BP's Tatics in Cape Vincent Ny

Monday, September 30, 2013

Focus on the Positive this Election Season

Recently, a reader suggested that I should focus on the positive during this election season, instead of posting negative things about the Democratic candidates running for office in Cape Vincent.

They pointed out that I waste a lot of time on irrelevant issues like conflicts of interest,  voter fraud petitions , illegal voter ID laws , typographical errors and poor job performance to name a few.

I decided that I would give it a go and so... I searched the Internet for positive stories concerning important issues that would define the Democratic candidates qualifications.
   Lo and behold I found a positive news story about Alan Wood, Candidate for Town Supervisor.

Last March, Mr.Wood was recognized for his extraordinary ability to grow  facial hair.
Read more about candidate Woods hair Raising exploits  [ here  ]
"When I had no mustache, I looked like my sister,” 
Said  Mr. Wood 



Justice Department Poised to File Lawsuit Over Voter ID Law

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department is expected to sue North Carolina on Monday over its restrictive new voting law.
The lawsuit, which had been anticipated, will ask a federal court to block North Carolina from enforcing four disputed provisions of its voting law, including a strict photo identification requirement.  Continue...

Restrictive voting laws are nothing new in Cape Vincent NY

Prior to the 2011, election a petition was circulated around town to stop what was referred to as voter fraud. 
Harold L. Wiley, a lifelong Cape Vincent resident, and chairman of the local Democratic Party submitted  a  petition to the Town Board August 11, 2011 urging a voter driver’s license requirement.  
"We believe it is unethical to carry out a voter drive to manipulate the outcome of coming elections." Mr. Wiley said.

The petition Harold Wiley presented to the board read as follows:

 It is our firm belief that unethical if not illegal voting methods were implemented which
predetermined the outcome of the local elections held in Cape Vincent, New York in 2009 and that those same methods are being utilized once again in order to manipulate the outcome of the upcoming November elections.
Therefore, we the undersigned concerned residents of Cape Vincent, New York respectfully request that the Town Board of the Town of Cape Vincent, New York takes action to resolve this issue.

 After the petition was submitted to the board Town Councilman Donny Mason introduced a resolution to restrict voting to those registered voters that met certain ID requirements. 
 Shortly after this resolution was voted into law the New York State Attorney General stated that it was unconstitutional .

 Subsequently, a special TB meeting was convened where Supervisor Hirschey proposed a resolution to rescind the unconstitutional Voter fraud law. The resolution to rescind the illegal Voter ID law passed and consequently two board members involved in the scheme were not reelected. 

We are headed into another election season and it is vital that the residents of Cape Vincent understand just how important the upcoming election is. 



  

BP~ Court battle resumes with fresh allegations emerging

Energy giant said to have rejected plan that might have stopped oil spill early
Continue...

Sunday, September 29, 2013

I’m not trying to sell you on God or windmills, even though...

Initially  the letter below was circulated around town .

 The writer then presented it to the Town of Cape Vincent Town Board . 

Then it was published by the Watertown Times in their letters from the people.  

  I have been living in Cape Vincent for almost 18 years now. I moved here because I thought the Cape was beautiful, the fishing was great and, most of all, the people. It seemed as though I was stepping back in time. I had been living in the city for 18 years and forgotten what it was like living in a small town. The day I moved in, the neighbor came over with a salad just to be nice. I remember asking her what she wanted, being used to living in the city. I thought then what better place to call home.
Now after going through many different issues including the village park, we come to the windmills. They have put neighbor against neighbor and removed our town government. Now, what we are left with are people, both pro and anti, who hate each other because of them. I at first thought the windmills were the problem, but I think I’m wrong. The problem is not the windmills, but the people.
God refers to people sometimes as sheep, or lambs to the slaughter. Get one sheep to go and the rest will follow. Seems to me that’s us here in Cape Vincent. The slaughter being the ruin of the town I love so much. You can call this whatever you want. I’m not trying to sell you on God or windmills, even though the natural laws God put here will never change.
If we have windmills or not, is not the question. The question is how will you feel about yourself when this is all done, windmills or not? When this is all over, your neighbor will still be there. Will you speak with him/her or will you walk on the other side of the street? Only you have that answer.
We can only do this as a community. If we fail, Cape Vincent will still go on, but we will have the burden of what Cape Vincent turns into. What would you prefer your legacy to be? Are you pro-Cape or pro-you?
Dennis Pearson

Wind Turbines Kill Humans

Who cares about birds? What about humans being killed by wind farm accidents? Last week a study by U.S. Fish and Wildlife researchers on the number of eagle deaths by wind turbines ruffled some feathers in the industry (Wildlife Society), but industry supporters were quick to note that other human activities kill more, so who cares?  Does this same philosophy hold true for human deaths? Continue...   

Former adversaries join forces to pin blame for spill on BP

The Deepwater Horizon trial has created strange alliances. Continue...

Germany's nuclear gamble

Michael Limburg, vice-president of the European Institute for Climate and Energy, told CNN that the government's energy targets are "completely unfeasible." The rapid transition to renewables is economically "insane," arguing that wind farms will cost at least 13 times more than traditional coal plants.
Continue...

Friday, September 27, 2013

Windmill at Lahr burns off completely

"We can only watch," he said. "I 'send as many man out., The risk is incalculable. Because if what comes down, there is a 100 meters radius mortal danger from flying splinters." The commander did not rule out the risk of the wind turbine causing a forest fire.

