Cohocton Wind Watch: January 2009
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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Thursday, January 29, 2009

EverPower puts Howard on fast track

Howard, N.Y.

There’s still a lot of work left to do, but Howard town board members are looking forward to this spring.

That’s because after two lawsuits and years of work, wind developer EverPower Renewables is planning on breaking ground on a 25-turbine wind project.

There had been little news for months from the company, town Attorney Karl Anderson said.

“All of a sudden, we get communication back two weeks ago wanting everything done,” Anderson said.

The board met Tuesday morning to discuss the project and the agreements needed before even a shovelful of dirt moves.

According to town Attorney Karl Anderson, at least six agreements will need to be developed:

l A Community Host Agreement, which will provide the town with $2,700 per megawatt of wind power, payable annually when the project is completed. The rate will increase 3-percent each year for 20 years. The first payment, if the planned number of turbines are constructed, would be $168,750.

l A cultural mitigation agreement, which will provide the town with $55,000 when the project begins.

l An agreement to repair roads damaged by the heavy equipment involved in construction.

l An escrow account agreement, which will define how funds will be transferred
l An emergency response plan, to tell how police, fire and ambulance crews will respond to emergencies at and around the turbines during construction and once the project is online.

l An agreement on monitoring the site during construction and afterwards by engineering and sound monitoring firms.

One of the biggest questions for the town board was when the money from EverPower would come.

“I don’t think we’re out of line ... wanting some of that up front,” town Supervisor Don Evia said. “I think there’s precedent.”

Evia noted other wind projects across the state, including Cohocton, had front-loaded payment plans — more money at the beginning of the project — and payments often begin before the project is done.

“It’s easier for them to get their money now,” Anderson said, recalling a conversation with EverPower officials. “I think there’s room for negotiation there. The townspeople want to see something in hand.”

Another major point of contention for the board is how the megawatt rating is calculated. Anderson was unsure how the current agreement drafts would calculate the figures, adding company officials wanted to wait until the project was finished to the output could be certified.

Evia added other municipalities do not base their agreements on how much electricity is produced.

“It’s not a question of active production, it’s rated potential,” he said.

The board went into executive session to make a call to EverPower to further negotiations. More discussion is expected at the next town board meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. Feb. 11.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Cohocton man complains of turbine noise

Son of town councilman says high-pitched noise keeps him awake

Before the turbines have been fully placed online, the first noise and shadow flicker complaint was brought before the Cohocton Town Board Tuesday night by David Hunt of Kirkwood Road.

Hunt complained that the noise of the turbines, which he said has a constant high-pitched sound like a train whistle, an occasional roar and a loud whooshing sound, has regularly kept him awake at night since the blades started spinning in August. Although he cannot see turbines from his home, he said he can hear about a dozen turbines between a half-mile and three-quarters of a mile away.

Hunt stated that although he approached First Wind representatives on the issue, they said that the turbines are in compliance with the town’s local ordinance on the noise level, which is 45 decibels.

Hunt suggested that the town find a way to change the law to a more reasonable decibel level.

Hunt’s father, town board member Wayne Hunt, said, “Changing the law is not going to change the sound.”

David asked, “What am I going to do with a house I can’t live in?”

Cohocton Deputy Supervisor Jeff Wise answered, “That’s a good question.” But Wise also said that his best solution to getting a change in the local law is to address the problem to the planning board first, which then recommends changes to local laws to the town board.

Besides his noise complaint, Hunt said after the meeting that six of his neighbors have also complained about the turbines, but their complaints are mostly due to the shadow of the turbine blades flickering on their property and in their homes.

Hunt said that he will be addressing the planning board. “I don’t know what else to do,” he said. Hunt has lived on Kirkwood Road for the past nine years.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Deal reached on wind project

Bath, N.Y.

A new tax incentive is in place for the stalled First Wind wind farm project in Prattsburgh, pending what officials hope is the final approval by the Naples Central School District next week.

The Steuben County Industrial Development Agency signed on to a new payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) agreement that will provide more money to the Prattsburgh and Naples school districts while also increasing the town of Prattsburgh’s share.

The two school districts challenged an earlier PILOT for the proposed 36-turbine project in early 2008, charging it unfairly reduced their share of payments from First Wind, then known as UPC.

