Monday, December 31, 2007

The Twelve Days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas,
Money love sent to me
A false prophet named Mr. Swartley.

On the second day of Christmas,
Money love sent to me
Two doting Towners,
And a false prophet named Mr. Swartley.

On the third day of Christmas,
Money love sent to me
Three Watching Halls,
Two doting Towners,
And a false prophet named Mr. Swartley.

On the fourth day of Christmas,
Money love sent to me
Four empty hearings,
Three Watching Halls,
Two doting Towners,
And a false prophet named Mr. Swartley.

On the fifth day of Christmas,
Money love sent to me
No PILOT agreements,
Four empty hearings,
Three Watching Halls,
Two doting Towners,
And a false prophet named Mr. Swartley.

On the sixth day of Christmas,
Money love sent to me
Jack and Wayne crowing,
No PILOT agreements,
Four empty hearings,
Three Watching Halls,
Two doting Towners,
And a false prophet named Mr. Swartley.

On the seventh day of Christmas,
Money love sent to me
SCIDA sidestepping,
Jack and Wayne crowing,
No PILOT agreements,
Four empty hearings,
Three Watching Halls,
Two doting Towners,
And a false prophet named Mr. Swartley.

On the eighth day of Christmas,
Money love sent to me
UPC still lying,
SCIDA sidestepping,
Jack and Wayne crowing,
No PILOT agreements,
Four empty hearings,
Three Watching Halls,
Two doting Towners,

And a false prophet named Mr. Swartley.

On the ninth day of Christmas,
Money love sent to me
Ninety holes a-digging,

UPC still lying,
SCIDA sidestepping,
Jack and Wayne crowing,

No PILOT agreements,
Four empty hearings,
Three Watching Halls,

Two doting Towners,
And a false prophet named Mr. Swartley.

On the tenth day of Christmas,
Money love sent to me
Ten towers arising,
Ninety holes a-digging,
UPC still lying,
SCIDA sidestepping,
Jack and Wayne crowing,
No PILOT agreements,
Four empty hearings,
Three Watching Halls,
Two doting Towners,
And a false prophet named Mr. Swartley.

On the eleventh day of Christmas,
Money love sent to me
Taxpayers paying,
Ten towers arising,
Ninety holes a-digging,
UPC still lying,
SCIDA sidestepping,
Jack and Wayne crowing,
No PILOT agreements,
Four empty hearings,
Three Watching Halls,
Two doting Towners,
And a false prophet named Mr. Swartley.

On the twelfth day of Christmas,
Money love sent to me
Twelve lawsuits building,
Taxpayers paying,
Ten towers arising,
Ninety holes a-digging,
UPC still lying,
SCIDA sidestepping,
Jack and Wayne crowing,
No PILOT agreements,
Four empty hearings,
Three Watching Halls,
Two doting Towners,
And a false prophet named Mr. Swartley.

Electric transmission lines, eminent domain, and the consequences of vague and broadly worded laws - Part 3

The last two parts of this series have discussed how and why the Department of Energy and the Federal Energy Regulation Commission (FERC) may declare a “geographic area” as a national interest electric transmission corridor and how that designation enables the FERC to overrule local regulators and issue construction permits under a very broad set of circumstances. Today’s discussion goes into the law of rights-of-way, easements, and the exercising of eminent domain by utilities who have been granted federal transmission line construction permits.

(Click the read entire article)

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Wind farm oil taints West Martinsburg well

Transformer Blast: DEC says tests show just one residential water supply affected by spill at wind farm

A mineral oil spill caused by an Independence Day transformer explosion at the Maple Ridge Wind Farm has apparently contaminated a residential well. However, it doesn’t appear to have affected neighboring wells according to state Department of Environmental Conservation officials.

The July 4 explosion at the wind farm substation up the hill from the hamlet on Rector Road – which caused a temporary shutdown of the facility – led to 491 gallons of oil leaking from the damaged transformer said DEC spokesman Steven W. Litwhiler.

“They reported the spill and they were quick-acting at commencing the cleanup” Mr. Litwhiler said.

However, a West Martinsburg resident in late November reported the presence of oil in his well water and tests ultimately determined that contaminant had the characteristics of oil used in the electrical transformers, he said. Wind farm officials have been notified of the findings which suggest the contaminants are remnants of the July 4 spill.

Neighboring wells were also tested for contaminants, with negative results, Mr. Litwhiler said.

We tested about 15 different homeowners’ wells in the area,” he said. “That was the only one that had a confirmed presence of oil.

Future testing is planned, he said.

DEC provided all residents with bottled water until confirming their wells were not contaminated, Mr. Litwhiler said. Agency officials are also working with the state Department of Health to determine potential long-term solutions like installation of a filtering system for the affected home he said.

DEC has taken no action against the wind farm, but the file on the spill hasn’t yet been closed. Wind farm officials have been cooperating thus far, Mr. Litwhiler said.

Tod W. Nash, the wind farm’s operations manager was unavailable for comment Friday afternoon.

Wind farm officials were planning soon to change the transformer that malfunctioned and had a replacement part on hand, PPM Atlantic Renewable’s William M. Moore who developed the 195-turbine wind farm in the towns of Martinsburg and Lowville said in July.

The transformers’ insulation system consists of insulating oil and cellulous materials and that mixture generates small amounts of combustible and non-combustible gases under normal use, Mr. Nash said last month in an e-mail.

According to Mr. Nash, wind farm officials – as part of their routine maintenance schedule – in August and September took oil samples from randomly selected transformers and found that some had higher-than-normal levels of gases and subsequently tested the rest of them. Less than one-third were identified as having above-normal levels.

While the July 4 explosion was caused by equipment failure, not gas build-up, wind farm officials still decided to implement a 17-day around-the-clock “de-gassing effort” to avoid any potential incidents, Mr. Nash said. Two tractor trailers were used to filter gases from oil in the targeted transformers.

