BP's Tatics in Cape Vincent Ny

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A letter ~ From My Archives


What if the Web had existed when our Founding Fathers drafted the Declaration of Independence and talk of it was nothing more than ranting on a blog? Would the signers of this document have been patriots or cowards hiding behind the cloak of anonymity? Would the 13 colonies have united behind the likes of “CapeFear,” Pater, ReAliasso, citizenofcv, aviary, pandora’sboxofrocks or jefferson’sLeaningLeft?

The 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence were patriots because, even though they knew that affixing their signatures to this Declaration was tantamount to signing their own death warrants, they signed it.

Stand up for what you believe and quit being a coward. Lack of courage speaks directly of one’s moral fiber and integrity as a human being. If you feel you must say it, sign it. If you cannot, don’t put it out there for publication.

When posting on the blogs, be cautious of that which you choose to air and whose lives and families you are intent on destroying. Headline dated Aug. 12, 2010, in the Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh, Pa.: “Judge Orders Identities of Commenters Be Revealed!”

Anonymous bloggers, beware as you may not be as anonymous as you think.

Could your identity be revealed in the same manner? Should the anonymous commenter be concerned? Perhaps, but who would want your identify revealed and for what purpose?

The Republican candidates who won the recent primary election must be very grateful to the blogs and WPEG.

Had it not been for these groups working closely together, the lives of the other candidates and their families could not have been more maliciously and purposely destroyed.

Is this apparent lack of integrity of their supporters a direct reflection of the integrity of the Republican candidates themselves?

Harvey White, Donald Mason and Marty Mason are well aware of what our local blogs are capable of.

Over the past several years, they and their families have endured an onslaught of personal attacks which can best be categorized as vicious and vulgar. Visit the blogs referenced above, and you will see what is really going on in Cape Vincent.

Please vote Election Day. Vote Conservative for Harvey White, supervisor of the town of Cape Vincent, and re-elect Marty Mason and Donald Mason town councilmen.

Gary J. King

Cape Vincent

Link below to read article Gary King cited in his letter.
The Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh, Pa.: “Judge Orders Identities of Commenters Be Revealed!”

BP Posts Unexpectedly Large Loss

Published: July 31, 2012

LONDON — BP, Europe’s second-largest oil company, reported a $1.4 billion loss Tuesday for the three-month period ended June 30. The main reason for the loss was $4.8 billion in write-downs on refineries, shale gas assets in the United States and a long-delayed project in Alaska

The earnings will do nothing to assuage the concerns of investors, who are already discontented with the performance of the company and its chief executive, Bob Dudley. BP’s share price was down 3.69 percent in morning trading in London.
More from the New York Times

Monday, July 30, 2012

Wind farms can cause property blight to nearby homes

This from the Sunday times EPAW
22 July 2012
Jonathan Leake, Environment Editor

Wind farms can cause property blight to nearby homes, according to what could become landmark rulings by a government agency.
The Valuation Office Agency (VOA), which decides council tax valuations, has accepted that having wind turbines built near homes can sharply decrease their value and has, as a result, moved some into a lower tax band.
The decisions are a serious threat for the wind farm industry. Until now, such negative views have been rejected by the industry and planners as simply subjective opinion.

In one of the latest cases, a couple living near the 22-turbine Fullabrook wind farm near Braunton, Devon saw the price of their home fall from about £400,000 to £300,000. Three of the turbines are within 650 yards of their home.


Link here to continue reading ~ The European Platform Against Wind Farms

Will BP gain approval for their High Voltage Transmission Line?

One of the most important aspects of any wind development project is the transmission lines. 

British Petroleum  intends to run a high voltage transmission line from their industrial wind project in Cape Vincent to the substation in Lyme.
  It is documented in Acciona's  SEQRA that the Development Authority of the North Country has control over the old railroad bed, the route of the regional water line and BP's planned route for their transmission line . 

 April 9, 2009 ,James Wright, Executive Director of DANC, submitted a letter as part of the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement . He wrote, “As you know, the Development Authority's Western Jefferson Regional Water Line is installed in the former railroad corridor, and the Authority has easements from all of the affected property owners along that route. The easements: Allow the Authority to build and maintain one or more water lines, no other uses by the Authority are permitted, Allow the grantor of the easement to use the easement lands, but specifically prohibits them from building any permanent structure on, over, or under the Authority's permanent easement and... read letter below

Cape Railroad ROW Agreement DANC

Clean Energy Stocks Decline to Nine-Year Low on Policy Uncertainty

Renewable Energy World
By Ehren Goossens, Bloomberg
July 30, 2012

NEW YORK CITY -- The WilderHill New Energy Global Innovation Index, a global index of clean-energy stocks, declined to a nine-year low as the industry faces oversupply, falling prices and uncertain government support.

The NEX index, as it’s known, fell 81 cents to $102.40 in New York last week, its fourth consecutive drop and its lowest price since April 2003. The index has lost 19 percent of its value this year.
More here...



By Miriam Raftery
East County Magazine

July 14, 2012 (Washington D.C.) –Efforts by the wind industry to amend the Small Business Jobs and Tax Relief Act (S. 2237) have failed. The industry had sought to insert language to extend until 2014 the wind production tax credits set to expire at year’s end .Those credits allow wind developers to write off 2.2 cents of every kilowatt-hour produced. The proposed amendment would also have extended an investment tax credit covering 30 percent of costs for a wind development.

Democratic leaders refused o allow a vote on the amendment offered by Senators Michael Bennett (D-Colorado) and Jerry Moran (R-Kansas).

Several prior efforts to extend the renewable energy tax credits have also failed. Republicans have typically opposed credits for renewables, while Democrats have sought to pay for renewable tax credits by ending some existing credits for the oil industry.

The Senate voted to end debate, invoking cloture and thus enabling the Small Business Jobs and Tax Relief Act to be brought up for a vote by the full Senate—without the extension of tax credits for wind projects.

Wind industry insiders have voiced high hopes that tax credits will ultimately be extended after the November elections by a lame duck Congress.
Opponents of industrial wind contend that extension should be rejected amid growing concerns over the negative impacts of wind turbines on health and the environment, questions over the viability of some massive wind projects, and inadequate oversight of wind energy projects on federal lands.

Link to original from East County Magazine

Sunday, July 29, 2012

BP's Madden warned that economic losses will result in developing a protective wind law.

Below is a copy of a letter from BP's business manager Jim Madden.
In his letter Madden is warning of the economic losses that will result in developing a protective wind law.

May 5, 2010
Town of Cape Vincent Planning Board
1964 NYS Rt. 12 E
Cape Vincent , NY 13618

The Town of Cape Vincent has been working on developing a wind ordinance for almost two years now. Through this time, BP Wind has supported the development of a wind ordinance so that expectations for siting, construction and operations of wind farms can be clearly established and uniformly enforced.

