BP's Tatics in Cape Vincent Ny

Monday, January 30, 2012

Big Wind the Sustainable Industry That is NOT

Big Wind has begun a propaganda blitz pushing for the renewal of The Production Tax Credit (PTC).
One of their ads claims that not renewing the PTC will cripple an American manufacturing success story.
Additionally stories are emerging about the backlash that will result from the non - renewal of the (PTC), news of bankruptcies, jobs evaporating along with the PTC, this only confirms that this industry cannot sustain itself.

Spain's Iberdrola SA, anticipating that Congress may not extend the PTC recently announced lay- offs , and has suspended planning for new wind farms in the U.S., citing low energy prices and the regulatory uncertainty in the U.S. as having the biggest influence on the economic slump that the wind industry is experiencing.

Recently Acciona issued a press release
ACCIONA ranks among the World's 100 most Sustainable Companies.

Renewal of the Production Tax credit is being equated with fighting for American jobs.
The jobs that the wind industry is fighting for are costing more than they are worth.

We are subsidizing the economic downfall of our nation.

Here is an example of Acciona's means to sustainability and the American jobs that the wind industry creates.
In 2007, the Des Moines Register reported that Acciona planned to invest $95 million to build and operate a wind turbine assembly plant in West Branch Iowa.

Acciona Energy North America, a subsidiary of Spain based Acciona Energia, received $2.85 million in loans and forgivable loans from the Iowa Economic Development Board. It also will seek $2.3 million in tax breaks from the state for high-quality job creation.
Acciona plans to create 110 jobs that will pay an average of $15.14 an hour.
Acciona got up to $5,150,000 in corporate welfare from the State of Iowa taxpayers in order to create up to 110 jobs that pay an average of $15.14 an hour. That means that Iowa taxpayers are spending almost $47,000 for each of the 110 jobs that pay an average of $31,500 a year.
Acciona pays approximately $3,465,000 in annual wages.

Using a flat rate of 10% for a state and local tax burden would amount to $346,500 in state and local income taxes, or $3,150 per year, per employee.
At this rate, it will take 15 years for the state to recoup its subsidy of $47,000 per employee.
This is a conservative number and does not account for circumstances such as reduced taxes through exemptions assuming the company stays long enough for the state to re - coup their investment etc…

Adding insult to injury In 2009 , when Iowa schools across the state were forced to cut 1.5 percent from their budgets, a cut that would cost West Branch nearly $50,000.
Acciona asked the West Branch city council for a five-year, partial property tax exemption — worth about $115,000 — for a $10.7 million, 30,000-square-foot addition to its West Branch assembly plant

When will the giveaways end?

Additionally, government investigators recently discovered the Obama administration overpaid Acciona SA. $2.08 Million in a Federal Grant program.

West branch Times online(WBTO)

WBTO ~ Council changes mind on Acciona’s $80K tax breaks

State 29~
Doing the Math on Acciona's Corporate welfare

Fox business

The Daily Outrage

Friday, January 27, 2012

The comprehensive plan and zoning law are meaningless if not respected and enforced.

Updated :1/30/2012

This year has brought positive change to Cape Vincent

Newly re- elected Supervisor Urban Hirschey has begun the process of updating Cape Vincent’s zoning law and Comprehensive plan.
The zoning law committee has been consulting with Jefferson County Planner Mike Bourcy on a rewrite of Cape Vincent’s Zoning Ordinance.

Cape Vincent’s Comprehensive Plan the blueprint for the physical development of our community is presently being updated and will be supported by the re- vamped zoning law.

The stated purpose of our current zoning law is, among other things, to encourage the development of land for its most appropriate use within the town, and to conserve and protect the rural, agricultural, and scenic resources of the Town... Specifically the intent of the Agricultural residential district is to promote all types of development in the interior portions of the town in a manner that protects the rural character and promotes active farming operations.

Industrial wind development does neither.

Cape Vincent’s current comprehensive plan concerning the area where the industrial wind projects are proposed, clearly states the uses to be discourages are "Location of towers, prisons or utility facilities where there [sic] impact would have a negative impact on scenic vistas and tourism assets" while at the same time, the uses to be encouraged are " Agricultural development that has minimum impact on important resources such as scenic natural vistas, working landscapes and tourism assets.

In September of 2002, the Comprehensive plan was updated so the village and town could revise zoning codes in a coherent manner and so the municipalities were not following an outdated development model from 1983.
Cape Vincent's Comprehensive Plan Committee set five goals:
(1) Maintain the small-town quality of life that makes Cape Vincent a desirable place to live and raise a family.
(2)Further, develop the tourism industry by enticing more long-term vacationers and day visitors to the community.
3) Improve the opportunities for employment in the community.
(4)Revitalize the downtown area into a healthy retail center.
(5)Enhance housing opportunities for all residents and income groups.

There was concern that over development could be potential problem, but one that could be avoided. Chair of the committee Michael J. Bourcy, community development coordinator for the Jefferson County Department of Planning said the town and village need not worry about development as much as attracting growing businesses to the area.
The interpretation that the only legally defensible position is that Industrial wind turbines are not permitted under the comprehensive plan may not hold water.
Why we must develop a strong wind law.
A comprehensive management plan for a jurisdiction, such as a township or municipality, can be developed to serve as a guide to plan for future development, including prospects to develop wind energy. The subsequent zoning decisions must then be consistent with the municipality’s comprehensive management plan (Salkin and Donohue, 2005). Developing a comprehensive management plan to support zoning ordinances and community planning will help to identify and address community concerns about wind energy development early in the community planning process. Additionally, zoning ordinances specific to wind energy development may be developed in combination with or in lieu of a comprehensive plan for a jurisdiction.
However, although zoning ordinances can regulate development if adopted prior to project construction, even special zoning provisions may not necessarily entirely prevent wind energy development from occurring (Salkin and Donohue, 2005).

In some instances, other laws governing the zoning and use of private land may supersede the zoning ordinances pertaining specifically to wind energy development.

Agriculture operations in particular may be regulated under a specific agricultural law, which supersedes the zoning decisions that would ordinarily prohibit wind energy development in an area.
Many agricultural laws may have specific zoning codes promoting agricultural operations, including the construction of auxiliary wind energy facilities (Salkin and Donohue, 2005). For example, there are specific agricultural district laws in New York, which allow for wind energy development exploration and development, effectively superseding any local zoning ordinance, which may prohibit development (Salkin and Donohue, 2005).
In New York, zoning ordinances are superseded by the agricultural district law because it was determined that the zoning ordinance unreasonably restricted farm operations within the agricultural districts (Salkin and Donohue, 2005).

New York is also a state where high potential for wind energy development is observed in many areas statewide, as well as a state where wind farms have been and continue to be proposed on agricultural land.

In the end, the guiding principles laid down by a comprehensive plan and zoning law are meaningless if not respected and enforced by the representatives appointed and elected to t make decisions for the benefit of their constituents and community.

Link here to read Darrel Aubertine's Letter encouraging Board members to represent their special interests over those of the community at large.

Wind Energy Development in the United States:Applying the Nuisance Argument to Address Impacts to Visual Values

Link here to read Cape Vincent Town Village ~ Comprehensive Plan 2003

link here to read Town of Cape Vincent Zoning Law

Watertown Times archives

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Solyndra executives collected hefty bonuses in months before Fremont company filed for bankruptcy

Solyndra executives collected hefty bonuses in months before Fremont company filed for bankruptcy - ContraCostaTimes.com

By Dana Hull

Senior executives at Solyndra collected hefty bonuses -- ranging from $37,000 to $60,000 apiece -- as the Fremont company bled cash and careened toward bankruptcy this summer.

Bankruptcy documents filed in Delaware earlier this week reveal that more than a dozen senior executives at the defunct solar manufacturing company were awarded sizable quarterly bonuses April 15 and again July 8. Solyndra ceased operations in late August and filed for bankruptcy Sept. 6. About 1,100 employees were laid off without severance pay.

The bonuses, awarded to more than a dozen executives, came on top of what were already highly competitive salaries. Karen Alter, Solyndra's vice president of marketing, had an annual base salary of $275,000; she was awarded a $55,000 bonus in April and again in July. Ben Bierman, Solyndra's executive vice president of operations and engineering, had an annual base salary of $300,000; he was awarded $60,000 in April and again in July. Will Stover, the company's chief financial officer, was also awarded a $60,000 bonus in April and again in July.

Details of the bonuses come as Solyndra attempts to auction off the manufacturing equipment that remains in the idled Fremont factory.