PILOT agreements typically allow an industry to operate for up to 20 years without paying the full value of its property tax. Instead, the businesses pay a fee that gradually increases to full taxation.

Generally, the county and towns split 52-53 percent of the annual payments, with the school districts taking in 47-48 percent of the payments.

However, the total payment had been reduced to accommodate an independent payment by First Wind to the town of Prattsburgh, meaning the two districts could lose a combined total of nearly $2.6 million during the course of the agreement.

The impasse led to two lawsuits, one of which was settled recently by the Prattsburgh Central school district, according to SCIDA Executive Director James Sherron. The second, brought by the Naples district, is expected to be settled next week, Sherron told the SCIDA board.

Sherron declined to give exact details of the new PILOT, but said the town of Prattsburgh has agreed to forego the independent payment in favor of receiving roughly 47 percent of the total payments.

That separate payment to the town amounted to more than $4 million more over 20 years.

Sherron later said concerns over some of the language in the agreement also have been straightened out.

One portion of the agreement reportedly referred to payments being based on turbines "in service" -- leading to concern the payments could be reduced if First Wind did not use all the turbines it sets up.

"No, this is for the entire project," Sherron said. "When the turbines are up, they count."

First Wind officials were not available for comment on the new agreement.
Sherron said the proposed agreement must also be approved by EcoGen, the second wind farm developer in Prattsburgh.

SCIDA’s action marks the first upbeat note for First Wind after a year of controversy, which still include lawsuits challenging eminent domain proceedings brought by the town board, and charges of improper, unethical action by town Supervisor Harold McConnell.

In addition, First Wind also is one of two wind farm developers currently under investigation by the state Attorney General.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Orleans wind group to focus on safety

LAFARGEVILLE — The town of Orleans Citizen Wind Committee was encouraged to focus on public health and safety at its first meeting Thursday night.

"The primary concern of any project is public safety," Councilman Dean T. Morrow told the committee. "We want to make sure that you all focus on our objective — that where we place windmills is not going to harm people and the environment."

He said the Town Council will consider the economic impact of a project in the town.

"The big issue is with setbacks," Councilman Thomas A. Johnston Jr. said. "With setbacks comes many things."

Committee members agreed that they wanted to examine audible and low frequency noise, snow and ice throw, effects on underground aquifers, the possibility of releasing radon gas and shadow flicker. The committee will ask experts on those subjects to give presentations and will look for scientific evidence.

The committee's final product will be facts and recommendations to turn over to the Town Council for integration into a revised zoning law.

Mr. Morrow said there have been complaints the committee might not be balanced enough.

"But if you take the scientific approach and keep from taking a certain bent or following predisposed notions and keep your mind open, I think you can find the facts," he said. "I think a lot of good will come from this."

The committee, which has five members, is open to having several more. The members agreed to meet from 7 to 9 p.m. every other Friday.

The members hoped to complete the fact-finding process far in advance of the year timeline that had been discussed.

Mr. Johnston encouraged them to move as quickly as possible. He is a member of the group of officials from different taxing jurisdictions that has begun work on a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement for wind farms. The group last met in June before the Horse Creek Wind Farm application was suspended by the developer, Iberdrola SA of Spain.

"It has stalled because of the environmental impact study," he said. "As soon as it's done, they'll go back at the PILOT."

The committee's next meeting is at 7 p.m. Friday at the town office. Members will appoint a chairperson and will begin a discussion about noise.

Congress wrong in providing "stimulus" money for wind energy

Investment in energy efficient light bulbs would save more than 5 times as much electricity in 5 years as an equal $ investment in a wind turbine would produce in 20 years.

This fact is clearly demonstrated with simple arithmetic!

First, calculate the potential output from a wind turbine. A wind turbine with capacity of 1 Megawatt (or 1,000 kilowatts) would cost about $2 million. [i] If that turbine achieved a capacity factor of 35%, it would produce 3,066,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity in one year or 61,320,000 kWh over 20 years. [ii]

Second, calculate the electricity savings from energy efficient light bulbs. With energy efficient light bulbs now selling for about $2 each, $2 million would buy one million light bulbs. Replacing a 60-watt incandescent bulb with a 15-watt energy efficient bulb providing similar light would save 45 watt-hours in 1 hour. If used 4 hours per day year around for 5 years, savings from that one bulb would be 328.5 kWh. One million bulbs would save 328,500,000 kWh over 5 years. [iii]

Apart from the absolute savings shown, keep in mind that:

• Electricity that is saved doesn't require building expensive transmission lines.
• Not all the electricity from a wind turbine ever reaches electric customers because of line losses.
• The $2 million for a wind turbine doesn't include costs for 20 years of operations, maintenance, repair, and replacement.