September 25, 2013 in Badische Zeitung

BP battles for billions

BP will battle to hold down fines that could hit $18 billion in a new phase of the Gulf of Mexico trial that will rule on how much oil it spilled in 2010 and judge its efforts to plug its well. Continue...  

The Association of Towns of the State of New York Comments to the NYS Public Service Commission concerning BP's Cape Vincent Wind Project

The Association of Towns of the State of New York would like the Public Service Commission and the State Siting Board to consider the health impacts of low frequency noise associated with living in proximity to industrial wind turbines. The  Wisconsin Public Service Commission issued a report in 2012 which looks at this issue.
  The Wisconsin PSC report may be found at the following website address:
http://psc.wi.gov/apps35/ERF_view/viewdoc.aspx?docid=1782

Link here to the public Service Commission website

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Wind subsidies, déjà vu

The Hill - Christine Harbin Hanson - September 25, 2013 * Opinion

Congress should end—not phase down, not extend—the wind production tax credit this year. Americans deserve energy solutions that can make it on their own in the marketplace—not ones that need to be propped up by government indefinitely. Washington’s long-time policy of giving preferential tax treatment to special interests simply isn’t working. Continue... WindAction

Vt. lawmakers voice concerns on siting renewable energy sources

MONTPELIER -- A joint committee of the Vermont House and Senate grappled Wednesday with the question of how to balance the state’s need for renewable energy with local residents’ concerns about the noise from wind turbines, the smoke from woodchip-burning power plants and other annoyances.

BP or Not BP? That is the Question.


Is this teaser about BP?
 Or are there other rats abandoning Industrial Wind's sinking ship? 


SparkSpread
Exclusive
 

Renewable co. quietly shops U.S. wind portfolio


A renewable energy company is quietly marketing a portfolio of operating U.S. wind farms.
Continue...SparkSpread

Windfarm Mortality: Environmental Disinformation, Ecodamage

 Put simply, wind farms are causing considerable damage to nature’s balance, for no benefit whatsoever to society. Indeed, no country in the world has reduced its carbon footprint thanks to them…. It is high time to call a moratorium on wind farms, and examine the situation after ditching our blinkers  
 Wind turbines kill birds and bats, we all know that, but the billion-dollar question is: how many? I say “billion” because subsidies to the wind industry run into billions of dollars per year in the United States alone, and chances are the public would not support such expenditures if they found out that these machines were driving iconic, useful or beautiful species into extinction. It is therefore important to find out the extent of the mortality caused by their rotor blades and high tension power lines.
 Continue... [Master Resource]

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Golden Eagle Snatches kid

Parents Vow to move to Cape Vincent

 A Golden Eagle attempts to snatch a child in Montreal...

Parents of the child have vowed to move near BP's proposed Cape Vincent Wind farm, to protect their children from predatory birds.


 

Continue... Live Science

Chinese typhoon knocks out 17 wind turbines

CHINA: Eight wind turbines have blown down by typhoon-strength winds in south China's Guangdong Province.

Typhoon Usagi, the most powerful this year, also broke off blades of another nine wind turbines when it hit the Honghaiwan Wind Farm in coastal Shanwei City, Guangdong.
 Continue...[Wind Power Monthly]

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Concerned Citizen Responds to BP's Poorly Conducted Survey


BP seeks to have Gulf Coast oil spill settlement payments suspended

 BP on Monday renewed its request for a federal judge to temporarily suspend settlement payments to Gulf Coast residents and businesses affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, citing a... Continue

Tractor-Trailer Accident Closes McKeever Road In Cape Vincent

A road in the town of Cape Vincent was closed late Tuesday morning because of a tractor-trailer accident.
Jefferson County emergency officials say McKeever Road was closed around 11:30 a.m. between couty routes 8 and 9. Continue... [WWNYTV]

Cape Vincent officials air concerns over recent BP Wind visual impact survey

CAPE VINCENT — BP failed to include all residents in a recent visual impact survey for the proposed Cape Vincent wind project, leaving out women in particular, according to town officials.
In a recent letter to the state Public Service Commission, town officials said “many residents of the town of Cape Vincent did not receive surveys, particularly women.”
“It appears that BP may have sent surveys to predominantly male heads of households,” their letter said. Continue... [Watertown Times]

Monday, September 23, 2013

BP Takeover Talk Resurfaces

 
LONDON -- Oil major BP attracted takeover speculation on Monday; shares in the company rose on the London exchange as much as 1.8% on talk that Exxon Mobil Corp. was poised to make a bid for the company, reported The Telegraph. Continue...CSP Daily News

BP Visual Characteristic Survey Submitted to the Public Service Commission





NYSERDA finances under scrutiny by comptroller, inspector general

Comptroller, inspector general look at spending

Albany
NYSERDA, the state authority that oversees $700 million in energy programs, is facing investigations into its financial practices by both the state comptroller and inspector general.
The board of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority has been aware of the investigations since at least the beginning of the year.  Continue...

Sunday, September 22, 2013

ANOTHER CANDIDATE FOR TOWN COUNCIL

Below is a transcript of the resume submitted to the Town of Cape Vincent Town Board  by Paul Aubertine  when he was seeking to be appointed to the Town Council, to fill the seat vacated by Mickey Orvis, in July, of 2012.


  CANDIDATE  FOR TOWN COUNCIL
RESUME

Objective:
Seeking an open position on  the Cape Vincent Town Council , where I can use my skills to take on
the many challenges that face us as the town.