Bruce Grohsgal, Solyndra's Wilmington, Del.-based bankruptcy attorney, did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

But a former Solyndra employee, who spoke on condition that he not be identified, said the bonuses were put in place in an effort to retain talent at Solyndra, which suffered from enormously high turnover during its five years in operation.

"There was a retention bonus to keep people until July since turnover was around 30 to 45 percent," the former employee said. The former employee said he believes the retention packages began in late 2010 under Brian Harrison, who was named CEO in July 2010.

Jason Kilborn, a resident scholar at the American Bankruptcy Institute, said Wednesday that the payments to Solyndra executives could have been standard practice, since quarterly bonuses are a common form of executive compensation. He also said they could be retention bonuses.

"It's not uncommon for companies facing serious financial distress to say 'we need you now more than ever, will you agree to stay?' " Kilborn said.

Bonnie Glantz Fatell, an attorney for the creditors committee, said Wednesday she was reviewing the payment information but declined further comment.

Chris Gronet, the company's founder and original CEO, had a base salary of $400,000. When he was replaced by Harrison, his severance package totaled $456,000. The bankruptcy documents show that Gronet never received the money.

Solyndra was awarded a $535 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy in 2009, and the company's implosion has raised numerous questions about the company's financial health. The Department of Energy agreed to restructure Solyndra's debt in early 2011, and had observer status on Solyndra's board of directors.

Bonus bonanza

More than a dozen Solyndra executives were awarded bonuses this year. Here's what three top execs got.

Will Stover, chief financial officer: $60,000 bonus paid in April and again in July.

Ben Bierman, executive vice president of operations and engineering: $60,000 bonus paid in April and again in July.

Karen Alter, vice president of marketing: $55,000 bonus paid in April and again in July.



July 9, 2009: The Town Council under the leadership of Thomas K Reinbeck introduced a sham moratorium to protect the Lake and River district, two districts never intended for wind power development. Town officials were asked if they would consider extending the moratorium to all parts of the town, including the areas that were slated for industrial wind development.
“The projects are too far along I don’t think It’s fair to the wind companies” Supervisor Reinbeck said. “We don’t want to suspend those. One is almost complete.”

August 04 2009: The Jefferson County Planning board sent a letter to Supervisor Reinbeck recommending a town wide moratorium, because Cape Vincent Town zoning law does not have a definition for wind generating facilities, and a town wide moratorium would allow time to refine and adopt specific land use regulations for wind generating facilities in all zoning districts.
[ JCPB letter here]
Reinbeck said that the Jefferson County Planning Department had stepped out of line in making their recommendation. Rather than addressing the content of the Jefferson County Planning Department’s letter Reinbeck questioned their authority and took issue with their letter being posted on this blog.
This letter was not a top-secret document; in fact, the Watertown Times had previously printed an article that mirrored the content of this letter. [link to WDT article here]

August 7, 2009: Save the River sent a letter to Supervisor Reinbeck, urging the Town to enact a moratorium throughout the entire town, for all projects currently under development and future projects for one full year. Rienbeck did not make the community of Cape Vincent aware of Save the River’s letter regarding their stand on this important issue.
[S.T.R. letter pg.1] ~ [S.T.R. Letter pg.2]

August 13, 2009: an 800-signature petition was presented to Supervisor Rienbeck and the Town Board ~ this petition supported a full wind development moratorium.[petition page,1]

A moratorium under Supervisor Reinbeck and the conflicted town board members was never addressed seriously. Perhaps they were fulfilling their wind lease loyalty clauses. Whatever the reason they never respected the will of the people they were elected to serve.
May 30, 2011: The results of the Cape Vincent ZOGBY poll clearly indicated that three out of five surveyed want the Cape Vincent Town Board to impose a moratorium on wind turbines.
In addition, (59%) said that they wanted the wind moratorium to allow time to amend the zoning law to address industrial and individual wind turbines. In accordance to the wishes of the community as indicated by the Zogby, poll [Zogby results here]

Jan 19, 2012: Following the will of the community.
Supervisor Hirschey proposed a resolution for seven-month moratorium on all aspects of wind to provide ample time to rework the zoning law.
February 7, 2012 : was set for a public hearing and special meeting with respect to the moratorium on wind generation facilities; a vote was taken on the resolution.

Supervisor Hirschey yes,
Brooks Bragdon yes,
Clif Schneider yes,
John Byrne yes
Miki Orvis no
Resolution number 10 passed

Link here to Steve Weed CVTB video

For those unable to attend the Feb.7 Special Meeting of the Town Board addressing a wind moratorium
Written comments will be accepted send your letter to town clerk Michelle Bouchard at Capevincentclerk@nnymail.com
Michelle Bouchard
PO Box 915
Cape Vincent, NY 13618
Letter should specifically say that they want to be part of the official record.

Friday, January 20, 2012

GOP chairman shelves Stop Online Piracy Act

GOP chairman shelves Stop Online Piracy Act

By Brendan Sasso - 01/20/12
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) announced on Friday that he will postpone consideration of his Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) until there is wider agreement on the controversial legislation.

"I have heard from the critics and I take seriously their concerns regarding proposed legislation to address the problem of online piracy," Smith said. "It is clear that we need to revisit the approach on how best to address the problem of foreign thieves that steal and sell American inventions and products."

More from Hillicon Valley ~ The Hill's Technology Blog

Turbines How Close is TOO Close?

Dr. Nina Pierpont recently posted a letter from a man describing his 15-month nightmare caused by six giant wind turbines that he cannot even see from his house. These Turbines are 7.1 miles away from his home as the crow flies. He describes all the classic symptoms of wind turbine syndrome lack of sleep, loss of energy, lack of concentration, He says the noise and not just the lack of sleep is driving him crazy.
He wrote that ~ he tried last month to go 10 miles away to try find some sleep at friends’ and I couldn’t: the noise, though a bit weaker there, was still around and I slept very badly. Badly enough to see one small hope of living normally from time to time—vanish.
After one year in the dark, I am beginning to think of other people like me around the world.
I am still in great danger, but the thought of others sharing the same nightmare as mine, well, helps, if I may say so.

This letter got my attention because Cape Vincent is in close proximity to the wind turbines on Wolfe Island, and I have not yet any heard any reports of negative health effects concerning the wind turbines In Cape Vincent.

It would be logical to assume that people may be affected and are just writing in off as something other than wind turbines. They may have considered that their problems are caused by wind turbines and felt that they did not want to be labeled a nut case, or they may be in denial having decided that this cannot be the case because of the distance the turbines are from Cape. There are many other reasons that may come into play as well. I have read that some people are more sensitive to the low frequency noise emitted by wind turbines but ,what is the distance that is necessary for turbines to be safe?

To read the letter to Dr. Pierpont link below

French writer going nuts from wind turbines( France)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Town Board Meeting Jan 19, 2012

Tonight town board meeting began at 5 PM
Matt Cooper, of Bernier Carr discussed the current five water districts He presented the board with a map showing all the water districts and how they are connected and how district 6 and 7 will play into the picture he discussed the feasibility of the western portion of the town to connect to a water line

Once they construct the final district boundary they will be applying for funding.

The board they went into executive session to interview applicants for the positions of zoning enforcement officer and for the zoning board of appeals.
When they came out of executive session to start the board meeting, they explained that they had not completed the interview process and it would resume after the board meeting and prior to the approval of the vouchers, they would pass resolutions approving the decisions

Mike Bell spoke during the privilege of the floor, Mike Bell said that the last board was loyal to their benefactors, and the new board was elected because the of the issue over wind generating machines, and he said he hoped this board will have an allegiance and loyalty to the taxpayers.

Michael Docteur briefly spoke about his appointment to the finance rules committee, the health and human services committee. In addition, being named Jefferson County legislative representative to the JCIDA. Additionally, he mentioned the states rule change concerning not counting prisoners for the purposes of redistricting. However, he did say that he did not think it would have a great effect on district number one because one was somewhat on the high side for population count. The next topic of discussion was a shared services grant.

A Geographic information system shared services grant between Cape Vincent, Chaumont that would ultimately provide a website that contained maps of all water infrastructure all lines, and hydrants mapped to manage our water structure.

Bob Barnard spoke about the wind economic committee report and the results of the final report will be posted on the website all supporting documentation will be on file at the Town Offices for anybody that wishes to read it.
Michelle Bouchard spoke about the town website describing the features that are on the new town website.

Supervisor Hirschey mentioned his intent to propose a resolution for seven months moratorium on all aspects of wind explaining this should be ample time to rework the zoning law.
Additionally, they would be developing the comp plan.
A committee was being formed to update the comp plan. Cliff Schneider would be committee Chair other committee members include Brooks Bragdon, Richard McSherry Rockne Burns, Pam Young's from the village. Dennis Faulkinham ,Tom Brown, from the village and Greg Ingerson citizen a large from the town.
It was also mentioned that they would have room for a couple more people if anyone were interested.