Wind farm staff are “working with the transformer manufacturer and several consultants specializing in transformer construction testing and operation to determine the cause of the gases being generated,” Mr. Nash wrote. “Based on their results, all transformers are tested rather than portion to provide the earliest possible detection of any abnormal condition.”

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Clipper Windpower misses production targets

Wind turbine maker Clipper Windpower has warned that profits will be below expectations after it missed production targets.

The Aim-listed company, which sells turbines to the US market but is considering investing in offshore UK wind, said it would produce just 125 turbines in 2007, a figure at the lower end of expectations. It said it would only recognise revenue from eight machines. An extra 35 turbines due this year will not be commissioned until 2008 due to work needed on blades. The company plans to spend $15m (£7.6m) reinforcing all blades on existing machines.

Shares in the company closed down just 2pc at 670p after chief executive James Dehlsen reaffirmed teething troubles at its production plant in the US had been sorted out and that monthly production rates were back on track. It expects to make at least 311 turbines in 2008.

Citi analyst Nick Williamson said: "While the 2008 guidance has been reaffirmed, management's track record in this regard is poor, and we would not expect the market to give it the full benefit of the doubt."

The company also announced a new order for 50 turbines in 2009. Mr Dehlsen said he would update the market on the expected total cost of remedial action and production rates in January.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Problem With Green Power

IF YOU'VE EVER received an offer from your electric company to buy "green power," then you know the pitch: Pay "just pennies more a day" to not only help reduce the utility's dependence on fossil fuels like coal and oil, but also to support electricity generated from more environmentally-friendly power sources like the sun, wind and water.

Strip away the "green power" label and what's really being offered to you is something called a renewable energy certificate, or REC (also known as green tags). Think of a REC as a commodity, with each certificate representing 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh), or one megawatt-hour (MWh), of electricity generated from renewable energy. (For comparison's sake, an average family uses about 750 kWh of electricity each month). So when a person buys a REC, they are, in theory, helping to fund a renewable-electricity venture. This way, consumers can help promote the use of more earth-friendly electricity, while feeling a little less guilty about using gas-guzzling SUVs or incandescent light bulbs in their living rooms.

While RECs have undoubtedly helped promote the use of renewable energies, much work needs to be done regarding the oversight and regulation of them. A laissez-faire attitude by the federal government has rendered the markets for RECs a patchwork quilt of programs operated by state governments, utility companies and so-called green tag brokers. In these markets, prices for RECs span a wide range (anywhere from pennies to over $55 a REC depending on the market they're trading on), oversight is minimal and standards, if existent, vary from state to state.

RECs have been around since the late 1990s, but didn't gain much attention until a few years ago when companies starting buying them in bulk, says Lori Bird, a senior analyst at the Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, or NREL. The growth has been dramatic ever since. Sales of RECs to consumers and businesses have grown by about 50% annually for the last two years — and that rate isn't expected to abate anytime soon, says Bird.

However, along with all of the money flowing into this market, there's also plenty of confusion, much of it stemming from the complex manner in which RECs are bought and sold. RECs trade hands in two ways. First, there's the compliance market. Currently, 25 states (plus Washington, D.C.) have what's called a renewable portfolio standard, or RPS, that requires the state's utilities to purchase a certain percentage of their power from renewable energies. So a wind farm in Texas, which uses wind to generate electricity, would earn certificates for every MWh of electricity it produces. It can then sell those certificates to the utilities, which are striving to meet their annual quotas.

Then there's the voluntary market. In this market, utilities or green tag marketers sell RECs under the name of "green power" to consumers and businesses. Last year, roughly $65 million to $85 million in RECs were sold on the voluntary market, estimates NREL.

Whether for altruistic or public relations reasons, Corporate America has embraced RECs with open arms. At first, eco-friendly companies like Whole Foods (WFMI: 42.58, +0.82, +1.96%) were buying RECs by the bucket loads, but now larger companies are getting in on the act. PepsiCo (PEP: 77.35, +0.86, +1.12%), for example, purchased one billion kilowatt-hours worth of green power in April, making it the largest buyer of RECs in the U.S. (The Environmental Protection Agency estimated that Pepsi's purchase was equivalent to the amount of electricity needed to power nearly 90,000 average American homes each year).

RECs are not without critics. One of the biggest arguments against them is that RECs make it too easy for big corporate polluters to keep on polluting; that they just shell out some money to buy the certificates, call themselves "green," and then do nothing to reduce their own carbon emissions. Questions also remain about where the money is flowing and whether RECs actually support new renewable energy ventures or just subsidize existing ones that would have been producing the energy anyway.

Another problem is that certification of the claims made by renewable-energy producers and green-tag marketers is left up to independent organizations such as San Francisco-based nonprofit Green-e. "The marketer has to meet certain ethical standards: They can't overstate, they can't make claims that aren't true," explains Ed Holt, president of consulting firm Ed Holt & Associates, which advises government agencies and private clients on environmental policy. That's a start, but Green-e has no real power to stop or even punish those who do mislead buyers like a government regulatory agency would.

The matter hasn't gone completely unnoticed at the federal level, however. Last summer, Rep. Edward J. Markey (D., Mass.), who chairs the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, implored the Federal Trade Commission to speed up its review of its decade-old green-marketing guidelines. "As the opportunity to profit in this sector attracts more players, the potential for marketing claims to misleadingly portray the offset products in question also grows," he wrote in a letter to the FTC.

The FTC has since said it would begin reviewing its guidelines in early January. Still, additional national standards are needed. Current definitions of what qualifies as renewable energy differ from state to state, says Marc Chupka, a principal and senior advisor at The Brattle Group, a consulting firm that deals in regulatory issues. For example, Pennsylvania's renewable portfolio standard can be partially met using electricity produced from coal mine methane and coal waste, while other states steer clear of the coal industry (a major fossil fuel culprit) altogether. A national standard would not only provide uniform definition of what constitutes a renewable-energy product, but it would also require all 50 states to set and meet a national quota, thereby promoting the use of RECs even further.

