The proposed transmission line serves the same goal as massive road building in the Amazon rainforest: to facilitate the rape of the land to plunder natural resources. When it comes to making a buck, there is no limit to how far man will go or how low he will allow himself to sink. Iberdrola views the upstate regions the way Hitler viewed Poland and the lands to the East: Lebensraum, room for expansion. It did not matter to him how many lives were lost or ruined. It doesn't matter to Iberdrola, a Spanish powerhouse that has exploited regional resources wherever it saw an opportunity. And the opportunity exists in Upstate New York. The region doesn't matter to New York politicians, controlled by the megatropolis to the south. The locals are viewed as a bunch of hicks who deserve to be bamboozled, and the land itself, just look at it: falling down barns and doublewides! If that is what you see when you leave your home to go to work to make a living to pay off your mortgage, fine. If not, get involved. Tell the developers: NO, not here and not now! Tell the folks in Albany that you will not sit still to see your neighborhood destroyed to add a few cents to the quarterly dividends of some scheme investment bankers have dreamed up. You don't have to be a "global warming" denier to be outraged by this out of control effort to justify anything with the "save the earth" argument. We just reflected on the attack on Pearl Harbor 75 years ago. It took that tragedy to wake up the country and unify it in the response to the unprovoked attack. Will we be willing to stand by, silently, until the turbines pop up in your backyard? Will you?
Gunther, good comments. I know your question at the end is rhetorical, but unfortunately the answer is depressingly, yes-it seems most of the citizenry is willing to stand by and allow the decimation of our landscape by a coalition of state bureaucracy and neo-environmental/industry zealots. What other conclusion can one reach when there is no protest to the legislation that produced ART 10. Even at present when two town supervisors in New York seek support to challenge the legality of this action, where is that support?? Where is the battlecry from the media?? ART 10 is an oppressive, blatant power grab that robbed municipalities of their Home Rule rights, yet the protest for four years has been nil. Those of us that have proposed the idea of challenging this legislated theft have been marginalized, or characterized as radical even by outspoken critics of windpower such as yourself. There has been a refusal to acknowledge the significance of resigning ourselves to acceptance of this legislation, in its stead is a stubborn insistance that we should play nice and avail ourselves of the public participation provided for in the ART 10 process. Write letters to the oppressors, they say!! Capitulation bears a price, and we will pay for it. I appreciate you're call to action, but I don't think the residents of New York ,especially upstate, will wake up until the cement trucks are pouring the pads for the hundreds of monstrous turbines that Andrew Cuomo envisions for this region of the State. Reasonable folks just don't realize the position we have allowed ourselves to be in, and have refused to take action for fear of being viewed as "unreasonable" ,even in the face of oppression. If you start a petition of protest, I will be the first to sign it, but good luck starting an uprising.
Dave, I appreciate your comment. It is to the point and leaves out the polemic of previous responses. Since our very civilized conversation of a couple of months ago hasn't succeeded in explaining my position on article 10, let me give it another shot. I don't advocate "playing nice" to article 10. I also don't support idealistic positions that cannot lead to action that has any chance of success. To challenge the constitutionality of a general law is doomed to fail from the start. One should not even have a debate about it without being labeled legally illiterate. Just for starters, there is no potential plaintiff who would be able to claim standing. Any such action would be nothing more than a publicity stunt. The main complaint about article 10 is the perceived assault on home rule. While this is certainly a reasonable conclusion, it is superficial, emotional and fails to realize the true magnitude of the impact of article 10. Yes, it has stripped the procedural requirements from local jurisdiction. Yes, it was a clumsy, unnecessary bullying act. In an effort to streamline the approval process for his pet renewable energy projects the Governor has injected his Siting Board prematurely into the approval process. A more elegant approach would have been to allow the local jurisdictions to go through the review process local law has established, but reserve a review of last resort for projects not passing muster at the lo0cal level, by commencing a article 10 like review. This would not have alienated local jurisdictions. More importantly it would have spelled out exactly what their opposition is about and allowed the Governor to inject some political consideration when deciding to invoke the powers of the siting board. It showed bad judgement and bad decision making to force feed local jurisdictions the way they make liver pate in France. But that's not the worst of it. The article 10 process repudiates 100 years of land use regulations. For that reason alone the legislature should not have approved it and it should repeal it now. The state has gone to great length and spent millions to preserve and protect agricultural lands, has created conservation easements to reduce pressure to convert farmland to non-farm use and with the stroke of a pen has eviscerated local provisions designed to reach the same goal: restricting non-farm uses and making applications for such non-permitted uses subject to a stringent review process, the use variance. Article 10 does not even consider the ownership of the property, the current and future use and the impact the conversion would have on the future of agriculture. In its blind desire to achieve the illusive goals it has destroyed decades worth of land use principles, backed up by case law. That, my friend, is the crime of the century and that is why the only action that will remedy it is for the very people who enacted the law to rescind it. If I have left something out or failed to be clear about where I stand, let me know. You have my number.
Gunther, again I appreciate your comments, but I take issue with your assertion that the ART 10 legislation cannot or should not be challenged. Your characterization of such a discussion as "legal illiteracy" is somewhat high brow and smacks of hypocrisy when in the next paragraph you contend the law should be rescinded. I think your argument is largely semantics. The very basic premise of ART 10 is flawed and I agree the law should be repealed, I don't really care how you go about doing it.According to the NY State Constitution ,and the Municipal Home Rule Law, the State does indeed have the authority to pre-empt the authority of Home Rule in certain situations where it is determined to be for the benefit of the State as a whole. Your very argument about land use and agriculture alone provides ammunition to disprove the legitimacy of the basis for this pre-emption. If you add to it that renewable energy in the form of wind power is not even a viable contender as a feasible source of reliable power for the State, or has proven to reduce carbon emmissions anywhere, it seems to me there is considerable debate over whether the legal basis for this pre-emption is legally defensible. The only reason it has not been challenged is because municpalities don't have the political backbone or financial capabiity to do so. The citizenry has simply resigned itself that the State has the authority because the State says so. If the Association of Towns used their collaborative resources and the public responded with the appropriate support, I believe this law could be repealed. Some time ago some corrupt town officials in Cape Vincent tried to tell the residents that they had no standing to oppose actions being taken by the planning board, ZBA, and Town board in cahoots with two predator wind developers. Turned out they did indeed have standing, and those officials were all replaced resulting in new revised town laws.If you are correct(and I vehemently disagree) that nobody has standing to oppose a corrupt law such as ART 10, we are in dire straits as far as citizens rights are concerned. The points you make about wind power and the corrupt relationship between government and the industry are accurate and well argued. But just like the myriad of letters submitted to the PSC they will carry little weight if the ability of the State to simply disregard them under the ART 10 rules, goes unchallenged. We can be completely intimidated by the complexity of the legal process, and the seeming inability to affect change, but the citizens still have the right to redress their government, they just need to recognize the need and exercise that right.Explain to me why there has been no vocal support for Supervisor Storandt and Mr. Vacco's effort to challenge the pre-emption authority of ART 10?
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