BP's Tatics in Cape Vincent Ny

Friday, August 20, 2010

Cape Vincent Wind History ~ Oh What a Tangled Web We Weave, Part 2

August 2005 marked the first open public wind meeting in Cape Vincent. At this meeting Acciona energies project manager Todd Hopper said that the plan from the beginning was to install 1.5 MW wind turbines in the town near the shore. “If you go further in, wind falls off, so keep that in mind when you talk about restricting it".
The closer to the water the stronger the wind is, and the probability of having a feasible project depends on wind velocity.

May of 2006
An opinion given by the Jefferson County Board of ethics advised Marty Mason and Joe Wood to recuse themselves from any notes or discussions of wind development issues.
Jefferson County Board of Ethics opinion #1
Jefferson County Board of Ethics Opinion #2

June 15, 2006 ,Darrel Aubertine wrote a letter to the Cape Vincent Town Board
letter to the town board urging the lease holding conflicted board members to vote on wind issues by telling them that it is their duty to vote, even though they are conflicted and he stated that governing by referendum (popular vote) is not wise. The vote in question would have a direct effect on the number of turbines allowed in Acciona’s planed turbine array plan. The elimination of turbines could affect the overall financial viability of the project.
Link here to read Darrel Aubertine's letter.

The same day of the Aubertine letter at the town board meeting of June 15, 2006 Supervisor Rhinebeck and Town Council member Mickey Orvis changed their mind about the restrictive setbacks, setbacks that would eliminate 12 turbines from Aubertine's neighborhood.
In defense of his letter to the town board Aubertine said that he was just writing as a citizen of Cape Vincent, and not in any official capacity. However, in this letter Aubertine wrote as elected representatives. We are responsible to make decisions for the benefit of our constituents and community and governing by referendum is unwise.
In his letter Aubertine clearly identifies himself as an elected official and outlines what he thinks are the responsibilities that come with the task of making decisions as an elected official.

2/22/2008 When asked by a Syracuse Post Standard reporter if it was appropriate to write the letter to the Cape Vincent town board, Senator Aubertine responded, “if it was me alone, no” but, he said, “it’s not me, it’s the town and dozens of other landowners.” this is the same response that he gave when questioned about using his position with the Standing Committee on Agriculture for potential personal gain by helping to develop and pass a law that eliminated tax penalties for farmers that host turbines on their land. Just three weeks before this vote May 25, 2003 Assemblyman Darrel J. Aubertine told a Watertown Times reporter that a company has approached him about installing wind-powered generators on his property and the properties belonging to three of his neighbors.

Additionally, Darrel Aubertine kept quiet about signing two lease agreements with Acciona in May of 2004 moreover; he did not make the required financial disclosures.

2008 during his bid for State Senator the Renzie campaign started questioning Mr. Aubertine’s ethics and the letter that he wrote to the town board in June of 2006.
October 23, 2008 Senator Darrel Aubertine told a Watertown Times reporter , "that his position was in a line with the separate council that the Town of Cape Vincent had, that there was absolutely no conflict of interest that the town board certainly had every right to vote on these issues”. There were excerpts from that legal opinion in the News story supporting his position as well.
The only problem with this is the Ethics opinion from the Albany law firm, Whiteman Osterman and Hanna. Was given in July of 2008, and Assemblyman Aubertine wrote his letter in June of 2006.
Assemblyman, Aubertine's letter to The Cape Vincent Town Board was an attempted to influence voting on a draft local law that would have direct consequences for St. Lawrence Wind. The Town Board members would stand to gain from this particular vote by ensuring that the project was viable, and there were financial interests that were of concern to Aubertine as well. At one point, he had told the Editorial board at the post Standard that if the wind project is developed, his farm could host turbines that could bring in 50,000 to 100,000 a year.


A quote from Senator Aubertine concerning Wind Turbines and his land

“Who are you to tell me what I can do with my land"?