As for the business of trading RECs, it's pretty much the Wild West of investing. Right now, trading is left to smaller, voluntary exchanges such as the Chicago Climate Exchange. But in the first quarter of 2008, the New York Mercantile Exchange (more commonly known as NYMEX), will jump into the game with the launch of its "Green Exchange," which among other things will trade RECs. Even so, the market will remain opaque. "It's not like trading stocks on the New York Stock Exchange where at the end of the day you know the price of every stock," says Holt. "That sort of thing doesn't really exist for RECs."

Friday, December 21, 2007

New Fictional Book Chronicles a Fictional Wind Energy Development Fight in Wisconsin

Fond du Lac, WI, December 08, 2007 --( Wind Power…It Blows!
ISBN 9780615180199

New Local Author Publishes First Book.

Mike Winkler has written a new book detailing the downside of wind energy developments, aptly naming it “Wind Power…It Blows! Mr. Winkler utilized, the online marketplace for digital content.

The book discusses the fictional battle against wind in Fondue Lake County, more specifically in an area called the “UnHolyland”. In the words of the author, “This book, although fictional, it is as believable as fiction could be. One might think it is an actual account of the fight against wind, and a template for others to follow.”

The book itself was spawned by the idea that Fond du Lac County has become a hotbed for wind power development. Others counties in the State will likely refer to Fond du Lac as the textbook example of how certain areas are targeted because of the general ignorance of the public regarding the less obvious facts of wind energy developments as industrial installations.

### is the premier marketplace for digital content on the Internet, with over 300,000 recently published titles, and more than 4,000 new titles added each week, created by people in 80 different countries. Lulu is changing the world of publishing by enabling the creators of books, video, periodicals, multimedia and other content to publish their work themselves with complete editorial and copyright control. With Lulu offices in the US, Canada the UK and Europe, Lulu customers can reach the globe.

Mike Winkler lives near Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. He has traveled extensively in Europe, and lived in Germany for several years. He is a career member of the largest branch of the US military forces, currently serving as a member of the reserve forces.

Mike Winkler

Iberdrola - Energy East Merger

Iberdrola - Energy East Merger - Case 07-M-0906

(Click to read the PSC pdf files)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Slamming public door can be costly

Dec 19, 2007 @ 07:25 AM

The recent court ruling annulling action by two Herkimer County towns in support of a wind-turbine farm is a huge victory for the principles of open government.

It should serve as a lesson for all governmental boards that state Open Meetings Law is as important a law to follow as any other law on the books. And it should embolden residents to hold their leaders accountable when boards are shutting out the public improperly.

Earlier this year, the towns of Warren and Stark each gave approval to a key environmental review for the Jordanville Wind Project. That review process is lengthy and complex, and the wind-turbine developers could feel relief that this hurdle had been cleared.

Not so fast, state Supreme Court Justice Donald Greenwood ruled on Dec. 7.

Neighbors opposed to the projects because of their impact on the rural landscape had sued, citing among other things the two towns’ boards failure to follow Open Meetings Law. And Greenwood determined the residents were correct.

At times, the boards went into private session without stating a reason as required by law. Other times, the reasons they gave didn’t meet the standard for calling a closed-door session. And in at least two of the instances, the boards emerged and voted immediately to approve aspects of the wind-turbine project. The residents who sued could rightly feel left out of the process.

The two towns, wrote Greenwood, “circumvented the purpose of the Open Meetings Law, which is to prevent municipal governments from debating and deciding in private what they are required to debate and decide in public,” Greenwood ruled.

He even criticized Stark officials for forcing residents to leave the building -- which is quite small -- when the board goes into executive session. That simply shows disrespect for voters and taxpayers.

The outcome was severe for the two towns. The wind-turbine project must go through the environmental review process again, a costly prospect, and the project’s developers haven’t committed yet to doing so. If the turbines aren’t built, then Warren and Stark governments, along with Herkimer County and a local school district, stand to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue.

In addition, Greenwood is requiring the two towns to pay the opponents’ legal costs. But that’s how it should be. For far too long, town and village governments and school boards have treated Open Meetings Law as a mere annoyance instead of as a legal requirement. Whether they are ignorant of the law or fearful of potential embarrassment, boards in the Mohawk Valley and elsewhere are far too likely to go behind closed doors when touchy subjects arise.

The law is quite clear that boards do the public’s business, and that in all but a handful of situations, that business must be conducted in front of residents. Let Warren and Stark be a reminder to all local public officials that they must do the right thing, and that they just might pay a price if they don’t.

SCIDA December 20, 2007 Letter by James Hall

December 20, 2007

Steuben County IDA
7234 Route 54 North
PO Box 393
Bath, NY 14810-0393

SCIDA Board,

Cohocton Wind Watch has disputed that industrial wind projects have an economic benefit for Steuben County. The recent reports in the press and media about the failure of Steel Wind UPC turbines illustrates that SCIDA has an asserted responsibility to reject wind projects. Enclosed is a Buffalo News account:

It has never been proven that Steuben County has the wind resources or needs additional electric generation. When SCIDA acts as the lead agency on wind projects it bears total responsibility to fulfill your own mission statement. Previously submitted evidence proves that no significant local employment will be achieved. These industrial machines are not safe and won’t produce any meaningful reliable energy. Government subsidies are not justified for UPC.

