BP's Tatics in Cape Vincent Ny

Saturday, June 30, 2012

BP says Zoning Laws that protect the residents of Cape Vincent are unreasonably burdensome

You may have read that there was a comment letter from BP wind energy (electronically delivered) to the Town of Cape Vincent June 27, 2012 concerning Cape Vincent proposed zoning law.
Below is a transcript of that letter.

June 27, 2012

Via Electronic Delivery


Town of Cape Vincent
P. O. Box 680
Cape Vincent, N Y 13618
Re: Proposed Amendment – 2012 of Town Of Cape Vincent Zoning Law

On June 5, 2012 the town of Cape Vincent (“ Town") issued Proposed Amendment – 2012 to the
Town of Cape Vincent Zoning Law (" Proposed Zoning Law"). The Proposed Zoning Law would
effectively prohibit wind generation from being sited within the Town. The town is already
evaluated potential impacts from the Cape Vincent and St. Lawrence Wind Farm projects and
made favorable findings. The requirements of the Proposed Zoning Law, however, are
inconsistent with these findings. The requirements, setback provisions, exclusion areas, and noise
standards contained within the Proposed Zoning Law are highly restrictive and should be
substantiated by realistic and credible studies, consistent with other operational wind projects, and
in line with industry standards.

As you know, the developers of the Cape Vincent Wind Farm and St. Lawrence Wind Farm
Projects (combined" the project") have been engaged with the Town and members of its
community for many years. By working closely with the community, BP has been able to make
several changes to and positively shape the Project into one that will provide significant benefits
to the Town and the community and do so in an environmentally responsible manner. Wind
development in the Town will create jobs, increase the demand for local goods and services, and
increase tax revenues to the Town, County, and school district. Land owners will be able to
secure an additional revenue stream while continuing to use their property for agricultural and
recreational uses, a positive benefit during challenging economic times. The Project also will
provide renewable power that is good for the environment.

For parties interested in submitting applications to site wind energy projects in the Town of Cape
Vincent, the provisions contained within the Proposed Zoning Law are unreasonably burdensome
that's in view of existing wind generation technology and/or in view of the needs of/costs to
ratepayers. We respectfully request the town to reconsider the Proposed Zoning Law, taking into
account the above mentioned comments.




Friday, June 29, 2012

IS BP HIDING its FAILURE IN CAPE VINCENT?

Yesterday I posted a theory concerning BP’s actions, asking the question is BP on the way out of Cape Vincent?
By no means is it time to relax, Cape Vincent is under British rule and as they say it ain’t over till the fat lady sings, but she may be warming up.

How Serious Is BP about Wind Energy?

That question was recently asked by David Ferris, Forbs contributor.
 June 14 , 2012, Ferris conducted a brief interview with Katrina Landis, the CEO of BP‘s alternative energy division, to learn more about the oil company’s growing role as a developer of wind farms.

BP’s wind holdings are minor in comparison to their carbon producing assets. Additionally, BP shut its 40-year-old solar program, down last year due to “elusive” profits. In defense of this ” Landis said.
“We have to compete for investment dollars with all the hydrocarbon resources within BP.”

On that note in November of 2008, The Guardian Newspaper reported that BP dropped its plans to build wind farms and other renewable energy projects in Britain and will focus renewables in the United States.
The Guardian quoted a BP spokesman as saying.
“United States is more attractive due to government incentives”

With the fate of the Production Tax Credit unknown and the looming possibility that it will not be renewed, will BP once again bail on renewables?

The interesting part of this Forb’s story comes at the very end , a rundown of BP’s projects under construction or proposed:

Auwahi Wind Farm, Hawaii

Flat Ridge 2 Wind Farm Wichita, Kansas

Mehoopany Wind Farm, Scranton Pennsylvania

The company is also pursuing a project in Alberta, Canada, as well as the Energia Sierra Juarez Wind Farm Baja California.
Information about all of the above projects can be found on BP's website.

However,if you go to BP’s website and type in Cape Vincent  the following page comes up.


Why isn't BP's Cape Vincent wind project on this list of proposed projects, why has  BP  removed  the Cape Vincent wind project from their website ?

Perhaps BP just does not want investors to see that after 6 years Cape Vincent has been a development disaster.

Note:
Information about BP’s CapeVincent Wind project is available at Environmental Resource Management’s website(ERM) .
 ERM assisted in performing a  general wetland survey and habitat assessment for BP's Cape Vincent wind complex.

 Who knows ~Maybe Chandler is wobbling on a tightrope...




Link here to FORBES Story ~How Serious Is BP About Wind Energy?

Link here ~ to BP  website, listing BP’s  wind projects either in construction or proposed:

Link here to ERM ~ BP/Cape Vincent  ~DEIS & SDEIS

Link here to the Gaurdian ~ 2008/ BP drops plans for UK wind farms

Link here to Cnet news ~ BP  Solar shuts down 12/21/11

Thursday, June 28, 2012

IS BP ON THE WAY OUT IN CAPE VINCENT?

British Petroleum is the third largest energy company in the world and the fourth largest company of any flavor in the world. They are not only big, they are among the biggest. Along with being really big allows BP to have a major influence on whatever they decide to do - they have the money and power to push aside opposition, curry the favor of politicians, business people and the public.

Given BP's deep, deep pockets and also given their long-standing interest in screwing Cape Vincent with up to 200 industrial sized wind turbines, you would think they would use their corporate muscle to brush aside the silly inconsequential activities of a small town zoning committee and town board. But, that has not been the case here in Cape Vincent.

Rather than acting like a big-time world player in the energy field BP's response to our 2012 draft zoning law, a single page letter from their latest wunderkind, tells all of us that BP really does not give a crap about our little town. If BP was frothing at the mouth to put a wind project in Cape Vincent and a draft zoning ordinance hindered or preempted their plans, do you think the third largest energy company in the world would send a single page letter to the town telling us if you enact this zoning law it will kill their project and their plans - boo, hoo, whaa?

No, you would expect the third largest energy company in the world to pounce on our draft zoning law as soon as it became available weeks ago and have a team of experts pour over the draft law demanding changes that are backed by law, experience and general practice. You would expect they would call on their acoustic experts to shoot holes in the section on noise, lawyer upon lawyer to go after the setback restrictions, and lawyer upon lawyer to support BP's outrage over having their lease agreements preempted by the zoning law. In short, we should have been bombarded, we should have shell-shocked by now, but no BP's response was a single page of drivel they cut and pasted from one of their glossy sales brochures.

Our draft zoning law is not the only example of BP's flaccid response to the push-back from Cape Vincent's new, honest officials. In BP's comments to the PSC Article 10 rule-making effort they failed to make any substantive comments on the noise section. Noise restrictions you will recall are BP's single biggest concern with local laws; it alone can have the greatest influence on the size of a project. Back in May 2010 BP sent a detailed letter to the Town complaining that noise restrictions would kill their project plans. It is a really big issue affecting the plans of the third largest energy company on the planet, yet their response to the PSC's Article 10 draft noise regulations was "ditto to what she said"! Remarkable, but BP never had their own acoustic experts review the Article 10 draft regulations and provide a complete re-write of the regs. You would expect a team of top notch, world class acoustic experts to bombard the PSC with strongly backed recommendations that were BP friendly - you would expect that response from the third largest energy company in the world. But no BP's response was to quote the noise review and recommendations of Alliance for Clean Energy New York (ACENY), Carol Murphy's Albany-based lobbying group. This is not how the third largest energy company in the world would respond if they were serious about a project.