However, despite recent efforts, it appears that a wind ordinance will not be implemented this year, largely due to lack of agreement on noise limits. As everyone involved in these discussions knows, measuring noise and establishing noise limits are complex issues. Ambient noise varies by season and even minute to minute due to wind, insects and other natural and man-made noise sources. Wind turbine noise also varies with wind speed as the blades increase and decrease in velocity. Furthermore, it is easy to get sidetracked on technical issues like method of measuring and which noise standards to use.

As you know, Cape Vincent is not the first town to implement a wind ordinance. Hundreds of communities in the U.S. have similar concerns and resolved them in a manner that protects residents and allows for responsible development of wind energy.

Here in New York, we are aware of 22 towns that have implemented wind ordinances that include noise limits below 50 dBA. Yet many of these towns have operating wind farms without any significant noise issues and some are even pursuing expansion of their projects.

While we would all prefer if wind turbines were completely silent, the fact is that wind turbines are not as noisy as critics claim. Anyone who has visited a wind farm and talked to the people living near operating turbines can attest to that, However, establishing unrealistic limits on noise will simply act as a de- facto ban on wind energy in Cape Vincent. While wind energy opponents would cheer that idea, it would prevent the town and the region from receiving tens of millions of dollars in economic benefits the wind farm would provide.

Some would ask that you not consider economic benefits when considering a wind ordinance. Therefore, we have developed the enclosed estimates of the economic benefits of the BP Wind project, based on various noise limits. We used NYSERDA data on construction and operations jobs and revenues, as well as the recent Galloo Island PILOT agreement for tax revenues.

This analysis shows an expected total 20- year economic benefit to the region of over 86$ million from our project , assuming noise limits are set at 50dBA at non- participating property lines. As limits are tightened, there will reduction in number of turbines and reduction in economic benefits. At 48 dBA, the economic benefits are reduced by $13 million, to about $73 million, while at 47dBA, there would be $68million in estimated economic benefits.

Finally, the analysis shows that a noise limit of 42dBA at property lines would result in a 36MW project and only $27million in economic benefits over 20 years, if it was built. In reality, the economics will not support a 36 MW project, so the project could not be built.

While the discussion of noise limits and setbacks is important, the Town of Cape Vincent should keep in mind the economic impacts of these decisions and that there are practical limits to what can be done with current wind energy technology.


Jim Madden

Business developer

Foiled Copy of Maddens letter below

Below are charts and data that Madden put together to show that
a too restrictive wind law IS A BAD THING

Madden says that it will cut into the community and leaseholder profits. I think that BP is more concerned about their profits than those of the community or lease holders .

Corporate Greenwashing, White Noise vs. Turbine Noise in NY. Wind Wise Radio ~ Sun. 7/29 7pm ET

We will be talking about corporations who are supporting wind energy as a part of their business plan to increase their profits. Miriam Raftery, an award winning environmental journalist, will join Harley and Lisa to talk about this and more. We hope that listeners will dial in to join in the discussion.

Jimmy Salamone from Fairfield, NY has been living with turbines that have been found out of compliance with noise regulations. Iberdrola sent him a white noise machine and has installed special Noise Reducing Software on the turbines to mitigate the problem. Jimmy will be joining us later in the program to talk about the situation.

Dial in Number


Join in the show!
Call in your questions and comments for our guest(s).

Link to Wind Wise Radio here or on the right side of this blog

Saturday, July 28, 2012

WikiLeaks cables: BP accused by Azerbaijan of stealing oil worth $10bn

Embassy cables reveal president alleging 'mild blackmail' being used by firm to secure rights to develop Azeri gas reserve

The president of Azerbaijan accused BP of stealing billions of dollars of oil from his country and using "mild blackmail" to secure the rights to develop vast gas reserves in the Caspian Sea region, according to leaked US cables.

Ilham Aliyev said the oil firm tried to exploit his country's "temporary troubles" during a gas shortage in December 2006. In return for making more gas supplies available for domestic consumption that winter, BP wanted an extension of its lucrative profit-sharing contract with the government and the go-ahead to develop Caspian gas reserves, one cable from the US embassy in Baku reports. Aliyev also threatened to make BP's alleged "cheating" public, cables show.

The leaks reveal the extent of the company's power over Azerbaijan's government.

Continue reading at this link

ATTENTION Residents of Cape Vincent & Beyond It's back!

In early July the light on the radio tower located on the corner of Fox Creek Road and RTE. 12 E. , changed from its normal red flashing light to an obnoxious, bright, white, strobing light

The Owners of the tower Mars Hill Network, were contacted and eventually corrected the problem .However, after an Osprey’s nest caught fire on top of a power pole on fox creek road Thursday morning, the bright white light has started flashing again

Lyme prepares to pass new restrictions on wind turbines; public hearing, council vote set for Aug. 11

CHAUMONT — The town of Lyme soon will make public its draft 
wind zoning law introducing tougher restrictions on turbines.
A public hearing and a special Town Council meeting to vote on the proposed law have been scheduled for 9 a.m. Aug. 11 at the Three Mile Bay Fire Hall, 8581 Route 12E. The special meeting will be held immediately after the hearing is closed.
Lyme Supervisor Scott G. Aubertine said the draft document will be posted on the town’s website and a copy will be made available at the municipal offices, Route 12E, early next week. More here...

Friday, July 27, 2012

Summer Reading list

Letters worth reading
Letter #1 Assembly Darrel Aubertine advises the Cape Vincent Town Board Re: conflicted board members voting on wind issues.

June 15, 2006
Cape Vincent town board members
P.O. Box 680
Cape Vincent, NY 13618
Re: abstaining from voting on the location
on wind turbines in Cape Vincent

ladies and gentlemen:
I regret that I was unable to attend the public hearing held on June 3 at which time the above referenced subject was discussed and I appreciate the opportunity to share my thoughts with you now.
Specifically, I would like to comment about the issue of whether a board member should abstain from voting on the issue. As elected representatives, we are responsible to make decisions for the benefit of our constituents and community. This project, which affects thousands of acres in dozens property owners, has the potential to positively affect every resident. Whether through a reduced property tax rate for new economic opportunities. Messrs Wood and Mason will certainly not be the sole beneficiaries should this project move forward.
While some may feel that these elected officials should abstain from voting on this matter I believe is that they should not. If they are restrained from voting in this instance, then shouldn't the community decide now that the guiding principles will be for future absent nation in different matters and with different representatives? I. E. Voting a tax rate that affects their personal property.
Healthy and positive discourse is mandatory in a democracy; however, governing by referendum is unwise. After careful reflection, I feel that it is ethically proper fit in this case all board members should vote on the issue at hand. In fact I believe it is their responsibility to do so.

