BP's Tatics in Cape Vincent Ny

Friday, February 28, 2014

T. Urling Walker: One Example of the Value of Cape Vincent's Seasonal Residents

After a little time reflecting about the events of yesterday I am wondering if BP's flight out of the Cape may have been pushed along at the governor's office.

If there was some influence brought in at the highest levels of government then maybe we need to reserve a special thank you to a Cape seasonal resident who may have tipped the balance in the end with his personal plea to Governor Cuomo.

Former Watertown Mayor T. Urling Walker sent a letter to Governor Cuomo in early December (Link). Mayor Walker wrote about the potential that the Governor might have to make the final decision.

He indicated that Cape residents were better educated about impacts from wind development than Albany lobbyists. Mayor Walker closed his letter by saying, "The beauty of the area is a mecca to tourists and an important economic asset to the State, please help us preserve our heritage and not destroy it with inappropriate development."

What I found interesting is that Mayor Walker's letter was sent to Governor Cuomo on December 12, 2013, but that Secretary Kathleen Burgess acknowledged receipt of his letter on February 21, 2014. Secretary Burgess no doubt posted Walker's letter as soon as it was forwarded from the Governor's office. This suggest Mayor Walker's letter was held by the Governor for over two months, and it appears to have been given very careful consideration.

Regardless of how BPs ending came about, I like the thought that Mayor Walker's plea to protect our community may have been instrumental in bringing it about. What we should also appreciate is not only the Mayor's letter, but how it was delivered . Look at the letterhead - City of Watertown. Look at the little handwritten note next to mayor - "Former." I like your gutsy style Mayor Walker.

Thank you Mayor Walker for not only stepping forward, but for how you stepped up to the plate. I think you may have hit a home run.

Times Editors Miss the Bus

I am dumbfounded how the Times' editors could have so completely missed the bus on the Cape Vincent wind issue in their editorial Blown Away (Feb. 28). Times' editors opined that full-time residents had to deal with the ups and downs of the local economy, and can you blame them for not wanting to take advantage of the opportunity for making money off their land with industrial wind development. 
Unfortunately, the editors also exposed their bias regarding the rights of part-time residents, “But part-time residents objected to the notion of introducing a wind farm into the community.” They didn’t want to spend their leisure time staring at numerous wind turbines.” With this comment Times' editors could not have been more disingenuous to the majority of us Cape residents.

Here are just two important points editors of the Times missed. In a survey of all Cape Vincent residents in 1992 (well before wind) the overwhelming majority of both full-time and part-time residents rejected future industrial development. The conclusion of that study was “They (Cape Vincent residents) would like to see improved job opportunities and services, but not at the expense or sacrifice of the very qualities that make Cape Vincent so appealing – its beauty, history and small town atmosphere.
Furthermore, Cape Vincent’s first master plan for future development and growth (2003) specifically discouraged development such as industrial wind, “Location of towers, prisons or utility facilities where their impact would have a negative impact on scenic vistas and tourism assets.” What became obvious to those full-time residents that did not support industrial wind development (there are many of us), a number of town leaders and full-time residents ignored the wishes and plans of the entire community in order to take advantage of their own economic opportunities via leasing their land to industrial wind developers. 
Their attitude was to hell with the community planning, we want our money! Apparently the editors of the Times also believe that community planning for future development is just a waste of time.

The other major oversight of the Times was their continuing refusal to ignore the corrupting influence of BP’s payments to local officials. The Times broke the story on conflicts of interest in 2006, but subsequently always chose to view the issue as only wind development and not wind corruption. The Times has yet to report on the language in BP’s wind lease contracts that requires the full cooperation of leaseholders in forwarding their project. This information has been available for years and has important ethical implications for public servants. 
For town officials who are expected to serve the public’s interests these leases were disastrous and the payments to officials by BP tainted their service to their constituents. The Jefferson County Board of Ethics understood the importance of this issue; I just wish the editors of the Times could have understood it as well.

Finally, the Times recommends, “Residents must begin the process of healing some of the wounds caused by this experience. They can start by recognizing that perhaps they themselves were responsible for some of the pain inflicted.” Unfortunately, this editorial by the Times does absolutely nothing to help that process. The paper could have helped far more by leaving their editorial page blank. 
But, their editorial does prove that it is impossible for editors sitting in an Washington Street office some 30 miles distant to understand a very complex community issue - at best the editors of the Times get all their information about Cape Vincent second-hand. 
What is also obvious to us now with this editorial today is that not only have we had to fight BP for the past eight years, but we have had to fight the Watertown Daily Times as well.