Cliff Schneider explained that the comp plan tells you what the essence of the community is. They will be sitting down and looking at issues that were not addressed in the Comp plan of 2003, such as wind development hydrofracking and mining. Additionally,the comp plan and the zoning plan will be on a parallel path to completion, The zoning law will be adopted following the adoption of the comp plan.

The town board appointed Supervisor Hirschey as delegate for the NY State Association of town's annual meeting.

The board voted unanimously to terminate the Towns relationship with Whiteman Osterman and Hanna and to hire Shulman, Curtin, and Grundner.

Supervisor Hirschey proposed a resolution for seven months moratorium on all aspects of wind explaining this should be ample time to rework the zoning law. It was decided a resolution was passed resolution number 10 February 7, 2012 was set for a public hearing and special meeting with respect to the moratorium on wind generation facilities, a vote was taken on the resolution.

Supervisor Hirschey yes,
Brooks Bragdon yes,
Clif Schneider yes,
John Byrne yes
Miki Orvis no

The next topic of discussion was the Tri-City tourism initiative between Kingston Wolfe Island and Cape Vincent; they have been discussing how to improve tourism for our three communities. After the meeting, they went back into executive session.

And finished interviews
The choice for zoning enforcement officer is Ed Bender, Two people were chosen for the Zoning Board of Appeals Hester Chase and Edward Hludzenski, the vote was unanimous for the two ZBA positions.

The Vote for The zoning enforcement officer .

Hirschey yes,
Schneider yes,
Byrne yes,
Bragdon yes
Orvis no

Wind Development ,Cape Vincent

"Please take the time to learn the whole story."

Recently Beth White wrote a letter to the Watertown Daily Times titled
Wind power can support school funding promoting the financial benefits of wind energy. Her letter was an appeal to Assemblywoman Addie Russell asking her to support "an actual real solution" to the problem of Funding education by promoting development in a sustainable and responsible manner.
Additionally, Mrs. White wrote in her letter to Russell. “ Please take the time to learn the whole story."

Mrs. White is correct Assemblywoman Russell should take the time to learn the whole story. Wind energy is expensive inefficient and unreliable, turbines kill thousands of birds & birds .
That is not the whole story, as we know it.

Beth White is a wind spokesperson bought and paid for by British Petroleum she is also a wind contract holder, and a founding member of Voters for Wind, a sham organization started in 2007 by British Petroleum to promote their wind agenda under the guise of a grassroots community effort.

As a voter for wind Mrs. White has been quite involved in the wind developments in Cape Vincent/ Lyme she was appointed to a wind law committee, created to produce a zoning amendment that would protect the health and welfare of the citizens of Cape Vincent. With regard to the wind farms in our community .

Mrs. White’s personal financial stake in the Cape Vincent wind projects became blatantly obvious at the final wind committee meeting held May 1, 2010, when White passed out a wind economic proposal, Mrs. White claimed that this proposal was of her own making however, as it turned out that was not the case, BP’s project manager Jim Madden sent the same figures in a letter dated May 5, 2010 to the town planning board.

Maddens letter clearly demonstrated how protective noise restrictions would negatively influence project size and diminish the economic benefits to all taxing jurisdictions. He also stated that a noise restriction of 42 dBA would effectively kill their project.
Prior to this point, the committee had been debating restrictions 32 to 42 dBA. Madden's analysis was obviously given to White, she did not make the calculations herself and she misrepresented the origin of her figures to the committee.
White had taken BPs recommendations 45 and 50 DBA and derailed all the previous work of the committee and the earlier sound presentation of Bill Elliott.

Additionally,White had the support from the conflicted members of the wind committee Donny and Marty Mason as well as Tom Reinbeck and Mickey Orvis.

Some members of the committee were concerned with the White/BP proposal because it negated the previous long hours of work done by the committee. It represented an industry proposal, completely devoid of scientific data and oriented solely towards economic benefit.

A discussion ensued between committee members concerning PILOTS, MONEY, NOISE STANDARDS, HOW TO MEASURE AMBIENT.
Richard MacSherry stated that the Town's potential was not going to be as great as he had imagined earlier and would probably only be 12- 15%. To adjust our lives considerably without much to gain, that makes a difference to me.

Mickey Orvis wanted to move ahead with the White/BP proposed wind law.
Andy Binsley suggested averaging the sound levels 37 and 32 and adding 6 . Binsley certain that a common agreement could not be reached suggested that they just quit .
Brooks Bragdon thought that Tocci’s data deserved respect, but Mason , Mason and
Reinbeck did not agree.

The idea of a compromise was suggested to White by a committee member

She refused to budge saying “enough compromises had been made.” “When I suggested this proposal that's what it is. “ “When you reduce from 50 dBA you’re reducing economic benefit and it is a substantial amount of money.”

White and her conflicted supporters completely dominated the meeting turning it away from one of constructing a law to protect the community and taking it to the lowest common detonator (money ). Pushing to adopt BP's proposal using the least restrictive noise constraints.
At the preceding meeting of the wind committee in February, Edsall and all other PB members as well as Rienbeck had all supported the revised noise restriction, e.g. 6 dBA above background sound.
Town board member Donny Mason became so excited by Beth White's proposal that he made a motion to “get it done today.”
Donny Mason said the reason he was in favor of the White/BP proposal was because if setbacks were too restrictive turbines would be eliminated “ I wasn't for losing a lot of turbines.”

When Supervisor Hirschey said -so you are making your recommendation based on monetary?
Mason replied - Yes, but stated that he had been upfront from day one.
Hirschey continued-- I hate to think our decisions are based solely on monetary issues.
M.Mason - What isn't nowadays?
Hirschey - Well there is a quality of life to consider...
D. Mason explained that - the money from the turbines would improve the quality of his life.

Gebo asked Donny Mason if he was suggesting that the sound analysis and how to determine ambient, and collect data, would come out of the proposed law, as well as the a section on compliance.
D.Mason - Yeah, it doesn't need to be in there with what I've got proposed there.
Gebo - So you are suggesting we don't need any methodology at all we just have the number?
D. Mason -yup
By the time, Donny’s resolution was put to a vote, Reinbeck and Orvis were missing in action having left the meeting because they had other things to do.

Donny desperate to approve the White/BP proposal asked if Mickey could vote even though he was not there.
This marked the end of the 2010 wind committee's attempt to provide a draft wind law.
Although, conflicted town board members did not pursue adoption of BP's 50 dBA noise limit,Collectively, the conflicted members, the leaseholder representative and wind project Supporters killed this attempt at adopting a zoning law designed to protect non-participating Landowners. Their actions also demonstrated the futility of including officials with contracts moreover, other officials who have openly supported wind development in a process designed to afford protection to citizens whose property will be in close proximity to wind development. The efforts in this session were to open the door as wide as possible for wind development in Cape Vincent at the expense of protecting many residents.

Wind committee members Meeting Facilitator
Attorney mark Gebo ,
Supervisor Urban Hirschey , Dick Edsall, Richard Macsherry Beth White ,Mickey Orvis , Tom Reinbeck, Marty Mason ,Donny Mason ,Brooks Bragdon ,Andy Binsley

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

DOE will Waive Buy American Requirements on Some Renewable Energy Projects funded by the EERE

The Department of Energy announced December 29 that it will waive Buy American requirements contained in the Recovery Act for a number of products after determining an insufficient quantity of the goods nationally.

Federal Register/volume. 76, No. 250/Thursday, December 29, 2011. Notices.

US Department of Energy is hereby granting a nationwide limited waiver of the by American requirement of section 1605 of the recovery act under the authority of section 1605(iron, steel, and the relevant manufactured goods are not produced in the United states in the nation and reasonably available, quantities, and other satisfactory quality) with respect to recovery act projects funded by the office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)

Under the authority of the American recovery and reinvestment act of 2009 (recovery act), public law 111 – five, section 1605(B)(2), the head of the federal department or agency may issue a "determination of the applicability"(a waiver of the by American provision) if the iron, steel, or relevant manufactured good is not produced or manufactured in the United States, in sufficient and reasonably available, quantities, and of a satisfactory quality(" non-availability"). The authority of the secretary of energy to make all in applicability determinations was re- delegated to the assistant secretary

Link here to read DOE notice

Wind Power limited by lack of power lines .

What about Jefferson County?

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — North Dakota is expected add hundreds of megawatts of wind energy this year, while development has slowed to a near stop in South Dakota. The difference seems to be the availability of high-voltage power lines to ship the power to cities that need it.