When you look at these two most recent documents from BP there are two messages you can take home. The first and obvious message is that BP is interested in moving forward with the Article 10 siting board with a project for Cape Vincent and that our draft local zoning law is too restrictive and is "unduly burdensome." The other more meaningful message is that BP is not using its muscle, not using its powerful resources to move the PSC and to move the Town of Cape Vincent in the direction that would benefit BP.

This leads any thoughtful, small town Cape resident to conclude that BP is not serious about their Cape wind project, they are not bringing the resources they need to get this project moving and that they are really preparing their leaseholders for their ultimate decision to abandon plans for Cape Vincent. If you are the third largest energy company in the world and you throw around the same corporate muscle as Mr. Fixit, then you are most assuredly on your way out of town. For many of us, BP's recent letter was a breath of fresh air - good bye, fair well and good riddance.

Solar firm that got DOE loan to declare bankruptcy

Published June 28, 2012

Associated Press

WASHINGTON – A Colorado-based solar panel maker that received a $400 million loan guarantee from the Obama administration said Thursday it will file for bankruptcy, the latest setback for an industry battered by the recession and stiff competition from companies in China.

Abound Solar of Loveland, Colo., said it will suspend operations next week, after talks with potential buyers broke down. The company received about $70 million from the Energy Department before officials froze its credit line last year.

Abound is the third clean-energy company to seek bankruptcy protection after receiving a loan from the Energy Department under the economic stimulus law.


Read more: here

Today marks the 200th anniversary of the U.S. occupation of Carleton Island





CAPE VINCENT — Today marks the 200th anniversary of the U.S. occupation of Carleton Island and the 18th century Fort Haldimand at the beginning of the War of 1812.
These aerial photos — provided by Sotheby’s, an international realty group that specializes in selling historic homes — show the Canadian Tall Ship Fair Jeanne approaching the historic fort, located near the head of the island, on Saturday.
The 110-foot ship was built in Ottawa, Ontario, and is operated by Bytown Brigantine Inc., an Ottawa-based youth charity.
The Thousand Islands Land Trust, based in Clayton, owns Carleton Island’s seven-acre Revolutionary War site, including the fort, which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.
Several lots surrounding the fort owned by RH Monks LLC are up for sale and listed with Sotheby’s.


More from the Watertown Times

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

ATTENTION Residents of Cape Vincent & Beyond

UPDATE 7/5/12
9:46 PM

 
You may have noticed a bright, white, obnoxious, strobing light, emanating from the radio tower located on the corner of Fox Creek Road and RTE. 12 E .
The Owners of the tower Mars Hill Network, have been contacted and assured us that they are
aware of the problem and are taking steps to correct it!

The light appears to have been shut off

* The light continued flashing last night 6/27/12

The Mars Hill Network said that if they can not fix the problem, they will just shut it down next week.


As the crow flies I live 2 miles from this tower and it is bright.
I videotaped it from my back porch. Can you imagine what 190 giant turbines flashing at night would be like?

Key Word Activity ~ ACCIONA Rating


Today's most frequent key word activity = Is ACCIONA Rated?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The squeaky wheel gets the grease

2007 , Stantec sent letters out to the residents of Cape Vincent announcing their plans to build an 86 turbine wind complex on Wolfe Island Identifying the residents of Cape Vincent as stakeholders in this project .

Although the project has been completed this does not mean we are no longer stakeholders. Since the Wolfe Island wind project became operational the turbine noise from Wolfe Island can be heard in Cape Vincent. However the turbines are in another country and there is nothing that we can do. But this may not be the case after all...
Canadian officials have received close to 500 complaints over a mysterious noise or hum that seems to be coming from Zug Island (island in the city of River Rouge near the southern city limits of Detroit Michigan).
Residents of Windsor Ontario have blamed the hum for causing illness, whipping dogs into frenzies, keeping cats housebound and sending goldfish to the surface in backyard ponds. Many have resorted to switching on their furnace fan all season to drown out the noise.

Even weirder, Americans can't seem to hear it. Canadians find that suspicious—especially since their research suggests the hum is coming from the Yankees' side—and accuse U.S. officials of staying silent over the noise.

The Canadian Government has approached our government about noise, as stakeholders it may be time to contact our representatives, and be vocal with our complaints.
~~~
Below are documents I received from Stantec notifying me of the Wolfe Island Project and the  stakeholder comment period






Audio recording of the Windsor Hum~ Sounds like wind turbines to me.




Wallstreet Video news story about the noise


Source: The Wall Street Journal

Canadians Make a Racket Over Mysterious 'Windsor Hu
m'

Doheny Defeats Green

The Watertown Times is reporting ~
Doheny defeats Greene, will face Owens in November

TUESDAY, JUNE 26, 2012

Republican Matthew A. Doheny defeated Kellie A. Greene in a primary on Tuesday to take on Rep. William L. Owens, D-Plattsburgh, in the fall.

 "For the first time since former Congressman John McHugh left to become Secretary of the Army, we have united the Republican, Independence and Conservative lines," Mr. Doheny said in a news release. "Voters here will have a clear choice between two competing visions for America."



Link Here to the Watertown Times for county-by-county unofficial results:

Source :Watertown Times

June 26, 2012 -- Today is Congressional primary day in New York.

Republican Matt Doheny is running against Kellie Greene. In the redrawn 21st district in Northern New York. The winner will face incumbent Democrat Bill Owens in November.

Wendy long, George Merangos and Bob Turner will be running in the primary for the Republican position on the fall ballot to run against Democrat Kristen Gillabrand

The Polls are open from 12:00 Noon to Nine PM

Election Districts 1,2 & 3: Cape Vincent Recreation Park, 602 S. James Street, Cape Vincent, NY

link here to view Cape Vincent Election District map

link here for list of all Jefferson County polling locations

Link here  to read a list of Matt Dohenys endorsements
Link here to read a list of Wendy Longs endorsements

Monday, June 25, 2012

BP the REAL EXPERTS in the Wind Field

Recently I posted a letter to the Editor by Clif Schneider, concerning Atmospheric stability and wind turbine noise.
A comment came in questioning Clif Schneider’s credentials.

Excerpt:  Why should we believe him over the real experts in the Wind field?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Six Years ago ~ Cape Vincent Wind Fiasco

This Watertown Times article from 2006, highlights a few wind issues we were dealing with six years ago. This story begins with a reversal of positions on setbacks by two council members. Coincidentally their change of heart came just one day after Darrel Aubertines letter to the Cape Vincent Town Board about voting on wind issues. Aubertines letter was a disgraceful attempt to influence the town Board.

Wind power setback nixed
Cape zoning plan: amendment changed to resolve deadlock

This story was purchased from the archives of the Watertown Times
By Jude Seymour
Times staff writer
June 16,2006

Cape Vincent – two members of the town Council have reversed their positions on setback requirements of commercial wind towers, causing a deadlock that was resolved Thursday only by stripping any such regulations from up close zoning law amendment.
Two Councilman recusing themselves over apparent conflicts of interest, the three members remaining agreed May 11 two set a project boundary that would begin 1000 feet from the already established River district boundary. Proposed law therefore, restricted the first turbine from being placed any closer than 2600 feet from the center line over 12 the.
But supervisor Thomas K Rhinebeck and Councilman Mickey W Orvis offered a revised boundary Thursday that showed turbines as close as 1600 feet from the center line over 12 E. Councilman Clifford P. Schneider who had already compromised for the May 11 proposition did not alter his proposal.
“There’s been overwhelming support for total use of the Ag district, to begin with." Mr. Rhinebeck in explaining his change of course" and furthermore, I see no reason other than visual impacts for anything other than that"
Mr. Orvis added," I can't justify taking another thousand feet, whether it's a farmer or just a regular landowner of their property."
But Mr. Schneider said town residents have been misled by statements made at the June 3 public hearing, where many town farmers claimed they would have problems with the proposed setbacks.
“I found out these were basically three farmers affected by what the town was proposing," the councilman said." And two of these farmers still had 100 acres that could be developed. One farmer is seriously affected, but he still going to have 40 acres left to have a tower on."
The three Councilmen could agree to address setbacks only through forbidding wind power development in the lake and river districts. Their proposal also allows tower construction starting at 1600 feet from the high water mark of both Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River leaving the town planning board responsible for actual siting during each procedural review.
This revised zoning law amendment will be subject to a public hearing which has not been scheduled all three Councilman agreed not to pursue a six-month moratorium on wind power development.
“We have to take advantage of the tax relief that's going to be available to us." Said Mr. Orvis." We could wait and the wind company, the developer, could go to another spot and come back to us, but supply and demand.
We’re not the only ones in the country that are going to have wind towers built. The longer we wait the longer were going to wait for a supply of wind towers. And that's longer we have to wait for any tax relief."

Watertown Times article
Link not available
~~~
Darrel Aubertines Shameful Letter