Further, building “wind farms” creates very few jobs because an overwhelming share of the cost capital of a “wind farm” is for turbines, blades, and towers that are built elsewhere and imported. Construction lasts only a few months and is done by temporary workers from outside areas. Few permanent jobs are created. Electricity produced is high in cost and low in value because it is intermittent, volatile, unreliable, and unlikely to be available when electricity demand is highest. Wind turbines do not replace the need for reliable generating capacity. They provide few environmental benefits and cause significant environmental, scenic, and property value damage.

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

Friday, January 16, 2009

Hold on wind project proposed

Hartsville, N.Y.

With little news from developers and fears of low returns on revenue, the Town of Hartsville might hold off on allowing anyone to build a wind farm until the details get ironed out.

The Hartsville town board voted 3-2 at Wednesday night’s meeting to consider a law placing a moratorium on wind turbine development.

Town Supervisor Steve Dombert proposed the idea following a discussion on revenue benefits for the town and how they would compare to other municipalities.

Under the current Payment in Lieu of Taxes formulas, the town would receive between $52,000 and $180,000, Dombert said.

“I’m really underwhelmed,” he said.

While the Town of Cohocton has received more than a million dollars in two years from a community host agreement, Dombert said recent court action by parties involved in the PILOT programs at other wind turbine locations may rule the community host agreement concept void.

He said he recently talked to representatives with E.ON, the company planning to build between 33 and 46 turbines in the town, “but I’m not feeling I’m getting a lot of encouragement on their end.”

The length of the moratorium would be between six months to a year, he said, adding it would give the town time to figure out its options and negotiate any necessary deals with the Canisteo-Greenwood Central School District.

Dombert added he feels the Steuben County Industrial Development Agency, which has the task of negotiating PILOT agreements, is not looking out for the town’s best interest.

“They’re not negotiating anything at all,” he said.

In other business, the board:

l Agreed to terminate a contract to plow Steuben County roads in the town.

According to Dombert, the county Department of Public Works would have paid the town around $31,000 over the year for the contract. So far, he said, the town has received around $21,000 of the money and will need to return about $13,000.

While the town will lose the revenue, Dombert said, about $16,000 in costs for salt, sand and diesel fuel can come off the appropriations side of the budget, plus time spent plowing and repairs to the trucks.

l Approved the town to make paper complaint forms for residents to report code enforcement violations.

According to Dombert, Code Enforcement Officer Bill Ells asked him to implement the system to keep better track of complaints.

“That way, we’d have a sort of process,” Dombert said. “Bill would be on notice that a complaint has been filed.”

l Approved to set up for a rabies clinic Feb. 23 in the town highway shop. Further details on the time will be set at a later date.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Hamlin to consider new wind tower laws

In the wake of a state Supreme Court decision striking down Hamlin's law regulating wind turbines, town officials plan to begin crafting a new law as soon as possible.

"We're looking at various options," said Town Supervisor Denny Roach, adding that he was "surprised and disappointed" by the Jan. 5 ruling from Justice David M. Barry nullifying wind turbine laws crafted through more than two years of public hearings, committee meetings and research. "Not only did we model our wind tower laws on other wind tower laws enacted throughout the state, but ours were more stringent than the other regulations, including some of the toughest noise restrictions in the state."

The Hamlin Preservation Group sued the town in August over the law, which would allow 400-foot-tall wind turbines to be constructed within 600 feet of property lines and public roads and within 1,200 feet of residences in areas zoned residential/very-low density. About 70 percent of Hamlin is zoned residential/very-low density.

The group claimed the Town Board ignored recommendations of its Wind Tower Committee — which included four of the 39 residents who filed the suit — to establish 1,500-foot setbacks from roads and property lines and 2,640-foot setbacks from homes.

