BP's Tatics in Cape Vincent Ny

Friday, November 27, 2009

BAT LETTER ! DEIS

Mr. Richard Edsall May 29, 2009
Town of Cape Vincent Planning Board Chairman
P.O. Box 680
Cape Vincent, NY 13618

Dear Sir:

I have a comment about St. Lawrence wind’s SDEIS regarding the report on the Indiana bat.
Jefferson County is home to the northernmost colony of Indiana brown bats, a federally listed endangered species, that are undergoing a serious population decline. There are hibernacula in Glen Park, New York approximately 20 miles from Cape Vincent. The Indiana brown bat typically moves between 12 and 40 miles to roost locations. SLW’S Indiana bat study reports that Cape Vincent provides summer colony habitat, roosting and foraging areas for the Indiana Brown bat and also it documented that there is a maternity roost location in this same area. This is significant because Indiana bats have strong fidelity to summer colony areas, roosts and foraging habitat (USFWS1999). Radio telemetry studies in NY have shown this to be true for maternity roost locations as well where the Indiana bat forms maternity colonies of 20 to 100 members.
I am concerned that the Cape Vincent Indiana bat studies are insufficient. The length of time may not be sufficient to determine bat presence because weather conditions change from year to year and this could very well affect bat activity. The Cape Vincent test was conducted in July/August of 2007 but the report is not clear as to how many days were spent in the field and under what conditions.
I also noticed that the report on Indiana Bat Roost Trees and Emergence Counts on bats captured outside Cape Vincent, New York sampling by Sanders Environmental Inc. has a date of July & August, 2007. Upon going over the report prepared for the Horse creek wind farm in neighboring Clayton, New York, I noticed they reported in their study that they trapped their first Indiana bat on June 02, (although a gap in netting activities indicates that bats could have been present in late May) and the last radio telemetry location occurred on August 09. After July 31, capture rates significantly decreased. Depending on when the Cape Vincent studies were done this may have had an effect on the results also.
Sanders Environmental did not do thermal imaging or use acoustical radar. The Indiana brown bat is difficult to distinguish from the little brown bat therefore additional mist net surveys need to be conducted during the spring and the fall migration to understand the project area number and diversity of bats passing through the project area. These are extraordinary times and they call for extraordinary measures. We have an endangered species mysteriously dying off by the thousands. The Indiana bats have been affected by white nose syndrome, the mysterious ailment that has killed thousands of these bats. White nose syndrome has been identified among Indiana bats wintering in Glen Park. The issue of the white nose syndrome, and the fact that the Indiana bat is already an endangered species requires that we must move with great caution since this could become a critical issue for the Indiana bat’s survival.
St. Lawrence Wind Power has the potential to significantly impact the future survival of the Indiana bat because the fragmentation of habitat can have a negative effect bat on an already dwindling bat population.

Within 3/4 of a mile from the shores of Cape Vincent there already is an operational 86 turbine wind power plant on Wolfe Island, Canada. In Clayton, NY, Horse Creek wind farm is proposing to erect 62 turbines and another 77 turbine project is planned for Galoo Island. BP’s Cape Vincent wind project indicates their number is up to 140 Plus, slated for the area and SLW lists 53 turbines. That is the potential for a total of ~ 86 + 62 + 77 + 140 + 53 = 418 turbines. This means that potentially if all these projects come to fruition there would be 418 wind turbines within a 25 mile radius of the Indiana bat hibernacula in Glen Park, New York. Henderson, New York is also entertaining the idea of a wind farm and if the project that is developed it would only further increase the potential damaging effect on the bat population.
Already diminished in numbers, we are then going to assault this creature by fragmenting its habitat and destroying its foraging ground. Without a more extensive detailed study in Cape Vincent there is no way of knowing how many Indiana bats are actually in the area. In the case of such a sensitive issue studies should be done by an independent company, not one who depends on their lively hood from the wind companies. Another issue to consider is pressure changes that the spinning blades have on the lungs of the bats once the turbines become operational. This will also increase the mortality rate of an already endangered species and could become a critical issue in the future survival of the bat population especially considering the cumulative effects.
Lastly, were the transmission lines routes also included as part of the area being tested? St Lawrence Wind will be irreversibly committing resources to this project, resources that will cause the destruction of habitat, foraging areas and possibly causing irrevocable damage to this federally protected species. Not only do I think that the bat studies are inadequate but I think, that due to the plight of the Indiana bat and the sensitive nature of the area, the project should not be in Cape Vincent.


cc: Timothy Sullivan (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
Bill Gordon (DEC Region 6)

Monday, November 23, 2009

WHERE IN THE WORLD IS DARREL AUBERTINE?