Friday, June 22, 2012

Atmospheric Stability and Wind Turbine Noise

In this letter to the editor Clif Schneider,explains the concept of wind turbine noise and atmospheric stability .
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Some T.I. residents will be saying goodbye to those quiet summer evenings. There are now two wind turbine noise reports submitted by developers along the Thousand Islands corridor. One by AES-Acciona Energy concludes their project in Cape Vincent would not “create a significant noise impact.” PPM Atlantic Renewable, on the other hand, freely admits to Town of Clayton residents that their project “would be clearly audible.” In both cases, developers ignored the biggest potential noise threat from wind farm development — atmospheric stability.
First, we have to better understand wind and noise. When the wind blows, trees and shrubbery produce a lot of noise, enough to mask quieter sounds. When the wind subsides, other quiet sounds, like the sound of a cricket, can become more noticeable. This relates to wind turbine noise, too. Turbines are loudest when the wind is blowing hard. As wind subsides, turbines slow down making less noise. When the wind quits, turbines stop as well. However, there is a condition when turbines can still be noisy even after the wind stops blowing.
During clear, cloudless nights a process called radiation cooling takes place whereby the atmosphere next to the ground becomes stable — it decouples from the air mass just above the ground. What is significant about this decoupling is that there can be no wind at ground level, but the wind can be blowing quite hard at the height of a wind turbine. Here then is the worst-case scenario developers should be considering, turbines spinning loudly with no masking sounds close to the ground. Even worse, it can occur on summer nights with our bedroom windows wide open.

So, how frequent is atmospheric stability and how loud can the turbines get? From my review of Queens University survey, nearly forty percent of spring and summer nights could be associated with atmospheric stability. Therefore, atmospheric stability is notan infrequent occurance. In ground-breaking studies at a German wind park on the Dutch border, the Dutch physicist Dr G.P. van der Berg showed that “wind turbine noise could be up to 15-18 dBA higher than expected.” NYSDEC guidelines indicate that an increase of 15-20 dBA is “objectionable.”

In conclusion, we have the potential for a real problem. Participating landowners and local officials don’t know about this problem, but should. Developers know about the problem, but don’t want to deal with it. In any case, we should all discuss it before we make an unalterable decision that we might later regret, and if you don’t believe it can happen here, just visit Maple Ridge and talk to someone.

Clif Schneider
Cape Vincent NY

~~~

A report prepared by Clif Schneider, In response to sound studies from commercial wind developers,(Acciona Spain) & (Bp British Petroleum). A series of background noise surveys were conducted , in Cape Vincent, NY between May and July 2008.
The survey approach included sampling at night under stable atmospheric conditions and systematically selecting monitoring stations at 1.6 km intervals.

Link here to read the report ~Measuring Background Noise During Nights With Stable Atmospheric Conditions_InterNoise 2009 ~ Schneider

Even moderate noise may harm hearing

Maps of the part of the brain that processes sounds, called the auditory cortex, show that rats exposed to low-level noise have fewer nerve cells that respond to highly-pulsed sound patterns than rats that lived the quiet life, a new study shows. Credit: X. Zhou


By Rebecca Cheung
Science News

June 16th, 2012; Vol.181 #12 (p. 12)

Constant low-level noise might cause hearing problems, a new study in rats finds. The discovery, published online May 15 in Nature Communications, suggests that extended exposure to noise at levels usually deemed safe for human ears could actually impair sound perception.

The findings are “definitely a warning flag,” says study coauthor Michael Merzenich, an integrative neuroscientist at the University of California, San Francisco. He adds that it will be important to find out whether people employed at factories where continuous low-intensity noise is emitted throughout the workday experience similar consequences.

“The big picture is that there is no safe sound,” says Jos Eggermont, an auditory neuroscientist at the University of Calgary in Canada. Even sounds considered safe can cause damage if delivered in a repetitive way, he says. “There might be not-so-subtle effects that accumulate and affect communication and speech understanding.”

Link to original source (Science News)to read more

A NEW ~ NEW YORK STATE ~ OF WIND ~ TURBINES & TOURISM


This promotional video by New York State emphasizes New York as a leader in innovation, highlighting wind turbines as a force to spark this innovation.
One thing is certain the promotion of wind energy by New York State will spark controversy.





 NY State Website  featuring promotional video link here

“My vote for the landmark health care reform law,was one of the most important choices of my lifetime.” ~ Bill Owens.



Next week the Supreme Court is scheduled to release their decision on President Obama’s health care bill. [1]
The bill passed in March of 2010 by 219-212 vote after more than a year of bitter partisan debate. All 178 Republicans opposed it, as did 34 Democrats.[2]
When promoting his healthcare bill President Obama reportedly told House Democrats that newly-elected Rep. Bill Owens proved that members could run on a platform of comprehensive reform and still be elected to Congress. "He said to look at Bill Owens," the aide recalled. "There is a House seat that's been in Republican hands for more than one hundred years. But Owens didn't run away from reform. He campaigned on it. And he still got elected."[3]
~~~
However, in the shadows of a failing economy and the pending Supreme Court decision over the Presidents healthcare Bill, Congressman Bill Owens and at least half a dozen Democratic officials have said in recent days that they won't attend the Democratic National Convention this September in Charlotte, North Carolina, where the president will formally receive the party's nomination for a second term.
A spokesman for Bill Owens explained by
"He just has a packed schedule back home," he said. [4]

Sources:
[1] New York Times Business Day
Awaiting the Supreme Court’s Health Care Ruling
Huffington Post
[2] Health Care Bill Passes: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Huffington Post

Huffington  Post
~~~

Thursday, June 21, 2012

They all lived together in a little crooked house...

A few days ago I wrote a story about BP’s crooked met tower on Millens bay road.

A reader commented that the tower was taken down repaired and is up and running.
 I have another issue with BP’s met towers.  I did a post in April concerning the met towers in Cape Vincent.
From documents available through a FOIL request it appears that the met tower permits were granted on a conditional basis with guarantees of removal after 18 months. Not only are these towers in violation of the original agreements but it appears that the permits for these towers have not been renewed.

Based on this information I asked why the towers were still standing.
~~~~

In 2005 after Green light energy / BP decided to erect a met tower on the Edsall/Worner property located on Burnt Rock Road.
Planning board Chair Richard Edsall wrote a letter to his wife telling her that no permit is required to proceed with the wind test tower. (NO PERMIT)




The question is how do you renew a permit if it does not exist? I have a document from 2011 requesting a renewal of the permit, but no record of any permit. BP should be required to produce the permit for the met tower on the Edsall /Worner property. Additionally, I FOILED all of the met tower permits and the only ones available were for the Acciona / NY Wind met tower on Constance road and one on Bedford Corners Road erected by a private citizen  .