UPC started construction of the Cohocton/Dutch Hill project on August 23, 2007 without proper permitting. In the host agreement with the Town of Cohocton, Section 17.2.4. PILOT Agreement; UPC contemplates a PILOT Agreement. By starting construction before SCIDA took control or a PILOT was approved, UPC accepts the business risk of SCIDA rejecting a PILOT exemption. As Board members, if you vote to approve a PILOT, for a project already under construction without proper permits or inspectors on site, you bear individual responsibility and liability and become an accessory to a scheme to defraud NYS taxpayers. UPC already has numerous problems with uncertified turbines. “ClipperWind, the manufacturer, and UPC Wind and BQ Energy, wind farm developers, reported that a problem is forcing them to replace the gearboxes on all eight windmills.”

There has never been any attempt for historic mitigation for the UPC Dutch Hill and UPC Windfarm Prattsburgh projects for the Towns of Naples and Wayland. No legitimate PILOT can be approved that includes the, disclosed eleven (11) turbines that fall within the Naples School District. Town and School Districts have the authority to opt out of PILOTS. Independent tax authority can exercises its right to opt out of the Tax Exemption provisions of New York State Real Property Tax law §487, pursuant to the authority granted by paragraph 8 of that law or by any other provision of law. Naples School Board members have publically stated they reject a SCIDA PILOT. Surely SCIDA has no authority over Ontario County?

Read the recent news report: Naples, Bristol residents hoping the PILOT won't fly by HILARY SMITH Messenger Post Staff

Democratic & Chronicle Editorial: Local development corporations need watching

Community opposition to the UPC Windfarm Prattsburgh project and PILOT is evident from the defective public hearing on Dec. 12, 2007. How can the public voice their comments and provide thoughtful analysis on a PILOT when the actual agreement is not written or provided for review prior to the public hearing? Since Board members were not present, and because of a long pattern of deceptive conduct and the failure to have a professional stenographer memorialize minutes by the Executive Director, CWW challenges the legitimacy of such a public hearing.

The fact that a new public hearing has been announced for UPC - CPP and CPPII on Jan. 18, 2008 proves that SCIDA admits that the original public hearing on the Cohocton/Dutch Hill project was invalid. A 10:00 AM schedule also shows the deliberate intent to discourage the working public from attendance.

It is suspect whether James Sherron has communicated to the Board the intensity and extent of documented evidence of UPC falsehoods. His malicious actions and personal conflict of interests, place the SCIDA Board in legal jeopardy. It has also come to our attention that financial gain related to the approval of industrial wind projects may come to parties involved in that authorization. If these alleged allegations are proven true, malfeasance of the SCIDA Board could become a major issue.

The consistent misrepresentation by Mr. Sherron regarding the significance of the March 28, 2007 audit of SCIDA by the Office of the New York State Comptroller, is cause for his dismissal. SCIDA has become a rogue IDA that willfully violates the mandates of NYS and has betrayed the public trust.

There is no defensible argument for SCIDA to approve a PILOT exemption for the UPC Cohocton/Dutch Hill project, the UPC Windfarm Prattsburgh project or the EverPower Howard project.

Governor Spitzer has called for greater regulation of the IDA’s. The NYS legislators need to vote on re-authorization of the IDA’s. SCIDA is under the watchful eye of elected officials. As a Board member you need to prove that your duty is to the best interests of all the citizens of Steuben County. Wind ‘Special Interest’ Developers must not be granted a PILOT exemption.


James Hall for CWW

cc: Governor Spitzer, AG Cuomo, Senator Winner, Assemblyman Bacalles

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Judge rules against wind permits by Tom Grace

Citing violations of the state's open meetings and environmental laws, a state Supreme Court justice has annulled special-use permits that would have allowed private electric utility Iberdrola to erect 49 wind turbines in the towns of Stark and Warren in southern Herkimer County.

Locally, wind-turbine proposals have been a divisive political issue in numerous towns in Delaware and Otsego counties, including the town of Meredith, where Democratic Councilman-elect Ron Bailey said after winning election last month, "We campaigned from the beginning on the promise to ban the big turbines."

Previously, the state Public Service Commission ruled that 19 of 68 proposed turbines, those that might be visible from Otsego Lake, be dropped from the Herkimer project.

Last week, Justice Donald Greenwood in Syracuse went further, ruling for several petitioners who had questioned the legitimacy of a process that earlier this year had led the towns' boards to approve a final environmental impact statement for the project.

Petitioners, led by Sue Brander of Stark and represented by Syracuse lawyer Douglas Zamelis, alleged that the town boards had not adhered to guidelines in the State Environmental Quality Review Law, and Greenwood agreed:

``Inasmuch as the Town of Warren Board, as lead agency, failed to properly evaluate and analyze sufficient and acceptable alternatives to the project, improperly relied upon plans for future mitigation and improperly delegated its SEQRA (state environmental quality review act) duties to other agencies, the board failed to take the requisite hard look at potential environmental impacts.
``Consequently, this Court finds that their adoption of the FEIS and subsequent issuance of the special use permit was arbitrary, capricious and an abuse of discretion," the judge wrote.

Underwood also wrote that on two occasions, the Warren Town Board violated the Open Meetings Law and ``improperly entered executive session in violation of the statute. On April 23, 2007, the board went into executive session, stating no basis for same. On May 4, 2007, the board entered executive session for approximately one hour, claiming that the purpose was to "discuss negotiations with attorney."

Such general discussions of negotiations with a lawyer are not a statutorily prescribed basis for an executive session.

Paul Copleman, communications director for Iberdrola, said he was unsure what the firm will do next.

``We're committed to the project, but right now we're still analyzing last week's decision and thinking about our next move,'' he said.

Brander said Greenwood's decision was good news, although opponents are not about to let their guard down. Wind-turbine opponents from around the state are linked, she said, ready to share information and help each other.

Iberdrola issued a statement declaring disappointment with the judge's ruling for the 136-megawatt project.

``The decision ruled against the conclusions reached by the host towns of Warren and Stark following a multi-year examination of the project that included thousands of pages of study and public input," the statement read. "These same conclusions had been confirmed by the Oneida-Herkimer County Planning Board.''