Cape Vincent Wind power is a hot topic. I literally have people coming to this blog from across the globe.Everyone has an opinion these days on wind power in Cape Vincent ,and the surrounding areas.

WHERE IN THE WORLD IS DARREL AUBERTINE ?
Recently at the Galloo Island public hearing H. Douglas Barclay a former state Senator and U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador
Made one comment in particular that I found interesting, the comment is as follows. Oswego County has become a dumping ground for power generation downstate.
I found this quote in sharp contrast with something I found in Darrel Aubertines biography.
Darrel Aubertine's Biography
In May 2009, Senator Darrel Aubertine was chosen to also lead the Senate Energy & Telecommunications Committee, another key area of interest for Central and Northern New York, which the Senator refers to as New York’s “Energy Backyard." The region is home to many power generating facilities, including two nuclear facilities in Oswego County and the Moses-Saunders Hydropower Dam in Massena. As a member of the Assembly, he served more than five years on the energy committee and in his role as chair of the Senate Committee, has worked to create and preserve jobs, lower energy costs and encourage development of renewable energy sources.At who's expense Darrel?
Apparently one persons "DUMPING GROUND" is anothers "ENERGY BACKYARD"

Sunday, November 22, 2009

JEFFERSON COUNTY BOARD OF LEGISLATORS

All Jefferson County Residents
There will be a County Board of Legislators meeting Tuesday, November 24 at 195 Arsenal St, Watertown, NY 5:00 pm. They will be talking about PILOT agreements.
click link to read post on Jefferson's Leaning Left

Inside the IDA on the Galloo Island PILOT
NANCY MADSEN / TIMES STAFF WRITER
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2009


A highly-anticipated Board of Legislators meeting tonight will focus on the payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement for the proposed Galloo Island Wind Farm.

I’ll convince them this turkey is a great product!

Look! You guys just pass the laws forcing them to subsidize construction and then to force them to buy the product. I’ll convince them this turkey is a great product! « Allegheny Treasures



CONGRESSMAN MASSAS Letter To OBAMA

Firstwinds Letter To Obama







November 6, 2009 — morgan
Sound incredible? … well!

From the Boston Herald, via National Wind Watch: “Wind law could benefit company“

Read carefully for the tangled web of politicians and developers and politician/developers and developer/politicians and money money money!

Sorta makes me queasy!

The entire post follows:

Despite significant opposition in Western Massachusetts, state environmental affairs secretary Ian Bowles is pushing hard to get a controversial wind-turbine law passed before the legislative session ends on Nov. 18.

The bill could benefit a wind-energy firm, recently relocated to Boston, whose chief executive helped co-author the proposed law and whose financial backers have close ties to the Obama administration.
With the bill before the Legislature’s joint committee on telecommunications, utilites and energy, Bowles met this week with House Speaker Robert DeLeo in an effort to move it along.

“The secretary is very supportive of this bill and anxious to see it move,” Bowles’ spokesman Robert Keough told the Herald.

The Wind Energy Siting Reform Act aims to streamline the permitting process for commercial wind turbine developers. Supporters say its passage will make it much easier for wind-energy firms to operate here, while critics say it will strip communities of their rights. “Massachusetts is a state of independent communities,” said Eleanor Tillinghast, who lives in the Berkshires, where the turbines will most likely be erected. “If this bill is passed, it will undermine towns’ abilities to develop in the ways they think are most appropriate.”

Keough disagreed, saying the bill has been revised to better protect local interests.

Still, the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission maintains its opposition to the proposal, while some environmental groups say it hasn’t been properly vetted.

On Beacon Hill, the bill is seen by some as the next step in Gov. Deval Patrick’s broad plan to position clean energy as the state’s next economic development engine.

Now, the bill’s critics are wondering if a controversial wind-energy firm with ties to the White House may be poised to benefit.

First Wind Energy Holdings, LLC, which runs five wind farms and has many more in development, just relocated to Boston.

Its chief executive, Paul Gaynor, sat on the state commission that wrote the bill, and its main investors are Chicago private-equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners and the New York hedge fund D.E. Shaw.