If the permits do not exist this is yet another reason that these met towers should be removed.

Unfortunately according to town Attorney Mark Gebo,  Met towers fall under the wind moratorium umbrella and no action will can be taken at the present time.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The governor is, in essence, conceding to the effort by some communities to exert home rule

 UPSTATE NEW YORK ~ Local officials who voted to impose municipal bans on hydraulic fracturing gathered in the state capitol in Albany on Monday 18 June to call attention to the rapidly expanding “home rule” movement that is sweeping upstate New York. [1]
  Limited drilling for natural gas with hydraulic fracturing or fracking may be coming to New York State.
According to a New York Times article, written by Danny Hakim ,  Gov. Andrew Cuomo will soon announce a plan that will allow hydraulic fracturing in a few select counties in New York, most of them along or near the border with Pennsylvania. His plan would limit fracking to only those counties and townships within those counties that actually want drilling -- at least for "the next several years." [2]
 
Gov.  Cuomo's reported plan as described by an unnamed state Department of Environmental Conservation official to Hakim, is to proceed only in the deeper parts of the Marcellus Shale,  the subterranean rock formation that holds vast amounts of gas, and only in communities that support gas drilling which would unavoidably involve the productive but contentious process of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, of the shale layers deep underground.[3]
The governor is, in essence, conceding to the effort by some communities to exert home rule [4]
In blocking this industrial activity but saying home rule cuts both ways.   This shift by Governor Cuomo signals the overall direction of his energy policy. [5]

  Under the plan being discussed by the Cuomo administration, drilling in New York would be allowed only in Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Steuben and Tioga counties, if local governments agree to it, the administration official said. The New York Times reported the counties under consideration for permits today.

Tom West, an attorney for Anschutz and a lobbyist for the industry in Albany, said Cuomo may be following the law as determined by the rulings in those cases by considering a plan that would allow local governments to block drilling. [6]

The strategy has not been made final and details could change, but it has been taking shape over several months. It would be contingent on hydraulic fracturing's receiving final approval from state regulators, a step that is not a foregone conclusion but is widely expected later this summer. [7]

If in the case of Fracking the Governor does concede to communities exerting Home Rule, does this set a legal precedence for communities opposing other forms of energy development?



[1.]Municipal Fracking Ban Press Conference in Albany on June 18 The Catskill Chronicle



[3.] Marcellus Shale - Appalachian Basin Natural Gas Play

[4.] Status of Home Rule appeals uncertain as deadline nears Arguing against local control could put Republicans on spot .Shale Gas Review


[5.]  Cuomos Wise Move on New Yorks Gas Resource - NYTimes.com

[6.] Fracking could be banned in Otsego, Delaware, Schoharie counties » Archive » The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

[7.]  Cuomo Said to Want to Limit Fracking to 5 New York Counties - Businessweek


Monday, June 18, 2012

Simplify the tax code? Why some in GOP are saying 'not yet'

Opinion Piece
Fosters Daily Democrat


By Tim Phillips and Corey R. Lewandowski
Sunday, June 17, 2012

In a sound free-market economy, taxes should be easy to understand and applied in a neutral manner; the code should only be used to raise revenue, not to meddle in the economy. This spring, nearly every Republican in Washington supported Chairman Paul Ryan's budget that embraced these principles, yet now some of these same lawmakers are pushing policies that will do the complete opposite.

Recently, a group of over twenty House and three Senate Republicans-including New Hampshire Representative Charles Bass (NH-2) and neighboring Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown-signed on to the American Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit Extension Act (H.R. 3307 & S. 2201). The bill would extend several targeted tax credits for renewable energy, including wind power. If we actually want a simpler tax code and a free-market energy policy, these subsidies must be allowed to expire at the end of this year as currently scheduled.

Policymakers have been using the tax code to steer Americans' energy choices for decades. It has only recently come under public scrutiny thanks to the loss of millions of taxpayer dollars to "green" companies like Solyndra. But oil, natural gas, nuclear energy, ethanol, wind and solar energy have regularly enjoyed lucrative subsidies to promote production and stability, create jobs, and lower prices for the consumer — or so Americans have been told. In reality, the subsidies keep taxes high on productive companies while politicians get to pursue their favorite pet projects, all while energy prices continue to rise.

This holds true for wind energy as well. In order to get a foothold in the energy market, many backers of extending the subsidies claim wind companies should receive the same support that fossil fuels were given in their infancy. They say that if wind is just given a chance to develop, it will grow into a self-sustaining, cost-efficient industry.

But what they don't tell you is that the wind industry has been receiving subsidies for nearly 20 years and has yet to show any signs of such growth. In fact, in the three years that the subsidies were allowed to lapse, the growth of the industry fell by 93%-proof that the industry isn't viable unless it is able to gain special exemptions from our overly-burdensome tax code.

Obviously it's time for lawmakers to realize that if a new technology truly has worthwhile benefits for American consumers (lower cost, higher efficiency, environmental benefits, or otherwise) then that technology will demonstrate its value by competing for consumers' dollars in the open market-not by gobbling up special handouts from their pals in Washington.

Energy subsidies, including the Wind Production Tax Credit, must be eliminated to enable true competition. This forces companies to become more innovative and efficient in order to make their energy source attractive to consumers. It's time for Republicans to live up to their professed free-market principles and get rid of these special giveaways.

Tim Phillips is president and Corey R. Lewandowski is the New Hampshire state director of Americans for Prosperity, which bills itself as "the nation's leading free market grassroots organization."

Link here to original

LYME ~ Submits Comments to the Public Service Commission

Hon. Jaclyn A. Brilling
New York State Public Service Commission
Empire State Plaza
Agency Building 3
Albany, NY 12223-1350
Dear Ms. Brilling,
New York State recently enacted legislation known as the Power NY Act of 2011 and said
legislation amended the public service law by adding a new Article X, which establishes a
New York State Board of Electrical Generation Siting Board.
Said Board will have the authority to permit the siting of electrical generating facilities in the
State which have a nameplate generating capacity of twenty-five thousand kilowatts or
more.
As a home rule state, New York's local municipalities, by virtue of decisions made by locallyelected
representatives, should ultimately decide whether such development is in their
residents' best interests.

The Power NY Act of 2011 removes said decision making from local municipalities,
and puts that authority into the hands of a bureaucratic State Board which will have nominal
representation from affected communities, and even that representation cannot be from
elected representatives of those communities.

The new Board will have the authority to ignore "any local ordinance, law or any local
standard or requirement if it finds that such is unreasonably burdensome on ratepayers
whether located inside or outside of such municipality".

The new law further states that "no municipality may require any approval, consent, permit,
certificate or other condition for the construction or operation" of such facility.
While the law provides for the set-aside of funds for pre-hearing research on behalf of the
affected communities, said funds are controlled by the Board and will be allocated as it sees
fit.

The large majority of the Board's membership will have no connection to the affected
communities and will not be directly affected by their decisions. While municipalities may be
a party to the siting hearings, so may any individual within 5 miles of the proposed facility's
site, and therefore the municipality itself, which purpose, by law, is to represent the
residents who elect its officials, is diminished to the level of each individual within the 5 mile
radius, whether or not he/she lives in the affected municipality.

Said law follows a disturbing trend in New York State to remove powers from local
jurisdictions and therefore from the affected electorate and transfer such powers to a
faceless bureaucracy which has no constituency.

