Dear Honorable Jacklyn Brilling,
Regarding the Siting of BP's Industrial Wind Proposal in the Town of Cape Vincent and the Citizen's Public Involvement Program(CPIP).
The following letter appeared in the Ti Sun and the Watertown Daily Times.
Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets... Napoleon Bonaparte
Albany and Art. X control siting wind energy projects. Part of the Art. X procedure is the Public Involvement Program(PIP).PIP is a written plan for engaging,interacting, and informing the community about the wind proposal. In Cape Vincent, British Petroleum has written what they consider their PIP. While that PIP is weak and vague it seems there is another more powerful public involvement program quietly afoot.
BP wind leaseholders and members of Voters For Wind, a group BP claims credit for assisting to form (see PIP Exhibit 2 A.), filed a lawsuit last summer that seeks to subdue and quiet our local blogs voices.
While our community bloggers have stood firm and continued to convey information and documents into the public domain there seems to be little doubt that the intention is to intimidate and shut these sources of information down as Article X proceeds.
The lawsuit is ongoing and unresolved. The lawsuit seeks to intimidate the blog authors and to expose John Does 1-10, authors of anonymous comments, and includes "continued findings" meaning that additional comments and John Does could be added to the lawsuit. The BP leaseholders and Voters For Wind plaintiffs seek general damages, exemplary damages, and punitive damages.
It would be appreciated if the Siting Board of Art. X would simply ask BP if they are indeed directing or financing this lawsuit through their local group and their leaseholders or through a sweet in house deal with the law firm Vorys? Would they care to acknowledge this lawsuit and its attempt to curtail public discourse in their official Public Involvement Program (PIP)?
Prior to the letter appearing in the newspapers Town Councilman Clif Schneider asked BP Project Manager Richard Chandler and BP Attorney John Harris what kind of shadow outreach is BP involved in? He asks what kind of involvement has BP had with the lawsuits in the Town of Lyme and a pending lawsuit against the bloggers in Cape Vincent. Listen here to a recording of that exchange.
The next day Councilman Schneider asked BPs Chandler and Harris the same question again. Listen here to their response when they had had time to think it over. Additionally Marion Trieste defends her Public Relations firm at the end.
Over the last 6 years we have lived and defended our community from a series of civil rights abuses by BP' leaseholders and BPs Voters For Wind- Each of these abuses is well documented and each time the citizens of Cape Vincent stood up for themselves and affirmed our rights.
the right to record public meetings,
the right to speak in public meetings
the right to be represented by our government
the right to vote
--- currently we are seeing a new level of abuse--
the right to post anonymous comments on blogs
the right to comment on public matters in a public forum.
Now the Siting Board is in charge of siting projects and has the responsibility to protect not only the physical environment but also to protect the environment that fosters and encourages public involvement.
Surely the Siting Board does not condone nor reward a company for attempting to crush the most basic American rights.
BP has no place in Cape Vincent. Please send them away.