Summary of Qualifications:
         -             Excellent time management, organizational and leadership skills
         -             Able to multitask, work with others, work under pressure and unsupervised
         -             Adapt well to new situations, quick learner and dependable
         -             Ability to cultivate strong professional relationships
         -             Self-motivated individual with an outgoing dynamic personality
         -             Proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint

Work Experience
Thousand Islands Property Service
July 2007 - present
Clayton, NY
Property Maintenance Supervisor
         -            Participate in light construction
         -            Follow blueprints effectively
         -            Successfully monitor seasonal Island properties
         -            Maintain a clean, safe work environment
Mass Mutual financial group
November 2007 – December 2008
Syracuse, NY
Insurance Agent
        -            Maintained a knowledge of all products
        -            Attended training provided by the company
        -            Understood underwriting and rating plans
        -            Insured all required documents were signed and filed
Interactive Financial Marketing Group
January 2007 – July 2007
Richmond, VA
Account Executive
       -             Used phone as a tool to generate business
       -             Attended training and updating sessions provided by company
       -             Met and exceeded production requirements set by company
Cerow Insurance Agency
January 2006 – January 2007
Clayton,NY
Producer
      -                 Solicited and world assurance policies inside and out of the office
      -                 Understood underwriting and rating plans
      -                 Developed relationships with existing agency customers
Blue Seal Feeds
January 2004 – December 2006
Watertown ,NY

Assistant Store Manager
      -             Forecast, orders, stock and merchandise products
      -             Ensure prompt reconciliation of store operations and paperwork
      -             Ensure courteous and helpful customer service
Licenses and  Certifications:
      -             NYS Property and Casualty Life Insurance license. Personal/Commercial lines
      -             NYS Life, Accident and Health Insurance License

Organizations:
      -              Active Member of the Knights of Columbus
      -              Active Member of the Cape Vincent Lions Club
Education:
      -             Jefferson Community College 2011 – present
      -              Monroe Community College 2001 – 2002
      -              Thousand Island Central School Graduate 2001
references available upon request

Wind Energy Gets Away With Murder

James Conca
Forbs contributer
I’m not sure what all the fuss is about. So Wind Farms kill eagles. It’s not like we don’t kill beautiful endangered animals all the time. True, these are federally-protected and they’re an iconic symbol of our democracy. But hey, who minds using taxpayer dollars to kill a few icons?

NYSERDA hopes to boost solar power development through new unified permitting process

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority hopes to facilitate solar power development across the state by financially incentivizing communities to adopt a unified permitting process for small-scale photovoltaic systems.
Assuming municipalities embrace the recommended guidelines — developed through a partnership between NYSERDA, New York Power Authority and City University of New York — this new process would expedite the approval of photovoltaic projects with a rated capacity of 12 kilowatts or less.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

"we've had enough...

July 21,2012 ~ Dennis Pearson addressed the Town Board at the public hearing for the Town of Cape Vincent's Comprehensive plan.

Video 1
Transcript
Pearson: I'm not good at public speaking ,but what you're doing is just in make every,every, new regulation
that you guys make, is a license, a fee, a permit ,a cost, and time.  And people just, we've had enough. Its time to just let us function in our own lives that we want to do.  And we don't need, feel the need to come and ask you every thing that we want to do.




Dennis Pearson addresses the TOCV TB at a work session.
 Video 2 Transcript 
Pearson:     Maybe you start with ten windmills, fifteen windmills, whatever, out way out in the boondocks somewhere. See how it works out.

 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Jeremy Juggles...

During the privilege of the floor at  the Town of Cape Vincent  Town Board Meeting   9/19/2013,
 Jeremy Wood chastised the Town Board because he assumed that they would be voting on the development of Water District 6  . The board had no intention of voting on this issue, and this was clearly stated on the Agenda for the meeting .
The  resolution for water district 6 was for a
REFERENDUM.

ref·er·en·dum
ref·er·en·dum       ref·er·en·dum
ˌrefəˈrendəm


ref·er·en·dum
ref·er·en·dum       ref·er·en·dum
refəˈrendəm
noun
  1. A general vote by the electorate on a single political question that has been referred to them for a direct decision.

    ref·er·en·dum ref·er·en·dum

    ref·er·en·dum  ref·er·en·dum ref·er·en·dum

    ref·er·en·dum     ref·er·en·dum          ref·er·en·dum
    ref·er·en·dum     ref·er·en·dum      ref·er·en·dum



Town of Cape Vincent Letter to the Public Service Commission concerning BP's recent Visual Survey for Cape Vincent Wind Farm



Cape Vincent sets Nov. 19 public referendum for Water District 6

CAPE VINCENT — After much debate over the proposed expansion of Water District 6, the Town Council chose to leave it up to district property owners to decide for themselves whether to move forward with the $2.85 million project.
Each property owner will get one vote, and the council has decided to allow absentee votes. The referendum will be held from 4 to 9 p.m. Nov. 19 at the Cape Vincent Recreation Park on James Street.
Continue...[Watertown Times]

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Comments to the Public Service Commission Concerning BP's CVWF Survey


Continue reading at this link

Link here to the Public Service Commission website to read more letters from concerned citizens

Cape Vincent Wind Farm likely to be sold by BP by year’s end

CAPE VINCENT — BP Wind Energy plans to sell its entire development portfolio — which includes the proposed Cape Vincent Wind Farm — by the end of the year, according to a company spokeswoman.
“BP is seeking to divest its entire wind development portfolio to potential buyers that have the strategy and resources to continue to develop these projects,” said company spokeswoman Amanda J. Abbott in an email to the Times Thursday. “It is expected that the transactions will close by year-end.”
Continue...[Watertown Times]

Article 10 still in hands of Cape Vincent

To say that the proposed British Petroleum industrial wind siting is now in the hands of the state and is no longer the business or responsibility of the town of Cape Vincent public officials is misleading. 