Darrel Aubertine
 Link to original 

 Letter #2 Aubertine Candidate for State Senate writes an open letter to our community about his stance on Industrial wind development in Cape Vincent

February 2008
Dear friends,
Of late, I've heard a lot of folks asking about wind turbines, and I wanted to take a minute to let you know where I stand on this issue.
Several years ago my family along with our neighbors, decided to have our land studied for wind turbines. This is an assessment that determines whether a particular location is suitable for wind energy production. We like the idea of reducing America's dependence on foreign oil and saving money, and utilizing an otherwise untapped resource.
Proposed wind farm does not include any turbines on the waterfront, which is a critical issue for Margaret and me.
Now my opponent is trying to use this issue in a new attack ad that's airing on television in our community. This is an important issue that deserves more attention that get in a 30 – second attack ad, but with my opponent saying all sorts of untrue things about me in his ads, I wanted to take the time to set the record straight.
Wind is one of several energy – producing options that we must explore in our effort to reduce our dependency on middle – eastern oil. Hydropower, nuclear power and biofuels must also be part of the plan. Each of these has its benefits and drawbacks, but they all have a place in our overall energy portfolio and they all have the potential of creating much – needed jobs, in our community. When an energy facility is built, it impacts the community around it, which is why the community must be part of the decision-making process.
Whether or not to construct wind turbines is an important decision and must be made only after all concerns are heard in all viewpoints considered. I have long been a supporter of expanding energy production in our area. Including wind power, but only if it makes sense and is supported by the local community. But I do want you to know that whatever our community decides. I will honor and support that decision and forward accordingly.
Thanks and please don't hesitate to contact me if you have further concerns.

 Darrel J. Aubertine
 Link to original
Letter #3

Letter ## Senator Aubertine writes to Richard Kessel, then president of NYPA, Aubertine explains that his position concerning Wind turbines in the Great Lakes.


 March 10, 2010
Richard Kessel, president
New York power Authority
123 Main St., 10 – B
White Plains, NY 10601 – 3170
Re:: New York power Authority's Great Lakes wind power initiative
Dear Pres. Kessel:
I want to thank you for taking the time to address Jefferson County Legislature concerning the New York power Authority's Great Lakes wind power initiative.
If you are no doubt aware many residents who live along the eastern and southern shore of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, through many local advocacy organizations and their elected representatives, have voiced opposition to this initiative. In addition they have expressed concern that the power authority will forward with the award of contracts for the construction of wind turbines in spite of these concerns and over the objections of the impacted communities.
These concerns have led to significant anxiety and at station in advance of the power authority receiving responses to the request for proposals issued under the initiative. It is for this reason I write to express my appreciation of your willingness to address this issue and assure the potentially impacted communities that wind turbines will not be cited in their vicinity without their consent.
Local officials as the stewards of their communities natural resources and being in the best position to balance the potential positive and negative economic, social, environmental, and other benefits, clearly have difficult decisions to make. The fact that they are doing so prior to any projects being announced pursuant to the initiative is an indication of the significant amount of opposition to these potential projects.
My position remains as it has been; if after careful consideration of the potential economic benefits and costs of any wind projects proposed, Jefferson,  Oswego or, for that matter, any New York county or municipality opposes the development of wind and ancillary projects, that I will support that decision.
Again I thank you for addressing the concerns of these officials after making the power Authority's position clear to know when facilities will be cited where they are not wanted.
I look forward to continuing to work with you as we strive in our respective capacities to reduce the cost of providing New York is clean, reliable and abundant power supplies as one way to improve lives and livelihoods in this region and across the state.

 Darrell J  Aubertine
State Sen.

CC: Mr. Ken Blankenbush, chairman, Jefferson County Board of legislators
Mr. Barry D. Leemann, chairman,  Oswego County Board of legislators

page 2 

Cape Vincent bloggers sued for defamation by wind farm backers

JLL and Pandoras Box of Rocks sued for defamation.

Cape Vincent bloggers sued for defamation by wind farm backers

Credit Brian Kelly, Watertown Daily Times.

Several longtime residents of Cape Vincent who favor wind farm development have filed a defamation lawsuit against two local bloggers they claim have damaged their reputations by publishing false information about them.

Two of the plaintiffs, Marty T. Mason and Donald J. Mason, contend information published about them cost them seats on the Town Council in last fall’s election.

Link to original

Thursday, July 26, 2012


August/ 10 /2006: After public hearings and various reviews, the town board moved ahead in adopting a wind law by issuing a positive declaration for potential environmental impacts (Councilman Mason abstains, but Wood votes to approve). A positive declaration requires an environmental impact study to determine the impacts from the new law. The Town Council wants to find a way to rescind the positive declaration because of financial concerns. The problem the council is running into is just how to get out of the review without being sued. Mid-August 2006, the Town Council asked for the Wind Power Ethics Group's approval before rescinding a positive declaration to go through with a review under the state Environmental Quality Review Act. State law has provisions for rescinding a negative declaration, but no provisions for rescinding a positive declaration.
 Link not available

The Watertown daily times covered the story.
Published: September 30, 2006
CAPE VINCENT -- The Town Council is trying to find a way to rescind its decision to conduct a full environmental impact review of proposed zoning changes that would allow commercial wind towers in most of the town.
The problem the council is running into is just how to get out of the review without being sued. If the town backtracks on its decision, the best bet is to ask the state Legislature for enabling legislation, according to a New York State Bar Association municipal law expert.
"If I was their attorney, that's what I'd do," said Thomas E. Myers, chairman of the association's municipal law section.
Two weeks ago, the Town Council asked for the Wind Power Ethics Group's approval before rescinding a positive declaration to go through with a review under the state Environmental Quality Review Act. This was after two wind farm developers exploring projects in Cape Vincent, AES Acciona Wind Power NY and BP, denied a town request to pay for a $40,000 environmental review, citing conflict of interest issues, according to Town Supervisor Thomas K. Rienbeck.
The council passed the declaration in July after a heated public hearing on turbine zoning regulations. Some members of the citizen’s organization have indicated they might sue the town over wind farm development.
State law has provisions for rescinding a negative declaration, but no provisions for rescinding a positive declaration. The town's options, Mr. Myers said, are to approach the Legislature about adding provisions to do so, or rescind and risk a lawsuit from unhappy parties.
Mr. Myers said the town might be the first to face the challenge of trying to rescind a positive declaration. He could not find a similar case in his records.
The act requires state and local governments to consider environmental impacts during discretionary decision making, according to the Department of Environmental Conservation's Web site.
Mr. Rienbeck also said he spoke to the state Association of Towns, which told him municipalities generally don't move forward with environmental reviews before passing zoning regulations. Developers are required to do a site-specific review for projects.
Neither AES Acciona nor Mr. Rienbeck could be reached for further comment. A spokesperson for BP did confirm the company declined the town's request because of conflict of interest issues.
Both Wind Power Ethics Group attorney Judy Drabicki and Town Attorney Mark G. Gebo acknowledged there are no provisions for rescinding a positive declaration.
"My interpretation is there is no way to rescind a positive declaration," Ms. Drabicki said. "I don't see how they can do it."
Ms. Drabicki has not yet discussed the town's request with her clients. The fact that the Town Council asked an advocacy group for approval is of serious concern to her.
"If they thought they could do it legally, why would they be calling us?" she said. "It's troublesome to me to have a group of residents asked not to sue."
Even if the group does agree with the town's proposal to go without the review, that would not prevent an individual from taking legal action, she said.
Mr. Gebo has not completed researching the issue. He said comments from the Association of Towns encouraged him to investigate laws similar to the State Environmental Quality Review, some out of state.
"The fact that a statute is silent does not mean it's prohibited," he said. "I'm not really arguing with Ms. Drabicki. I'm just saying we're not done looking into it."
Philip Weinberg, a professor of environmental law at St. John's University in New York City, said even if the Legislature were to add a provision for rescinding a positive declaration, naysayers could still have a court case.
"I cannot imagine a court saying that was a rational basis for rescinding," he said of negating the action because of financial concerns.