South Dakota has more than 30,000 megawatts of proposed wind energy projects in the queue, according to the American Wind Energy Association, but a state association director said he's received no indication from developers that they're ready to start building new wind farms. More...

Is there enough Grid capacity in our area?

Is there enough Grid capacity and infrastructure to handle all the projects planned for Jefferson County NY?

In early August of 2005, Acciona's project developer Todd Hopper said that Acciona (NY Wind) was considering installing 1.5-megawatt wind turbines in the town near the shore.
May 14, 2006~Mr. Hopper said ~ The Company was hampered more by the transmission lines 130-megawatt capacity.

Has the grid system in Jefferson County changed?

The Projects Proposed for Jefferson County

Acciona ~ St. Lawrence wind ~ 76.5 MW
Bp ~ Cape Vincent wind ~ 210 MW
Iberdrola Horse Creek ~ 100 MW
Upstate NY Power ~ Galloo with 252
For a total of 638.5 MW

Even if you subtract the 252 MW from the Galloo Island the remaining projects add up to a total of 386.5 MW more than double the 130 MW capacity of the Jefferson County Grid system.

Link here
Wind Projects in NY State listed by County

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Town of Cape

Vincent Zoning Law Committee

The Town of Cape Vincent Zoning Law Committee met today at 1:30 at Rec Park. They are moving forward with their work. Today’s session was spent reviewing comments from County planner Michael Bourcy and planning Board member Butch Cullen.

Additionally, the focus was on editing the language of the draft zoning law to best represent its intent.

The public is encouraged to attend these meetings. There is no discussion with the public or privilege of the floor at these meetings, however there is a form available that can be filled out to make your questions and concerns known to the committee. After the committee finishes their work, the document will be reviewed by Attorney Paul Curtin then it will go back to the Town and to Jefferson County Planning for review and then the committee will release the document, it will be open for public review and discussion.

Committee members present
Chairman~ Bob Brown
Town Board ~ Clif Schneider
Planning Board ~ Richard Macsherry
Zoning Board of Appeals rep ~ Ed Bender
Community precipitants Deb Suller, Bill Desouza, and Paul Docteur

Secretary: Kathleen Pierce

Cape Vincent Zoning Law committee
Comment Sheet

Monday, January 16, 2012

Could Laura Israel’s New Film ‘Windfall’ Damage Wind Energy’s Reputation?

The film, which was an official selection at the Toronto Film Festival, shows both the pros and cons of living with turbines - from the noise to the positive environmental impact. However, what it highlights most is how the technology bitterly divides a community.
January 12, 2012 by Timon Singh in Inhabitat
We all know the impact of documentary films: Super Size Me changed how many people looked at McDonald's, The End of the Line warned of the threat of overfishing, and Grizzly Man taught us that wild grizzly bears are not to be messed with. Now a new film from Laura Israel is set to shine some light on what happens to a community when they bring wind turbines into their town.

To quote Windfall‘s official synopsis: "Wind power... it's sustainable ... it burns no fossil fuels...it produces no air pollution. What's more, it cuts down dependency on foreign oil. That's what the people of Meredith, in upstate New York first thought when a wind developer looked to supplement the rural farm town’s failing economy with a farm of their own — that of 40 industrial wind turbines.”

“Windfall documents how this proposal divides Meredith’s residents as they fight over the future of their community.

Read more: Could Laura Israel's New Film 'Windfall' Damage Wind Energy's Reputation? Inhabitat - Green Design Will Save the World

Acciona SA downgraded Below Average

SADIF Analytics downgraded Acciona SA to Below Average

2012-01-02 13:55:25 - SADIF-Investment Analytics has applied its StockMarks™ stock-rating system to Acciona SA and produced a Rating Update Report, rating the company's attractiveness to long-term investors.
Acciona SA has weak business growth and is run by efficient management.


European broker round-up
Tue 10 Jan 2012

LONDON (SHARECAST) - Acciona: Barclays downgrades to UNDERWEIGHT from neutral; Bank of America Merrill Lynch also downgrades its recommendation to UNDERWEIGHT from neutral.


Friday, January 13, 2012

Cape Vincent

2010 Wind Law Committee Meeting # 2

The second wind law committee workshop held Feb 6, 2010

At the second wind committee workshop February 6, 2010, Bill Elliot of Cavanaugh Tocci gave a presentation about understanding what sound is and how it is perceived .
Additionally he explained that the methods Hessler , Acciona’s consultant was using to evaluate the turbine noise was problematic and would result in inaccurate results. Mr Elliot explained that Hessler uses a Regression analysis, the averaging of individual sound level positions to predict typical background sound .

The regression line method approximates typical conditions averaging together sound levels for all locations. This method results in levels at quieter locations exceeding NYSDEC recommended margins of 5dba (for a total post construction sound level 6dba higher than the pre- existing ambient ) nearly all the time , while at nosier locations sound levels will be compliant. Using the regression line method to predict noise - 50% of the time, it will over predict and 50% of the time it will under predict the sound levels.
Additionally, Kris Dimmick of Bernier Carr, added - We had concerns with Hessler's predictions when he said their predictions were anywhere from 1/2 as much to 2X as much as their prediction.
Note: Cavanaugh Tocci Associates (CTA) has been firm in their criticism of using regression analysis to predict average background sound. Although the PB's attorney worked diligently to change CTA's critique, they remained firm up to this point in their contention that wind speed should not be a factor in the estimation of background sound levels.
Additionally Mr.Elliot said that they recommend ignoring wind speeds. If you use wind speed at met towers how does it relate to sound locations if its miles away and at different heights.

What was remarkable is that the members of the PB and members of this wind Committee who had both direct conflicts of interest (monetary compensation) and a bias toward the financial incentives, all viewed the recommendations of the town's consultant as just another competing viewpoint from an acoustic consultant, whose recommendation they all realized could reduce the number of turbines. There was never the feeling that PB members should rely on CTA's recommendations principally because they were hired to advise the PB. They always viewed them as an equivalent, the low-ball estimate. Their conflicts and bias toward the wind, projects undoubtedly fostered their view.

This workshop resulted in a decision concerning sound and setbacks for wind turbine zoning.
The decided requirements for turbines ~ that they be placed no closer than 2,500 feet south of Route 12E between the village and Clayton, and east from County Route 6; and no closer than 3,000 feet from the village boundaries .The turbines would not be allowed to raise the sound levels more than 8 decibels above the background noise at non-participating residents' property lines.
Eight of the 10 members of the Town Council, Planning Board and wind committee present agreed on the requirements. But the dissenters, Supervisor Urban C. Hirschey and Councilman Brooks J. Bragdon, viewed the sound requirement as not protective enough.

Beth A. White, a proponent of wind power in the town who served on the wind committee, said, "We carefully discussed each of these setbacks as a committee last year. I just think we already have enough restriction."

Thursday, January 12, 2012

**2010 ~ Wind Law Committee Meeting # 1

Meeting number one
Jan 30 2010

Committee members

Richard McSherry, Urban Hirschey, Andy Binsley, Donny Mason ,Brooks Bragdon, Tom Rhinebeck, Richard Edsall, Beth white ,Marty Mason ,Mickey Orvis.

Meeting facilitator
Town Attorney Mark Gebo
Highlights of meeting

Rienbeck indicated the last version of the wind committee's draft law was August 2009, yet that copy was unavailable in 2010 to the new supervisor or to the town's engineering consultant, Kris Dimmick. However, during a wind committee meeting, Rienbeck offered a personal copy to the town's attorney Mark Gebo, the meetings facilitator.


Kris Dimmick Municipal engineer, with Beriner & Carr opened a conversation comparing the DEC noise guidelines to the recommendations of the town’s consultant Cavanaugh Tocci.
Attorney Gebo – asked the committee which version do you want to go with? The Original Committee preferred Tocci and the engineer's recommendations to current DEC policy.
However, Donny Mason’s words may well reflect the opinion of the other members of the committee
“ If DEC is good for a factory it's good enough for us.” Mason said.

A discussion ensued and it was decided to leave sound regulations and setbacks for another meeting.
However, the committee did agree on a noise complaint process.

The Complaint process follows Cape Vincent Local Law 2-10-10.
Gebo stated, "After the investigation, if the Town reasonably concludes that operational violation of any applicable permit conditions or modeled sound levels are shown to be caused by the Wind Energy Facility, the licensee/operator/owner shall use reasonable efforts to mitigate such problems. These reasonable efforts include such measures as temporary cessation of operation." Item 7 in the complaint plan states "If the operator of the Wind Energy Facility does not mitigate such problems they will be subject to enforcement penalties in the Town Zoning Law."