Friday, August 13, 2010

ACCIONA ~ FEIS ~ An Environmental Crime?~ Indiana Bat Post Construction Plan ~ Count The Dead Carcasses

Why should we concerned about bats in Cape Vincent?

Evidence of white nose syndrome has appeared in bats throughout the Northeast and is now being found as far south as Virginia, a fact that has scientists extremely worried. The Indiana Brown bat is virtually on the brink of extinction. As we decimate other bat populations with wind turbines there are no guarantees what the consequences will be.

In January 2009 the DEC region 6 Watertown wrote a letter to Tom Reinbeck, then Cape Vincent town supervisor .This letter expressed concern about two endangered species , and the impact that Acciona’s industrial wind project would have on these species specifically the Indiana brown bat and the Blanding turtle.
I have included the letter in this post and the YouTube
video where you can observe ~ Mr. Edsall Cape Vincent Planning Board Chairman address the concerns that the DEC region 6 has about the endangered species in Cape Vincent ,including the Indiana Brown Bat~
Edsall says that the DEC region 6 of Watertown ~they have no Idea what is going on in the world ~ these people here are like ~ the Janitor telling a teacher what curriculum to use.
In the video someone is heard saying Acciona is working with someone from Albany and not region 6 ~ who would that Albany person be PETE GRANNIS?? In 2008 Commissioner of the DEC ~ Grannis ruled that the DEC would be lead agency in the Galloo Island wind complex ~ Grannis came out and openly endorsed Kessel's Great lakes offshore Wind ~ GLOW scheme ~ Galloo Island is site for a proposed industrial wind complex. Galloo Island is also a neighbor to Little Galloo Island, a bird sanctuary, another inappropriate place for an industrial wind complex! The only thing about wind power that I find amazing is how easy it is for these massive projects to get approved. Maybe that is where the "GREEN" becomes the driving issue. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Of course Acciona mentions that they will be doing post construction studies ,this means that they count dead birds and bats. Will counting dead bird and bat carcasses protect endangered species? Will counting dead carcasses prevent other species from becoming endangered? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ These projects are not just flawed but downright insane for our community ,and yet this sorry saga in Cape Vincents history moves on. MR. EDSALL Cape Vincent could use a good janitor right now! We need someone to clean up this disgusting , slimy mess. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ *** DEC Region 6 ~ letter to Supervisor T. Reinbeck ~ Cape Vincent ~ Concern Over Endangered species RE: potential impacts Indiana Bat

Friday, August 6, 2010

Pilot Payments ~ Easy money

The pilot payments for wind developers have been a sticky ~ slimy issue ~ Yesterday the Jefferson County Industrial Development met to vote on the UTEP ~ Jefferson's Leaning Left was there to get a first hand account of what happened. Check out his blog ~ he has the scoop!
Wind turbines are fairly expensive
The average cost of buying & installing a commercial wind turbine (per internet estimates) is roughly between $2M and $3M each. Then the wind developer and local IDA negotiate a PILOT (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes) "deal" and the wind developer avoids paying his fare share of taxes pays a small fraction of the project's net worth as a result of the IDA PILOT "deal". [1] A PILOT is a payment in lieu of taxes (also sometimes abbreviated "PILT"), made to compensate a local government for some or all of the tax revenue that it loses because of the nature of the ownership or use of a particular piece of real property.[2]

No PILOT has been negotiated for the Cape Vincent project, but the developer's reliance on the Galloo plan to project payments to municipalities is a troubling sign that it will be presumed as the basis for the future talks.[3] There, the terms of the Galloo Island PILOT plan are being used to estimate possible PILOT payments for BP Alternative Energy's 124-megawatt project in a debate over the town's proposal to regulate noise levels. It is a consequence of the JCIDA's failure to follow the intent of the Legislature.[3]