American Bird Conservancy sues FWS Over Alleged Failure to Respond to FOIA Requests Involving Wind Turbine Projects

ABC’s “Bird-Smart Wind Program” addresses the threats to birds and their
habitats from wind energy development. ABC’s Wind Program works to eliminate threats to
birds and conserve habitat through the implementation of principles that recognize that “birdsmart” wind energy is an important part of the solution to climate change. To reduce and redress
bird mortality and habitat loss, bird-smart wind energy employs careful site-selection,
operational and compensatory mitigation, and ongoing bird monitoring. A key element of
ABC’s Bird-Smart Wind Principles is to work with FWS to establish appropriate mandatory
federal standards for the siting, construction, and operation of wind facilities. ABC’s FOIA
requests at issue here seek records concerning the government’s role in monitoring, minimizing,
and mitigating bird deaths from the operation of wind power facilities.

Read full complaint here

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

BP Throws their Weight around

EXCLUSIVE: BP Oil Received $1 Billion in Property Tax Reduction from Assessor Noguez’ Office

Copyright: Los Cerritos Community Newspaper

Use by attribution only.
By Randy Economy and Brian Hews

One of the world largest oil producers, BP (formerly British Petroleum), received more than $1 billion worth of property tax reductions during the tenure of embattled Los Angeles County Assessor John R. Noguez, Los Cerritos Community Newspaper has learned.

British Petroleum who owns and oversees a massive operation throughout Los Angeles County had a major parcel slashed during a two year period between 2009 and 2011 that was represented by Attorney and Tax Agent Richard Ayoob.

Copyright: Los Cerritos Community Newspaper
HEWS Media Group
Use by attribution only.
By Randy Economy and Brian Hews

Link to original

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Energy official to stump for energy tax credit

Acciona plant in West Branch one of the stops
WEST BRANCH — The uncertainty surrounding extension of a key federal tax credit for purchasers of wind turbines is prompting a visit to plants in West Branch and Des Moines  by a U.S. Department of Energy official. David Sandalow, acting U.S. undersecretary,  on Wednesday will tour the Acciona Windpower plant in West Branch, where 1.5 megawatt and 3 megawatt wind turbines are assembled. More from the Gazette

 Nationwide ,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

The Gazette

Monday, July 23, 2012

Wind turbines what is the positive side?

Larger commercial wind turbines cost in the range of 1 to 2.5 million USD per megawatt of capacity. Most of the turbines being installed nowadays are of 2MW capacity and cost anywhere between 3-4 million USD.

  BP has recently  released to the media that with the acquisition of the neighboring St. Lawrence wind project in February, the Cape Vincent project now can reach upwards of about 285 MW in size .

Using 2.5 million as a figure representing the per turbine cost for the total number of turbines (193 give or take)  proposed for Cape Vincent. This would add up to around $ 482.5 million dollars to construct these two projects. Sixty five percent of this $482.5 million will be paid by you through your tax dollars in the form of subsidies , NYSERDA , and the  PTC (Production Tax Credits)( if it is renewed)  , rapid depreciation schedules, and PILOTs,
This means that   British Petroleum will only be paying $ 168,870,000 for these projects the taxpayers will pay the balance of $ 313,675,000.( all of these figures are derived from estimated numbers)

If a pilot is negotiated for these the projects, the developers will only be paying a fraction of what they should be paying.
The wind developer gets a reduction in the taxes that they are required to pay. The AVERAGE decrease in property values for homeowners in a community that hosts turbines is 30%.

When the property assessments are accordingly reduced this means a reduction in tax revenue for the community. The result of this will be an increase in tax rates to cover this loss in tax revenue.
These developments will mean a decrease in the quality of life for our community due to

1)High-powered transmission lines that are required to deliver the power produced by the turbines.

2)Noise pollution.

3)Bird deaths & Bat deaths.

4)Visual pollution.

5)Shadow flicker effect.

6)Loss of community.

7)Property devaluation.

8)Higher taxes.

9)Disruption of radio and TV reception .

10)Limited access to land for hunting and recreational purposes.

11)Hydro meteorological conditions caused by rotor turbulence can affect growth of crops within the wind farm.

What is the benefit to the 96% of the residents in Cape Vincent that are not hosting turbines on their land?

Even the lease holders will be experiencing all of these ill effects .

Seasonal Residents spend $28 Million annually in Jefferson County

A study by the Thousand Islands Tourism Council projects that seasonal resident - those who live here for only a few months per year - spend $28 million annually in Jefferson County.

In the face of BP's proposed Cape Vincent wind project this is an important study, $28 million is a good chunk of revenue for Jefferson County.   BP’s project could have a huge financial impact on our economic health, a large portion of Cape Vincent's population is seasonal and it is likely that BP's project will  devalue property.   People just do not want to live in the middle of an industrial wasteland.

 BP claims properties will not be devalued.
Others disagree.
Cape Vincent's Town Assessor, ex-Planning Board Chairman, and other ex-planning board members studied the issue and concluded as part of their economic committee report: “Indications are that there will be an overall decrease in property values with the potential for significant impacts on assessments and related factors such as tax rates and the ability to market property at a fair price.
This is in contradiction to BP’s claim.
Regardless of where you stand on this issue, we should all agree that there is uncertainty; no one knows for sure how BP’s Wind Project has already had an effect on our economy.
Why would people invest in an area under the threat of wind development?

The following is from a channel 7 report concerning the study compiled by the Thousand Island Tourism Council

Alan and Peggy Jeanotte, who split time between New Hampshire and Alexandria Bay, say they know a lot of seasonal residents.
"There are only five homes here, and four out of five have been seasonal since we've been here," Alan Jeanotte said.
Whether it's on the ingredients that go into a daily smoothie or simple purchases like clothing and groceries, seasonal residents' spending makes a difference for local store owners.

"I would say our business goes up probably 78 to 80 percent in the summertime," said Tami Taitt, who works at the Big M in Alex Bay.
Of the more than 7000 seasonal residents, 80 percent of them have waterfront property.

Most of those seasonal residential properties are valued between $100,000 and $400,000 thousand dollars, which translates into tax revenue.

According to the survey, 65 percent of seasonal residents are between 50 and 69 years old, and, if the ones who spoke to 7 News this weekend are anything to go by, all of them love the North Country.

 link here to read complete Thousand Islands Tourism Council survey
Link here to read
Cape Vincent ~ Wind Turbine Development ~ Economic Impact~ Final Report

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Cape Vincent Public hearing (Zoning) Video's

Saturday’s public hearing Re; the newly revised zoning law, was a strange affair.
After witnessing Mr. Lamora’s conduct at the meeting I was not going to post anything about it. However, a confidential informant told me that this was a staged event and that the conspirators had been boasting prior to the hearing  about what was going to happen.