Rahm Emanuel, President Obama’s chief of staff, has in the past called executives at Madison Dearborn supporters and friends. Lawrence Summers, director of Obama’s National Economic Council, made more than $5 million as a D.E. Shaw managing director.

Obama’s decision to give the firm $115 million in stimulus funds outraged people in New York, where the attorney general has investigated First Wind for corruption.
A First Wind spokesman said the company has no immediate plan to build in Massachusetts.

Keough said if the bill passes, that could change. “They’ve shown little interest in (Massachusetts) so far, because the permitting process is so uncertain and perilous,” he said.

By Christine McConville

Boston Herald

www.bostonherald.com

6 November 2009 the Boston Herald has archived the article but a transcript can be read at the following link National Wind Watch

Thursday, November 19, 2009

LAME DUCK


HOW MUCH DAMAGE CAN A LAME DUCK DO ~ IF A LAME DUCK CHOOSES TO?




As I mentioned in a previous post, I had been sent an email by a sharp reader, pointing out that the wind law as it was written, failed to provide any protection for the Lake and River districts.

Was this an error of omission or was this intentional?
WDT article 11/19/09
CAPE VINCENT Wind Hearing probably canceled — The town Planning Board asked the Town Council not to hold a public hearing next week on a proposed wind development zoning ordinance, citing missing information.
Supervisor Thomas K. Rienbeck said later that the missing section would strictly exclude wind turbines from the river and lake districts.
~~~
DOES THIS MEAN THAT RIENBECK IS NOT GOING TO BE SERVING UP
THE TURKEY OF A WIND LAW HE HAD COOKED UP FOR THE PUBLIC HEARING ON MON NOV. 23?

Supervisor Thomas K. Rienbeck said later that the missing section would strictly exclude wind turbines from the river and lake districts.

THE PLOT THICKENS!




Was Rienbeck hoping no one would notice that his wind law leaves the River, and the Lake District Wide open for wind development?
Look over the Setback section of the new proposed wind law, e.g., Page 8 section no. 9. on this. In section 9C setbacks of 1,000 ft plus 1.5X turbine height from centerline of 12E going from village to Clayton town line would prohibit commercial turbines in the riverfront district. In section 9D, however, it would prohibit turbines 1,000 ft from either side of 12E to the Lyme town line, but would not prohibit turbines in the lakefront district. Section 9E doesn't help either. This section covers the Ag/Res district south of Mud Bay along the lake, but again, no protections afforded the lakefront district.

WIND LAW REVISIONS
RIENBECKS REVENGE
~~~PAGE(8)


WIND LAW REVISIONS
RIENBECKS REVENGE
~~~PAGE(9)


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Galloo Island PILOT talks are reined in

Watertown Daily Times Galloo Island PILOT talks are reined in

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2009

Jefferson County's Board of Legislators slowed down its consideration of the payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement for the proposed Galloo Island Wind Farm.

The board's Planning and Development Committee, which met Tuesday night, recessed to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday to hold its discussion then...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

SURPRISE TACTICS? BE PREPARED!


There is a notice in the Cape Vincent Post Office about a special Town Planning Board meeting Wednesday, Nov. 18 (tomorrow) at the Cape Vincent Town Office Building.


BE PREPARED FOR A SURPRISE ~ NOW THAT URBAN HIRSCHEY HAS WON
IS THIS A WIND POWER FLANKING MANEUVER ?

HIT THE ROAD JACK~ HIRSCHEY WINS!


Mr. Hirschey erased a 42 vote deficit at the polls by picking up 62 more votes than Mr. Rienbeck in absentees, 144-82. Mr. Hirschey's final tally was 634 votes, with Mr. Rienbeck receiving 614 votes.

RIENBECKS REVENGE ~ TURBINES IN THE LAKE DISTRICT ?

I was sent an interesting email yesterday in regards to Rienbeck’s Wind law revisions ~




Look over the Setback section of the new proposed wind law, e.g., Page 8 section no. 9. on this. In section 9C setbacks of 1,000 ft plus 1.5X turbine height from centerline of 12E going from village to Clayton town line would prohibit commercial turbines in the riverfront district. In section 9D, however, it would prohibit turbines 1,000 ft from either side of 12E to the Lyme town line, but would not prohibit turbines in the lakefront district. Section 9E doesn't help either. This section covers the Ag/Res district south of Mud Bay along the lake, but again, no protections afforded the lakefront district.





This email also refreshed my memory of an incident, at the now infamous board meeting where Rienbeck called the Cops.
At this meeting someone reported to Tom Rienbeck,that a wind representative admitted that they had approached people in the Lake District about putting wind turbines on their land.This person then asked Tom Rienbeck if this was his reasoning behind the moratorium on wind development in the river and Lake District.
Rienbeck seemed sort of surprised at the revelation of people in the Lake District being approached.
He seemed to reply no, but he was sort of vague, perhaps he was surprised that people in the general public knew.
~~~
As I read the wind law I do not see any protection for the Lake District.~~~
WIND LAW REVISIONS
RIENBECKS REVENGE
~~~PAGE(8)