The Town of Lyme opposes, protests, and expresses its deep disappointment and concern
over the establishment of said siting Board and of the enactment of the Power NY Act of
2011.

The people of the Town of Lyme, with the assistance of the Jefferson County Planning
Department have worked for years to produce a fact based zoning law that protects the
health, welfare, and safety of the citizens of our community. This law is based on a
Comprehensive Plan done jointly with the Village of Chaumont Planning Board, again with
help from Jefferson County Planning, along with a great deal of community input. Although I
am sure everyone thinks their own community is unique, our geography is indeed unusual
in that we have a very narrow town with a great deal of waterfront. The waterfront land
makes up the majority of our tax base and there is a serious concern over loss of property
value if the area is industrialized. Our concern is not solely for waterfront residents, even a
small loss in home value would be devastating to the many homeowners scattered
throughout the town. Our Comprehensive Plan calls for development that preserves or
enhances the natural, historic, and scenic qualities of the town, and we feel that we, the
people of the town are the best judges of how to develop our town.

Respectfully,

Scott G. Aubertine
Town of Lyme Supervisor
PO Box 66
12175 NYS Rte. 12 E
Chaumont, NY 13622

Sunday, June 17, 2012

BP's Faulty Towers

British Petroleum’s shameful environmental record reads like rap sheet laundry of environmental and human rights violations.
Historically their actions follow a pattern, when necessary; they plead guilty to an offense, pull out their checkbook, and pay a fine and move on to their next victims.
In 2007, British Petroleum agreed to pay a criminal fine of more than $60 million for violations of federal environmental regulations in Texas and Alaska. After the Alaskan spill, British Petroleum Plead guilty to one misdemeanor of the Clean Water Act and paid a $12 million fine for spilling 200,000 gallons of crude oil into the Alaskan tundra which was a result of not properly monitoring or maintaining the Alaskan pipeline.

British Petroleum has left in its wake, problems, violations, victims and disasters, including the most recent Deep-water Horizon mess.
One tragedy in particular caused by British Petroleum, which occurred in March of 2005, was an explosion at British Petroleum's Texas City refinery.
This episode in British Petroleum’s shameful history killed 15 people and injured 170. British Petroleum plead guilty to a felony charge for failing to have adequate maintenance procedures.

Apparently Cape Vincent is no different. Recently I was driving down Millens Bay Road and I noticed a BP Met tower that seemed to have a problem. I am not an engineer but I am positive that these towers are supposed to be straight, this one was not.



A few months ago I submitted a FOIL request for the met tower permit renewals, and strangely none could be found.

BP has been busy increasing the size of their project, talking and planning with the Port of Ogdensburg, sending land agents around the town finding good neighbors, but not busy enough to maintain their equipment to ensure it functions safely.
Sounds like how they managed their assets in the Gulf, doesn't it. What a surprise a met tower, with an outdated permit, that isn’t being cared for properly by a company with a reputation for not maintaining their equipment properly.
Go figure
~~~


Wind Leaseholders Lapping up BP's Pablum

Today Jefferson Leaning Left's post was written by a reader

The reader submitted the following comment to a post I wrote warning that British Petroleum is out to stick it to the community of Cape Vincent, NY.

Don't let the taxpayers get stuck with the junk. Ask the Town of Cape Vincent to pass a law requiring the landowners to be legally and financially responsible for the ultimate dismantling of any industrial wind turbines built on their property. In that law, the leaseholders should be required to provide a bond that will pay for the dismantling or be returned to them if the company pays it for them. Link here to read Jll's post.

~~~
JLL’s post reminded me of a decommissioning idea sent to me by a reader…

As you know decommissioning of a wind farm is probably the most perplexing issue related to wind farm development. Here is a link that I believe has real possibilities; especially if it could we could get lease holder cooperation:

In the immortal words of "Weird Al" Yankovic. ... EAT IT!





Note what you are about to see in the video below is real.

Mr. Eat it All is able to swallow anything - including metal. He has gobbled up planes, bikes, thousands of glasses and bolts, but rarely a banana

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Cape Vincent ~ MORATORIUM BE DAMNED ~ BP's Show Must Go On

We may be in the middle of a Moratorium in Cape Vincent however; this has not stopped BP from moving forward with the plans for their Cape Vincent industrial wind project.
Word on the street is that BP has been throwing money around our community adding to the footprint of their project by signing more people up to wind leases.
Today the Watertown Times is reporting that Ogdensburg Port Authority is in negotiations with planners for the Cape Vincent Wind Project and another project in Vermont for 2014.
“We’re actually working with some big names in the industry,” said John A. Rishe, director of the Authorities commercial and industrial development. “We had roughly 20 meetings with potential customers at the show.”


Link here to read the WDT story

Friday, June 15, 2012

Cape Vincent Supplemental comments to Public Service Commission

June 15, 2012

Hon. Jaclyn A. Brilling
Secretary, New York State Public Service Commission Three Empire State Plaza
Albany, New York 12223-1350

Re: Case 12-F-0036 -In the Matter of the Rules and Regulations of the Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment.



Dear Secretary Brilling:


This letter is a supplement to the Cape Vincent Town Board's earlier comments submitted to you in a letter dated May l7, 2012. After reviewing the comments (May 29, 2012) from Mr. Richard Chandler, Director, BP Energy North America, we need to respond once more, since Mr. Chandler's comment states that BP will be submitting a proposal for an industrial wind project for Cape Vincent that far exceeds anything we have seen in the past and BP's comments suggest an insensitivity to the health and safety of our community.


Responses keyed to Chandler-BP comments:


Introduction: "The Cape Vincent Wind Farm now can reach upwards of approximately 285 MW in size. Given its long-standing and substantial investment in this project, BP Wind Energy is seeking an Article 10 process that will facilitate its development and construction. "


BP announced in their introductory comment that its proposed project for Cape Vincent suddenly increased by 43 percent. Previously, in a letter to the Cape Vincent Town Supervisor on February 6 and in a Watertown Daily Times article on April 26, both noted the combined project "could produce approximately 200MW." BP could have chosen a better method for announcing expansion plans to a community than through the Article 10 rule-making process. Perhaps the additional capacity will come from expansion in an adjoining community? Regardless, BP's ambitions continue to grow affecting a community that does not want bigger, but rather, prefers smaller.


B - Local Laws: "The local community should bear the burden of proof to demonstrate why the more restrictive requirements are appropriate rather than the applicant demonstrating why they are not appropriate." and "... to the extent that a recently commissioned wind project in New York meets community standards, such projects should be used as a guide by the Siting Board rather than having the Siting Board assume that any local law is reasonable unless refitted by an applicant. "


This was an important point in our May 17 letter. The draft regulations for determining the degree to which local action is unduly burdensome begins with BP's request for a determination. We support the rules in their current form where BP would also have to
justify the supplanting local law.


The suggestion by BP that standards for communities with existing wind projects in New York should be used by the Article 10 Siting Board to guide their application is totally unacceptable and insensitive to local requirements. Standards for our community should be our choice based on the interests of our citizens; not those from another community with entirely different concerns, resources and needs.


Our town is currently working hard to adopt a local zoning law that will guide industrial wind development and protect our citizens. Therefore, our revised zoning law should not be dismissively brushed aside by either the applicant or the Siting Board. Furthermore, during the deliberations of a wind law committee I established in 2010, Mr. Chandler's predecessors at BP lobbied intensively to weaken sections of our draft law that were designed to protect the health and safety of our community and BP's efforts eventually prevented the committee from reaching agreement. We are very sensitive to any entity, either corporate or State, discarding our local laws.