Dave Lamora began by aggressively interrupting Supervisor Hirschey as he was explaining the procedure of the meeting.
I was present at the meeting and I have viewed the video several times and it escapes me what they were attempting to accomplish other than making fools of themselves. LaMora refused to yield the floor to other citizens, denying them their right to speak.  The board attempted to accommodate Mr. Lamora as much as they could, even offering Mr. LaMora time after the other citizens were allowed to speak. Mr.Lamora would not compromise.

Cape Vincent Public Hearing ~Intro  Dave Lamora the begining...
8 minutes 36 seconds

CV Public hearing Part II ~ More ~ Lamora
 8 minutes 19 seconds

CV public hearing Part III ~ Audience votes Re: letting Lamora continue for 20 more minutes. Lamora refuses to cede floor.
3 minutes 53 seconds

Cape Vincent Public hearing Re: zoning Part IV The final chapter ...
13 min 41 seconds

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Cape Vincent Zoning Public hearing July 14 2006


July 14, 2006
Link not available

Edition: Both
Section: Jefferson
Page: A1

Article Text:
After listening to over two hours of public comment, the Town Council agreed to issue a positive declaration of impact under the state Environmental Quality Review Act before voting on a new zoning law for wind power facilities.
The decision was a victory for residents and advocacy groups that have been seeking a moratorium on wind-farm development.
"We can't go through with this thing without knowing the answer to these questions," said Arthur D. Pundt, a seasonal resident who is a member of Wind Power Ethics Group, a citizen's organization that has been researching turbine development on its own.
The hearing brought 100 people to the Recreation Center on James street. Residents spoke both in favor of and in opposition to the law. Many expressed frustration in a lack of information and knowledge concerning wind power issues. It was the third public hearing the town has held concerning zoning for wind turbines.
The proposed zoning law prohibits commercial wind turbine development in the river front and lake front districts. It requires commercial wind power facilities to be set back 1,000 feet plus 1.5 times the tower height from the high water mark on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.
If the distance of a setback requirement were to fall within the river front or lake front district, turbines would not be permitted.
Ethics group member Sarah F. Boss presented the Council with a petition from 140 members of the community and two 4-inch ring binders of scientific research for review.
Not all were opposed to the terms of the law. Many landowners who attended the meeting not only supported short setbacks from the river, but lashed out at WPEGs research strategies.
Pictures of Paul C. Mason's farm with turbines digitally imposed were used in an informational packet put together by the group.
"This is of personal offense to me," Mr. Mason said. "This is not a true picture." He said he contacted a lawyer, who advised him the use of the pictures was illegal.
Mr. Pundt, who composed the packet, acknowledged in a phone interview prior to the meeting that the pictures were not professionally produced.
Wind-farm opponents questioned everything from possible impacts on the environment, to the degree of tax breaks, to the impact on views along the river. Many continued to encourage a moratorium while more information is gathered.
"This is a big decision, a huge decision. This isn't like picking out curtains. Once you put these things up, they're going to be there," said Andrew J. Norris, a year-round resident who lives on Route 12E across from County Route 7. "I'm not opposed to wind towers, just give us a bigger setback."
Seasonal residents expressed feelings of frustration regarding not only a lack of information, but representation in their government. Many stated they pay taxes on their property all year long, and deserve to have their interests protected.
Farmer Jarvis H. Radley said the town should protect the interests of year-round residents.
"Most of these people here, money doesn't really matter," he said. "This affects my income, this affects my future."
Town Attorney Mark G. Gebo said he will begin drafting the positive declaration to proceed under the State Environmental Quality Review Act. After the public hearing, the board completed a SEQR worksheet in which they determined there may be significant environmental, health and safety risks involved with possible turbine development under the proposed law.
The next step will be to find a consultant to study the possible impacts of enacting the zoning law.
"There is a process to this. It isn't going to be quick. It's going to take some time," Mr. Gebo said. He may have the declaration complete by the council's August meeting.
Town Supervisor Thomas K Rienbeck said he thought it was the best decision for the town to make at the time.
Copyright, 2006, Johnson Newspaper Corporation
Record Number: 0607140135

Friday, July 20, 2012


  Recently Town Board member Mickey Orvis stepped down. The Town board was in a position to appoint a temporary replacement until after the election. However in view of the fact that all three applicants for the position are running for Mr. Orvi's seat the Town Board decided that the fair thing to do would be to leave the seat vacant until after the election so as to not give any one candidate an unfair advantage over another.
 July, 10, 2012
Chair of Cape Vincent’s Democrat Party Harold Wiley, submitted a formal request to  the Cape Vincent Town Board  recommending that they appoint Paul Aubertine to fill the town board position vacated by Mickey Orvis .

Below is a copy of the Letter Harold read to the Town Board last Thursday and a short video clip of his performance before the Board.


This past February a Watertown Times reporter asked the former Cape Vincent Wind project developer Gross if BP was considering Article 10 ,Gross said BP would submit an application to the state to consider under Article 10 if the town of Cape Vincent adopts a stricter set of zoning laws on wind development.

After a copy of the draft law was forwarded to BP they responded with a letter stating that they do intent to take their project to the Article 10 Siting Board, because the new Zoning Law prohibits siting turbines in the town and is unreasonably burdensome.

The rules that were recently adopted by the Article 10 Siting Board outline the responsibilities they expect from applicants, including BP, regarding public involvement (Section 1000.4):

Each Applicant shall conduct a Public Involvement Program that includes:
(1) Consultation with the affected agencies and other stakeholders;
Apparently, Chandler and other BP officials have been, everywhere but, Cape Vincent. Notably it has been reported by our BP watchers that they were spied sniffing around the Watertown offices of the NYSDEC.

Additionally, I was told recently that Chandler had a meeting with an official from the JCIDA.
If  PILOT’s were discussed at this meeting Chandler may have had disappointing news. last February 7, 2012: the head of the Jefferson County industrial development agency, Donald C. Alexander told Jefferson County Town Supervisors that his agency will not force payment – in- lieu – of – taxes agreements on any municipality.

How will BP justify the 43% increase in their project size? (Something that we only discovered through a comment letter submitted by BP to the Public Service Commission Re: article 10.)

 Additionally I have heard that there may be a new map with a 125 turbine array plan.
How will BP reconcile this with Cape Vincent’s Vision Plan and land use statement?
 By ignoring us and not including us in their process, they are showing great disdain for our community.


The town of Cape Vincent today is gathering public feedback on both the newly updated zoning law and the Comprehensive Plan at public hearings at the Community House on Market Street.
The town board will hear comments on the Comprehensive Plan from 9 a.m. to noon and on the zoning law from 2 to 5 p.m.
Link here to read todays story in the Watertown Times

BP hoping to bypass tough local limits proposed as Cape Vincent prepares to adopt new restrictions on wind farms

Ethics provide the foundation for which a civilized society can exist...