Clif Schneider

The Watertown Times Editorial Blown Away

What was supposed to pump new money into the town of Cape Vincent and make a renewable source of energy available only seemed to bring rancor and bitterness.

In 2005, BP proposed developing a 124-turbine wind farm on adjacent properties in the town.
Many full-time residents supported the idea of infusing the community with an additional stream of revenue, particularly because some of them would benefit by leasing their land to BP. They asserted their right to make money off the property they owned.Continue...

Thursday, February 27, 2014

BP ‘terminating’ Cape Vincent Wind Project

BP Wind Energy is pulling out of Cape Vincent after unsuccessful attempts to sell its 285-megawatt industrial wind farm project.

 “It’s a sad day for Cape Vincent. The few people who don’t live here are now running the town,” leaseholder Harvey J. White said, referring to how seasonal residents practically took control of the town board by changing their residencies for the sole purpose of voting for anti-wind candidates for Cape Vincent Town Council. Continue...

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

BP - The Beast is Dead!

 Can you believe it?

A small band of over –the-hill misfits beat the fourth largest corporation in the world and saved their town. Congratulations to all my readers and all those people who have supported and commented on issues related to wind development and wind corruption. February 26 will long be remembered as the date in our history where the redcoats were sent packing the third time in 250 years!

Thank you all!

 EXCLUSIVE!!! Breaking news BP is Packing it in

 Feb. 26, 2014  10:14 EST

BP cancels 200 MW wind project

BP Wind Energy has cancelled a 200-285 MW wind project it estimated would have cost in excess of $300 million

Victor Kremer, editor for

 Sparkspread, has just

 confirmed that YES indeed the

 200-285 MW 

  project that is being cancelled

 by BP is the Cape Vincent Wind 

Farm Project Proposal!

The Watertown Times has received confirmation  from BP that they are terminating the Cape Vincent Wind Farm project link here to read the story

Aubertine says he won’t run in 21st Congressional District

CAPE VINCENT — Darrel J. Aubertine, a prominent Democrat in the 21st Congressional District, announced today he would not seek the seat being vacated by Rep. William L. Owens, D-Plattsburgh.

People are interested in what happens in Cape Vincent

Map of blog visitors

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Won't you be my good neighbor

 What is a good neighbor agreement?
A device used by wind developers that allows them to take advantage of people that live near industrial wind plants.
Developers buy the rights of people living in close proximity to turbines for a small payment. By signing a good neighbor contract you agree to accept the noise, shadow flicker or any other issue that may degrade the quality of your life.

As part of BP's Cape Vincent Wind Farm they have signed people up to good-neighbor agreements. These agreements put covenants on the land encumbering it for up to 40 years. I have been unable to find even one good neighbor agreement on file with the Jefferson County Clerk. 
Why haven't they been filed? Who's responsibility is it to file these agreements?

If these agreements have not been filed are they legal and binding on the land?

 Link here to read entire BP Good Neighbor agreement

Below is a copy  transcript of a BP Good neighbor recruitment letter
December 11, 2007


Jim Madden.
Business developer

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The ACORN Doesn’t Fall Far from the Tree

The discussion, questioning and vote of Paul Aubertine related to BP's wind project and Article 10 that occurred at last Thursday's meeting of the Cape Vincent Town Board once again opens a Pandora's Box regarding conflicts of interest and begs the question, should Paul Aubertine recuse himself from any discussion regarding wind development and BP's Cape Vincent Wind project proposal?. 
Oh, shit!