C - Study Area: "A Study Area extending five miles from all project components is overly burdensome and may result in work unrelated to the project. The Study Area should be restricted to the project footprint... .."


A 285 MW project could mean nearly 200, 1.5 MW wind turbines scattered throughout our town. For BP to suggest their study area would end at their project boundary, and not consider assessing the impacts on our extensive river and lake front residents situated less than a mile away from the nearest turbines is woefully inadequate. Visual, property and noise impacts extend well beyond any project boundary and a five mile requirement should be retained.


D - Duration of steps in process: "BP Wind Energy has already been engaged with the local community for years on the Cape Vincent Wind Farm project and such work should not be ignored, discounted, or required to be reproduced. .."


On page 3 of the memorandum of draft regulations issued by the Siting Board (March 27) it notes that "Experience has demonstrated that active and adequate public involvement can be critical to the success of an Article 10 review process." In contrast, however, the memorandum also states, "whereas poorly conducted public involvement programs by applicants tend to exacerbate differences and conflicts." Our view is that BP's six-year history in our community has fostered differences, divisions and conflicts within our community. Because of that questionable history, BP should not be requesting to forgo additional public involvement activities described in the draft rules, but should be embracing an opportunity to do a better job. Increasing the size of their proposed project by 43 percent without any notification to local officials is not an example of good public involvement policy. The Siting Board should insist that applicants adhere to the public involvement rules, regardless of their past history in a community, whether good or bad.


E - Business sensitive and confidential information: "Applicants should not be required to submit detailed cost and meteorological data, as such information is proprietary and confidential and will not assist the Siting Board in its work. "


If applicants refuse to provide financial information then they should not be allowed to insist that local laws are financially burdensome to their proposal. Applicants cannot on the one hand claim their financial information is proprietary and should not be revealed, yet later assert restrictive local regulations would "kill" their project proposal. The Siting Board must be consistent on the issue of assessing the impact of costs.


F - Public comment period: The timeframe for allowing public comment on a proposed stipulation should be defined rather than using the current language ("a reasonable opportunity to submit comments"). We should suggest using 5 days."


A 5-day review period is inadequate and an attempt to impose such a standard will be viewed as hindering public involvement; not improving it. Consulting with engineering and legal aides would require more time to be fair. Section G of the Pre-application Procedures stipulates a 21-day period to accept comments on the preliminary scoping statement. We would consider a three-week period much more reasonable than 5 days suggested by BP.


J - Design specifications: "Similarly, rather than provide manufacturer's specifications on proposed equipment to be used, it would be more helpful to instead describe parameters of the equipment."


If the applicant cannot specify the equipment used, in particular the model and make of wind turbine, then any assessment of noise impacts should be delayed until such time as BP can specify what turbine it will be using for a project.


L. Noise and Vibration: "An unduly large emphasis is placed on the assessment of low frequency and tonal noise. The current language proposes assessing compliance at property lines of noise sensitive receptors, which introduces uncertainty from a modeling perspective for a windfarm. We would propose that the SitingBoard adopt the language
changes proposed by ACENY."


Mr. Chandler and BP seem to be misinformed regarding the issue of low frequency noise. Requirement for C-weighted, low frequency assessment and modeling was dropped from the draft rules; therefore, BP should be satisfied with the current draft. However, many municipalities are deeply concerned that low frequency assessment and modeling are not part of the rules. There have been a number of requests, ours included, to re-instate low frequency turbine noise evaluation into the section on noise in the draft rules. We are insistent that to be competent the final rules must responsibly address low frequency sound.


If the PSC is entertaining more language regarding noise standards, background sound surveys, compliance testing etc., then the Town of Cape Vincent would urge the Siting Board to consider the detailed changes proposed by Dr. Paul Schomer to the PSC in early March (see attached). In the following I quote a section from Dr. Schomer's CV that speaks to his unique set of qualifications for dealing with a noise standard for the Article 10 draft rules:


"Dr. Schomer is chairperson of the United States delegation to International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Acoustics and Noise committees, past chairperson of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Committee dealing with noise, chairperson of the ISO working groups which deal with environmental noise and with impulsive noise measurement, chairperson of the ANSIIASA working group which deals with environmental noise, and he is the United States representative to the International Organization for Standardization in the areas of aircraft noise and impulsive sources. He is the Standards Director for the Acoustical Society of America, a past member of the Society of Automotive Engineers Aircraft Noise Committee, a principle contributor to current efforts in the area of standardizing airport noise monitoring, and former Executive Director, past vice-president for membership, and twice a past member of the board of the Institute of Noise Control Engineering. He is also a past adjunct Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering (Acoustics) and member of the graduate faculty of the University of lllinois."


Mr. Chandler and BP propose that the Siting Board adopt changes proposed by ACENY for the noise issue. In ACENY's comments, however, they fail to mention who drafted their suggested changes and their qualifications: "We have consulted with a nationally recognized sound expert and others with experience on this issue and have substantive comments described here and contained in the attached redline of the proposed regulations." This is not how the Article 10 rules and policy should be promulgated - using phantom sound experts and vague, unsupported standards.


Dr. Schomer's credentials, on the other hand, are impeccable and he has provided the Siting Board with a complete re-write of Exhibit19 on Noise (see attached). I would urge the Siting Board's inclusion of rules based on recognized national and international standards to protect people and proposed by the Standards Director of the Acoustical Society of America, rather than a standard designed to enhance the wind industry's bottom line.



The zoning law that we are about to adopt in Cape Vincent is built on protecting the health, safety and general welfare of all our citizens. However, BP in its comments and past actions in Cape Vincent suggests that our concern with health, safety and general welfare may be unduly burdensome to their project and financial interests. The credibility of their comments must be considered with that in mind - BP is here in Cape Vincent to make money and we were elected to protect people. However, we welcome any development so long as it does not jeopardize the health and safety of our citizens and also recognizes the special assets and resources that make Cape Vincent special and attractive as a community.

Thank you for allowing municipalities the opportunity to supplement their comments to the board.

Urban Hirschey, Town Supervisor 

Brooks Bragdon, Town Councilman and Deputy Supervisor
John Byrne, Town Councilman
Clifford Schneider, Town Councilman
Town of Cape Vincent

1964 NYS Rte 12E 

Cape Vincent, NY 13618

Lyme officials: home rule must prevail

By JAEGUN LEE
TIMES STAFF WRITER

FRIDAY, JUNE 15, 2012

CHAUMONT — Home rule must prevail over “a disturbing trend” in state government to remove powers from local jurisdictions under Article X of the 2011 Power NY Act, according to Lyme town officials.

Joining several other towns, Lyme recently sent its official statement to the state Public Service Commission asking it to reinstate local control over the siting of energy development projects, such as industrial wind farms.