~~~
WIND LAW REVISIONS
RIENBECKS REVENGE
~~~PAGE(9)


Monday, November 16, 2009

RIENBECK ~ PERCEPTION ~ OR ~ DECPTION?

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.Abraham Lincoln


I have one question for TOM RIENBECK our current town supervisor about the impending industrial wind Plant in Cape Vincent.
~ WHY ~Cape Vincents Wind Law needs to be Edited Because
Tom Rienbeck has a problem with the "language" in the wind law.

Tom Rienbeck has a problem with the "language" in the wind law, and wants to change the way this law is written because it prohibits wind development in Cape Vincent. Mr. Rienbeck said they do not want to prohibit wind development in Cape Vincent they want to regulate it. When Tom Rienbeck was asked who participated in this decision he admitted that the developer was involved in this decision.
Bottom line if you use the ambient winter noise level it is too quiet in Cape Vincent to allow turbines. So come hell or high water we must have those turbines. Apparently the developer carries more weight than the citizens of Cape Vincent.

Tom Rienbeck has had problems with the "language" in other laws as well.

I remember a quote by Tom Rienbeck in a local news paper, to the effect that if you were reelected to a position Mr. Rienbeck thought that all your conflicts would no longer matter.

What! would they magically disappear?

Do laws suddenly change if your actions get validation of a vote?

If this were true than Cape Vincent would have its own laws, separate from those of New York State. WELL! There you have it in a nut shell don’t you.

The basic problem with the leadership in Cape Vincent, or shall I say the lack of leader ship is that they make their own rules, and reelection means freedom to convolute and manipulate the law for personal gain .
Our town government has the because I can mentality, or because I said so rational . Several planning board videos clearly show this attitude.This is only one example.


Tom Rienbeck is either a pawn in this whole wind fiasco or a willing participant with a definite lack of moral character.

However, a certain planning board member that shall remain nameless has played a prominent role in this wind drama, and I would not hesitate to characterize this individual as a sociopath.
In the you tube video below you can hear Tom Rienbeck, and the town board rationalize away The Attorney General’s code of conduct. This is a prime example of how they operate.








who does Thomas K. Rienbeck work for, the people of Cape Vincent or the wind companies?


Back to the wind law ~

WaterTown daily Times
By Nancy Madsen
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2009
Mr. Rienbeck said the town has spent about $15,000 working on the wind zoning ordinance so far. A committee completed a five-month review of a proposed zoning ordinance in January. Mr. Rienbeck said he thought members of Wind Power Ethics Group had supported many of the changes.

"I heard comments by opponents of wind power and they were somewhat happy with what we put together," he said.

http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/article/20090217/NEWS03/302179953

Presently

Tom Rienbeck seems to be serving as a representative for the wind developers.

The Water Town Times article below clearly indicates that things weren’t always that way.

What has changed Mr. Rienbeck?(WDT article,8/04/2005)
CAPE MAY ZONE OUT WIND FARMS
ICE WORRIES, BIRD SAFETY, VIEWS AMONG CONCERNS
By M.B. Pell
Times Staff Writer
CAPE VINCENT -- Rumors that a company wants to develop a wind farm in the town of Cape Vincent have prompted town officials to start draft zoning regulations that would prevent such construction.
The Town Council will hold a meeting at 7 tonight at Recreation Park, James Street, to gather public comment on the proposed zoning changes.Supervisor Thomas K. Reinbeck said he has heard that an unidentified firm wants to build the turbines off of Favret Road, near the town transfer site.
"People might stand up and say 'we all want them' or they may say 'no, we don't want them the supervisor said. "I don't know,I think there are more downsides than upsides. " Mr. Reinbeck said he is concerned that the large turbines will detract from the town's bucolic splendor, will make too much noise and could throw large chunks of ice during the winter.
The danger presented by flying ice is debatable, but some experts say that for flying ice to cause personal injury or property damage, it would require a set of circumstances that could be achieved only in a lab.
The public reaction could be as varied as the supervisor suggested, as some Favret Road residents already have said they are not concerned about a wind farm development.
"It doesn't bother me" said Brian R. Knapp. "We already have cell towers and they're an eyesore, but you get used to them."
The Jefferson County Planning Department has been working with the town to develop zoning codes to prevent construction of a wind farm. "Very generally, it's an issue of tower's height, view-shed and compatibility with other uses; that's where you start," said Bruce A. Armstrong, county planning director. "What it comes down to is what fits the community's land-use philosophy."
~~~