Currently Aubertine resides at his parent's Hell Street property. This same property is part of the farm that is under lease to BP Wind Energy as part of BP's Article 10 Cape Vincent Wind Farm project proposal [parcel 40-1-17, link here to read agreement filed with the Jefferson County Clerk]
In 2008 then New York's Attorney General Andrew Cuomo established a Code of Conduct [link] to guide wind developers in New York. The Code states that "The Wind Company shall publicly disclose the full names of any Municipal Officer or his or her relative who has a financial interest in any property identified for wind farm development..." The Code defines a relative as, "...a spouse, domestic partner,child, step-child, sibling, or parent of the Municipal Officer, or a person claimed as a dependent on the Municipal Officer's latest individual state income tax return."  Furthermore, the Code inferred that recusal from any discussion or voting would remove any suggestion of conflict of interest by a municipal official.
It is apparent that BP has failed to make the proper notifications and public disclosures that would make them compliant with New York's Code of Conduct for wind developers. Aubertine is a municipal official whose parents have a lease agreement with BP; therefore, BP should have disclosed this potential conflict by notifying the Cape Vincent Town Clerk, publishing a notice in the Watertown Daily Times, posting the disclosure on BP's website and alerting the Attorney General's Office. BP has done nothing to publicly disclose Aubertine's potential for a conflict of interest.

Aubertine's relationship is similar to that of Karen Bourcy, Town of Cape Vincent Planning Board member, who is the parent of a leaseholder [Scott Bourcy, Wood Farms lessor]. She publicly disclosed her potential conflict was identified in a March 2, 2012 disclosure by BP that was posted on its website.[link]
In the past Karen Bourcy has recused herself from discussion and voting on matters pertaining to wind development.

Aubertine property
BP Cape Vincent Wind Farm project map submitted to PSC.

What should happen soon is BP should comply with New York's Code of Conduct and publicly disclose Darrel Aubertine's lease arrangement with BP and Councilman Paul Aubertine's relationship. Furthermore, Paul Aubertine should comply with the precedent set by Karen Bourcy and recuse himself from any discussion or voting on any matter related to industrial wind development.

Letter from wildlife groups says federal eagle permit rule gives wind developers ‘license to kill’


Concerned about the bald eagle population that nests along the St. Lawrence River, three conservation groups have joined together to oppose a federal rule allowing wind turbine operators to have a 30-year license to kill or injure the birds without penalty.
 Save the River and 1000 Islands Land Trust, both of Clayton, and the Algonquin to Adirondacks Collaborative of Ontario endorsed a Feb. 18 letter sent to the U.S. Department of Interior that urges the agency to withdraw its rule approved last December. The federal agency decided to extend the lifespan of what are known as “eagle take permits” from five to 30 years.


Friday, February 21, 2014

Aubertine Says He Could Win - If He Decides To Run

Darrel Aubertine sits through the pledge
Former state Sen. Darrel Aubertine says he's confident he could win if he chose to enter the race for the 21st Congressional District now held by fellow Democrat Bill Owens.

Conflicts and code of conduct

Wind energy code of conduct


BP CVWF code of conduct page

 BP CVWF disclosures

The Attorney General's Wind Industry Ethics Code prohibits conflicts of interest between municipal officials and wind companies and establishes vast new public disclosure requirements. The Code:
  • Bans wind companies from hiring municipal employees or their relatives, giving gifts of more than $10 during a one-year period, or providing any other form of compensation that is contingent on any action before a municipal agency
  • Prevents wind companies from soliciting, using, or knowingly receiving confidential information acquired by a municipal officer in the course of his or her officials duties
  • Requires wind companies to establish and maintain a public Web site to disclose the names of all municipal officers or their relatives who have a financial stake in wind farm development
  • Requires wind companies to submit in writing to the municipal clerk for public inspection and to publish in the local newspaper the nature and scope of the municipal officer’s financial interest
  • Mandates that all wind easements and leases be in writing and filed with the County Clerk
  • Dictates that within thirty days of signing the Wind Industry Ethics Code, companies must conduct a seminar for employees about identifying and preventing conflicts of interest when working with municipal employees

Turbines take down turtles in divisional court

Turbines have toppled turtles in Ontario Divisional Court and Gilead Power has regained its go-ahead to build nine industrial wind turbines on the south shore of Prince Edward County.
The court met for three days in Toronto at the end of January and delivered its 40-page report Thursday, Feb. 20. Continue...

The 40-page court document here:

Cape Vincent to send letter urging judge to kill BP application for wind farm

UPDATED: 2/21/14 7:08 AM

CAPE VINCENT — Paul F. Aubertine, the lone Democrat seated on Town Council, was the only member who opposed a decision Thursday to urge a judge to kill BP Wind Energy’s application for the Cape Vincent Wind Farm project.Continue...