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Wind Generator and Wind Generating Facility Ordinance for Trempealeau County


Naples, Bristol residents hoping the PILOT won't fly

They asked the Naples school board not to accept payments-in- lieu-of-taxes as compensation for three wind turbines in the school district.

By HILARY SMITH Messenger Post Staff

NAPLES - Residents and members of the Naples Valley-Bristol Hills Association and Cohocton Wind Watch were united in their pleas to the Naples Board of Education on Wednesday night: reject the payments-in-lieu-of-taxes plan proposed by the Steuben County Industrial Development Agency (SCIDA) , and instead demand full taxation the three three Cohocton Wind project turbines that fall within the Naples school district.

The school board only recently learned that the turbines are within the district. It was an oversight by UPC Wind, the company behind the project, that the board was not informed; an oversight for which UPC public outreach coordinator Rick Towner was sent to the meeting to apologize on behalf of the company.

Towner turned some heads, however, when he denied an audience member's request to stand up or turn toward the audience while speaking so he could be better heard.

"I'm addressing the board," Towner replied and continued speaking, adding that project manager Chlis Swartly would address the board at a later date.

SCIDA Executive Director James Sherron also spoke at the meeting and submitted letters to board members asking them to vote for a "freeze" that would keep the share of the PILOT received by the Naples school district at the same level for 20 years. PILOT paysments are typically divided between the county, town and school district in which a PILOT-associated project falls. When asked what would be the benefit of freezing the PILOT distribution ratio, Sherron said it would make budgeting easier for the district.

Sherron told the school board that SCIDA would delay its scheduled Dec. 20 vote on the PILOT program, and that a public hearing on PILOT plans would take place in late January.

In letters submitted to the school board and to the Messenger, local advocacy groups Cohocton Wind Watch and the Naples Valley Bristol Hills Association (NVBHA) urged the board to reject PILOT payments and demand the full value of tax revenue from the wind project.

"We are convinced you can make a better offer," said Elisabeth Johnsen Cowley on behalf of the NVBHA. Allowing SCIDA to dictate the terms of the PILOT payments, said Cowley, is akin to "letting a goat watch the grain bag."

Cowley raised longstanding concerns about the negative inlpact of the wind tur- bines on property values and whether accepting PILOT payments would diminish the amount of state aid the district receives.

Cohocton Wind Watch had sinillar concerns, listed in a letter signed by member James Hall.

Hall's letter criticized SCIDA's methods and transparency, stating that "James Sherron, Executive Director of SCIDA consistently misrepresents his authority and fails to effectively administers his duties."

The letter cites as evidence a March 28 audit of SCIDA by the state comptroller's office, which lists eight specific recommendations for improving SCIDA's functioning. Sherron responded that the audit was merely a form letter sent to all IDA's in the state.

School board President David Till said the board would form a committee to further investigate the district's payment options.

A public hearing concerning PILOT payments and Windfarm Prattsburgh, a UPC project that may include turbines in the Naples School District, will be held at the Prattsburgh Town Hall at 10 a.m. on Dec. 18.

Contact Hilary Smith at (585) 394-0770, Ext. 343 or at

SCIDA November 14, 2006 Letter - Freedom of Information on PILOT for Cohocton and Prattsburgh windmill projects by Steve Trude

November 14, 2006

Steuben County IDA
7234 Route 54 North
Po Box 393
Bath, NY 14810-0393

RE: Freedom of Information on PILOT for Cohocton and Prattsburgh windmill projects

Mr. Sherron,

The lack of required public disclosure and specifics on the PILOT scheme for the Cohocton and Prattsburgh projects has caused substantial distrust in the role of SCIDA in this process. Therefore, this FOIL submission is being made to document the discussions and formula arrangements for the proposed Ecogen and UPC windmill projects in both towns.

Since you have made a presentation to the Cohocton Town Board in executive session, Cohocton Wind Watch challenges the legitimacy of that meeting.

In order to substantiate the briefing you gave the Cohocton Town Board the following is being FOILED. If your organization has a specific procedure for Freedom of Information demands, please advise.

1 What is the exact total dollar payment to be made by UPC to the Town of Cohocton and the time frame upon which that sum is to be paid.
2 What is the exact total dollar payment to be made by UPC to the Cohocton/Wayland School Board and the time frame upon which that sum is to be paid.
3 What is the exact total dollar payment to be made by UPC to the County of Steuben for the Cohocton project and the time frame upon which that sum is to be paid.
4 What share of the UPC Cohocton PILOT will be retained by SCIDA and the time frame upon which that sum is to be paid.
5 What is the exact total dollar payment to be made by UPC to the Town of Prattsburgh and the time frame upon which that sum is to be paid.
6 What is the exact total dollar payment to be made by UPC to the Prattsburgh School Board and the time frame upon which that sum is to be paid.
7 What is the exact total dollar payment to be made by UPC to the County of Steuben County for the Prattsburgh project and the time frame upon which that sum is to be paid.
8 What share of the UPC Prattsburgh PILOT will be retained by SCIDA and the time frame upon which that sum is to be paid.
9 What is the exact total dollar payment to be made by Ecogen to the Town of Prattsburgh and the time frame upon which that sum is to be paid.
10 What is the exact total dollar payment to be made by Ecogen to the Prattsburgh School Board and the time frame upon which that sum is to be paid.
11 What is the exact total dollar payment to be made by Ecogen to the County of Steuben County for the Prattsburgh project and the time frame upon which that sum is to be paid.
12 What share of the Ecogen Prattsburgh PILOT will be retained by SCIDA and the time frame upon which that sum is to be paid.
13 Any and all information on differences in the amount and terms of PILOT windmill programs as applied to separate towns in Steuben County.

Note that the Clipper contract agreement with UPC for industrial 2.5MG turbines specifies the following:

“Clipper Windpower Plc signed a contract with a subsidiary of UPC Wind to deliver 50 2.5 megawatt (MW) Clipper Liberty wind turbines -- including their installation supervision -- and will provide operations and maintenance services for five years.”