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2013
As my town begins the 2013 campaign rush for Cape Vincent Town Council seats, I have found that many Cape Vincent voters may believe that the industrial wind siting being proposed for the town is “out of their hands now” and in the hands of the New York State. Furthermore, the less-than-informed about Article 10 seem to believe that town officials are wasting their time and taxpayers’ money on an attorney who represents the town’s Article 10 Advisory Committee.
According to information posted on the PSC website, British Petroleum is in the process of seeking Article 10 siting of its proposed 124, nearly 500-foot tall turbines, which will be seen from the Thousand Islands. A British Petroleum application has not been completed, nor submitted, and no application has been accepted or approved by the New York State Public Service Commission.
Continue... [Watertown Times]

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

BP Winds down Wind

BP hints at sale of alternative energy business 

 
 BP boasted today that its alternative energy business was worth as much as $7bn (£3.5bn), but hinted it could be put up for sale to take advantage of rising values in the renewable sector.

BP drops plans for UK wind farms--paper

 Thu Nov 6, 2008
Nov 7 (Reuters) - Oil major BP Plc (BP.L) has dropped plans to build wind farms and other renewable energy projects in Britain and will focus renewables spending on the United States, the Guardian newspaper said on Friday.
How Serious Is BP About Wind Energy?
6/14/2012 
Last week I had a brief interview with Katrina Landis, the CEO ofBP‘s alternative energy division, to learn more about the oil company’s growing role as a developer of wind farms.

 April 4, 2013
Before the departure of former Chief Executive Lord Browne in 2007, BP (NYSE: BP) invested heavily in alternative energy projects as part of its ‘Beyond Petroleum’ strategy. Since then the British energy company has abandoned this strategy, in favour of a higher focus on oil and gas, where it believes greater margins exist.


September 14, 2013
Not really. BP's decision to hold on to its U.S. wind assets for now mainly reflects the fact that the company failed to receive an attractive bid. "We didn't find an offer that we thought was the right value," said a BP spokesman. "Our feeling is that the business is more valuable to us than to others. We had a number of bids, but we decided now is not the right time to sell."


A company spokesman said the decision is part of a continuing effort “to become a more focused oil and gas company ... and to unlock more value for shareholders.” The sale reflects the complicated relationship between the major oil companies and renewable energy over the past decade, even as wind and solar energy slowly gained market share
  

BP Wind plans to exit project development as part of a restructuring announced internally this week. The decision follows the recent cancellation of the company’s sale process.


Titles link to articles


BP's FLIP FLOP

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Alexandria Bay, NY

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2013

The thousand Islands Sun is a small local newspaper.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


September 17,2013 
 I am submitting this letter in regard to BP’s continued pursuit of their Cape Vincent, Wind Power Project under an article 10 process.

 BP has been suspended from winning new government contracts. Due to what the EPA cited as a "lack of business integrity."

 For the past 6 years Cape Vincent has been a victim of BP’s lack of business integrity.
BP came into our community like thieves in the night, quietly 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 clear violation of the town’s ethics code and NY State law. These conflicted Municipal Officers played a pivotal role in moving BP and Acciona’s projects along.

 As a result of complaints over these conflicts of interests and subsequent actions taken by our Municipal Officers, then Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo, launched an investigation that to this day has not properly addressed the conflicts of interests.  As a result, our community galvanized and through the democratic process we were able to eliminate the conflicted officials, removing BP’s influence/control over the approval process. 
  
  Now BP is attempting to bypass our community by pursuing their project through an Article 10, process. BP has submitted a public involvement program that grossly distorts their public involvement and outreach in our community.
The only board or community members that BP has reached out to are the ones that have signed financial agreements with BP.

 Recently; BP Wind Power Development Director, Richard Chandler
  stated publically, “we have an incredible amount of support from the community”.
BP began promoting their project by cultivating a façade of community support.
  In 2007, BP retained the services of Trieste Associates (Marion Trieste) and her company’s team of public outreach experts to assist with planning events to educate and engage the public. As part of this effort, BP assisted a group of local wind power supporters in the Towns of Cape Vincent and Lyme to form a group known as Voters for Wind (VFW). [1] 

 Marion Trieste uses a community outreach technique she defines as grassroots organizing. Typically a grassroots movement is driven by the politics of a community however; Trieste specializes in developing grassroots movements that are driven by the politics of the wind developer. [2]  

Trieste organized a body of residents consisting largely of wind lease holders whom expect to profit from the wind turbine developments in Cape Vincent, NY.
 Over the years Voters for Wind have been successful in maintaining the appearance of being a civic organization, independent of the wind developers.
  Recently in their PIP, BP, re -branded Voters for wind as a public interest group they developed as part of their public outreach and education process. 
 Voters for Wind have been actively and aggressively promoting and assisting BP/Acciona with their respective wind projects.

  Below I have listed a few noteworthy outreach activities, conducted by BP’s Voters for Wind. 