More from the Watertown Daily Times

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Rep. Bill Owens Blew through Cape Vincent Thursday morning.



~~~~
Rep. Bill Owens Blew through Cape Vincent Thursday morning.
 
As reported by the Watertown Daily times Rep . Owens visit to MeatalCraft Marine was to take place at 11:30 Thursday morning.
I was out of town for the day and a friend of mine went down to Metal Craft to see Mr. Owens and get a photo, unfortunately my friend must have blinked because Owens was not there .

Apparently Owens was able to slip in and out without being detected, .

Perhaps Owens wanted a campaign photo - op without having to deal with the little people and our local issues…
Over a year ago while visiting Watertown, Mr. Owens said he understands the acrimony in Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties over turbine placement, but that siting turbines is a “local issue” and not something, the federal government should be involved in.

Mr. Owens should remember that Voting is a local issue as well.

Wind Energy PTC Snubbed In Congressional Talks On Tax Extenders

by Laura DiMugno on Thursday 14 June 2012


The Senate Finance Committee met this week to discuss the importance of extending expired or soon-to-expire energy tax provisions. Based on similar recent hearings, expectations were that the production tax credit (PTC) for wind energy would figure prominently in the talks.

However, the two-hour discussion was dominated by talks about support for the oil and gas industries. More from North American WindPower

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Gamesa's ~ Shaffer Mountain Wind farm Plan ~ Blown Away by Indiana Bats?

 Gamesa is throwing in the towel on the Schaeffer mountain wind project.
Due to a combination of factors, including uncertainty surrounding federal policies, Gamesa has decided to halt development plans for its proposed Shaffer Mountain Wind Farm in Somerset County," Gamesa Energy U.S.A.
 One of the issues slowing down the development , the wind farm's permits were held up last fall after an endangered Indiana bat was found dead beneath a wind turbine about 30 miles away. Shaffer Mountain has an Indiana bat colony and is located on the same migratory path as the turbine where the dead bat was discovered.
 Shaffer Mountain landowner Richard Bair said a Fish and Wildlife official told Gamesa it would not receive a "green light" to build, adding that the decision was influenced by threatened legal action from environmental groups.  
 March 30, 2012 a coalition of conservation groups threatened to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for issuing an opinion allowing a proposed wind turbine facility on ecologically sensitive Shaffer Mountain to mitigate damage it would do to a maternity colony of endangered Indiana bats.

According to the 21-page notice, sent to the Fish and Wildlife Service, the service's biological opinion "inappropriately sidesteps" the preferred option of relocating or significantly modifying the 30-turbine industrial wind farm to avoid killing the bats. The FWS opinion, filed on Sept. 27 with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, proposed minimizing and mitigation of bat mortality but not moving the wind turbine facility off of the Mountain.   
 The 60-day notice of intent to sue, required by the Endangered Species Act when contesting an agency action, cited the opinion of several bat experts who say the project poses "substantial risks" to the survival of the bat colony and even the species.

   A Gamesa – sponsored study performed by bat conservation and management, of Carlisle Pa.  And Sanders environmental Inc. Of Centre Hall, PA., found juvenile male Indiana bats on the proposed project site.

 Coincidentally, in July and August of 2007 Saunders environmental Inc. did a study on the presence of the Indiana bat in the Cape Vincent project area for St. Lawrence wind/British Petroleum.  During this study, six mist net sites at the proposed location of the St. Lawrence wind farm captured four Indiana bats; this included one adult male two juvenile males and one adult female, and who was tracked into the same swamp complexes as the two juvenile males. The netting clearly confirmed what was indicated by telemetry, that a maternity colony is present on the border of the project area; in addition mist netting confirmed that adult males are present in the project area.

It remains to be seen how the presence of Indiana Bats at BP’s Cape Vincent wind project site will affect their project.





 Portions of the above referenced Indiana Bat report below




Map below shows Indiana Bat habitat area (in red) as well as Agricultural Commissioner Darrel Aubertine's land

Read more about Aubertine's potential contribution to Agricultural losses concerning the wind turbine locations/ bat mortality & his land~ at this link




Sources:
Post Gazette. Com
U.S. bureau may face suit in defense of Indiana bats

~~~
Tribune Democrat

>Gamesa Scraps Windfarm Project

Monday, June 11, 2012

House Republicans May Split Up Package of Expired Tax Breaks

Wind industry spending is slowing in anticipation of the tax break’s expiration, in part because facilities must begin producing energy by Dec. 31 to qualify for the credit.

~~~~~~~~~
June 9, 2012 in Money News
Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are considering splitting up a package of miscellaneous tax breaks, potentially making it tougher for items with less support to survive alongside more popular provisions.
Tax breaks with broad bipartisan support could be pulled from a group of dozens of items and be passed in smaller groups, said Representative Charles Boustany, a Louisiana Republican on the Ways and Means Committee.
"I think it's very smart to break it up," he said.
House Republicans have been examining the so-called tax extenders, which include breaks for corporate research, investments in low-income communities and renewable energy.
Congress should no longer rubber-stamp those items and extend them automatically, said Representative Patrick Tiberi, an Ohio Republican who led a hearing today in Washington on the expiring breaks.

Read more: Money News

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Local laws must be respected

This comment letter Re: Article 10 was written by Jack Palminteri,
resident of Cherry Valley, NY

May ,20 2012
Hon. Jaclyn Brilling
Secretary
New York State Public Service Commission
Three Empire State Plaza
Albany, New York 12223
Dear Secretary Brilling:

I would like to inform you of the many concerns that I and many others have regarding the Article X regulations as they apply to local governments and the people they have sworn to protect.

The town that I live in, Cherry Valley NY, has been targeted by two wind developers three times in the last ten years. On both of these occasions the projects were opposed by a majority of the people and the projects were turned down.
Over the last six years the town has passed a wind law in order to protect the health and safety of it's residents and a comprehensive plan that ensures that the rural life- style that we now enjoy will not be compromised .A land use law and a road use law were also passed during the last two years reflecting the will of the people. The wind law was crafted by our planning board with the advice of an environmental engineering firm and contains reasonable guidelines regarding setbacks and noise levels.

Article X states that local laws will be respected as long as they are not "Unduly burdensome." What does that mean,?
unduly burdensome for the developer who stand to make tens of millions of taxpayer dollars from these projects?

If the siting board will be charged with making these decisions then they ought to be free of political pressure from ambitious politicians and the corrosive influence of the wind lobby. If they are not then the whole process will reek with the stench of corruption and be nothing more than a kangaroo court.
This will leave adversely impacted homeowners no place to turn except the legal system.

Local laws must be respected , they represent the will of the people and are consistent with the NY State constitution. Article IX of that document ,”requires deference to the level of government closest to the people.” Article X seems to be in direct conflict with state law and you can be sure that if push comes to shove it will be challenged.

It is imperative that the siting board members be vetted and to have them disclose any potential conflicts of interest. They also should make public all meetings between themselves and any lobbyists representing a proposed project .

In addition to the “intervenor fund” all developers must be required to issue buy out agreements to all homeowners within a three mile radius of any industrial wind facility.If there are no health or safety risks the wind company has nothing to worry about . This gives the non- participating homeowners a layer of much needed protection and is important because there are no moral, legal or ethical precepts that I know of that requires anyone to assume these risks so that corporations and their
lease holders can make a profit.

Page 2
Another concern that I have is that the times and locations of the comment periods have not been defined. Given the fact that most people work, it is imperative that all hearings be held in the evenings or on weekends in the targeted communities so that everyone has a chance to be heard.
To do otherwise is to effectively exclude the people who have the most at stake and will be perceived as part of a strategy to push these projects through as quickly and easily as possible regardless of the consequences . As far as the developers and the board members go, this may be an inconvenience to them but it is part of their jobs and must be done to maximize public involvement.
With great power comes great responsibility and also entails great liability.

The people in this state have a right to be safe in their homes and to enjoy a quality of life that they have right now. To assume that Albany bureaucrats and energy company salesmen that know and care nothing about local towns will have our best interest at heart is both naive and dangerous and will rightly be perceived as a way to push forward questionable projects without having to bother with all of the safety and health issues that these corporations deny exist.
Setback and noise levels standards must be established based on independent scientific criteria and not on the biased opinions of those who stand to gain the most.
To do otherwise is an inexcusable of act of negligence.

Jack Palminteri
Cherry Valley
NY

Gas ‘better than wind’ for low carbon, Policy Exchange claims

By Emily Gosden

12:01AM BST 08 Jun 2012

In a report today, Policy Exchange argued that the government should scrap 4GW of its planned 13GW target for offshore wind generation by 2020.

By building cheaper gas generation instead it could save £700-£900m a year in costs that would have been passed onto billpayers, it calculated.

These savings could be redeployed by insulating hundreds of thousands more homes and doubling public funding for research and development in key low-carbon technologies, it said.

That would still leave enough money to “buy and retire sufficient carbon permits each year to reduce emissions by six times as much as the 4GW of offshore wind”.

It argued: “To achieve maximum overall emissions reduction and low carbon innovation, the electricity market needs to be allowed to invest in gas as a transition fuel, subject to a long-term EU emissions cap.”

Even if gas-fired power plants had to be retired early because of the EU’s emissions cap, it would still be a “far cheaper” interim solution than building offshore wind while the costs remain so high, it said.

Jenny Banks, policy officer at WWF-UK, said: “It’s ridiculous to expect that a dash for gas at the expense of building renewable generation would somehow lead to bigger carbon cuts. This is based on a very idealistic view of the effectiveness of the EU emissions cap.”


Source:
The Telegraph

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Sierra Club Campaigns for Bird Cusinart's

 The Sierra Club has recently launched a new campaign “Wind Works” this six figure campaign is designed to push lawmakers to pass the Wind Welfare tax credit. This credit does nothing more than line the pockets of developers at the expense of tax payers and the environment.

The Sierra Club’s support of big wind highlights their Philosophically flawed reasoning.
In 1995, the Sierra Club adopted a Philosophy of Service and Stewardship, To explore, enjoy and protect the wild places of the Earth; to practice and promote the responsible use of the Earth's ecosystems and resources; to educate and enlist humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment; and to use all lawful means to carry out these objectives.
In that vein a Sierra Club official called electricity-producing windmills "the Cuisinart’s of the air" for their tendency to kill thousands of birds, including endangered species, annually.

in 2007 the Sierra Club asked their members for support to save The Endangered Species Act. According to the Sierra Club's website: "The Endangered Species Act is one of America's most effective tools for safeguarding our fish and wildlife heritage."

At the same time they were lobbying on the side of the American Wind Energy Association to defeat legislation that would protect endangered birds and bats. Even though thousands of birds, bats, eagles and other endangered species die every year from deadly collisions with wind turbines .
The Sierra club has an agenda and it is not protecting wildlife.

Sources:
Mackinac Center for Public Policy
~~~
Wind Works
The Sierra club website