Video clip from last nights Town of Cape Vincent Board meeting.
Councilman Aubertine raises objections to taking a proactive stance with the Article 10 process

Thursday, February 20, 2014


  First Wind Reaches Deal With Wary Conservation Groups

First Wind has five operating wind farms in Maine and has proposed the Bingham Wind project, a 62-turbine facility located in the state.

 Appalachian Trail Coalition groups have expressed concerns about the potential impact that Bingham and other energy projects may have on Appalachian National Scenic Trail (ANST) viewshed lands.
Consequently,First Wind says it has entered an agreement to protect such lands in Maine through the creation of a dedicated $700,000 conservation fund. Continue...

Tybee scraps plans for wind turbine

Tybee’s turbine is gone with the wind.
A new analysis of installing and operating a donated wind turbine on Tybee indicates it wouldn’t be as beneficial as first described. Continue...

ReEnergy to be awarded 20-year contract to supply biomass power to Fort Drum

FORT DRUM — The on-site ReEnergy Black River biomass facility will likely supply power to the post for the next 20 years.
The Army intends to award ReEnergy Holdings LLC the contract to supply the post up to 28 megawatts of power. If finalized, the contract will be the largest renewable energy project taken on by the Army to date.Continue...

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Doheny Announces 3rd Congressional Bid

 Matt Doheny announced live on channel 7 News this Morning that
he is going to make a third run at the north country's Congressional seat.

"I'm pleased to announce -- right here live with you -- that I will be a candidate for the United States House of Representatives for the 21st Congressional District here in New York,". 

Doheny said he wants to give voters an option."I had a primary in 2010," he said. "I had a primary in 2012. I understand what it means to face voters and I think that voters will have a choice here in 2014."


Water more valuable than wind

JEFFERSON COUNTY, N.Y. -- Orleans residents have asked the town board to fix their contaminated water for years
Now, they're finally getting some response. "At last week's board meeting we had a public hearing and got to hear everybody's concerns," said Town of Orleans Supervisor Kevin Rarick. Continue...

National Drinking Water Database


Lafargeville (T. Orleans) - Watertown, NY

Serves 750 people - Test data available: 2004-2008
This drinking water quality report shows results of tests conducted by the water utility and provided to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) by the New York Department of Health- Bureau of Public Water Supply Protection. It is part of EWG's national database that includes 47,667 drinking water utilities and 20 million test results. Water utilities nationwide detected more than 300 pollutants between 2004 and 2009. More than half of these chemicals are unregulated, legal in any amount. Despite this widespread contamination, the federal government invests few resources to protecting rivers, reservoirs, and groundwater from pollution in the first place.

  Curious about what is in your local water supply? Link here to find out

Link here to  find out what Contaminants Exceed Health Guidelines in Lafargeville 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Two Faces of Fracking Politics

New York State is in a tug of war over fracking. The pro frackers claim it is safe and that New York is missing out on the economic benefits.

The opposition, among other things is concerned about the health and safety impacts of fracking, including the disposal of the waste water or brine that flows out of the wells following the fracking process.

In support of his stance that science and not politics will dictate the future of fracking in NYS, Governor Cuomo  charged the DEC with the task of evaluating the health and safety impacts of hydro fracking and its waste water by-products.

The DEC is recommending in their preliminary revised DSGEIS that fracking waste water (brine) be treated as if it were medical waste, which requires strict guidelines for disposal. 
The fact that the DEC is making this recommendation indicates a concern about the fracking brine being toxic or hazardous. 

Now, the big question is should Governor Cuomo , who is presumably concerned about the health and safety of all New Yorkers, continue to allow the spreading of hydrofracking brine on NY roads as a de-icing agent?

Ironically,at the same time that the DEC is evaluating the health and safety impacts of Hydro fracking they have approved 30 Beneficial Use Determinations (BUD's) allowing the spreading of fracking brine on roads in 26 municipalities in six NY counties.

Friday, February 14, 2014

BP Announces the Defeat of Renewables

Every year, energy giant BP (once British Petroleum) releases its “Energy Outlook” for the years ahead, an analysis of future trends in global production and consumption.  The 2014 report -- extending BP’s energy forecast to the year 2035 -- was made public on January 15th.  Typically, its release is accompanied by a press conference in which top BP executives offer commentary on the state of world energy, usually aimed at the business media.  This year, the company’s CEO, Bob Dudley, spoke with unbridled optimism about the future market for his company’s energy products, assuring his audience that the global supply of fossil fuels would remain substantial for years to come.  (Dudley took over the helm at BP after his predecessor, Tony Hayward, was dumped in the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.)Continue...