August 14, 2008 - Voters for Wind filed and won a lawsuit against town board members who voted for a law to regulate the siting of wind turbines in the town of Lyme, New York[3][4] ( Lyme is a stakeholder in BP’s Cape Vincent wind project)
  
May 5, 2010 - Voters for Wind were successful in derailing Cape Vincent’s efforts to enact a wind law.
 Over the years Cape Vincent has made several unsuccessful attempts to develop a zoning law to properly regulate the siting of industrial wind towers.
  A committee convened in 2010, and over the course of several months they reached a consensus on a wind law. However May 2, 2010 through the efforts of   a Voter for Wind spokesperson the agreement was sabotaged.
  The Voter for Wind spokesperson introduced data containing facts and figures supportive of a less restrictive, developer friendly wind law .The lease holding committee members agreed with the Voter for Wind spokesperson, consequently the process was subverted [5] [6]
Three days after this last wind law committee meeting, BP business developer, Jim Madden, sent a letter to the Cape Vincent Town Board containing the exact same data that the Voter for Wind spokesperson had presented to the wind law committee as her own.  It became apparent that the Voter for Wind Spokesperson was representing BP, and not the interests of the community. [7][8]

August 5, 2010 - during a Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency (JCIDA) meeting , members began discussing drafting a policy based on an idea put forward by Justin S. Miller, Harris Beach PLLC, Albany which would preclude local governments from signing off on any deal the agency made with a developer.[9]  
A voter for wind spokesperson supported taking away local jurisdiction as well,  stating  "I am appalled that anyone on this board would consider distorting the mission of the JCIDA to attempt to control alternative energy development by giving school boards the power to kill a project. We vote for our school board members on the basis of their ability to run our school, not our town or county. This back-door effort to kill wind power in Jefferson County is alarming and a gross misuse of power. Do not destroy the reputation of the JCIDA by using it as a political weapon. [10]

January 13, 2011 - At the Cape Vincent Town Board meeting, Voters for wind called for the resignation of Cape Vincent’s Town Supervisor because he released a series of 51 documents, that revealed the initial study on ambient sound levels conducted by the wind developers consulting firm, was "flawed" and that the "Planning Board had ignored the recommendations" of the town's own acoustic consultants. [11], [12]

Since their inception, Voters for Wind have been extremely vocal in promoting BP’s Cape Vincent Wind Project. In their pursuit of thwarting the opposition various members of this civic organization have engaged in other non- traditional activities that may or may not have been carried out under the direction of BP.

BP’s record in Cape Vincent and Lyme is abhorrent; we have been used and abused by BP’s lack of business integrity. Their Development methods have been and continue to be unduly burdensome.  As long as BP has a presence in our communities we cannot begin to repair the damage done by their underhanded activities. In light of their past and continued actions, I respectfully implore you, to dismiss BP’s application for their Cape Vincent Wind Farm project.

 Sincerely,

Kathryn A. Muschell


Cape Vincent,NY


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 Sources:
Links in body of text

[1] BP’s PIP

[2]US-DOE WEBSITE Wind Powering America

[3] NYSERDA Wind Wise Education brochure Case Study Voters for Wind sue Lyme TB.

[4]Court Document - Gosier Voter for Wind V Lyme TB members

[5] Town of Cape Vincent Video Log

[6] YOU TUBE video

[7] Link to letter sent to CV from BP Director of Development Jim Madden

[8]CV warned of Restrictive zoning

[9] Watertown Times - PILOT-

[10] JCIDA board approves uniform tax-exempt policy Watertown Times 8/6/10

[11] Video recording of Cape Vincent Town Board meeting Cape Vincent TB video January 13, 2011 - Privilege of the floor

[12] Watertown Times Expert: papers wrongly released

Monday, September 16, 2013

One year ago this week, on September 17, 2012 BP submitted a Public Involvement Plan to the Public Service Commission.