Gebo asked if anyone on the committee had any problems with the language in this section. No one on the committee had any problems with the language in the complaint process.
This complaint resolution plan was approved by the same board members that approved Acciona's FEIS in September 2010, (Edsall, Rienbeck, Binsley and Mingle )

In Acciona’s FEIS complaint plan, some of the initial points are identical to the same
Components of this 1/30/2010 version. There is uncertainty where the framework for this plan
Had its origin, whether in law or in wind industry policy. However, at the end of each plan there is wide divergence in their respective provisions. Two sections of this plan quoted above are not in Acciona's version. There is no language in the approved FEIS complaint plan that refers to cessation of operation nor is there any reference to them being subject to the enforcement penalties in the town zoning law.<

Acciona's version, instead, sets up a complaint group comprised of three people , a town official, and an Acciona representative and a third party, which has to be approved by Acciona. This version of a complaint resolution plan is much more Developer-friendly.

The complaint plan in the FEIS takes on a more important role than otherwise because Acciona was unwilling to conform to the recommendation of the town's acoustic consultant. At one point Tocci suggested that Acciona better have a good complaint plan because they can expect lots of complaints. Acciona went on to suggest the complaint plan will be the solution to the unresolvable differences between Cavanaugh Tocci and Acciona/Hessler.

Breaking Up is hard to do

At last night's Planning Board meeting, a resolution was passed to make a reccomendation to the Cape Vincent Town board that the the town of Cape Vincent sever all ties with the law firm Whiteman Osterman and Hanna .
During the discussion, concerning this resolution- Planning Board Chair Richard McSherry mentioned that there was no signature on the contract initiating the relationship between the town of Cape Vincent and Whiteman Osterman and Hanna.

The relationship between Whiteman Osterman, Hanna, and the Town of Cape Vincent officially
began in NOVEMBER of 2006, Cape Vincent planning Board Chair Richard Edsall told the Watertown Times, “we have the right to outside professional expertise, and we intend to use it.”
The Law firm Whiteman Osterman & Hanna (WO&H) has been providing their "professional expertise" to the Town of Cape Vincent ever since that time, assisting with the wind development site plan process.
Payment for the "professional expertise" of Whiteman Osterman & Hanna was arranged through two escrow accounts set up by the Town of Cape Vincent, Acciona and British petroleum. All expenditures from these escrow accounts are dependent upon approval By Acciona $ British Petroleum.

Additionally, July 8, 2008, Whiteman Osterman & Hanna rendered a developer friendly legal opinion about the Cape Vincent board members conflicts of interests.
However, there is no copy of this opinion on file with the Town of Cape Vincent and an invoice for this legal opinion does not exist.

If the Town of Cape Vincent commissioned this legal opinion, there should be a copy on file and an invoice for services rendered, but neither exists. Why isn’t there a copy on file? Did someone other than the Town of Cape Vincent commission this legal opinion? Did the developers commission this legal opinion?

In the legal opinion, Whiteman Osterman and Hanna wrote that for the Town Board, there appears to be no prohibited conflict of interest and the full town board may deliberate and vote concerning a draft law of general applicability to regulate wind projects in the town.

The Whiteman Osterman and Hanna opinion states that the law would affect all proposed and future wind development projects making it a law of general applicability.

Additionally, Michael Sterthous of Whiteman Osterman and Hanna Successfully defended respondents ~ WPEG v. Town of Cape Vincent, 60 A.D. 3d 1282 (4th Dep’t 2009) establishing wind power generating facilities as public utilities for zoning purposes.

This is what Supervisor Hirschey had to say about Whiteman Osterman & Hanna's accounting records.

Very soon after taking office I looked into the Escrow accounts which up to then were not available to the public. Over the course of the next few months, I took steps to make accounts more transparent and to have more than one signature approving the invoices. Nonetheless, the brevity of the documentation astounded me. There was neither a correspondence folder nor one piece of written correspondence pertaining to the expenditure of over 100000. Billed by lawyers and engineering Company on the SEQRA process! Upon making inquiries to Whiteman Osterman and Hanna, I was told that there was not much written communication and that it was mostly just talk. Nonetheless, they would send me what they had. To this date even after several reminders, I have not received any copies of emails or written correspondence.

Urban Hirschey

The escrow account payments were authorized by Rienbeck with no accounting of the specifics of what was done and the costs.

Link here for the legal opinion written By Whiteman Osterman & Hanna

Acciona ~SLW~ Escrow Account Document

British petroleum escrow account document

Cape Vincent

A New Supervisor With New Ideas

2010, brought change to Cape Vincent, with newly elected Town supervisor Urban Hirschey and town Councilman Brooks, Bragdon.
At the first Town Board meeting of the year supervisor Hirschey spoke of what he would like to accomplish.

His main goal was to encourage economic development to “grow" the community in ways that would be acceptable to everyone.
Additionally he stated that his administration would be one of open government. He would arrange with an independent, non- political body to tape the Board meetings for the public to view on the Town's updated website.

Ethics will be addressed as well .Supervisor Hirschey asked Councilman, Bragdon and Donald Mason to discuss forming a committee to develop an ethics code.

Developing a wind law was revisited by a committee comprised of members of the original wind law committee planning board and town board. With a goal of getting a wind law in place within two or three months. The first two sessions would be held at the fire hall January 30, 2010 February 6, 2010.

( I will be doing a seperate post about the wind committee).

Additionally, Supervisor Hirschey proposed a six-month moratorium on wind
development. Marty Mason voted with Donnie Mason and Mickey Orvis to kill Supervisor Hirschey’s moratorium initiative. Council members Mickey W. Orvis, Donald J. Mason and Marty T. Mason also objected to an audit requested by Supervisor Hirschey, but Supervisor Hirschey hired a firm to conduct a surface level audit anyway.

Town Clerk Jeri Ann Mason, sister to TB member Marty Mason, resigned abruptly after the audit report exposed discrepancies in the town's finances and revealed that a substantial amount of money was missing. The audit also revealed that two escrow accounts from British Petroleum Alternative Energy and Acciona Wind Energy totaling $2,211.70 were not included in the town's financial report, nor were they recorded in monthly financial statements.

August 13, 2010 the New York State Att. Gen.'s office notified town Attorney Mark Gebo via facsimile that they had received allegations of misconduct by certain officials of the Town of Cape Vincent in connection with the development of wind farm's . Accordingly , the OAG has commenced an investigation. In response to this investigation Supervisor Hirschey called a special Town Board meeting for the purpose of a temporary halt on all discussion and further forward movement on the wind turbine projects. However, Town Council members Mickey Orvis and Marty Mason were absent from the meeting . Supervisor Hirschey and Councilman Brooks Bragdon were in favor of the resolution to halt further wind discussions , Councilman Donald Mason , abstained stating that he wished to consult a lawyer before voting because he holds a wind contract.

Aug.17, 2010, Cape Vincent’s newly formed wind economic committee released their preliminary report as to the economic impact from the proposed wind projects. This report was prepared and mailed to the PB in time to be considered before Acciona’s Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) was accepted, but Edsall refused to read the PB mail prior to the PB meeting Aug 18, 2010. Chairman Edsall and his planning board accepted Acciona’s FEIS, against the recommendations of the Lyme PB and ignored the noise recommendations of their own consultant, Cavanaugh Tocci.

At the TB meeting of Oct. 14, 2010, Supervisor Urban Hirschey proposed that the Town of Cape Vincent commission an independent sound study to protect the citizens of Cape Vincent. Marty T. Mason and Donald J. Mason recused themselves. Orvis voted NAY thereby defeating the resolution even after it was determined that the study would cost the town nothing. Cape Vincent’s current sound study is flawed, a fact that recently came out with the release of FOILED documents pertaining to Cape Vincent’s sound study.

At the January 2011 Town Board meeting, Acciona's leaseholders attacked Supervisor Hirschey and try to bring him down. Marty Mason, leaseholder and co-chair of the Republican Party, led the charge making a motion to have the town's attorney contact Jefferson County and NY Attorney Generals office to pursue an investigation of Supervisor Hirschey. Donald Mason stated Hirschey has done a “bad thing.” Later, the NY Attorney General notifies the town that the charges are baseless and Hirschey will not be investigated.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The road to subjugation

April 7, 2007, the WDT reported that Town Supervisor Thomas K. Reinbeck defended town official’s actions including the members of the ZBA. Mr. Reinbeck said town Attorney Mark G. Gebo advised the ZBA that turbines could be considered utilities. The WDT also reported that Mr. Gebo declined to comment, citing attorney-client privilege. He said he would argue the Zoning Board of Appeals decision is correct unless the town directs him not to. “They made a decision they expect me to support, and I will support it,” Gebo said.