Justice Barry ruled that town leaders violated state environmental quality laws in approving the new ordinance by not taking a "hard look" at environmental concerns related to wind towers or setting forth a "reasoned elaboration" on why the wind tower rules would not have a significant impact on the environment.

"We are very pleased with the decision," said Paul Lapinski of Redman Road, a member of the preservation group. "There are places wind turbines fit in, but they don't fit in right next to somebody's house."

Hamlin leaders began grappling with wind energy issues in late 2006, when Competitive Power Ventures Inc. erected two devices in northwest Hamlin to study whether it would be a good place for a wind farm. Since then, the company — now owned by Rochester Gas and Electric parent Iberdrola — has obtained options to lease about 15 properties for a possible wind farm in the northwest Monroe County town.

So far, Iberdrola has not put forth an official proposal for a wind farm in Hamlin.

But without a wind tower law on the books, Roach worries the town is vulnerable to developers. He plans to ask the Town Board to enact a temporary moratorium on wind farm development at the upcoming Jan. 26 meeting.

Lapinski said he'd like to see the town go even further than the wind committee's recommendations and prohibit turbines within 2,640 feet of property lines and 1,500 feet of roadways. He is concerned about noise, flicker, the possibility of ice thrown from spinning blades, destruction of airborne wildlife and what could happen if a tower were to collapse.

Roach said town leaders would take a harder look at potential environmental concerns.

But, Roach said, he's frustrated by more state and federal government calls for green energy and alternative fuels that don't come with any guidance for local governments for regulation.

"These are all grand goals, but there's no guidance and in the meantime the towns are left with the expense of getting regulations together and in place." he said.

Arthur J. Giacalone, attorney for the preservation group and a proponent of tight controls on wind energy companies, said he's aware of three towns that have banned industrial turbines altogether: Brandon and Malone in Franklin County and Meredith in Delaware County.

"Town boards need to understand they do have a right to keep these things out," he said.

Hamlin is the first Monroe County town to attract attention from a wind power firm. Other projects are ongoing in the region, however. Two farms are planned in Ontario County, there are three in the works in Genesee, one in Orleans and one in Livingston County.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Wind company reviewing state Attorney General’s code of ethics

WESTFIELD - State Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo announced in October a new Wind Industry Ethics Code that establishes guidelines to facilitate the development of alternative energy in New York while assuring the public the wind power industry is acting properly and within the law.

"The Code calls for new oversight through a multi-agency Task Force, and establishes unprecedented transparency that will deter any improper relationships between wind development companies and local government officials," Cuomo said in a press release.

For Westfield residents who remember the last wind company's practices that attempted to build a wind farm in the town, this code of ethics is very welcome.

"I think Babcock and Brown should absolutely agree to the ethics code," said Claire Quadri at a Westfield Town Board meeting. "Can't the town request that they do so?"

Town Supervisor, Martha Bills, said it is beyond the authority of the town to request that.

"We will need to get more information about it," Bills said. "Our authority is under zoning, under which we have our own, more extensive, code of ethics. It is not clear what our part will be [in Cuomo's proposal]."

Babcock and Brown have neither signed on to the Ethics Code or decided against it.

"Babcock and Brown is a leader in wind energy that strongly supports responsible wind development," said Peter Gross of Babcock and Brown. "We support ethical conduct in connection with development activities and we have received and are currently reviewing the proposed code of conduct."

The first companies to sign the Attorney General's Wind Industry Ethics Code are Essex, Connecticut-based Noble Environmental Power, LLC and Newton, Massachusetts-based First Wind (formerly known as UPC Wind). Both companies currently operate wind farms in New York and have several others in development.

"Wind power is an exciting industry for the state that will be a cornerstone of our energy future. But it is important to make sure that this alternative energy sector develops in a way that maintains the public's confidence, and that is what this new Code of Conduct does," Cuomo said. "I commend Noble and First Wind for taking the lead by adopting this Code, and we fully expect other companies that want to develop wind farms in New York to follow suit."

The Wind Industry Ethics Code is a result of the Attorney General's investigation into, among other things, whether companies developing wind farms improperly sought land-use agreements with citizens and public officials, and whether improper benefits were given to public officials to influence their official actions relating to wind farm development. Both Noble and First Wind fully cooperated in the inquiry and their assistance was instrumental in developing the Code of Conduct that has just been announced.