 One year ago this week, on September 17, 2012, British Petroleum (BP) took its first step in applying for an Article 10 review process by submitting a Public Information Plan for its Cape Vincent Wind Farm project to the Department of Public Service staff .
~~~
 Introduction:  On August 4, 2011 The New York Power act (Article 10) was signed into law by Governor Cuomo, re-authorizing the state to oversee and regulate the siting of new and updated electric energy generating facilities, stripping the decision making process away from local communities. 
Governor Cuomo acknowledged there would be controversy associated with siting issues, but that both sides would be heard in a “fair process.”  From the standpoint of a small town like Cape Vincent, New York, that has been targeted for a major industrial wind project, by a corporate giant coupled with the loss of control over the decision making process to a state siting board, a fair process now becomes a vital issue of survival for that community.
When Governor Cuomo and certain members of the Legislature expressed the need for Article 10, one of the major factors cited was the need to bring the entire siting process out into the open and above board. Too often, wind developers had been operating in a clandestine fashion, recruiting local public officials to become their leaseholders and, in full effect, their local agents. Obvious ethical compromises created by these arrangements were of no apparent concern to the developers, not least of which in this respect was BP.
This kind of corporate behavior no doubt led the United States Environmental Protection Agency to recently characterize BP as a corporation that "lacks business integrity 1Furthermore, this type of behavior by a company currently seeking an Article 10 project approval should be exposed and brought to light before a decision is rendered by a state siting board. Bad conduct should matter. We would certainly hope that the Article 10 process is not indifferent to persistent ethical lapses by an applicant.
1.   New York Times, November 15,2012.

BP's agents and allegiances:  What is apparent from the following is that BP sought to distance the company from any direct involvement in public outreach and community discourse, particularly activities that may have had a negative tone and association.  To do this BP employed a community outreach consulting company, Trieste Associates, who in turn created, nurtured and supported a community activist group taking the name Voters for Wind (VFW). It was no coincidence, of course, that VFW was comprised of many BP leaseholders or others who had a financial stake in the BP project coming to fruition. 
The Article 10 application process requires BP to engage the community through a Public Involvement Plan (PIP).  BP in its revised PIP [Exhibit 1.]  describes their relationship with Trieste Associates and VFW this way,
In 2007, BP retained the services of Trieste Associates and the company’s team of public outreach experts to assist with planning events to educate and engage the public. As part of this effort, BP assisted a group of local wind power supporters in the Towns of Cape Vincent and Lyme to form a group known as Voters for Wind.” 
BP is acknowledging a direct link to VFW as well as the thinly buffered relationship through Trieste Associates.
BP's Agent Trieste Associates:  Marion Trieste is the principal and founder of Trieste Associates. She provided a remarkable insight into her role and activities in a July 2, 2009 Wind Powering America Webinar [Exhibit 2]. In the webinar Trieste describes forming Green Energy Outreach Services (GEOS) to
“help our clients in the national and international wind business to promote these types of projects all over the northeast.”  She talked about her association with VFW in Cape Vincent and BP.
And this group here decided to call themselves (voter) for wind to let it be known --they actually established themselves two years ago.  And I worked with them with a BP wind power project here.  BP was - is the developer that I'm - I've been working with there.” 
Trieste makes the case as to why BP needs to remain below the radar screen in the public eye: “I always tell these developers (BP), you know, you're there to help but pretty much stay away because, you know, we don't want to be contaminated by, you know, people thinking that they're just being used by the wind developers.” 
Trieste outlines why her program is vital to the interests of developers like BP,
“We can have Barack Obama”, we can have all of our politicians talking about using more renewable energy but when you start putting these, you know, turbines, large turbines in people's view sheds, it's a totally different story.” 
She continues, “So every little locality, every little town has their own ability to make or break a wind farm by creating an ordinance, wind power - wind development ordinance that's going to allow a wind farm in or say no.” 
Trieste is recognizing the importance of local politics, and more specifically local zoning laws, to the overall success and outcome of BP's project plans.  In what could be interpreted as subtle understatement she concludes,
“So we really need to get our local politics, our public opinion leaders educated on this. What makes sense and what it is that's really to their advantage in their community. And the best way to do this is again through constituents. They're the ones who are going to reelect them.” 
Educating politicians in this context could include petitions and lawsuits as well as pamphlets and brochures.
BP's Front Group Voters for Wind:  From all indications VFW was created solely for the purpose of implementing BP's agenda.  Their efforts included political, public relations and, in all likelihood, measures to chill unwanted public discourse and political speech though legal intimidation.
Trieste's webinar depicts some of the details about the function and activities of Cape Vincent VFW:
So we usually have folks prepared with t-shirts or hats and that can really stand out in the crowd. So the town board elected officials, whatever, can look out in the audience and they can see oh wow, I've got a lot of supporters out here.” 
This reference may have been suggesting those town officials who had lease agreements and were also members of VFW.  One of Trieste's prominent outreach tools are petitions,
When you have the silent majority that aren't speaking out, you put a petition together and promote your wind project to your town board members as, you know, before they're having, you know, very important critical votes on allowing projects to take place or wind ordinances being developed.” 
The advocacy for the use of petitions by Trieste can be seen in the history of actions of VFW; they carried and promoted a number of petitions.
BP's Lease agreements with their binding “cooperation clauses”:   The single most common characteristic among VFW members are their wind lease agreements [Exhibit3].  Wind companies infiltrated Cape Vincent beginning in 2004 signing landowners to wind lease agreements prior to any notification or public awareness of these activities. In particular, developers appeared to 
target sitting local officials, both elected and appointed. These contracts were complicated legal instruments that many landowners signed without the review and counsel of any personal attorneys. 