This comment came in to my blog this morning and I must say it covers in a nutshell the core problem destroying our community from within.
The Democrats presenting Paul Aubertine as the Democrat candidate and the belief by an element in our community that they are above laws, rules and ethics that govern a civilized society.

Dear Pandora, Please consider this a main post. Enough is enough with the bad wind ethics and the deplorable conduct of the Cape Vincent Democratic Party and Chairman Wiley. We are fed up!

Last night was the last straw after I read what Harold Wiley did. Who here can verify that Paul Aubertine has ever attended a town meeting or has ever been involved in any town committee? Paul Aubertine's only qualification is that he is the son of an Ag. Commish with wind leases and of questionable ethics who tried to hire his sister who married Harold Wiley's grandson who will make a little money from wind.

During his campaign, Senator Aubertine lied about his wind leases and failed to disclose the money he has been paid as a result of those leases. How much money went into his campaign chest from the wind lobby and is that money still in his campaign chest which I understand is still open. With Article X coming into play, this is no time for a wet behind the ears novice to be sitting on the town board. We need someone with experience and knowledge of the concepts of town government. Someone who understands the Village Town Comprehensive Plan and the Zoning Laws. I doubt Paul Aubertine has ever read them or know they exist. Paul Aubertine would serve only as a snitch who would feed Harold and Darrel with inside information that they could use to help Bp override our laws and crush our community. Paul Aubertine is the sister of Erin Churchill who also has a wind lease conflict of interest and serves on the School Board. Churchill is not the only wind lease conflicted member of a school board that at some point may vote on a PILOT. Dan Wiley, Harold's son along with voters for wind selected school board candidates and supported wind lease candidates with a purpose. Then they started using our school kids as human shields to justify their wind money. It made me sick to my stomach. So blatant. When it comes to ethics the Democratic committee has no shame and Harold has no concept of what even constitutes good ethics.
Harold Wiley completely ignored the democratic caucus and made Paul's appointment while locking out the rest of us Cape Vincent democrats.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Lost Opportunities

UPDATE 6:42 AM 7/20/12
By now you may have heard that the Public Service Commission has filed
A motion, to dismiss without prejudice, the proceeding for the approval of a 50.6-mile transmission line connecting Galloo Island to the Fitzpatrick-Edic Substation in town of Mexico, Oswego County.

One of the issues they cited was what they called a unique burden to land owners. Several landowners expressed their frustration with the proceeding inquiring as to how much longer the case would be allowed to remain open. Those landowners also explained that they had not and would not continue to develop or improve their properties while this proceeding was ongoing; this is exactly what has happened to Cape Vincent. We have become a stagnant community due to the threat of BP/Acciona’s proposed wind development.

Many people that I have talked to have refrained from improving their property due to the threat of industrial wind. Others have put their homes up for sale and some people have not moved to our community because of the threat of industrial wind.

Opportunities are unfolding for New York farmers that cannot be taken advantage of because our community is being held hostage by BP .

Today Celtic farms on Fox Creek road is hosting  a public event  to highlight the availability of funding for farmers through the Biomass Crop Assistance .
Governor Cuomo just signed into law a measure sponsored by Senator Patty Ritchie that include tax breaks and other incentives, to help boost the growing craft brewing industry in the state, boost tourism, reestablish New York farmers as leaders in the hops production—and help create new jobs.
 Additionally, The wine and grape industry is growing in Northern NY, these are two areas that have great potential for farmers. Unfortunately if their farm land is encumbered by a phantom wind development these are lost opportunities for our community.

Below is an email I received from a small business owner asking about the future of our community. Another example of a lost opportunity.

Our dream is to live in the St Lawrence River area. Cape Vincent has long been one of the towns of interest. We are wondering about the status of the wind farm and how it will impact the community. I have seen differing maps of the proposed farm and am wondering where to get the best information. I am not anti-wind farm but some of the maps I have seen look like it could destroy Cape Vincent’s charm.



Cape Vincent Town Board meeting ~ concerning the replacement of Mickey Orvis

5:00 PM tonight the Cape Vincent Town board opened a special board meeting to interview prospective candidates to fill the board seat left vacant by the resignation of Mickey Orvis. The three candidates that submitted applications were Paul Aubertine, Michele Oswald and Edward Hludzenski. After interviewing the applicants the board re-convened at 6:00 Pm they stated that all three candidates were well qualified however they decided not to appoint anyone. Supervisor Hirschey stated that because all three applicants were running for Mickey Orvis' seat , and to be fair they decided to let the voters choose in November.

At the end of the meeting Democrat Chair Harold Wiley was given the courtesy of being allowed to speak.

Mr. Wiley expressed his dissatisfaction with the board’s decision ~ Wiley said that Paul Aubertine was a fine young man and traditionally when a board member has stepped down the board has chosen a replacement from the same political party.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Communities at risk...

July 13 2012 Governor Andrew M. Cuomo urged all New Yorkers to take extra caution, as dry weather conditions have led to a heightened danger of wildfires across Upstate and Western New York. In addition, the state today will institute a statewide residential burn ban for 90 days through October 10.
(link to official press release )

 "These conditions should not be taken lightly," Governor Cuomo said. "The potential for disastrous wildfires is present in all areas of the state and we must do whatever we can to prevent fires from occurring. The state will continue to closely monitor the wildfire danger and we will deploy whatever resources are necessary to protect New Yorkers should a critical situation occur."

 Communities with industrial wind developments are at risk.  What would happen if there was a turbine fire during a burn ban ?
 The possibility of  a large scale disaster is real!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Article 10 ~ New York State Public Service Commission ~ Does not comply with any of BP’s comments

Bp's  Development Director Richard Chandler sent a comment letter to the  Public Service Commission Re: Article 10 . Below are Chandlers comments (in black) The response to Chandlers requests by the Public Service Commission  are in red . 
Read Chandlers letter  to the PSC here

A. Design changes
Wind turbines, as well as collection systems, access roads, transmission lines, project substations, and other ancillary, related, and interconnection equipment, should have the ability to move to a new location (at least as much as 500 feet) without such change being considered a modification or revision, so long as such changes do not have a significant adverse impact on sensitive resources and regardless of the impetus for the change (Siting Board decision, compromise with transmission operator, etc.).

 PSC action ~  No changes

The discretion the issue here does not include discretion to move turbines without siting board approval, although the siting board may consider granting such discretion separately in a certificate condition. The addition of access roads and electrical collector lines to the allowance is a logical and practical extension of what was intended by the original allowance with respect to turbine placement therefore those changes will be made. Changes in substation locations in turbine types may raise substantially different issues and should be considered on a case-by-case basis without a pre – set allowance for changes. The interplay of concurrent siting board and FAA jurisdiction may present a challenge to siting, but limiting flexibility in the siting board arena will not necessarily make matters easier. In large rural, agricultural or forest landscape, 500 foot shift could likely be accommodated provided that it does not significantly increase impacts on sensitive resources or decrease compliance with setbacks and similar requirements. We expect that most such shifts will be motivated by decreasing adverse impacts rather than increasing them.
B. Local laws
Any override of local laws should be provided by the Siting Board early in the process. Also, once a project has met the standards for project approval, 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. Finally, 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 refuted by an applicant.