Dec.19, 2007, BP’s DEIS was accepted by the PB.
March 13, 2008, at the Town Board meeting ,Edsall announced that he has been, “Buying an ounce of protection,” by hiring an Albany law firm, Whiteman Osterman & Hanna, who specialize in litigation especially when you get to the site plan review process and pilot programs. Edsall, on the advice of newly hired legal counsel, finally made it official when he wrote a letter May 15, 2008, and disclosed his contracts with British Petroleum and conflicts of interest.

Aug. 14, 2008, Reinbeck announced that a committee will be formed to revise a draft wind law developed by the Town’s new the wind lawyers. The committee met frequently throughout the fall and winter completing a draft law in January 2008.Reinbeck told the committee he would forward the draft to the Whiteman legal team for their review. During this same period ,Reinbeck became irritated by an ad printed in the Watertown Daily Times describing Cape Vincent as an ethical black hole. In March, the finding of the appellate court confirming the lower court decision that the Cape ZBA acted within its jurisdiction to declare wind turbines utilities buoyed him in his actions.

March 25, 2009, the PB accepts the Acciona supplemental environmental impact statement and this marked the first recusal for conflicted board member Karen Bourcy.

A citizen at the April 2009, TB meeting asked, “Do you see any value in Attorney General Cuomo’s code of Conduct for Wind Development.”

The TB agreed that there is no value in the AG’s wind code of conduct. Reinbeck replied that if we haven’t been investigated I guess we are all right. Marty Mason said that the code is a “waste of time” and Donny Mason agreed with the other board members and added it does not apply to small towns. Conflicted Councilman Joe Wood said, “Basically you say we should adopt a wind law, but on the other hand you are saying three of us have conflicts of interest and you are going to call us on it.” “How can I adopt a wind law if in your second breath there is a conflict of interest and you are going to nail us?”

Feb 2, 2008, the Thousand Islands Sun quoted Reinbeck’s response to citizen’s questions about Board members voting with conflicts of interest. Reinbeck stated that while he didn’t have anything legal to back up his assumption, he thought that once someone accused of having a conflict of interest was re-elected to the same position, the conflict of interest was void. “Mind you I’m not one hundred percent about that, but I speak for the board when I say that if we had not folded under the threats of lawsuits, we’d have zoning laws right now.” Their responses suggested that the TB derailed the wind law process in 2006, and passed it on to the PB strictly to avoid voting and avoiding conflicts of interest. Rather than adopting a protective wind law, they opted for more control over the process through the PB, even though it meant exposing riverfront and lakefront zoning districts to wind development.

The board members resented the recording of the TB and PB meetings and at the planning board meeting Aug.12, 2009, Binsley said to the citizen taping the meeting “take your camera and shove it right where it belongs… And you can’t bring that thing to a meeting.” At the TB meeting Aug.13, 2009, Reinbeck called the police to stop the videotaping, which was unsuccessful since it was a legal activity.
At this same Aug. 13, 2009, meeting a petition, asking for a wind development moratorium with over 650 signatures on it, was submitted. The TB had decided that they would support a moratorium to protect the River and Lake District, two areas that were never intended for wind power development. The Jefferson county planning board said that a partial moratorium did not make sense and recommended a full moratorium. Reinbeck and Donny Mason’s position on a town wide moratorium was quoted in the WDT. "Currently we have two projects under review in the Ag district and we're not going to suspend those," Mr. Reinbeck said. "One is almost complete." Councilman Donald J. Mason agreed saying, "Those projects are too far along and it's not fair to the wind companies, to begin with, to suspend them now." Previously Reinbeck had made other statements to the WDT about his position on turbine setbacks "I think we're over regulating on these setbacks," Mr. Reinbeck said. "I'm always on the lookout for being sued for something, Supervisor Thomas K. Reinbeck said. “I can only see this being a very controversial issue if we eliminate turbines that are planned as part of an ongoing project."

Nov. 12, 2009, the now lame-duck Tom Reinbeck proposed the adoption of a draft wind law prepared by Rienbeck’s wind committee earlier in the year. This version of the law, however, was missing the detailed noise section developed under the guidance of the town’s engineering consultants, Bernier Carr Associates and Cavanaugh Tocci Associates. Reinbeck explained that noise portion was taken out because it was too restrictive and would have prohibited development rather than regulate it the conflicted council voted .

Councilmen Donald Mason, Acciona leaseholder, Marty Mason, Acciona and BP leaseholder, and Joe Wood, Acciona leaseholder all vote AYE for Resolution #17 to enact a wind law . Additionally, resolution #17 was not included in the minutes. Resolution #17 is on file in the clerk's office.

Check out links in the body of text to read related documents and newspaper articles.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Ethical Void

After an opinion was given by the Jefferson County Board of ethics advising conflicted Town Board members Marty Mason and Joe Wood to recuse themselves from any votes or discussions of wind development issues Assemblyman Darrel Aubertine wrote a letter to the Town Board urging the conflicted board members to vote on wind issues . Aubertine wrote that it was their duty to vote, adding that governing by referendum (popular vote) is not wise.
The vote in question for protective setbacks would have eliminated 12 turbines from Aubertine's neighborhood resulting in financial consequences for both Acciona and the leaseholders.
June 15, 2006, at the Town Board meeting ( Darrel's letter was passed around at this meeting) Supervisor Rinebeck and Town Council member Mickey Orvis changed their mind about the restrictive setbacks.

In defense of his writing this 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 in question 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 Aubertine 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 had 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, ( Whiteman Osterman & Hanna, WOH) and there was absolutely no conflict of interest that the "Town Board certainly had every right to vote on these issues”. There were excerpts from the WOH opinion included in the WDT article as well.
The only problem with Darrel Aubertine's using the WO&H ethics opinion to support his actions is that this Ethics opinion from the Albany law firm, Whiteman Osterman & 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"?

2012 Defense Act Liberalizes Section 1603 Grant Rules for Regulated Public Utility Property

by:Travis L. Blais ~

Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. - Boston Office

December 16, 2011 Congress sent the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA) to the president to sign into law. The 2012 NDAA section 1096 amended a key energy tax provision for renewable energy project developers –

More here

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Part 2

The following comment came in to yesterdays post ( BP's Chump Change)

That’s the cover letter. I wonder what the contract looks like?

Wonder no more

Below are excerpts from a BP good neighbor agreement also known as an easement following the excerpts is a BP good neighbor agreement contract.

Would you sign a contract like this? This Good neighbor contract makes for very bad neighbors.

Good Neighbor

Although Grantee (BP)adheres to generally recognized wind industry practices and applies commercially reasonable measures to minimize effects of its wind farm activities on neighboring properties, will acknowledges the grantee's wind power facilities may still impact the owner's property. Owner has agreed to grant certain rights and easements to accommodate any impact that Grantee's (BP’s) wind power facilities they have on owners property.

This clause is an acknowledgement disclosure the landowner acknowledges that they are aware that there are impacts and they are giving informed consent.

Wind farm operations easement.
Owner grants Grantee (BP) an exclusive easement in, on, over, across and through owners property, for the purpose of allowing any audio, visual, view, light, noise, vibration, shadow flicker, air turbulence, wake, ice, electromagnetic, electric and radio interference, ice throw or other, whether created hazards, or other effect of any kind whatsoever resulting, directly or indirectly from any construction, development, repair, maintenance, replacement, or operation of grantee's wind power facilities or other of grantee's activities on wind farm.

This clause allows broad unlimited surface and subsurface property uses.

Noise waiver.
Owner grants Grantee and easement for the right and privileges to generate and maintain audible noise levels in excess of 50 dBA(L 90) on and above the noise easement property at any times of the day or night(" noise easement"). The "noise easement property" shall mean owners property, except those portions within a two hundred (200) – foot radius circle (or lesser distance with owner's prior consent). Centered on the inside of each presently existing, occupied residents on the owner's property. If noise levels produced by the turbines exceed 50 dBA (L90), as measured within (200) feet (or lesser agreed distance) from inside of a presently existing, occupied residents on owners property by an independent, professional applying commonly accepted measurement instruments and standards, grantee shall reduce the noise levels produced by the turbines to 50 dBA (L 90) at two hundred (200) feet (or lesser agreed distance) from the residence. Said noise easement shall further permit the grantee to generate and maintain audible noise levels, emitting from grantee's wind turbines installed on property adjacent to owner’s property, up to 55 dBA at the property boundaries.