Aside from the usual language and contractual requirements there is a remarkable clause, particularly for a local elected official, that requires the cooperation and assistance of the land owner to expedite the wind developer’s agenda [Exhibit 3].  Section 8.4 Requirements of Governmental Agencies: Cooperation  states that landowners “shall assist and fully cooperate” with BP in securing permits, approvals, environmental impact reviews and essentially anything else required by BP to get local approvals.  All of this assistance provided to BP will be “at no out-of-pocket expense to the Owner.”  It was an astonishing indifference to basic ethical standards for BP to seek a contractual obligation from local officials to put their company ahead of the people the officials were sworn to serve.
Reading down through Section 8.4 the language is even more compromising regarding general assistance.
In connection with any applications for such approvals, (Land) Owner agrees at Grantee's (BP) request to support such application (at no out-of-pocket expense to Owner) at any administrative, judicial or legislative level.” 
BP's wind lease agreement appears to be a binding contract that requires  landowners to  assist them in any way BP determines is necessary and that the cost of such assistance shall not be borne by landowners, but will be shouldered by BP alone. 
It should need no emphasis to appreciate what BP may have intended in contractually obligating loyalty, i.e., binding leaseholders to assist BP.  This requirement to “assist and fully cooperate”, even extending to public officials is shocking.   

Voters for Wind's Vice President Munk's Testimonial:  In a testimonial that appeared on the VFW website, [Exhibit 4], Dawn Munk, Vice-President of VFW states:
“With Marion Trieste at our side, this small group (VFW) developed a mission statement, elected officers, developed by-laws, and began the task of reaching out to others.”  “We have organized letter writing campaigns and carried petitions and our group now has four committees regarding very specific areas of concentration.”  “The staff at GEOS (Trieste affiliate) is with us every step of the way, providing us with information, suggestions and technical and moral support.” 
Munk's testimonial demonstrated that Trieste Associates/GEOS were the guiding force for VFW and it further suggests that nothing of any importance would be set in motion by VFW without the advice, consent and full support of Trieste and BP.
Lawsuit against the Town of Lyme:  On May 6, 2008 the Town of Lyme adopted a wind law that was judged to be too restrictive to the interests of VFW, Trieste Associates and BP.  Then on July 6, 2008 ten plaintiffs, all members of VFW, filed a lawsuit In Jefferson County Court to force the Town of Lyme to rescind their newly adopted wind law.
Public hearing on Lyme's wind law prior to adoption:  In the process leading up to the adoption of a wind law by the Town Council, Lyme officials set dates for two public hearings. The first one was scheduled for Saturday January 5, 2008 at the Chaumont fire hall in Lyme. On the night prior to the hearing VFW organized a meeting to prepare and outline their strategy for the public hearing.  The meeting was attended by a reporter from the Watertown Daily Times who filed a report in the Saturday edition – the morning before the first public hearing [Exhibit 5].  The article begins, “About 30 members of Voters for Wind gathered at the fire hall Friday night to organize the opinions they will share at the town public hearing today...”  The article goes on to describe VFW activities, e.g., monthly meetings, and their concern for setbacks for wind turbines and limits to turbine noise levels.  Marion Trieste attended and was quoted in the Times article as saying,
The ordinance calls for turbines to be set back 4,500 feet, or more than five-sixths of a mile, from the lake, which, combined with other setbacks, would leave virtually no space in Lyme for turbines.  This is the most restrictive ordinance that I've ever seen in the state.” 
At the Town of Lyme hearing the following day VFW members parroted Trieste's charge the night before [Exhibit 6].  “The proposed setbacks are three times the setbacks of any other wind project in the state,” said Dawn Munk (Vice President of VFW).  Guy Gosier complained,
This is not legal and none of the town's business. These surveys were passed out with Town Board approval? Why are the people of this town being shoved aside to meet the demands of a certain few people?” 
The surveys Gosier was referring to sought the public's attitude toward industrial wind development in the Town of Lyme.  Larry Comins then added, “The town's informal survey was not a legal way of determining results for a yes or no opinion on the wind tower project.” 
These three commenters were members of VFW and were also among the ten plaintiffs in a lawsuit that was filed against the Town of Lyme on July 6, 2008.
Lawsuit filed against the Town of Lyme:  In a report filed by WWNY TV 7 on July 11, 2008 the news broadcast stated that a lawsuit was filed by ten members of VFW against the Town of Lyme because they adopted a wind law that was “too restrictive and does not adequately allow for the orderly development of wind energy facilities. [Exhibit 7]” The news report further stated, “Members of Voters for Wind say developers can’t work within those constraints.” 
In addition the news report stated, “In the lawsuit, Voters for Wind says the board failed to recognize their protest petition.  The group says because a petition was presented, the town board needed to have a 75 percent majority vote to pass the zoning ordinance.”  The lawsuit therefore complained not only about restrictions on wind development in the newly adopted law, but also on the alleged failure of the Town of Lyme board to properly consider their petition of landowners. 
 August 15, 2008 Supreme Court Justice Hugh Gilbert ruled that,” The Lyme Town Council acted "arbitrarily and capriciously" when it rejected 10 property owners' petition protesting the adoption of a local law regulating the siting of wind turbines.”  The law adopted on May 6, 2008 was struck not on the basis of the restrictions to industrial wind development, but because of the improper handling of the petition by the Lyme Town Council.  While the complaint itself did not describe any affiliation between the ten plaintiffs and VFW, the news reporting frequently mentioned VFW and the lawsuit. [Exhibit 8].
Trieste Associates highlights the lawsuit against the Town of Lyme as an achievement :    After reading the WindWise Education Curriculum supported by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority [Exhibit 9.] some may consider Trieste’s statements as confirmation of Trieste/BP's involvement in guiding the legal action in the Town of Lyme.  In this Education Curriculum a case study is provided by Trieste Associates, a public relations firm from Saratoga Springs, New York.  The case study notes:
Community opposition can delay or prevent the installation of a wind farm. Trieste is hired to educate and engage the community where controversial wind projects are being proposed.”  “For example, Trieste Associates has helped citizens organize groups such as Voters for Wind in New York that educates the public about the benefits of renewable energy resources. Voters for Wind filed and won a law suit against the elected officials who voted to prohibit a wind farm in the Town of Lyme, New York.” 
Regardless of Trieste/BP's denials about their involvement in the Lyme lawsuit, the content of this NYSERDA sponsored document should be considered carefully.  