Lowville Local taxing jurisdictions are considering a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement on the proposed 39-turbine Roaring Brook Wind Farm that is expected to pay out between $17 million and $24 million over 20 years. [4]
However, given the recent legal wranglings over the last payment from the existing wind farm here, board members may choose to hold off on approving this deal formally until they have a clearer picture of that situation .[4] "Due to energy market conditions, among other reasons, the Company is not able to make any representations regarding when the project would be constructed and therefore when PILOT payments would actually commence," the proposed term sheet states [4] The terms of the proposed PILOT are similar to an agreement approved recently by the Herkimer County Legislature for Atlantic Wind's 37-turbine Hardscrabble Wind Farm project there .[4] The wind company claimed it should pay only the so-called "fallback amount" since it had been decertified from the Empire Zone program, through which it receives state reimbursement for the payments .[4]

The PILOT, which allows the developer to make reduced payments to taxing jurisdictions instead of paying property taxes, was approved along with a sales tax exemption and sale-leaseback agreement, which eliminates mortgage recording taxes. "This has been a very involved, committed, thoughtful process," JCIDA Chief Executive Officer Donald C. Alexander said. "It is one that has always had the best interests of the community at heart." [5] JCIDA attorney W. James Heary said the supplemental payments put in the PILOT give taxing jurisdictions extra revenue when electricity prices give the developer high earnings. "We don't necessarily need to go into the nitty-gritty of their plan," he said. Other board members chimed in and said they don't know the bottom line with several projects .[5] The PILOT for the 252-megawatt project will run 20 years and have base and supplemental payments .[5]

After the PILOT and sale-leaseback agreements were approved, the board unanimously agreed to a moratorium on accepting tax abatement applications from wind power projects until a uniform tax-exempt policy is approved. The board will hold a special meeting this month to discuss the policy .[5] "The economic benefits and earning potential are the company's business," said attorney Justin S. Miller, Harris Beach PLLC, Albany, which has consulted on wind farm PILOTs with the agency .[5]

On the wind farm aspect, the agency had worked for months on developing the uniform policy before Galloo Island Wind Farm's developer pressed for an individual payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement. That project's PILOT was different from the standard PILOT laid out in the agency's policy and those changes were approved in February after months of intense pressure
[6] If the wind farm operator ceases operation and doesn't pay the agency the PILOT, the agency returns title to the developer .[6]

The wind PILOT is based on income, not assessed value, anyway, consultant Mark E. Quallen said. "You've got variability around the annual production and you've also got variability around the price," he said. Though the developer may not give a pro forma, he said, the investment costs and revenue stream are easy to figure out .[6]

The Galloo draft policy includes a separate clause for renewable energy PILOTs, which allows for a fixed base payment per megawatt, increasing each year, and supplemental payments based on high electricity prices .[6] Board member John Doldo Jr. said the Galloo Island project wasn't lucrative enough for the taxing jurisdictions. He said the PILOT payments represented less than 14 percent of full taxation. "If you give that much away, there must've been a need to give that much," he said. Mr. Doldo based his numbers on the cost of the project " about $537 million of on-island investment .[6] Only about one mediocre paying job is created for every 10 turbines installed that's hardly job creation. Government watchdog groups say the absence of uniform standards makes the whole PILOT program open to abuse, because each wind company gets to negotiate its own private deal with the IDA. In addition, wind companies that fail to meet their original IDA job creation promises rarely get penalized .[1] New Yorkers in general are beginning to become completely fed up with PILOTs, IDAs, wind farms and seeing their tax dollars squandered by politicians and bureaucrats to offshore ownership. Taxpayers are beginning to revolt against the wind developers, IDAs and local governments and the November 2009 election results underscore this attitude .[1]

Once again the taxpayer is paying higher taxes to support the corrupt wind industry and people say the wind is free. Think about this - 65% of a commercial wind farm is being paid for with your American tax dollars thanks to stimulus money, NYSERDA, PTC (Production Tax Credits), rapid depreciation schedules, PILOTs, etc. while the foreign owner enjoys the profits while raping your community .[1] PILOTs are supposed to make jobs for communities but with wind farms this never happens .[1] PILOTs should be completely repealed and eliminated and taxpayers should demand the full value of tax revenue from the wind project and nothing less