This noise waiver allows Grantee (BP) to maintain audible noise levels day and night exceeding 50 dBA (L90). Noise may affect wildlife, as well as other landowners and the quiet enjoyment of the Owner’s Property.)
Owner understands and acknowledges that by ordinance, and otherwise, Jefferson County and other governmental entities may now and in the future require, unless waived, certain setbacks of wind turbine generators from property boundaries based on their noise levels. Owner for itself and it's successors and assigns, as owner of the property, waives any and all claims that it may now or hereafter have against Grantee or against Jefferson County, New York, in connection with noise levels that may be generated on owners property by the wind farm.

Setback waiver
Grantee(BP) or any affiliate of Grantee (BP) owns, leases or holds an easement in other land concerning or contiguous to the owner's property and has installed or constructed or desires to install construct wind power facilities such adjacent land at or near, the boundary with owners property, owner hereby waives any and all setbacks and setback requirements, whether now or hereafter imposed by applicable law, or by any person or entity, including, without limitation, any setback requirements described in current or future zoning ordinances. In Jefferson County, New York, or in any governmental entitlement or permit heretofore or hereafter issued to Grantee (BP) or such affiliate provided, however, Grantee (BP) agrees that no generating unit shall be located closer than 500 feet from owner’s property line or 1200 feet from any occupied residence on the property, such measurements to be calculated from the center point- of the generating unit.

Upon Grantee (BP) or an affiliates request, owner shall at no additional cost to Grantee (BP)execute(and if appropriate cause to be acknowledged) any setback waiver, setback elimination or other document or instrument reasonably requested by Grantee(BP), its members, or lenders, Jefferson County real estate of New York or any applicable governmental authorities in connection there were, – return the same for any applicable governmental authorities in connection there with – return the same thereto within 10 days after such request, and – provide such public support as Grantee(BP) may reasonably request in connection with any related zoning variance or other government applications by grantee(BP).

This clause seemingly overrides without limitation, any setback requirements described in current or future zoning ordinances of Jefferson County.

Additionally the Owner agrees to execute a setback waiver as requested by BP or their lenders. and the owner will publicly support BP's request.

Link here to read entire Good Neighbor agreement

Saturday, January 7, 2012


What is a good neighbor agreement?
A device used by wind developers that allows them to take advantage of people that live near industrial wind plants.
Developers buy the rights of people living in close proximity to turbines for a small payment. By signing a good neighbor contract you agree to accept the noise, shadow flicker or any other issue that may degrade the quality of your life.

BP’s good-neighbor agreement requires residents to accept the noise (for an annual payment of up to $1,500), additionally if the developer requests that a noise easement on the land be recorded with the county clerk this creates a burden on the land for all subsequent buyers. If a landowner finds the noise is intolerable, it will be difficult to sell and move.

Below is a transcript of a BP Good neighbor recruitment letter. For the protection of the landowner, I have removed the name.
The original is at the end of this post

December 11, 2007
2B Duped Lane
Cape Vincent , NY 13618

Dear Mr. Chump

As you may be aware, BP alternative energy has been working to develop a wind farm. The agricultural district of Cape Vincent. Over the past 2 years, we've worked with landowners, county and state officials preliminary technical studies are currently concluding detailed environmental studies as part of the New York State environmental quality review(SEQR) process. While there has been a lot of recent activity, we are still at least 18 months from construction of the proposed project and have not yet applied for the required town, county and state permits.

At this time, we are contacting landowners whose property is within our site area to discuss whether they would be interested in participating in our project through good neighbor agreement. Our good neighbor agreement provides income to landowners whose house or property is near a wind turbine. In return, the landowners would agree to waive the standard setbacks adopted by the town of Cape Vincent.

The town recently adopted guidelines that require us to set turbines back at least 1,250 feet from the dwellings in at least 1,000 feet from property lines of any non-– participating landowner. The good neighbor agreement would allow us to place turbines as close as 750 feet from residences or 400 feet from property lines, whichever is most restrictive. By agreeing to these reduced setbacks, you would receive a signing payment of $500 in annual payments of up to $1,500 per year during the operational life of the project.

The good neighbor agreements are completely voluntary, so if you want us to use setbacks in the town guidelines. Then we will abide by those restrictions. If you are interested in learning more about our project and the good neighbor agreements, then please call us at 866 – 359 – 8807 to request an informational package. I hope that you will consider participating in our wind project.

Jim Madden.
Business developer

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New beginnings

a Team who promised to

Urban Hirschey ~ Town SupervisorJohn Byrne ~ Town CouncilmanClif Schneider ~ Town Councilman

Below is the unified position statement that the newly elected candidates have promised to undertake after taking office.
Today they will be sworn into office

followed by the organizational meeting.

Meeting to be held in the Town Office Building

Unified position statement

To read their Unified position statement link here

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Once There Was

A Great Grey Owl ...

 A magnificent Great Grey Owl, first spotted Feb.23, 2005 by ornithologist Gerry Smith and North Country Public Radios' David Sommerstein while birding in the Town of Cape Vincent. Perched atop a hedgerow tree on the Lawrence Farm off Gosier road right in the heart of Acciona's proposed turbine footprint.

The users and takers also known as Acciona and British Petroleum will be taking from us things that they haven't any right to take . To sacrifice so much for so little is obscene.

Link here to view ---Raptor Migration Data for Proposed Wind Sites NYS

The story about Cape Vincents visitor as it was told in the Ithaca Journal
By Karen L. Allaben-Confer
Ithaca, New York, U.S.A

What a winter for owls!

March stormed in on the back of a nor'easter that sucked up salty Atlantic moisture and swept up the Eastern Seaboard. It veered inland to meet a cold front plunging out of Canada. Snow fell on the Finger Lakes and eastward like sifting flour.

In a large farm field, bordered by an oak, hickory and maple forest in northwestern Jefferson County, about 130 miles NNE of Tompkins County, the snow-laden limbs of a monarch hickory that had grown old under full sun in the open field, offered a dramatic viewing perch for a large gray, round-headed owl.

Leaning nearly 45 degrees, the owl bent his broad flat face, revealing two white moustaches under large, gray-brown facial disks and arching white brows between glaring yellow eyes.

This young male Great Gray Owl migrated from his natal forest in Algonquin Provincial Park in Central Ontario to southern Ontario, then, wandered southeast to Amherst Island, west of Kingston.

Finding few rodents, he might have island-hopped to Wolfe Island, then across the narrows of the St. Lawrence River to Cape Vincent, New York -- a total flight of about 150 miles.

His keen hearing located a meadow vole running along its tunnel 12 inches under deepening snow. He lifted his nearly 5-foot wingspan, dropped majestically, flapped silently and sedately a foot above the snow, then plunged with legs and talons extended, nailing the rodent in mid-stride.

The imprint of outstretched wings on the billowing snow and "plunge mark" from feet and body impact may have earned this owl his Athabascan name, "heavy walker" -- sometimes, the only proof that a Great Gray Owl was present. Strix nebulosa nebulosa flapped back to his hickory limb - loose body feathers rippling gracefully beneath him.

The layers of long, fluffy feathers insulate a remarkably light, 1.75 to 3.19 pound body. Yet, including a long tail, great grays average between 24 and 33 inches tall, with a wingspan of up to 60 inches, the largest in size, but not weight, of any other North American owl.

Cape Vincent's rare visitor had hunted voles since Feb. 23, innocent of the historical significance of being the only Great Gray Owl to visit northern New York in nearly 10 years.

He would attract between 800 and 1,000 birders and photographers from nine states and two provinces before migrating back to Algonguin.

The Great Gray was not alone in making history. Due to harsh weather and a bust year for rodents in northern boreal forests, this was a notable "invasion" year of many owls all across the northern United States and southern Canada.

The Great Backyard Bird Count reported record numbers of Great Gray Owls, Northern Hawk Owls, and Boreal Owls in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan and northern New England.

In Minnesota, Great Gray Owl populations increased from last year's 35 to almost 2,000! Last winter, only six Northern Hawk Owls and one Boreal Owl were seen in Minnesota. This winter there were 300 Northern Hawk Owls and 400 Boreal Owls!

The New York Times reported that a Boreal Owl even showed up in Central Park on Dec. 19, 2004 -- the first ever seen since records began of such sightings.

By early March this year, hundreds of normally reclusive Great Grey Owls wintered in rodent-rich woodlands and farm fields around Toronto, Kingston and Ottawa, Ontario, and in southern Quebec.

Great Gray Owls nest in dense coniferous stands near muskeg, meadow or forest openings.

In the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, they nest in mixed conifer and red spruce forests. Palearctic habitats include tamarack forests in Manitoba, tamarack and black spruce wetlands in Saskatchewan, black ash and basswood in Minnesota and balsam poplars and white spruce in Alaska. Estuaries, mountain meadows, and the edges of farm fields are prime hunting sites during migration.