WHAT HAPPENED TO MR. ARMSTRONG AND THE JEFFERSON COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT?


~~~
Mr. Armstrong said the county has suggested limiting the height of towers in specific areas as one approach to preventing wind turbine development
.In June 2003, Assemblyman Darrel J. Aubertine, D-Cape Vincent, said that a company had approached him about installing 11 wind-powered generators on his property and the properties belonging to three of his neighbors. Each turbine would be capable of generating 11.5 megawatts of power.
William R. Evans, executive director of Old Bird, an Ithaca-based nonprofit group that studies night migration of birds, said in 2003 that the town of Cape Vincent is a poor location for a wind farm because it would present a threat to many species of migratory birds.
Mr. Evans, who also has worked for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, said north-south ridge lines and valleys, such as the St. Lawrence River Valley, "channel the birds into areas, concentrating their populations," thereby increasing the chances that large bird populations will run into the turbines.
Furthermore, he said, birds do not like to fly over large bodies of water, but instead fly along coast lines.
The ornithologist said the north-south direction of the river valley and the fact that the river's shoreline meets the coastline of Lake Ontario combine to make the St. Lawrence flyway an important migratory path for a variety of raptors, including bald eagles, and a plethora of songbirds, such as orioles.
He said for these birds, especially night-migrating songbirds, which can't see the wind towers, the generators would act as a giant Cuisinart.
That is not to say he opposed wind farms.
Mr. Evans said that from an environmental standpoint, wind generators provide a safe energy source. He encourages companies to continue installing the wind farms, but only in responsibly selected locations.
"There are plenty of good places to put wind generators, but until a study determining the effect of a wind farm on bird populations in the St. Lawrence flyway is conducted, Cape Vincent should not be considered one of them."

Sunday, November 15, 2009

WIND PANEL CORRECTS ERRORS FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 2008

By NANCY MADSEN
TIMES STAFF WRITER
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 2008

CAPE VINCENT — There will be no wind turbines in the riverfront and lakefront districts.

Town Supervisor Thomas K. Rienbeck began the wind law committee's meeting on Thursday afternoon by clearing up some mistakes and misconceptions about the draft amendment to the zoning law.
"No one was ever interested in it being in anywhere but the agricultural-residential district," he said.
To that end, the committee agreed to add a setback from the riverfront and lakefront district boundaries of one and a half times the height of the turbine. The district boundaries are 1,000 feet south of the centerline of 12E.
 . More...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Would you stop eating Beef to save the planet?

Would you stop eating beef  to save the planet? SciGuy Chron.com - Houston Chronicle
Would you stop eating meat to save the planet?





I am not saying people should give up meat. What I am saying is I am sick and tired of people telling me that we have to have wind turbines in Cape Vincent, or anywhere else for that matter, to “save the planet”. Wind turbines destroy wild life, wetlands and habitat WIND TURBINES ARE NOT “GREEN.” Wind turbines are destroying our earth in the name of green, simply to feed a profit motivated goal. If people are so interested in shoving turbines down our throats, because they are concerned about co2 gasses and the preservation of our earth, I suggest that they ~ give up beef. And for those of you whom I am sure will send me nasty comments don’t bother, I do help in a small way. I do not eat beef.

K.Muschell~~~~Would you stop eating meat to save the planet? SciGuy Chron.com - Houston Chronicle

A science blog with Eric Berger
Excerpts:
The conclusions of a new report released by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization are rather sobering. Among them:

USDA
Eat meat, destroy the Earth?

• Livestock now use 30 percent of the earth's entire land surface, mostly permanent pasture but also including 33 percent of the global arable land used to producing feed for livestock.

• Livestock generate 18 percent more greenhouse gas emissions as measured in CO2 equivalent than transportation.

• Livestock account for 9 percent of CO2 derived from human-related activities, but considerably larger portions of much more potent greenhouse gases: 65 percent of human-related nitrous oxide, and 37 percent of all human-induced methane.

• In Latin America some 70 percent of former forests in the Amazon have been turned over to grazing.

• Meat and dairy animals now account for about 20 percent of all terrestrial animal biomass.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Open Letter to All Ontarians « Wind Concerns Ontario

Open Letter to All Ontarians « Wind Concerns Ontario


No one asked for this. Nobody looked to have their life and homes exposed in the news, trying to explain how the most promising form of renewable energy was causing such destruction of their family.