MPR News ~

 Wind turbines show how costly 'free' energy can be

by Ron Reimer October 15, 2009

~~~ 

HULIQ

Sierra Club Lobbies Against Legislation That Would Protect Endangered Birds and Bats

Friday, June 8, 2012

Comment Period Open For Cape Vincent's

Updated Draft Comp Plan & Zoning Law

The  Comp Plan & Zoning Re-write Committees will be finalizing the Drafts during committee meetings open to the public.

The finalized Drafts will then be sent to the Town Board to enable them to conduct  formal public hearings followed by action and filing. The schedule for this process is below.
Additionally, I have added  a few blog Stats for important documents concerning Cape Vincent.


The Comp Plan & Zoning Re-write Committees will be finalizing the Drafts during committee meetings open to the public.

 
~~~
Cape Vincent /Document Stats:

Cape Vincent Town Village ~ Comprehensive Plan - 2003
Upload Date: 08/24/2010
Reads: 718
Downloads: 11
~~~
Cape Vincent Draft Comprehensive Plan - 2012
Upload Date: 06/01/2012
Reads: 162
Downloads:0
~~~
Town of Cape Vincent Draft Zoning Law -June 4, 2012
Upload Date:06/04/2012
Reads: 762
Downloads:8
~~~
Town of Cape Vincent Zoning Law 1989
Upload Date: 12/15/2010
Reads:886
Downloads:12
~~~
Cape Vincent wind Turbine Development Economic impact Report
Upload Date:10/12/2010
Reads:2,343
Downloads:17
~~~
McCann Appraisal LLC June 20 2011 Review of Cape Vincent Committee EIR
Upload Date:06/21/2011
Reads:1,315
Downloads:25
~~~
Cape Vincent, NY~ Zogby Survey
Upload Date:05/29/2011
Reads:758
Downloads:8

~ Cape Vincent Ny ,Open House Event ~June 10, noon to 3 PM


 
Open house event in Cape Vincent
Cape Vincent – the village and town boards of Cape Vincent, the Cape Vincent local Development Corporation and local realtors, are hosting an open house day on Sunday, June 10, noon to 3 PM properties in a variety of styles and price ranges listed with realty companies will be open for inspection.
The open house headquarters will be at the Cape Vincent community house on market Street. Representatives from various community groups such as the thousand Island school district, Cape Vincent health clinic, and the chamber of commerce will be available to answer questions about the community and its resources.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Biomass Plant for Fort Drum One Step Closer To becoming a Reality

  June 5th In a 13 to 0 vote  Jefferson County lawmakers approved a tax break  for Albany-based ReEnergy Holdings LLC.  ReEnergy acquired the Black River Generation facility at Fort Drum with plans to convert the facility to use biomass material as a primary fuel source, creating new jobs and a renewable energy source in the North Country.
  During the PILOT negotiations last month, town of LeRay officials advocated a two-year PILOT instead, so that the town could garner more sales tax revenue by placing the property — (which will be tax exempt over the span of the PILOT) — back on the tax roll sooner. The county doles out the towns’ share of the local sales tax revenue based on assessment valuation .
The five-year PILOT plan will take effect in 2013, and the plant’s $32 million property assessment will be fully taxable in 2018. The following payment schedule will start in 2013 and end in 2017: 40 percent of an assessed property value of $28 million; 45 percent of $29 million; 50 percent of $30 million; 55 percent of $31 million and 60 percent of $32 million.
~~~
On a related matter
In early April ,Upstate New York Power Corp developer of the proposed Galloo Island Industrial Wind Complex, told the state Public Service Commission it could not justify the additional cost of running transmission lines under Lake Ontario to Scriba, and suggested the lines should, instead, hit landfall in Hounsfield and run to the Coffeen Street substation of National Grid. The president of Upstate New York Power also suggested in his letter to the PSC that his company will try to sell its power to the Army to power Fort Drum. However , Fort Drum is being wooed by ReEnergy Holdings, the company that bought the old co-generation plant that used to provide Fort Drum with steam.
 This may be the last resort for Upstate as of yet they do not have a Power Purchase Agreement for the Galloo Island  wind project.
Upstate NY Power  had applied for a contract through NYPA’s request for proposals, unfortunately NYPA’s board agreed to suspend the process of awarding contracts for electricity for offshore wind turbines in the waters of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario because of the price.

Upstate Power Corp's idea of selling power to fort Drum or anyone else appears to be another wind Fairy tale...
~~~

Sources:
County approves tax break for biomass facility
By BRIAN AMARAL
Watertown TIMES STAFF WRITER
~~~
Five-year PILOT for Fort Drum biomass plant to be proposed to municipalities
By TED BOOKER
WATERTOWN TIMES STAFF WRITER
~~~
Watertown Times Editorial Treading water in a cold lake by
PERRY WHITE ~ TIMES CITY EDITOR
~~~
New York Power Authority won’t reconsider buying power from Galloo Island Wind Farm
By NANCY MADSEN
~~~
Former WATERTOWN TIMES STAFF WRITER
~~~
ReEnergy Holdings acquires Black River Generation facility at Fort Drum The
~~~
Mountaineer Online