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Proposed microbead legislation could prevent plastic pollution in Great Lakes, St. Lawrence River

First-of-its kind legislation proposed by the state Attorney General’s Office could ban certain shampoos, facial scrubs and toothpastes in the state in order to reduce the number of small plastic pieces going into the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River.Continue...

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

 Does the Watertown Daily Times overstep the bounds of good journalism with some of its headlines ?

This morning there was a letter to the editor in the Watertown Daily Times from Town of Cape Vincent Supervisor Urban Hirschey, titled: Headline, article gave incorrect perceptions.
Among other things Hirschey expressed in his letter was a concern that the choice of headline for a particular news story gave the reader the wrong perception.
The title of the story he was referring to has since been changed . Originally it read  Cape Vincent Zoning Board changes interpretation of solar panel rules to OK supervisor’s project [2/4/14].
Now the headline reads: Cape Vincent planners OK supervisor’s solar project despite ‘flaws’ in zoning law.
It isn't only the headline choices for some of the Watertown Daily Times news stories that I find troublesome, what concerns me are the headlines they write for opinion letters from the people. 
This past election season the Watertown Daily Times used an approach that resulted in re-stating and highlighting opinion, which in the case of letters pointed at Cape Vincent officials, were false and misleading.
Below are several examples of headlines used by the Watertown Daily Times.
The Watertown Times did publish an Editors note concerning the 9/9/14 opinion letter
Recognizing that the headline represented "a position of certainty in an ambiguous situation that needs clarification".
However,following this clarification by the Times they continued to add headlines to opinion pieces that seemingly support the opinions taken by the writers.
The better approach handling headlines for opinion letters would be that used by the New York Times, where it introduces a topic and does not promote or restate an opinion.
For example on Sunday November 3 the New York Times used the following titles to introduce letters to the editor: 

Headline, article gave incorrect perceptions

When I saw the Watetown Daily Times on Feb. 4, and the online version, I couldn’t believe it. Urban Hirschey’s picture was on the front page along with a story about proposed solar panels on his property — in the top half no less, what an honor.
Wow, overnight there must not have been any floods, protests, wars, earthquakes, election recalls, political demonstrations or any other happening to deserve front page coverage. Continue...

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Wind industry claims to take eagle fatalities seriously

The writer is vice president of public affairs for the American Wind Energy Association.
Regarding the Times’ recent editorial (“License to kill,” Jan. 27), wind energy is one of the most environmentally benign ways to generate electricity including for wildlife, and it’s also one of the fastest, cheapest, largest-scale ways to avert climate change, which experts agree is the greatest threat to all wildlife including eagles.
It is important to understand that the eagle “take” permit is...   link here to continue reading

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Loss Of Production Tax Credits Brings Big Wind Chill To Cooling Subsidy-Dependent Market

Today from Forbs ~
The following quote by CEO of the Dallas-based Tang Energy Group Patrick Jenevein,says it all
“If our communities can’t reasonably afford to purchase and rely upon the wind power we sell, it is difficult to make a moral case for our business, let alone an economic one.” 
 Unsurprisingly, President Obama didn’t let Congress’s decision to finally end Production Tax Credits let the air out of his breezy wind power subsidy agenda. Speaking at his State of the Union address he said: “We’ve subsidized oil companies for a century. That’s long enough. It’s time to end the taxpayer giveaways to an industry that rarely has been more profitable, and double down on a clean energy industry that never has been more promising. Pass clean energy tax credits. Create these jobs.” Continue...

Court orders utility to address wind turbine noise problems

A judge has ordered Consumers Energy to come up with a plan to rid its Lake Winds Energy Plant of excessive noise levels.
Last month, Consumers Energy asked the 51st Circuit Court to overrule Mason County’s finding that the Lake Winds industrial plant is not in compliance with the county’s noise ordinance. As part of that legal action the utility also wanted the court to issue a stay that would block efforts by Mason County to enforce the county’s interpretation of the ordinance until after the case had been argued in court.Continue...