Sleep deprivation, headaches, migraines, heart palpitations, tinnitus, pressure in the ears, sores that won’t heal, dangerously high blood pressure and the list goes on. This was not the plan that any of these quiet and unassuming rural families had in mind, but this is what they got. And countless months later it continues.

Nobody wanted to get sick; nobody wanted to be forced to leave their home, the place they raised their children, the place they intended to live out their retirement. Not one of them asked for this. In almost all cases, these symptoms were non-existent before the start up of the wind farm.


And when it was discovered these wonderful, planet saving industrial machines were actually hurting them and their family, not one of them would anticipate there would be no help for them.

As they read in the papers how our government was running to help other citizens who found themselves in all manner of troubling circumstances through no fault of their own, there they sat, waiting, ignored and ridiculed for admitting they needed help against the giant industry that the government had hyper-promoted in their ambitious scheme to ’save the planet’.

Who are these people, the green supporters cry out? NIMBY’S! They’re trying to stop our efforts to help the world! NIMBY’S! They don’t like change! They don’t want them in their backyard! Sorry, but nothing could be further from the truth. As a matter of fact, the vast majority welcomed wind farms as much as anyone. Some even boasted how proud they would be to participate at such close hand, to be able to help make a difference, to assist in providing clean, renewable energy.

But when the troubles started, the government looked the other way. When the troubles started, the government ran the other way, fingers in ears, la la la. There was no time for anyone or anything to stop this magnificent much needed multi-million, make that billion, dollar program and so they chose to ignore and abandon those who asked for help. They simply did not respond. As a matter of fact, some of the residents were subjected to blatant derision from their MPP. The people asked their local town council for help. They asked the Ministry of the Environment for help. They asked the Public Health Unit for help. They asked the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure for help. They even asked the Premier of Ontario directly for help. Nothing happened. No one responded. No sir, what they got from the Premier of Ontario was a loud and strong message that he was not going to let any NIMBY’s slow down his cause.

Thrown into the already brewing mess was the Green Energy Act. Sounding like a wonderful piece of legislation that would help this province and in turn, the country achieve the desired energy saving goals, it turned out to be a complete removal of rights for Ontarians; the complete dismantling of democracy in one piece of legislation. What most people didn’t know or pay attention to, was what the Premier and his two Ministers were trying to push through at lightning speed would affect everyone, not just the rural residents. And oh, how it does!

And so the letters flowed and the meetings started; ministry workshop meetings, presentations at the legislature’s standing committee hearings, public input at the local government held meetings, written submissions to the Green Energy Act Registry. Thousands of letters, documents and studies by a bevy of very astute and credible professional engineers, doctors, health professionals, lawyers, electrical engineers, professors, all manner of Ontarians with and without degrees, from all walks of life and, of course, the residents who were already being affected, already sick and getting sicker by the terribly close proximity of the wind turbines and electrical groundwork. All of these people at a grassroots level, taking no money for their time or for their obvious expense of preparing and printing papers and running around the province to government meetings and rural town hall meetings. All of these people doing the research that the government should have done before they started down this road, showing what a miserable failure simple lack of planning creates. All of these people trying to inform the government of the very serious issues with the wind farms.

Yet in the space of maybe 45 days or so, since the last submission date to the Green Energy Act Registry, designed for public input and reaping some 1300 submissions alone, this government said they had seen enough. They’d had enough time to look through all of the information submitted; the very complex engineering reports, noise studies, the reams of information on health effects, turbine failure, viability of wind as an energy source and the safe requirements for setbacks that would keep all citizens out of harms way. They repeatedly refused all requests by health professionals requesting the government slow down and conduct a proper independent health study to determine the health effects. They had also heard the victim statements, pleading with the government for help, to please listen to them, warning them to not put anymore people in the position that they found themselves in, through no fault of their own. It all fell on deaf ears.