1. Beware NY Wind: PILOT Agreements - Corporate Welfare Ad Nauseum

2. PILOT (finance) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

3. Watertown Daily Times Wind PILOT

4. Watertown Daily Times PILOT proposed for new wind farm project

5. Watertown Daily Times JCIDA gives nod to Galloo wind PILOT

6.Watertown Daily Times : JCIDA's tax-exempt policy for wind farms won't include local, county issues

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Acciona FEIS ~ Complaint Resolution Plan

Complaint resolution plan ~

link to complete complaint resolution document

Written complaints shall be directed to SLW and responded to by SLW or their duly authorized representative within 5 calendar days after receipt of any such complaint.

1. If the complaint includes the character or quality of Wind Turbine sound, then any subsequent investigation shall use best practices to evaluate the overall level, tonal, and/ or temporal nature of the wind complaint.

2. Any complaints which cannot be resolved during the initial response shall be subsequently directed to the Town designee, or if there is no Town designee to the Town of Cape Vincent Planning Board for investigation and any such investigation shall be with full cooperation of SLW.

3. If testing is necessary....

4.test results....

5. After the investigation, if the Town of Cape Vincent Planning Board reasonably concludes that operational violations of any applicable permit conditions are shown to be caused by the WMD, SLW shall use reasonable efforts to mitigate such problems.

6. Continued complaints from the same landowner will trigger additional investigation only if the Town determines that nearby Wind Turbine operational characteristics have changed since the first complaint.

This means that if Acciona had a special use permit in RE: to noise for its Wind Mill Development (WMD) project in Cape Vincent,
and you had a complaint about wind turbine noise, your complaint would be directed to the Town Planning Board and after an investigation if it is found that there is a noise problem and Acciona is in violation the special use permit then they will use”Reasonable efforts to mitigate such problems" What does that mean?
Do they say if it is found that if we are in violation of our permit we will shut the offending turbine down?
This document states that they will use what they deem as reasonable efforts to mitigate such problems however they do not define reasonable efforts.

What happens if these reasonable efforts do not solve the problem?

Back to part 6 ~ apparently you are done,

6. Continued complaints from the same landowner will trigger additional investigation only if the Town determines that nearby Wind Turbine operational characteristics have changed since the first complaint
but there is the complaint appeal procedure

This how it works
The complainant may appear before a complaint resolution board
This board will consist of three members: an SLW designee, a Town Officer or employee appointed to the position annually, and an independent third party expert.
Note: The decision of the complaint resolution board shall set forth the manner in which the complaint shall be resolved and the reasons why such resolution is appropriate. In making such a decision, the Complaint resolution board shall take into account the terms and conditions of the special use permit and approved site plans, and shall not require any resolution that is inconsistent with such terms. The decision of the complaint Resolution Board shall be final and binding.

Well things could be worse ~~~~

Monday, August 2, 2010

ACCIONA ~ WMD ~ FEIS~ Noise Resolution ~

ACCIONA”s ~ WMD ~( Wind Mill Development) proposal for Cape Vincent NY
Complaint resolution ~ Acciona has a big foot print they know how to handle pesky people with complaints like noise, here is the process as laid out in Acciona’s proposed WMD for Cape Vincent
This is how Acciona will address complaints about the WMD NOISE~~
1. If the complaint includes the character or quality of the Wind Turbine sound, than any subsequent investigation shall use best practices to evaluate the overall level, tonal, and/or temporal nature of the Wind Turbine sound prompting the complaint.

2. Any complaints which cannot be resolved during the initial response shall be subsequently directed to the Town designee or, if there is no Town designee , to the Town of Cape Vincent Planning Board for investigation, and any such investigation shall be undertaken with full cooperation of ACCIONA ~~~ SLW Read the complete WMD resolution plan below !