its first regulated U.S. utility company, Energy East Corp., of Portland, Maine, for $4.58 billion, in part to take advantage of U.S. tax credits for wind.

European utility firms, meanwhile, are buying up U.S. energy firms. They say they believe growing consensus on the need to fight climate change will lead to a more stable regulatory framework for renewable energy.

In the U.S., there's another potential threat to growth -- erratic government support for wind power. Even though wind power has made technical strides recently, energy firms still rely on subsidies because it costs more to generate electricity with wind turbines than other power plants such as coal, natural gas or nuclear. Wind power requires intensive capital investment in a short period of time, and has added costs like upgrading transmission systems. According to the International Energy Agency in Paris, wind farms cost between four and 14 cents to generate a kilowatt hour; coal-fired plants cost between 2.5 and six cents.

Earlier this year, Portuguese utility Energias de Portugal SA, or EDP, paid about $2.7 billion for Horizon Wind Energy of Houston. Acciona Energia SA of Spain bought EcoEnergy LLC, a unit of the Morse Group in Freeport, Ill., last month; it plans to roll out about 1,500 megawatts of wind power in the Midwest over three years. And BP Alternative Energy, a division of U.K.-based BP PLC, snapped up Virginia-based Greenlight Energy Inc. last year for about $100 million.

European companies are estimated to own 20% of all the wind energy in the U.S., says Emerging Energy Research, a wind-power study group based in Cambridge, Mass.

(Click to read entire article)

Town of Stafford resolution draft - Article X

Resolution%20for%20S5908.doc

ALL:

One town’s approach to defeat Spitzer’s power grab.

CWW recommends the reinstatement of the OLD (pre 2002) Article X and opposes any legislation that promotes industrial wind projects. We all know that “Home Rule” by scores of local town boards has demonstrated how councilmen are so easily bought off and corrupted. The goal should be to legislate strong statewide protections for individual property rights that demand safe siting distances from all public roads and property lines.

Wind should not be favored over other forms of electric generation. Setbacks needs to be far greater than most local laws recognize. Put your state representatives on the hot seat NOW before we get wind turbines in every town and county in NYS.

James Hall
_____________________________________________________________________________________

RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, S5908, of the Public Service Law provides a streamlined siting permit procedure for certain power generation facilities and the law expired December, 31, 2002; and

WHEREAS, since January 1, 2003, power generation facilities have been sited via local zoning and state DEC review; and

WHEREAS, there is currently a proposal by Governor Eliot Spitzer before the legislature to renew and revise the Public Service Law that would also include the siting of wind turbines; and

WHEREAS, this inclusion essentially eliminates Home Rule and local zoning control over wind turbines and has an impact on community host payments; and

WHEREAS, the Town of Stafford, along with numerous municipalities throughout New York State, has undergone considerable time and expense to develop and implement wind turbine siting policies that best fits our community; and

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Town Board of the Town of Stafford is opposed to any inclusion of the siting of wind turbines in the Public Service Law as it removes local control of our landscape and violates the principles of Home Rule that has been the guiding force of our state; and

IT IS FURTHER RESOLVED that the Town Board of the Town of Stafford encourages any revision of S5908 to address health and environmental issues for those who live and work near power generation facilities; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Town Clerk forward copies of this resolution to Governor Eliot Spitzer and elected officials.

Dated: July 9, 2007
BY ORDER OF THE TOWN BOARD
TOWN OF STAFFORD.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Notice that Pete is getting an objective overview by visiting only wind-promotion sites

SCHOHARIE Assemblyman Pete Lopez, R-Schoharie, has planned a daylong tour of wind farms in central New York for community leaders and others interested in the energy issue.

Lopez said he planned the tour ``as he works with his colleagues at state and local levels to find a solution to New York's growing energy concerns.''

The tour, on Tuesday, July 17, from about 7:30 a.m. until 7 p.m., will consist of visits to the Madison Wind Project, Fenner Wind Energy Project and Maple Ridge Wind Farm. The tour is free to those who would like to attend. Bus transportation and a box lunch will be provided.

"We need to work to actively promote clean and renewable energy sources," Lopez said. "I hope to learn much from this tour and am looking forward to working with community residents, local government leaders and business owners in the region to create a sustainable future for New York."

Throughout the day, there will be open discussion on alternative energy sources. Those on the tour will explore the pros and cons of wind farming and will have an opportunity to speak with community residents where the wind- generating facilities are located to hear their opinions.