Also a consultant for UPC represented that these exact Clipper units were intended for the Cohocton project.

Therefore, what is the basis or legal standing for SCIDA involvement with the UPC Cohocton project? Since employment for this UPC venture will be staffed by Clipper Windpower Plc out of state workers and certainly not local personnel, by what authority does SCIDA seek to negotiate a PILOT substitute for normal industrial tax assessment on the value of the project?

As you should be aware, another developer, Empire State Wind Energy, has announced their intention to pay full local tax rates on their project to all three municipal jurisdictions. It seems to be indefensible for SCIDA to withhold the specific amounts and terms for the PILOT arrangement. These facts are not confidential nor can they be legally concealed from the public.

Your Harris Beach attorneys would advise you accordingly. This FOIL is a right under federal law and these figures must be revealed, and should have been published, before the last public hearing on Cohocton Windmill Local Law #2.

Cohocton Wind Watch alleges collusion among you, UPC and the Cohocton Town Board. Since SCIDA owns property that is part of the UPC project, a distinct conflict of interest exists and any involvement from SCIDA in this scheme is certainly open to a challenged in court.

Segmentation violations exist and can be readily documented. The Nixon Peabody attorney for Ecogen acknowledged and virtually stipulated that this is a fact in oral arguments in the current Prattsburgh Article 78 proceedings. The Prattsburgh and Cohocton townships are part of one large interrelated development. The need for a PILOT government subsidy to build a project has not been proved. SCIDA does not posses the legitimate authority to connive a substitute tax subsidy when payment of full industrial tax rates is available to the townships, the school districts and the county.

Therefore, SCIDA is put on notice that you will be named in possible future legal actions that may be initiated to seek relief from unconstitutional abuses of public funds.

The details of the PILOT and the basis for the authority to circumvent legitimate local taxation jurisdictions are the core aspects of this FOIL demand. With no real permanent local employment coming out of these industrial windmill projects, SCIDA does not have the rightful authority to defraud local property owners out of the legitimate tax assessed revenue that would normally go to the municipalities.

Your prompt written response and FOIL information is essential.


Steve Trude – as President of Cohocton Wind Watch

SCIDA Board Member home addresses


Mike Doyle
Pleasant Valley wine Company
8260 Pleasant Valley Road
Hammondsport, NY 14840

George Connors
2905 Downing Road
Big Flats, NY 14814

Rick Weakland
2036 Riff Road
Corning, NY 14830

John Sirianni
10770 Hidden Meadow Trail
Corning, NY 14830

Michael Nisbet
20 Bennett Street
Canisteo, NY 14823

Douglas Malone
11 Thorpe Avenue
Hammondsport, NY 14840

Philip Roche
5 Fox Lane East
Painted Post, NY 14870

SCIDA Public Hearing on UPC Cohocton/Dutch Hill Project Jan. 18, 2008


NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a public hearing pursuant to Article 18-A of the New York General Municipal Law will be held by the Steuben County Industrial Development Agency (the "Agency") on the 18th day of January, 2008, at 10:00 a.m., local time, at the Town Court Facility, 19 Main Street, Atlanta, New York 14808, in connection with the following matter:

CANANDAIGUA POWER PARTNERS, LLC, for itself or on behalf of an entity to be formed ("Canandaigua Power"), has requested the Agency's assistance with respect to a certain project (the "CP Project") consisting of (i) the acquisition by the Agency of fee title to or a leasehold interest in various parcels of land consisting of approximately 4,800 acres of leased land (owned by 29 individual landowners) located off of Lyon Road, Pine Hill Road, Kirkwood- Lent Hill Road, Mattice Road, Rynders Road, Avery Hollow Road, Craig Road, Edmond Road, Cayward Road, Ryan Hollow Road, State Route 415, Jones Road, Wentworth Road, Brown Hill Road, Fairbrother Road, Van Aucker Road and Preston Road, all within the Town of Cohocton (except that the proposed alignment of the 115 kV transmission line places a small portion of the CP Project in the Town of Avoca (in the Van Aucker Road area)), Steuben County, New York (collectively, the "Land"), (ii) the construction and equipping on the Land of a wind energy generation facility consisting of approximately thirty-five (35) wind turbines generating approximately 87.5 megawatts of power, together with related substations, overhead and underground cabling and roadways for the production of wind-generated electricity (the "Improvements"), (iii) the acquisition of and installation in and around the Improvements of certain additional items of equipment and personal property necessary for the operation of the wind energy generation facility (the "Equipment" and, collectively with the Land and the Improvements, the "Facility").

CANANDAIGUA POWER PARTNERS II, LLC, for itself or on behalf of an entity to be formed ("Canandaigua Power II"), has requested the Agency's assistance with respect to a certain project (the "CP II Project") consisting of (i) the acquisition by the Agency of fee title to or a leasehold interest in various parcels of land consisting of approximately 2,560 acres of leased land (owned by seven individual landowners) located off of Shultz Hill Road, Fleishman Road, Davis Hollow Road, Dutch Hill Road, Drum Road, Atlanta Back Road, Jeh Road, State Route 371 and Edmond Road, all within the Town of Cohocton, Steuben County, New York (collectively, the "Land"), (ii) the construction and equipping on the Land of a wind energy generation facility consisting of approximately fifteen (15) wind turbines generating approximately 37.5 megawatts of power, together with related substations, overhead and underground cabling and roadways for the production of wind-generated electricity (the "Improvements"), (iii) the acquisition of and installation in and around the Improvements of certain additional items of equipment and personal property necessary for the operation of the wind energy generation facility (the "Equipment" and, collectively with the Land and the Improvements, the "Facility II" and, together with the Facility, the "Facilities").