The Attorney General's Wind Industry Ethics Code prohibits conflicts of interest between municipal officials and wind companies and establishes vast new public disclosure requirements. The Code:

Bans wind companies from hiring municipal employees or their relatives, giving gifts of more than $10 during a one-year period, or providing any other form of compensation that is contingent on any action before a municipal agency.

Prevents wind companies from soliciting, using, or knowingly receiving confidential information acquired by a municipal officer in the course of his or her officials duties.

Requires wind companies to establish and maintain a public Web site to disclose the names of all municipal officers or their relatives who have a financial stake in wind farm development

Requires wind companies to submit in writing to the municipal clerk for public inspection and to publish in the local newspaper the nature and scope of the municipal officer's financial interest

Mandates that all wind easements and leases be in writing and filed with the County Clerk.

Dictates that within 30 days of signing the Wind Industry Ethics Code, companies must conduct a seminar for employees about identifying and preventing conflicts of interest when working with municipal employees.

The Industrial Wind Action Group, Inc., a group dedicated to assisting communities, municipalities and residents during the wind development process, has been keeping a close eye on the situation of wind companies in Western New York.

"We think Babcock and Brown and all developers working within the State should sign onto the code," said Lisa Linowes, executive director. "There is no good reason why they would not agree to sign on to the Code."

According to Linowes, the Ethics Code unfortunately does not carry much weight, however.

"If a company chooses to sign on it will send a message that they respect the importance of keeping the process open and honest," Linowes said. "At least by signing onto the Ethic Code, the hope is the wind developer will play fair and not use its money to force a specific outcome. Windaction.org will continued to monitor the events in the state, report on violations by wind developers, and assist folks in their communities if they are potentially harmed by the development."

Information on Cuomo's Wind Ethics Code found on the Attorney General's Web site at www.oag.state.ny.us/media_center/2008/oct/oct30a_08.html

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Wording of Orangeville wind turbine survey was biased

The old adage, "figures never lie, but liars figure," is a most appropriate axiom when applied to the Orangeville wind turbine survey (mailed Aug. 19, 2008). The first of five survey questions is worded to elicit a desired response from Orangeville residents. It reads; "Would you be in favor of a wind turbine energy project in the Town of Orangeville if it reduced your town property taxes for at least 20 years or more?" This conditional question is both hypothetical and directional. Certainly, the majority of property owners will vote yes to a hypothetical that "may" reduce their property taxes.

According to David Shapiro of the Wyoming County Planning and Development Office, 73 percent of the respondents marked yes to the survey question quoted above. As expressed, it is surprising that the affirmative responses were not 100 percent. In support of this biased wording, the December 2008 newsletter from the Invenergy Corporation states that this town board survey "proves there is strong, consistent support for wind energy in Orangeville." It also claims that this is a fair and independent gauge of the local support for wind energy.

In order for a survey to be "fair and independent," the questions must not contain any directional hypotheses. The survey questions must be thoroughly reviewed to eliminate any prejudicial wording and field tested to determine their objectivity. These controls for bias were obviously not applied when developing this survey.

How would the Orangeville property owners respond to the following hypothetical question? "Do you favor a wind turbine energy project in the Town of Orangeville if it significantly reduces the value of your property and negatively impacts your quality of life?" With the exception of the developer's paid supporters, it is highly unlikely that there would be any affirmative responses to such a question.

Therefore, what is the motivation for such a manipulative survey question? Do town officials and developers have an altruistic desire to "save the environment" and help reduce our dependence on fossil fuels by allowing a wind turbine farm to be developed in Orangeville? Objective scientific evidence clearly rejects the claim that wind energy is a viable large scale alternative to fossil fuels or nuclear energy.

Wind energy projects across the globe have not replaced even one fossil fuel or nuclear generating plant.

Fundamentally, wind energy is neither reliable nor predictable. It cannot provide power on demand, it is not compact, and it is not economical. (See Droz, J. aaprJohn@northnet.org).

