BP's Tatics in Cape Vincent Ny

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

BP Wind Power Development Director, Richard Chandler: “we have an incredible amount of support from the community”.

For over 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. 
September 17,2012, BP  submitted a public involvement program  that grossly distorts their public involvement and outreach in our community.
  BP Wind Power Development Director, Richard Chandler has stated publicly, “we have an incredible amount of support from the community”.
The support Chandler is referring to is not from the community at large but a group of loyal lease holders with a financial interest in the success of BP's project. 
BP began promoting their project by cultivating a facade 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.
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


Anonymous said...

Ha! I'll bet BP would like to forget parts of their glorious history in Cape Vincent.

I recall on the blogs mention of a classroom syllabus supported by NYSERDA where Trieste Associates ballyhooed their puppet group Voters for Wind when they took the Town of Lyme to court. Now that is no different to the average slob out there from what WPEG did in Cape Vincent - they sued the town on at least two occasions.

The BIG difference, however, is who paid the freight! WPEG financed their legal efforts from donations by citizens. This is in contrast to VFW being financed by TRIESTE and TRIESTE being financed by BRITISH PETROLEUM.

BP has had their dirty, little, stinking finger in our community since they arrived seven years ago. They've used their slimy, black money to subvert our communities comprehensive plan and zoning law by paying local officials to look the other way.

We should all be aware that VFW is now all dressed up in a new rag, Citizens for Fair Government, and they are hoping we wouldn't notice - kind of like the Big Bad Wolf putting on a dress and trying to fool Goldilocks.

Don't be fooled. Trieste used BP money to direct VFW and they are doing the same now as far as I am concerned with CFG - same players, same faces, different dress.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Excellent report:

I disagree with one statement, "Over the years Voters for Wind have been successful in maintaining the appearance of being a civic organization, independent of the wind developers."

I believe they have been blatant about their support and spreading the information supplied by bp and Trieste.

Anonymous said...

Everybody recall the documentary 'Windfall'? Many similarities to Cape Vincent, but with one big exception. In the Catskill community the wind developer stayed away from being involved in local politics. That wasn't the case here in Cape Vincent.

BP suggesting they had no part in any of this, including bloggers lawsuit, makes Bob Dudley and the British corporation look like a dumb-ass ostrich. BP putting its head in a hole isn't hiding the fact its bloated, black body was trying to destroy our town.

While BP has got its head in the sand, lets all kick it in the ass and see if we can get them to leave Cape Vincent.

Anonymous said...

Chandler does have great support.

At a Bp open house wind thugs called a Town Councilman a druggie, grabbed a guy and told him to get the hell out and mocked out a out of town visitors weight.

Now, that is what I call community support for Bp!

Anonymous said...

Do you suppose that when Chandler claims BP has incredible amount of support, what he means is they were able to lease enough land to accomodate their entire project?

Of course this has to take into account the amount of land that conveniently happened to change hands in the years running up to their application.

Is this all they require to claim support? Perhaps in other areas where they attempt to site projects they have difficulty procuring enough leases. Maybe Chandler is serious when he makes this claim. He must feel extremely lucky that there were enough gullible, greedy landowners willing to sell out their neighbors and community.