The Agency will acquire title to or a leasehold interest in the Facilities and lease the Facilities back to Canandaigua Power and Canandaigua Power II, respectively. Canandaigua Power and Canandaigua Power II will operate their respective Facilities during the term of the lease. At the end of the lease term, each will purchase their respective Facilities from the Agency or, if the Agency holds a leasehold interest, the leasehold interest will be terminated. The Agency contemplates that it will provide financial assistance to Canandaigua Power and Canandaigua Power II in the form of sales and use tax exemptions and mortgage tax exemptions consistent with the policies of the Agency, and partial real property tax abatements through payment-in-lieu-of-tax agreements.

A representative of the Agency will be at the above-stated time and place to present a copy of Canandaigua Power's and Canandaigua Power II's respective project applications and hear and accept written and oral comments from all persons with views in favor of, opposed to, or otherwise relevant to the proposed financial assistance.

Dated: December 18, 2007
By: James P. Sherron, Executive Director

SCIDA December 18, 2007 Letter by James Hall

December 18, 2007

Steuben County IDA
7234 Route 54 North
PO Box 393
Bath, NY 14810-0393

RE: Public Hearing on UPC Windfarm Prattsburgh

Members of the SCIDA Board,

Attached is a copy of a Cohocton Wind Watch letter of November 14, 2006. Note that SCIDA has not answered or even made an attempt to disclose most of the information in the thirteen listed section of the FOIL request.

CWW formally opposes the approval of any PILOT for the UPC Windfarm Prattsburgh project for the reasons already submitted. The UPC developer has violated segmentation and attempts to deceive and defraud NYS taxpayers by an intentional misrepresentation of their coordinated development of the Prattsburgh and Cohocton project.

SCIDA is part of this fraud. Local employment and economic benefit is absent from the actual circumstances of the development. The lack of SCIDA authority to impose a PILOT on the independent Naples School District is evident, since it is in the jurisdiction of Ontario County.

The Superintendent of the Prattsburgh School District has confirmed that this school district has opted out of any PILOT. Mr. Sherron's representation to the Naples School Board that there is no choice but to accept a PILOT for the UPC projects is demonstrational proof of a willful policy to deceive independent governmental jurisdictions. This same con has been perpetrated upon the Wayland-Cohocton School District which includes part of Livingston County.

Cohocton Wind Watch has several members that own property in the Town of Prattsburgh. In the event that the UPC Windfarm Prattsburgh is built, only full industrial utility commercial tax rates must be assessed and collected. NYS ORPS has been notified that an evaluation of the assets of any wind project must be determined and that local Town Assessors must assign corresponding tax values.

The Board is clearly aware that questionable conduct and administration of SCIDA has placed members at a liability risk for damages stemming out of violations of NYS laws. SCIDA should reject any PILOT for UPC Windfarm Prattsburgh. Taxpayers of Steuben County must not be forced to pay for the greed of a foreign developer and SCIDA need not be named in future litigation.


James Hall for CWW

Monday, December 17, 2007

SCIDA December 18, 2007 Letter by Judith Hall

December 18, 2006

Steuben County IDA
7234 Route 54 North
PO Box 393
Bath, NY 14810-0393

RE: SCIDA Public Hearing on UPC Windfarm Prattsburgh

Dear SCIDA Board,the purpose of this hearing is unclear to the public. Once again how does one comment on something not yet seen. What is the reason for the shroud of secrecy for all the PILOT proposals in Steuben County?

In the SCIDA’s objectives from your website you state: “a major issue is the need to reduce electric costs in the region, and this is expected to be a priority in the next few years.” Are you aware wind energy is more expensive? Further part of your mission statement is “mission advance the job opportunities, general prosperity and economic welfare of the people of Steuben and to improve their standard of living”. The currently proposed wind projects do not meet these goals. A family owned diner provides more employment then UPC proposes, yet they do not get a tax break.

When did the owner of the project switch from Global Wind Harvest to UPC? Is there some paperwork available to the public (taxpayers funding this project in the form of grants and tax subsidies) showing the change of legal ownership?

UPC in their various foreign entity forms and names is not a reputable company. Across the nation (Vermont, Oregon, NY, New Hampshire) their story is repeated. Construction and activities occur prior to proper permits being in place. You have accepted applications for financial assistance for the Cohocton and Prattsburgh projects that are incomplete and contain false statements. Is there any verification of the corporate structure of these entities? Who are the owners of the LLC, what assets do they own? Why is information and data obtained through publically funded grants allowed to be kept confidential? Has it been proven to anyone’s satisfaction that Prattsburgh has the wind to support this project? Is the project as proposed viable, will it actually provide any significant amount of electricity?

Windfarm Prattsburgh does not appear to fit the requirements for financial help from SCIDA. What permanent employment is being created? Why if the amount of power to be sold to the grid is what they portray can they not afford to pay full industrial taxes on the project? Where is the proven need for the additional electric supply in Steuben County and more important Prattsburgh, your concern was about the cost of that electric not the need for additional production?

Before Steuben County sacrifices its one non replaceable resource, the pristine hill tops, where is the proof wind farms in upstate NY will produce reliable electricity? You can now obtain real data from Maple Ridge, Fenner, Madison, Wethersfield and Steel Winds. Please take a hard look at this data before rushing to spend more of our tax dollars on useless projects. For profit foreign LLCs should pay full taxes on an industrial project from which by their own projections they will be making millions each year, while you the SCIDA propose to have the already overburdened taxpayers of Steuben County pay higher utility bills and foot the tax burden for these foreigners companies besides.

