BP's Tatics in Cape Vincent Ny

Sunday, October 6, 2013



CAPE VINCENT ~ last Friday, rumors started flying around town that BP had a meeting with their lease holders at Aubrey's Restaurant Thursday evening to inform them that if they (BP) could not sell their Cape Vincent Wind Farm project  they were going to cut their losses and bail.

This generated quite a stir , as well as many inquires from local media sources attempting to confirm the story.

 It has since been established that a meeting did take place Thursday evening, but as of yet the community at large is still waiting to find out if  BP is going to bail.

If they do leave, this will mark the end of  BP’s contemptible presence in Cape Vincent .  
BP’ has stated lofty intentions with their Cape Vincent Wind Farm however, their actions tell a different story

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 .

 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 acknowledged 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. 

The history of the callous approach taken by BP in this development effort, has come to impress upon many St. Lawrence River area regional and municipal leaders, and opened their eyes fully to BP's abuses. These leaders who are involved in shaping the political, commercial and cultural life of our region, have come to reject BP as a welcome and valuable economic development partner.

Also, there are steadily decreasing numbers of 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.  There has been a steadily increasing number who 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 to do business in our community. Cape Vincent deserves better treatment.

We are collectively holding our breath, and have been for a long time, for the message to sink in with BP that their development efforts here are unwelcome by the vast majority of residents. They should leave here to allow the town and the region to recover from nine years and counting of astonishingly arrogant corporate abuse.  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!


Anonymous said...

Will the Thursday night secret meeting be included in BP's PIP? Fat chance!

BP instructed their leaseholders to shut up lest they lose the ability to sell their piece of crap wind project. No wonder no lease holder wants to be quoted saying the project is toast. The others would eat them alive for spoiling their golden opportunity.

Anonymous said...

Put the blame for the non sale where it belongs. It was the job of Marion Trieste and her grassroots hayseeds from Little Appalachia.