Article 10 Process – what's said and what's not said:  To reiterate, Governor Cuomo's message regarding Article 10 legislation claimed that it would result in a “fair process.”  Apparently unfazed by the governor’s words, fairness would not appear to be a top concern to BP.  It should be noted here , BP was recently described by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a corporation that “lacks business integrity.” 
What BP considers fair undoubtedly was included in their slim and cursory Public Involvement Plan (PIP) that was submitted to the New York State Department of Public Service, as part of their Article 10 pre-application process [Exhibit 1].  Those listed outreach activities included: open houses, the use of local project offices, public education events, local advertisements, project newsletters, informational publications, and attending Town Board meetings. 
In Exhibit 2 of their PIP, BP reached back in time outlining the history of the outreach in Cape Vincent during the State Environmental Quality Review (SEQRA) process, again noting the clean, ethical public relations accomplishments.  It was those so called “accomplishments” (among others) that were fashioned by the kinds of ethical abuses that led then Attorney General Cuomo to try to hold wind developers in New York to greater public scrutiny. That effort was only marginally successful.
The Article 10 process also provides an online forum for stakeholder input, comments and recommendations regarding various siting projects. At present there are more than 320 comments from the general public, mostly opposing BP's project proposal. Presumably, these comments will be used in some way to gauge public sentiment. The majority of pro-project commentary, however, comes from unidentified BP leaseholders [they do not identify themselves as leaseholders], who are being paid by BP and who are contractually bound to assist and fully cooperate with BP to get their project approved.
A fair public information process should distinguish support and comment from the general public from those being paid by BP to support their project under the guise of general public support. A headline "Paid Advertisement" should be required to accompany any of BP's leaseholder commentary so that state siting officials will know and understand this is the applicant speaking through their front group and contractually obligated leaseholders, and not the general public.
Noticeably absent from BP’s PIP filing was any reference to using lawsuits, although the Lyme lawsuit was highlighted as an achievement by Trieste in the NYSERDA supported WindWise Education Curriculum.   BP has no qualms pretending that its relationship to Voters for Wind and Trieste Associates is no more than incidental and inconsequential.
Remarkably, BP feels free to pick and choose on a whim as to what is relevant and when.

Conclusion:  Cape Vincent is currently engaged in a fight to protect its future.  The threat comes in the form of an enormous industrial wind project that would cover the town from corner to corner, and a project that is wholly incompatible with the town and village's Comprehensive Plan.
Drawn into this struggle is the neighboring Town of Lyme, through which new electric transmission infrastructure would be required. Not only Cape Vincent and Lyme would be affected by the proposed project. There would be significant adverse visual, sound, economic and environmental impacts for miles around in all directions.  Several communities that make up much of the famed Thousand Islands Region and the people who live there and visitors alike would share the effects, directly and indirectly.
At risk could be citizens' health and safety, the value of their homes, and the small town atmosphere residents have valued throughout the town's history.  The greatest immediate risk, however, is two-fold: Cape Vincent's loss of local control, and the threat posed by British Petroleum, a company whose less than stellar record and reputation on the global stage is being mirrored by its conduct here in New York's North Country.  
The loss of local control will only be compounded if the Public Service Commission fails to ensure that the rules governing the Article 10 process are applied fairly, much as Governor Cuomo outlined and promised.  
Standing in stark contrast to a fair process, is the corporate history of BP in the U.S.  They have pleaded guilty to a number of felonies, lying to Congress being one. In a remarkable precedent BP has also been denied access to Federal leases as, a consequence of their recent actions.   The Environmental Protection Agency described BP's corporate behavior best, saying that BP was “lacking business integrity.”
BP's history in Cape Vincent is no better.  BP's lease agreements provided a means to pay town officials for their cooperation and in their PIP.  BP has acknowledge a direct link to Voters For Wind  as well as the thinly buffered relationship through Trieste Associates. It was Voters For Wind that filed complaints to remove perfectly reasonable and prudent local laws and to block public discourse.

BP, incredulously, continues to assert that they have the support of the community for their project.  They simply do not. They choose to define the community, for their purposes, as the small minority of town resident and non-resident landowners who have signed lease agreements with them.
And what cannot be overlooked in considering these matters, is that BP never would have gained any developer toehold in the community were it not for the fact that they compromised former town government officials with financial inducements, and by binding those officials to unethical contractual promises. Having tainted the process so thoroughly, BP dismisses their own past actions as if they left no mark on the town at all. The level of mistrust and resentment they have generated by their actions will take generations to heal. And yet, they would presume to go forward with a "fresh" approach to developing their project as if their hands were perfectly clean. 
It is hoped that by restating some of the history of the callous approach taken by BP in this development effort, that regional, municipal leaders reading this, who are involved in shaping the political, commercial and cultural life of our region, may have their eyes opened fully to BP's abuses.
Also, there are those who reside in Cape Vincent and the surrounding area who may have thought they had a general understanding of the various tensions at work here.  Regrettably, many still do not understand how BP has worked many angles behind the scenes to manipulate, compromise, and intimidate the common good of the community.
By their past actions in Cape Vincent BP has demonstrated they are unfit. Cape Vincent deserves better treatment. BP deserves to be sent away from here to allow the town and the region to recover from nine years and counting of astonishingly arrogant corporate abuse. 

 After a report surfaced last week that Bp wind plans to exit project development as part of a restructuring announced internally, the whole town is holding its breath.
 We have had enough of BP's brand of public outreach and it is time for them to stop; it is time for them to go!



EXHIBIT [1] ~ Bp's Revised PIP
EXHIBIT[2] ~  Wind Powering America Webinar
EXHIBIT[3] ~ Wind Energy Lease Agreement
EXHIBIT[4] ~ VFW Testimonial Letter
EXHIBIT[5] ~ WDT~ Wind Farm Advacotes Prepare for Lyme Hearing
EXHIBIT[6] ~  Transcript, Lyme Wind Law Hearing
EXHIBIT[7] ~  WWNY TV 7  report /VFW lawsuit against the TOL
EXHIBIT[8] ~ Court Doc. Gosier V Town of Lyme
EXHIBIT[9] ~ WindWise Education Curriculum