Friday, February 7, 2014

Spain ends subsidies to nearly 40 percent of its wind energy capacity

Spain has sparked the anger of the wind industry by ending all price subsidies for wind power projects that came online before the end of 2004.Continue...


Ag & Markets audit gives agency a black eye

 The audit painted a very uncomplimentary picture of a department that is of real significance to the north country and the rest of the state.

This week, we looked at a state comptroller’s audit of the state Department of Agriculture and Markets that had some sharp criticisms of the department’s food inspection programs and peeled back some layers that show that sometimes, you can cut staff too far in an attempt to show taxpayers how lean and mean you can get. Continue...

Camp Perry Wind Turbine Project Halted Following Threat to Sue and Petition Campaign

Contact: Robert Johns, American Bird Conservancy, 703-955-6622,
Email click here Kimberly Kaufman, Black Swamp Bird Observatory, 419-898-4070, ext. 201 Email click here
 (Washington, D.C., January 29, 2014) One of several wind turbine projects planned for the shores of Lake Erie, in one of the greatest bird migration corridors in the Western Hemisphere, has been halted following submission of a letter of intent to sue from American Bird Conservancy (ABC) and Black Swamp Bird Observatory (BSBO). The two groups had vigorously opposed the project due to its exceptionally high risk to federally protected wildlife.

The announcement formalizing the decision to halt the project was made via a letter from Air National Guard Headquarters—the National Guard Bureau, Department of Defense, in Andrews, Md.—to the public interest law firm Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal (MGC) of Washington, D.C, which represents ABC and BSBO.

The petition campaign and letter of intent to sue the Ohio National Guard (ONG)), along with an ongoing petition campaign that has acquired over 5,000 signatures, charged that efforts in connection with the wind project at Camp Perry Air National Guard Station west of Port Clinton, Ohio, violate the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and other federal conservation and environmental laws.

The letter from the National Guard Bureau states: “After carefully considering your objections … I have decided to withdraw the FONSI (Finding of No Significant Impact) for the project effective immediately. … Since the FONSI has been withdrawn, the project will not go forward at this time.” The letter was dated Jan. 28 and was signed by Colonel Peter A. Sartori, Director, Installations and Mission Support.

Greenwashing works

That's one interpretation of a recent working paper from the National Bureau of Research examining the impact of advertising on oil company BP.
 In the paper, economists from the University of Maryland, University of Michigan, and Brown set out to measure the influence of BP’s pre-spill green advertising campaign on the company’s performance following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
 Using gas prices, sales, and station affiliations, as well as data on BP’s ad spending, the researchers reach a troubling conclusion: consumers did “punish” BP temporarily following the spill, but that punishment “was significantly reduced by pre-spill exposure to BP advertising during the ‘Beyond Petroleum’ campaign years.” In other words, green advertising functioned as an insurance policy against the cost of an environmental disaster. Continue...

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Asset Sales Weigh on BP's Q4 Earnings

BP PLC's fourth-quarter profits fell 30 percent as the asset sales that it has pursued to compensate victims of the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster reduced production. Continue...

BP on the mend despite Bob Dudley's intervention on Scottish independence

Bob Dudley threw caution to the wind on Tuesday managing to eclipseBP's positive annual financial results by making some forthright comments on Scotland and shale.Continue...

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Canadian oil giant could transport crude oil to Gulf Coast via St. Lawrence Seaway if Keystone XL pipeline rejected

Environmental groups on the U.S. and Canadian sides of the border are keeping an eye on the massive Keystone XL oil pipeline planned from western Canada to the Gulf Coast of Texas: If it is not approved by the U.S. government, the Canadian oil giant that crafted the proposal could decide instead to ship its crude oil east through the St. Lawrence Seaway with ocean freighters, looping around the East Coast to get to Gulf Coast refineries.Continue...

EPA Gets Fresh Backing in BP Suspension Battle

The advocacy group Public Citizen is battling BP's effort to end its suspension from receiving new federal contracts, a sanction that stems from the oil giant's 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill.

"Public Citizen believes that EPA's suspension decision reflects an appropriate exercise of EPA's express statutory and regulatory authority and will have the effect of protecting the public by preventing expenditures of government funds to benefit an enterprise whose history demonstrates that its corporate practices create ongoing threats to the environment, to U.S. workers, and to the public at large," states the amicus brief filed with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. Continue...