 PSC action ~  No changes

In regard to the request for early determination of the waiver of local laws, article 10 of the proposed regulations do not prohibit the siting board's consideration of applicant requests to override local laws at a point early on in the article 10 process. That being said however, applicant should consider that often the facts necessary for the siting board to determine whether to waive a local law will require the development of a record. Specifically, article 10 expressly recognizes the ability of municipalities to defend their local laws; therefore, it will be likely that some level of evidence in litigation regarding the issue will be necessary prior to the board rendering a determination.
The siding board must find that the facility is designed to operate in compliance with all local substantial requirements, all of which shall be binding upon the applicant, unless the siting board finds a local ordinance to be unreasonably burdensome, the siding board itself applies the ordinance.
The regulations also do not preclude an applicant from presenting whatever additional relevant and material information and desires to present in the application or at the hearings to support an applicants request. Similarly, parties on the other side of the of such issues are also not precluded from providing additional information as to the consideration of local laws adopted after the submission of an application, we'll have to consider that matter on a case-by-case basis. We understand that there is precedent in New York in the zoning contacts that vested rights to construct something without regard to newly enacted local laws do not a cure unless the construction has substantially commenced pursuant to a valid permit.
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, except for individual requirements where extending beyond the project boundaries would be customary and reasonable, as determined during the stipulation process.

PSC action ~  No changes

The issues raised are similar to those already raised in the stakeholder process. The proposed regulations provide sufficient flexibility to address all the issues that were raised in an appropriate manner. Having reviewed the comments we are satisfied and no changes are warranted.
D. Duration of steps in process
The review of the public involvement plan should proceed in parallel, rather than
Sequentially, with the preliminary scoping statement 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. The draft regulations provide the opportunity, for good cause, to eliminate or reduce the number of days between the public involvement plan and the preliminary scoping statement. The same “reduction for good cause” approach should be made available for the preliminary scoping statement Vis a Vis filing an application; this change would have the effect of reducing the required number of days between the filing of these two documents.

  PSC action ~  No changes
It is important that public involvement activities begin as early as practicable before development plans are so far it advanced that the developer feels it cannot be flexible or open to beneficial modifications. Moreover, the statute calls for early and often public involvement in the siting process
In any event, most, if not all, major electric generation facilities are planned over a sufficient lead time that the time period set forth in the proposed regulation should not be unnecessarily burdensome.
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.

 PSC action ~  No changes
In general we would agree with the comments that the cost information is necessary as an important input in an article 10 proceeding, including for analysis that will inform the necessary statutory findings and determinations. For example such information may be relevant to the required consideration of alternatives, the reasonableness of local laws, or whether the proposed facilities in the public interest. Article 10 provides for public procedure where public involvement is a key component of the review process. In that context, almost all of the application information that rates to be an essential board finding or determination will have to be publicly available.
The language of the proposed regulation requires submittal of an analysis of the data; it does not expressly mandate the raw data itself. If either the raw data or that analysis qualifies for trade secret status, applicants can pursue their rights in that regard to limit public disclosure.
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.

 PSC action ~  No changes
In keeping with the statutory scheme to act efficiently, the time frames provided are already the minimum necessary to conduct a workable process and there is no room to further expedite the process and have it remain meaningful.

G. Intervenor funds
Time frames for applying for and awarding pre-application Intervenor funds needs to be substantially reduced. We would suggest condensing this process to 30 days.

 PSC action ~  No changes
While every attempt will be made to act quickly, the time frames are already minimal and need to be maintained to be realistic.
H. Alternate locations
For Section 1000.5(l) (2) (viii), and elsewhere in the document where this issue appears, the word “affiliates” should be deleted when looking at alternate locations. Merely being an affiliate does not give the applicant unfettered access to land holdings held by an affiliate.
 PSC action ~  No changes
Having reviewed the comments we are satisfied that in general, no changes are warranted.

I. Locations of facilities
Rather than scanning the entire Study Area, only existing utilities and infrastructure used or impacted by the project should be delineated by the applicant.

PSC action ~  No changes
In general we would agree with the comments that the cost information is necessary as an important input in an article 10 proceeding, including for analysis that will inform the necessary statutory findings and determinations. For example such information may be relevant to the required consideration of alternatives, the reasonableness of local laws, or whether the proposed facilities in the public interest. Article 10 provides for public procedure where public involvement is a key component of the review process. In that context, almost all of the application information that rates to be an essential board finding or determination will have to be publicly available.

J. Design specifications
The interconnection engineering detail requested is not needed to support the evaluation of an Article 10 application and instead should be required only during the compliance period. 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. This approach would allow flexibility to maintain flexibility during project evolution.
We would suggest deleting Section 1001.6 (c) of the proposed regulations, as it is not clear what information is sought here regarding turbines nor what such information would be used for by the Siting Board.

PSC action = No deletion
We are satisfied that the regulation will elicit the appropriate amount of information needed at the application phase regarding setbacks. It is not clear how the wind developer that does not want to provide this information would have the siding board resolves setback issues. We will address setbacks within individual cases or we will have the benefit of a record tailored to the particular location.

K. Electric System Effects
Section 1001.5 should be deleted and instead, any studies and reports for the project stemming from the NYISO interconnection application process for the project should be used to satisfy any statutory requirements for information on the project’s projected impact on the grid.

PSC action = No deletion

We expect that the required system reliability impact study from the NYISO will provide the basis for much of what is required by this section, the study itself will not adequately address all the issues as we have laid them out. In addition, we believe wind advocates are incorrect when they asserted that the system reliability impact study will address the root deliverability in the sense that we have used that term in relation to estimating the effects of the proposed facility on omissions and the energy dispatch of existing must – Run resources such as wind, hydroelectric and nuclear facilities.

L. Noise and Vibration
The current language is unclear on how ambient sound data is collected and reported for wind energy facilities. 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 wind farm. We would propose that the Siting Board adopt the language changes proposed by ACENY (attached herein for ease of reference).

 PSC action ~  No changes
Despite the number of comments, no significantly different information than that presented in the stakeholder process has been offered. The proposed regulations would require applicants to provide an analysis of whether the facility will produce significant levels of low frequency noise or infra-sound, without specifically requiring the measurement and estimation of C – weighted/DBC sound levels, but do not preclude a case-by-case determination requiring the measurement and estimation of C – weighted/DBC sound levels in a preceding in an appropriate circumstance. Until we have more experience with these issues, we will leave the regulations as originally proposed.

Link here to read the PSC memorandum and resolution

Article 10 ~ Memorandum and Resolution ~ has been issued and is now publicly available.

Memorandum and Resolution has been issued and is now publicly
available. The final regulations are included as an appendix.