Characteristically "sit and wait" hunters, the owls lean forward from a perch, watching and listening for movements of prey before pouncing. They also patrol through the forest, flying only a few feet above the ground.

This typical low-hunting flight has caused the death of nearly 500 Great Grays in Minnesota this winter, due to collisions with cars. They generally search for prey at dawn and dusk. However, during winter months, they can be seen hunting in daylight. Meadow voles breed all winter and can provide a constant food supply for birds of prey.

Cape Vincent's owl switched his hunting strategy from daytime to twilight once he mapped the "lay of the land" with the highest concentrations of voles.

About 80 percent of the Great Gray Owl diet is primarily small rodents, with voles being the most important food in Alaska, Canada and Oregon. In California, the owls prefer pocket gophers.

Otherwise, depending on their location, their eclectic menu choices consist of rats, mice, shrews, squirrels, snowshoe hare, chipmunks, moles, weasels, crows, small hawks, American robin, ducks and grouse. Frogs, toads, snakes and insects are taken infrequently.

Like other owls, they throw up, or "cast" compact, dark grayish-black pellets of indigestible bones and fur. These pellets measure 3 to 4 inches long and 1 to 2 inches thick.

With lengthening days, the Great Gray Ghost of the North should soon feel the urge to migrate.

In two to three weeks, some lucky birder or the farmer, on whose land this owl has thrived, may witness his grand gray presence flapping solemnly across the field toward the St. Lawrence narrows, ignorant of the excitement more powerful than a spring nor'easter that he incited among bird watchers.

It may be years before we see the likes of such an avian wonder in New York's backyard again.

Karen Allaben-Confer, a well-known wildlife artist, is an Ithaca native. She lives in the Town of Caroline with her ornithologist husband, John Confer, and their American water spaniel, Jasmine. They all enjoy bird-watching. "Backyard Birding" is published monthly in House and Garden.

This article has been reproduced from http://www.theithacajournal.com

Wind turbine syndrome

Wind Turbine Syndrome (WTS) is the clinical name Dr. Nina Pierpont has given to the constellation of symptoms experienced by many (not all) people who find themselves living near industrial wind turbines (see Articles by Pierpont ).(More...)

Wind Turbine Syndrome (WTS) is the clinical name Dr. Nina Pierpont has given to the constellation of symptoms experienced by many (not all) people who find themselves living near industrial wind turbines (see Articles by Pierpont ). [1] Although the study is of less than 100 people Dr. Nina Pierpont would not lack for people that have the same wind turbine syndrome symptoms here in Wisconsin. The noise, flicker and vibrations are causing problems with their health that goes away only when they leave their homes. I admire Dr. Pierpont for financing this at her own expense to help others. Her book is peer-reviewed.[2]

" Like so many earlier medical pioneers exposing the weaknesses of current orthodoxy, Dr. Nina Pierpont has been subjected to much denigration and criticism. It is a tribute to her strength of character and conviction that this important book has reached publication. Her detailed recording of the harm caused by wind turbine noise will lay firm foundations for future research. It should be required reading for all planners considering "wind farms.'"[2] The video, below,"features Dr. Black discussing Dr. Pierpont's forthcoming Wind Turbine Syndrome report, which Dr. Black read in manuscript."[1] Perhaps a study into the life altering impact of PTA Pre Turbine Anxiety might be a great follow-up to Wind Turbine Syndrome.[2] In doing so, you have made a commendable, thorough, careful, honest, and significant contribution to the study of (what we can now call) Wind Turbine Syndrome."[2] "Let me congratulate you on your case-series investigation on Wind Turbine Syndrome.[2] Dr Nina Pierpont, a leading New York paediatrician, has been studying the symptoms displayed by people living near wind turbines in the U.S., the UK, Italy, Ireland and Canada for more than five years.[4] Here's some more fodder for the Not in My Backyard (NIMBY) crowd: A doctor says she's conducted research that suggests that people living close to wind turbines are susceptible to what she calls Wind Turbine Syndrome (WTS), an illness with symptoms including sleep disorders, heart disease, panic attacks and headaches, the Independent reports this weekend the Independent reports this weekend.[2]

To recapitulate, there is in fact a consistent cluster of symptoms, the Wind Turbine Syndrome, which occurs in a significant number of people in the vicinity of industrial wind turbines. There are specific risks factors for this syndrome, and people with these risk factors include a substantial portion of the population.[5] Data from a number of studies and individual cases document that in rolling terrain, disturbing symptoms of the Wind Turbine Syndrome occur up to 1.2 miles from the closest turbine.[5] I am here to talk to you today as a physician-scientist about a clinical phenomenon called Wind Turbine Syndrome. This is relevant to today's hearing because it critically affects implementation of the RPS (Renewable Portfolio Standard) in terms of the siting of industrial wind turbines.[5] Three doctors that I know of are studying the Wind Turbine Syndrome: myself, one in England, and one in Australia.[5]

All of my publications on Wind Turbine Syndrome have been moved to a new website, www.windturbinesyndrome.com www.windturbinesyndrome.com.[2] A person allegedly a paediatrician from New York claims to have diagnosed a new disorder, with a wide range of symptoms, relating to Wind Turbines. Provisionally named "Wind Turbine Syndrome", this "visceral vibratory vestibular disturbance" can be detected in folks unlucky enough to be living within the spinning shadow of new wind farms.[4]

The wind energy industry has vigorously rejected new research from the U.S. suggesting some residents living close to wind farms are susceptible to a collection of health risks dubbed "Wind Turbine Syndrome".[7] According to a draft copy draft copy of the section of the book intended for non-clinicians that is available on Dr Pierpont's web site, Dr Pierpont's web site, much of the research appears to be based on interviews with just 10 families living near wind turbines ranging in size from 1.5MW to 3MW, resulting in a sample of 38 people.[7] The Government of Ontario's Standing Committee on General Government is hearing public deputations on the subject of "Green Energy" which includes Industrial Wind Turbines (as they appear intent on blanketting much of this Province with them).[2] This evening (Jan 20, 2009) I attended a public meeting about a proposed industrial wind turbine project in Lake Ontario near Toronto.[3] Peer review is an academic, scholarly protocol; it is not a function of selling wind turbines, which is what wind development is all about.[2]

"In my expert opinion, from my knowledge of sleep physiology and a review of the available research, I have no doubt that wind turbine noise emissions cause sleep disturbance and ill health."[1] "The only mitigation of sleep disturbance from industrial wind turbine noise is a setback of at least 1.5km, and probably greater. This estimate is based on data from present installations, many of which have a much smaller rated capacity than those proposed by Nuon Renewables Nuon Renewables "Christopher Hanning, MD, " Sleep Disturbance and Wind Turbine Noise Sleep Disturbance and Wind Turbine Noise " (June"14,"2009), p. 27.[1]

Leading British sleep specialist, Dr. Christopher Hanning, explains the profound repercussions of wind turbines disrupting sleepa matter the wind turbine salesman at your last town meeting, along with the wind industry in general,"refuse to acknowledge, much less address in any realistic manner."[1]

Having reviewed a considerable body of clinical evidence (note:" wind salesmen and acousticians are not clinicians), Hanning calls for setbacks of at least 1.5 km (1 mile)." (Nina Pierpont, MD, PhD, would consider that inadequate."[1] A setback of 1.5 miles from homes, schools, hospitals, and similar institutions will probably be adequate, in most NY State terrain, to protect people from the adverse health effects of industrial wind turbines.[5] Sensitivity to low frequency vibration is a risk factor. Contrary to assertions of the wind industry, some people feel disturbing amounts of vibration or pulsation from wind turbines, and can count in their bodies, especially their chests, the beats of the blades passing the towers, even when they can't hear or see them.[5]

By the way it start to occurs to me that the noise problem of wind turbine is largely a myth.[2] The tobacco industry covering up cancer from smoking, one of the biggest causes of preventable death in the world, is a slightly larger problem (yes, that's sarcastic) than an industry just learning about the possibility of panic attacks caused by wind turbines.[2] Ive worked on wind turbines four the past four years now and ive never experienced any of these symptoms. I dont know of anyone who works on them that has.[2] I have gotten close to several small wind turbines and I can hardly hear a thing.[2] Before anyone passes judgement maybe they should live within a 1,000 ft. of the large industrial sized wind turbine.[2]


[1] K selected Books wind turbine syndrome
[2] earth 2 tech~ W T S: Living Near Wind Farms May Be Hazardous to Your Health
[4]Energy Change for Climate Control

[5]Testimony before the New York State Legislature Energy CommitteeNina Pierpont, MD, PhD