In reality, wind power development is sold to a community based on temporary financial incentives offered by the developers. The only thing "green" in this transaction is the developers' subsidized profit paid for with our tax dollars and shared with local supporters who have signed land-lease contracts with the developers. Some of the current Orangeville town officials are paid supporters of the proposed Orangeville Stony Creek wind farm project having signed land-lease agreements with the developer. In spite of their personal financial interest in seeing this project move forward, they refuse to resign their public position or recuse themselves from matters related to the proposed Orangeville wind energy project.

The driving force behind the wording of the survey question quoted above is neither altruism nor sound scientific methodology. Instead, the answer can be found by following the money trail. The unfortunate consequence of this self-serving motivation is that when the government subsidies and tax breaks end, wind turbine projects will languish. This will leave local communities with short term gain for some, and long term pain for all because of an unnecessary exploitation of the environment. Sadly, there is no difference in outcomes between greed and incompetence.

We all support new and efficient technologies that will help satisfy our large scale energy needs at a reasonable cost. However, society has limited financial resources and expending large amounts of taxpayer dollars on inefficient wind energy projects will further delay the development of real solutions to all our energy demands.

Dr. Joseph A. Zampogna is a citizen of Orangeville.

NEW YORK STATE SUPREME COURT JUDGE NULLIFIES

The Wind Energy Law adopted in April 2008 by the Monroe County Town of Hamlin has been “set aside and annulled” by the Hon. David Michael Barry, Justice of New York State’s Supreme Court, in an “Order and Judgment” granted on January 5, 2009. The court’s decision concludes that the Hamlin Town Board violated the requirements of the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) when it neither took a “hard look” at the relevant areas of environmental concern, nor set forth a “reasoned elaboration” for its determination that the wind energy law would not have a significant impact on the environment.

The wind law nullified by the court would have allowed construction of 400-foot-tall wind turbines within 600 feet of property lines and public roads and 1,200 feet of residences. In adopting the local law, the Hamlin Town Board chose to ignore the recommendations of the town's Wind Tower Committee for 1,500-foot setbacks from roads and property lines, and 2,640-foot [half-mile] setbacks from residents. The Town Board also disregarded the WTC's recommended noise standards intended to protect the health and wellbeing of nearby residents.

The judicial proceeding was brought in State Supreme Court, Monroe County by the "Hamlin Preservation Group" [HPG], an association of town residents and landowners determined to protect Hamlin's rural character and natural environment, and thirty-nine (39) Town of Hamlin residents. Of special concern to the Hamlin residents was the town board’s failure to take the required “hard look” at potential adverse impacts on human health associated with industrial wind farms prior to establishing minimum setback requirements and noise standards in the challenged wind law.

Attorney Arthur J. Giacalone expressed HPG’s response to the decision:

The members of the Hamlin Preservation Group are thrilled with the court’s ruling, and grateful to Justice Barry for holding the Hamlin Town Board to the tough standards mandated by the State’s environmental review law. If a town chooses to allow, rather than prohibit, industrial-scale wind development, it must, at a minimum, protect its residents' health, maintain the town's rural character, and preserve property values by establishing meaningful setback requirements and noise standards. The court’s ruling will help to ensure those protections.

For further information, please contact Arthur J. Giacalone, at 7160687-1902.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Wind power is not the answer advocates claim it is by Sue Sliwinski

Viability, as elementary as it may seem, appears not to be part of the discussion when weighing alternatives for a more secure energy future. The fact that the methods we adopt to generate essential power in the coming years must at the very least be viable has not entered into the equation demonstrates that no one is really thinking that far ahead — not even our president-elect.

For him, the symbolic gesture alone has helped propel his political career, and nothing’s more symbolic these days than giant wind turbines. Al Gore and

T. Boone Pickens would have us revamp the nation’s entire electrical infrastructure based on the whims of the breeze, regardless of the fact that it would wreak havoc on thousands of fragile ecosystems, natural landscapes and rural communities overwhelmed in the aftermath of industrial wind power development on such an immense scale.

This irrational, misguided concept fails to acknowledge the extraordinary costs of wind power development and the fact that it cannot generate vital capacity and simply isn’t “viable.”