The bus will depart from the Schoharie Exit Park and Ride on I-88 at 7:30 and proceed to the town of Madison Tourist Information Center where participants will receive an overview of the Madison Wind Project.

From there, the group will continue on to the Fenner Renewable Energy Center where a tour of the Fenner Wind Energy Project will be given.

Finally, before returning home the bus will arrive at the Maple Ridge Wind Project Visitors Center in Martinsburg. The bus is scheduled to return to Schoharie at about 7 p.m.

Attendance will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more details, call Lopez's Schoharie office at (518) 295-7250.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Live Earth articles from past few days - July 8, 2007 Round Up

Live Earth's DC concert called 'PR sleight of hand'
Excerpt: The Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian had already scheduled a day of events -- including the Indian Summer Showcase 2007, which appeared to be absorbed into "Mother Earth -- In the Spirit of the Live Earth Concerts." There was already going to be performances, drum circles and spiritual/environmental speeches by tribal leaders. Al Gore and the Smithsonian's organizers just figured a way to add Gore's overtly political address and the Garth Brooks/Trisha Yearwood performance to an existing event.

Poor Johannesburg Live Earth turnout blamed on cold and snow
Excerpt: "We're expecting 10,000 here tonight. It's a bit chilly, and we've had a strange winter... is it climate change? We had snow in Jo'burg last week for the first time in 25 years."

Fifty bucks for a beer? It was Livid Earth in Sydney

80,000 Scottish choose Live Perth over Live Earth

Prominent journal concedes global warming science is not settled
Excerpt: "Robert Charlson of the University of Washington, Seattle, (is) one of three authors of a commentary published online last week in Nature Reports: Climate Change. ... he and his co-authors argue that the simulation by 14 different climate models of the warming in the 20th century is not the reassuring success IPCC claims it to be." "... In the run-up to the IPCC climate science report released last February ... 14 groups ran their models under 20th-century conditions of rising greenhouse gases. ... But the group of three atmospheric scientists ... says the close match between models and the actual warming is deceptive. The match "conveys a lot more confidence [in the models] than can be supported in actuality," says Schwartz. [....]

Reuters: Earth underwhelmed by environment pop extravaganza
Excerpt: They rocked the world, but as the clean-up at nine climate change gigs around the globe begins, many wonder if the galaxy of pop stars did much to change it.

MTV Says Reaction To Live Earth Is Decidedly Mixed

Skeptical of Performers' Motives, Public Tunes Out Live Earth Event
Excerpt: The Live Earth concert promoted by former Vice President Al Gore received plenty of media coverage and hype, but most Americans tuned out. Just 22% said they followed news stories about the concert Somewhat or Very Closely. Seventy-five percent (75%) did not follow coverage of the event.

'Great Global Warming Swindle' producer says citizens are 'hostages to a hoax'
Excerpt: If greenhouse gases were causing the temperature to rise, according to classic greenhouse theory, the rate of warming should be higher in the Earth's troposphere (at least 10km up) than at the surface. But the opposite is true. All our satellite and balloon data tells us that the rate of warming was higher at the surface. In other words, observational data tells us, beyond any reasonable doubt, that greenhouse gas did not cause the recent warming.

Australian scientist declares global warming not caused by greenhouse gases
Excerpt: "Scholarship is being driven by media and media attention and this is a terrifying state of affairs." All the research is determined by government, he said. "You can get all the money in the world if the research you're doing is related to climate change... if you say climate change isn't caused by man it's caused by the sun, it doesn't get any money at all."

Democrat Energy Chairman Dingell floats sure to fail carbon tax to shake up the political debate on global warming
Excerpt: Mr. Dingell, in an interview to be broadcast Sunday on C-Span, suggested that his goal was to show that Americans are not willing to face the real cost of reducing carbon dioxide emissions. His message appeared to be that Democratic leaders were setting unrealistic legislative goals. "I sincerely doubt that the American people will be willing to pay what this is really going to cost them," said Mr. Dingell,

Emission-lowering schemes could be bad for the planet

Click on link to submit your SEC complaint on the
First Wind Holdings Inc. IPO public offering


TEN Reasons
Why the SEC should not allow First Wind to be listed on NASDAQ

First Wind Holdings Inc. 12/22/09 SEC S1/A IPO Filing

First Wind Holdings Inc. 7/31/08 SEC S1 IPO Filing

May 14, 2010 addition to the First Wind Holdings Inc. SEC S1A IPO Filing

August 18, 2010 amendment 7 to the First Wind Holdings Inc. SEC S1A IPO Filing

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