There was no way that these Ministers were going to slow down. No matter how many people tried to warn them, they were not going to let anyone stop them in their plan to spread their wind turbines far and wide across every rural inch of the province and ringing the Great Lakes shorelines. No sir, they were going full speed ahead.

They took away the rights of all citizens of Ontario. All citizens, not just some. They overruled the professional planners who understand and know the ramifications of setbacks and public space planning so that they have no say in the municipality anymore. They overruled the town councils and Mayors who have no say in their own backyards anymore, the place they know much more intimately than any Minister, or developer. They overruled everyone and everything. No one has ever seen the likes or speed of a piece of legislation like this before.

They ignore all of the facts brought before them, ignore and abandon the over 100 known victims, some of whom spend their days in restaurants trying to escape the conditions, who sleep in their cars with winter coming, who are billeted in a single room in a motel with children and more on the way, paid for by the wind developer. People with children, the children not knowing or caring about politics or landscape sightlines, but who bang on their ears with their fists asking Mommy to stop the noise, and young children who now complain of headaches. People with a new need for prescription sleeping pills and people who have lost everything. They’ve lost their livestock, their horses, their income, their way of life and the right to live in their own house. Children have had to move away. They live with relatives; they live by the goodness and grace of understanding strangers who offer them a place to stay. But in even larger numbers than these, are the ones trying desperately to stay in their own home, where everything they have is in and around them. Over 100 and growing. And so, at the end of the day what does the government do? They announce the same inadequate setbacks that they had previously spouted way back at the beginning of the year. Nothing had changed. It appears their minds were made up a long time ago. What a waste of taxpayers money.

The whole industry is contaminated with non-disclosure contracts right from the start. When the landowners agree to host, after being assured of all the good things they are doing, they sign contracts. These are variously worded contracts that do not allow them to speak out about anything negative to do with the wind turbines and will entitle the developer to make any amount of noise, vibration or do what they need to on their land and the landowner may not complain. Some are embarrassed at being taken in by the salesmen. They had no idea it would be such an intrusion, but the money sounded sweet. I wonder how many other businesses there are that match the need for non-disclosure clauses being made with ordinary, everday citizens while receiving full government support. Why such secrecy if this is such a noble exercise?

Many landowners with multiple turbines don’t live on their property. These are some of the ones who will say there are no problems and argue strongly to push ahead. Some have rented out their farmhouses cheap. The renters sleep with oscillating fans going all night long by their heads to try to cut out the thumping sound of the wind turbines clearly heard in their bedrooms. Many wear earplugs but they don’t always work.

People ask, why aren’t more people speaking up, why don’t we hear more? Would you speak up knowing that if and when you needed to get out you wouldn’t be able to sell your house? Who would buy it? It’s not an easy position for any of them to be put in, nor do they want to jeopardize the hopes that the developer will help them, or the possible lashback by fervent green supporters in their community who are so careless with their words and judgment. Many are under contract and cannot speak. Some don’t have the courage or the life skills to know who to even contact. This is all new to them; it’s all new to everyone, even our leaders.

So what about Europe people ask? Aren’t they all happy with their wind farms over there? No, they’re not. In fact there are over 360 grass roots coalitions in 19 European countries in exactly the same position as our residents, pleading to be listened to. They are trying to work with their governments on greater setbacks to protect the residents. As industrial wind turbines get bigger and bigger (40 storeys), some countries leaders have listened and have changed their setbacks to 1.5 kms and further. They acknowledge the problems, and they obviously care about the consequences. The symptoms and problems are mirrored all over the world. Next door in the U.S, Australia, Japan…..

No one can believe our government would completely ignore residents like this, especially the residents themselves. Surely there must be something wrong with these people if the government isn’t listening or taking action. Nope, in fact there is nothing wrong with these residents. These are all good people; honest people, the backbone of this country. Something wrong you ask? Perhaps you should be looking to the provincial government and their brazen, no questions asked backing and protection of the wind industry.

$omething i$ very wrong indeed.

~B. Ashbee