Research shows there are far superior alternative energies, and none that is so intrusive or degrading. Wind power cannot produce dependably or independently, and consistently fails to live up to even its own low expectations. It misleads us into believing that its development “here” will prevent an oil rig “there” or save our mountaintops from the ravages of coal mining. It won’t. Wind energy’s proliferation simply adds to the rape of the countryside in the relentless pursuit for power, but contributes nothing tangible toward that end.

Controversial carbon-offset programs, tax-avoidance schemes and government mandates that are in large part a result of Pickens’ intensive lobbying efforts, will increase his wealth to the detriment of citizens and taxpayers.

Commercial wind energy should be taken completely off the table when considering alternatives in which to invest our time and resources, but instead, because of political pressure, it’s at the top of the list. A new multibillion-dollar stimulus package may include more tax incentives for wind, even though the current federal program designed to bolster the U. S. renewable energy industry is being exploited by wind power companies.

If viability were the quantifying test, then no wind developer would ever meet the standard. Our decision-makers and their advisers must stop pandering to special interests and start making a genuine effort to understand the basics of the many options out there, and the distinct differences between them.

Wise choices will ensure sustainability and environmental stewardship, not degradation. Industrial wind power won’t stabilize soaring energy costs, stimulate the economy or cool a warming planet. It will only distract us from our goal of finding legitimate solutions that will truly make a meaningful and lasting difference.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

No 'we the people' in green energy

Editor:

Wyoming County, once labeled one of the most beautiful counties in the U.S., has come under siege to the unscrupulous "snake oil" salesmen of the industrial wind corporations. Approximately 200 of these massive 400-feet industrial scale oil-filled wind turbines litter the landscape as if someone indiscriminately threw giant darts in a slipshod fashion irreversibly devastating green hills, forests, wildlife with a failed technology that produces less than 1 percent of the nation's electricity. Wind can't power any homes without back-up power (coal, gas or nuclear) and worldwide has not reduced CO2.

Were devious methods used by Invenergy by not informing the landowners and Town Board of Sheldon that they were substituting loads of industrial waste from the 100-year old brownfields formerly known as the Lackawanna Bethlehem steel plant? Gravel was agreed to in the DEIS (Draft Environmental Impact Study). This "slag" was dumped unceremoniously in agriculture fields for use as access roads to the turbines. Also consider that mercury contamination occurs as mercury is released from the limestone used as the raw material in the cement. When will the Department of Environmental Conservation safeguard we the people?

When a wind company slips into the back door of the town (or town hall as the case may be), thus the Attorney General's probe into public corruption between town officials and wind companies, a MET (meteorological) tower to measure the wind speeds in that region is put up. The wind company that stands to gain billions of dollars is the sole interpreter of the wind data and as the results are proprietary (confidential), there is no system of checks and balances. The townspeople never see the data. Invenergy states in a Buffalo News article (Oct. 26) that the Sheldon project will generate $20 million a year giving the wind company motive and opportunity to show wind speeds viable. Do the math! Sheldon receives approximately $800,000 to pay residents' town taxes -- a couple of dollars daily in residents' pockets while the wind sweeps away $20 million yearly tax free government subsidies and taxpayer money!! Why have wind-ron corporations been allowed to infiltrate local, state and federal government and push a failed technology at the expense of we the people?

Now here's the rub. First Wind pulled out its wind project in Attica/Bennington because "wind speeds (are) just not sufficient in that region to support building the project at this time." Ironically, opponents of these wind projects have given documented information that New York only rates 15th for wind in the U.S. Western New York wind maps show the winds of Wyoming County measure Class 1 to 2 winds, not Class 4 to 7 which is necessary to a viable project. One of Invenergy's Sheldon MET towers was located on Boxler property on French Road, just 2.8 miles down the same road from Bennington's MET tower. Oddly enough, First Wind didn't find wind speeds adequate to justify a wind farm in the area. Does the wind conveniently stop at Sheldon's town line? Now you decide who's lying!

Passing the buck, greenback energy. Where is the government of the people? The answer, my friend, is gone with the wind.

Cathi Orr

Orangeville

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

October 13, 2010 Filing update to the First Wind Holdings Inc. SEC S1A IPO Filing

New October 25, 2010 Filing update to the First Wind Holdings Inc. SEC S1A IPO Filing


FIRST WIND Lays an Egg WITHDRAWS IPO
after Wall Street no confidence in company




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