CASE 12-F-0036 - In the Matter of the Rules and Regulations of the Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment, contained in 16 NYCRR, Chapter X, Certification of Major Electric Generating Facilities.
(Issued and Effective July 17, 2012)

Link here to read document

In this memorandum and resolution, the New York State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment (Siting
CASE 12-F-0036
Board) promulgates new regulations to implement Article 10 of the Public Service Law, enacted in Chapter 388 of the Laws of 2011. Article 10 empowers the Siting Board to issue Certificates of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need authorizing the construction and operation of major electric generating facilities.
The Legislature enacted Article 10 of the Public Service Law (PSL) to ensure that state and local regulatory certification regarding the construction and operation of major electric generating facilities would be determined in a unified manner. The statute requires certification proceedings to be conducted expeditiously and generally imposes a 12-month deadline on such proceedings. The statute mandates a pre-application consultation process to obtain early input from the public regarding proposed facilities, provides for active public involvement, and establishes requirements for intervenor funding to promote local participation in siting cases. The statute also empowers the Siting Board to promulgate regulations to implement Article 10.

Allegations of bribery and corruption carried out by a contractor working on an engineering project ~ on behalf of BP

It has been widely reported that British Petroleum (BP) has been in contact with the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) over recent allegations of bribery and corruption carried out by one of its contractors in Azerbaijan. The contractor self-reported incidents of bribery to the SFO after it came to light late last year. The name of the contractor has not yet been made public, however it is understood that the contractor was working on an engineering project on behalf of BP in Azerbaijan.

Neither BP or any of its employees are believed to have paid any bribes, however if the self-reported acts of bribery occurred after 1st July 2011, BP could potentially be found strictly liable for acts of the contractor as an associated person of BP. The Bribery Act 2010 makes a company criminally liable for acts undertaken by its employees, its agents and contractors.

More at this link

Source : MacRoberts Compliance & Regulatory Update 17/07/12

Monday, July 16, 2012

Turbine size ~ All that it's stacked up to be!

Yesterday I did a post about how the wind industry is using computer-generated images in planning applications that make the turbines seem smaller than they are in reality.

To put the turbine size in perspective I put together a picture of turbine size compared to a  two story house  and Tibbett’s point lighthouse.

BP’s Development strategy~ “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.

BP’s Cape Vincent Wind’s development manager wrote a letter to the Town of Cape Vincent and the Article 10 siting board. Each letter had the same theme.

Chandler: 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.
Additionally Chandler added: the proposed Zoning Law would effectively prohibit wind generation from being sited within the Town. The Town has already evaluated potential impacts from the Cape Vincent St. Lawrence wind farm projects and made favorable findings.

The favorable findings that BP’s Chandler speaks of resulted from BP and Acciona tampering with the Local Legislative Process.

In 2006 both BP Energy and Acciona Energia began the permitting process for two proposed industrial wind projects in Cape Vincent. At the time we had no provision in our zoning law to regulate or guide wind development. After two aborted attempts at drafting a wind law by previous town lawmakers, a committee convened in 2010 for a third try. The committee consisted of a representative and leader of a local wind leaseholder group as well as wind lease holding town officials.
At the February 5 and 6, 2010 meetings, with the assistance of the Town's consulting acoustical engineers, Cavanaugh Tocci Associates, Sudbury, MA, the noise section of the draft wind law was completed . It followed the NYSDEC guideline that no new noise source can exceed background sound by more than 6 dBA, but it also included details for measuring background sound and compliance testing that is missing in the NYSDEC policy.

Contrary to BP's assertion, they did NOT support development of our wind ordinance.
 The wind law committee had reached a consensus at the February 2010 meeting but through the efforts of BP and their leaseholders that agreement was sabotaged.

Shortly after the May 2 wind law meeting began Beth White, committee member and spokesperson for the leaseholder group, suggested picking 50 dBA for a noise limit rather than what the committee had agreed to at the previous meeting. At this point she began discussing economic impacts. White explained that a 50 dBA noise limit would have financial benefits to the community. White presented a spread sheet containing facts and figures to support her claim.
Bottom line a less protective wind law would mean bigger money for the community and lease holders. The lease holding committee members agreed with White blindsiding the other committee members.

May 5, 2010 Three days after this travesty of a meeting, BP’s Business developer, Jim Madden sent a letter to the Cape Vincent Town Board containing data prepared by BP; coincidentally it was the same spread sheet with the same data that White had claimed as her own.

Madden: “The Town of Cape Vincent has been working on developing a wind ordinance for almost two years now. Through this time, BP Wind has supported the development of a wind ordinance so that expectations for siting, construction and operations of wind farms can be clearly established and uniformly enforced. However, despite recent efforts, it appears that a wind ordinance will not be implemented this year, largely due to a lack of agreement on noise limits.”

Additionally Madden wrote “As the limits are tightened, there will be a reduction in the number of turbines and reduction in economic benefits.”

Comparing Madden’s data to that presented by White at the committee meeting, it is clear that she was acting as an agent for BP to thwart the efforts of the committee.

This is only one example of how “BP Wind Energy has been engaged with the local community for years on the Cape Vincent Wind Farm project.”

BP’s Noise Consultant Misrepresented Background Sound: Hessler Associates, Haymarket, VA was retained by BP Wind Energy to complete summertime, background sound study within the project boundaries of BP's Cape Vincent wind power project.
Because there were concerns early on among local citizens that the developer’s noise report was misleading, the Wind Power Ethics Group (WPEG) contracted Dr. Paul Schomer, of Schomer and Associates, Inc., Champagne, IL, to conduct an independent study and review of BP/ Hessler's report.

Schomer's report uncovered a number of questionable practices. One sound level meter was less than 100 ft. from a marshaling yard for heavy construction equipment being  used for a water line project.

Hessler suggested  this site is typical for residences along Rte. 12E .
Additionally, Hessler claimed that insect noise,  elevated background sound levels and would provide a natural making noise that, would minimize wind turbine noise impacts.

Schomer, however, disagreed: The presence of insect noise does nothing to mitigate the wind turbine noise; the measurement of insect noise only masks and obfuscates the truth.”

Schomer concluded by stating, ““Hessler’s BP study for the Cape Vincent Wind Power Facility appears to have selected the noisiest sites, the noisiest time of year, and the noisiest positions at each measurement site. Collectively, these choices resulted in a substantial overestimate of the A-weighted ambient sound level, 45-50 dB according to Hessler.”
 In contrast Schomer found background sound levels were 30 dBA averaged for night-time, daytime and evening. Night-time levels in Cape Vincent averaged 25dBA

BP’s sordid history in Cape Vincent began with their signing many of our town officials and their families to wind leases and good neighbor agreements, knowing this would create blatant conflicts of interest.
 This is a violation of the town’s ethics code and NY State law.
BP’ has stated lofty intentions with their Cape Vincent Wind development however the facts speak for themselves.

BP has left a profound mark on our community, tearing apart families, friendships, and ripping the fabric of our community to shreds.