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Torch Energy abandons wind-solar proposal

Torch Renewable Energy LLC, the Houston-based alternative energy giant, announced Friday it will abandon plans to develop a hybrid wind and solar facility near Mill Pond outside Newport. “In light of the unlikely prospect of acquiring a variance from the county’s current tall structures ordinance, we have decided not to move forward with the project,” Torch Energy's vice president of development Rocky Ray said in a prepared release.Continue...

Democrat Scott Murphy will not run for Owens seat; Aubertine still unsure

Democrat M. Scott Murphy, D-Glens Falls, a venture capitalist and former Congressman, said Tuesday that he will not run for New York’s 21st Congressional District seat. 
On Tuesday, Mr. Aubertine said that he has still not reached a decision about running for the seat. 

Cape Vincent Zoning Board changes interpretation of solar panel rules to OK supervisor’s project

CAPE VINCENT — The town Zoning Board of Appeals changed its interpretation of zoning rules for residential solar arrays this past fall, a move that later allowed Supervisor Urban C. Hirschey to get a special-use permit for a ground-mounted system to be installed this spring at his Tibbets Point Road property.

Monday, February 3, 2014

BP to report lower profits

BP will become the latest oil and gas major to report falling profits and production next week when it unveils full-year profits 
The oil giant embroiled in litigation over 2010’s Macondo oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has sold almost $40bn (£24.3bn) of assets since the disaster to help fund the current $42.5bn provision for clean-up costs, fines and compensation payments – a disposal programme that has taken its toll on production.


February 2014, A diverse group of religious leaders recently pulled out all the stops by holding a joint prayer service, urging divine intervention for persistent drought conditions in Western USA. More...

This may be the beginning of a new trend ~

A blogging affiliate has revealed to me that another joint ecumenical prayer service will be held in Cape Vincent, urging divine intervention to resurrect the Production Tax Credit.

BP Is Rapidly Becoming One Giant Law Firm?

BP used to be a company that produces oil. Increasingly these days, it’s producing litigation in almost equal measure. Senior company executives have told me in recent months that a substantial part of the London-based energy giant now effectively operates as a law firm, dealing full-time with what the company sees as the surprisingly persistent courtroom and regulatory fallout from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico disaster. From BloomBerg Business [Bloomberg Business] 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Dong sells half of London Array stake

UK: Dong Energy has sold half of its stake in the world's largest wind farm, the 630MW London Array, to a Canadian Pension fund  

"Farm down of our ownership shares in wind projects is a central part of our business model and our strategy is to continuously enter into partnership agreements with industrial and financial partners to extract part of the value creation from our projects," said Samuel Leupold, executive vice president of Dong wind power. Continue...

Wind Power Project In Ohio Derailed by Worries over Bird Deaths

A wind power project near Toledo, Ohio has been delayed due to concerns about the impact the project would have on migrating birds in the area.
The wind turbine was scheduled to be built at Camp Perry, a National Guard training facility on the shore of Lake Erie in northern Ohio. [Forbs]

Saturday, February 1, 2014

To harm, harass and kill

From the Wellington Ontario Times~ Via National Wind Watch
By the time Heather Gibbs and Robert Wright concluded that the risk, posed by a proposed industrial wind project at Ostrander Point upon the Blanding’s turtle, was simply too great, and the damage likely permanent, the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT or Tribunal) panel had heard more than 40 days of testimony. More than 188 exhibits had been entered into evidence. Their decision ran 140 pages.
That decision, to revoke the Renewable Energy Approval (REA) granted to Gilead Power by the Ministry of Environment (MOE), rocked the wind energy sector in this country. It sent government bureaucrats scurrying for cover.
If the fate of a turtle could block the development of an industrial wind project—the precedent could be a formidable roadblock to similar projects across the province and Canada. There are other turtles and endangered species that deserve the protection this panel afforded the Blanding’s turtle of Ostrander Point. The implications are profound. Continue...

Industrial Wind ~ When The Party’s Over

January 30, 2014 ~ Stop these things

Built on a fat pile of subsidies filched from unwitting taxpayers and power consumers – and forced on customers by Stalinist edicts so outrageous that they would’ve surprised George Orwell with their reach and audacity – wind power is all set to get the boot in Europe.
But the fan scamming leeches that have grown fat on the – seemingly endless – pile of cash purloined from power punters aren’t happy about it. Continue...