Judith Hall
Whiting Rd
Prattsburgh, NY

Opposition December 18, 2007 Letter to SCIDA PILOT for UPC Windfarm Prattsburgh

Mike Doyle
George Connors
Rick Weakland
John Sirianni
Michael Nisbet
Douglas Malone
Philip Roche
Jim Sherron

Steuben County IDA
7234 Route 54 North,
Bath New York 14810

To the SCIDA Board:

Prior to entering into a PILOT Agreement with Windfarm Prattsburgh, the SEQR Review should be complete, with all potential impacts being mitigated. However prior to the announcement of this public meeting, UPC, the developer of Windfarm Prattsburgh, did not have a transmission route in place. Therefore, it is not possible that all potential impacts have been mitigated.

What follows are the reasons why it is not appropriate to enter into a PILOT agreement with Windfarm Prattburgh:

UPC/Windfarm Prattsburgh does not have a transmission plan in place. NYSERDA informed us three years ago that the DEIS would have the transmission route and that was not the case. Instead, the FEIS contained a plan that showed transmission lines crossing the land of residents in Prattsburgh who had not signed easements. To date it has not been possible to obtain a completed transmission plan and we have been told that one does not exist.

Now through our own investigation we have discovered that UPC plans to use an entirely different route, a route for which they do not have all the signed easements they need. The new route will cross a trout spawning stream and will require the involvment of the Fish and Wildlife and the DEC, yet the public has not been notified.

Criteria for IDA projects are outlined in Article 18-A of New York General Municipal Law. Under the General Act, the IDA must undertake projects that create public benefit. Projects should result in direct new investment and stimulate additional investment beyond the initial project as well as increase employment. There is also supposed to be demonstrated public support for the project.

An IDA is supposed to consider capital investment and jobs, with priority given to businesses creating full-time permanent jobs that pay starting hourly wages at 135% of the current New York State minimum wage or higher.

At no time has the public been shown evidence that the cost of this project’s environmental impact is worth the benefits. The SCIDA has spoken in broad generalities, but has not once given details on wind data that the company possesses from its meteorological studies.

In addition, the public has repeatedly drawn SCIDA’s attention to a GE Energy report commissioned by NYSERDA[5] where it is stated clearly that “Their effective capacities…..are about 10%, due to both the seasonal and daily patterns of the wind generation being largely “out of phase” with the NYISO load patterns. This does not take into account down time for icing and blade failure. SCIDA has ignored this report.

There has been no demonstration of public support for this project besides a group that was formed by an employee of Windfarm Prattburgh – rather the opposite has been the case.

There has been no demonstration of the ways that this project would benefit the taxpayer and the local tax base over the long term.

There is no demonstration of any positive impact of the project on the county and overall regional economy.

The project is not necessary to meet critical community needs – it will not lower electric bills, nor will people’s specific electrical needs be met.

SCIDA has deliberately ignored the project’s impact on the tourist industry. SCIDA has also ignored the impact on seasonal and recreational homes which presently account for 40 percent of the tax base of the Town of Prattsburgh.

Since the inception of this project SCIDA and the company have been claiming that only 6-8 jobs full time jobs will be created. This will not make a significant contribution to local employment.

Additionally, the public has repeatedly asked what kind of jobs these will be – will they be skilled – will they have benefits – and will local people be able to fulfill these jobs?

As far as capital improvements are concerned, it is stretching it a bit to say that the windmills bring the same improvement to this area as a factory or plant. A factory building can be sold and reused as something else. Windmills can be used for one thing and when their technology is obsolete they have to be torn down.

Repeatedly we have been told that results of meteorological studies are proprietary. We do not know if SCIDA has even seen these results. In addition, SCIDA has not looked at the existing wind plants around the world for data. Mark Landler in a November 23, 2007 article published in the New York Times, writes about Anders Nyberg, political adviser in the Ministry of Enterprises, Energy and Communications for Sweden who explained their agreement with Denmark regarding wind. Denmark, which cannot use the intermittent wind energy that wreaks havoc with its grid, exports this energy to Sweden, which uses it to move underground water into reservoirs so that eventually it can make electricity from hydro. We do not have a hydro plant to which intermittent wind energy can be transmitted, so what is this area going to do when the surges to the grid prove impossible to manage?

UPC has agreed to fix roads that it damages. However, the public does not know WHEN these roads will be fixed. How long will residents need to wait after the damage is done? Who will be responsible for damage to residents’ vehicles?

With respect to the contract with the Town of Prattburgh, what proof is there that UPC will have its complete project built during the time when the benefits per megawatt hour are the greatest? The first two years of the contract, UPC has proposed to give the town of Prattsburgh $7500 per megawatt hour and $6700 per megawatt hour. At this time they do not have a contiguous line from turbines to substation and consequently may not be able to build the bulk of their project. So the amount that will go to the town is not clearcut at this time.

What gives SCIDA the right to make a PILOT that involves a project that is partly in the Town of Italy? This question has been asked repeatedly, but you have ignored it. You have allowed one wind developer to bully the Town of Italy by suing it. Even though Italy won the lawsuit, it cost them $90,000 to defend themselves.

Allowing these towers to be placed so close to the property lines means that next door neighbors to wind towers do not have the use of all their land for future building, or just for walking and enjoying. This amounts to an illegal taking.

Ruth and Terry Matilsky
6724 Baker Road, Prattsburgh, NY 14873

Many people have asked to be included as signers of this letter. We have listed their names, and in some cases their brief comments.

…….Please feel free to add my signature to the bottom of your letter.

To this point we have been among those fortunate enough to call this wonderful place among these southern tier hills our home. From the most majestic lake front homes to the small cabin in the woods for all who choose to live here in the Finger Lakes region of New York we share a respect for this land. It is such a tragedy to see the incessant greed that fuels these new age pirates. Their inhumanity, their debauchery, their desecration of the beautiful landscape, and their outright villainous thievery reflected in the greed that feeds their souls while robbing ours.
Laurie Hill 8561 Route 15 Springwater, New York

By all means you have my permission Bruno Bosso........(Baker Road)

Joan and John Myers, John E. Myers Sharon Hobson Kevin Smith, Block School

I would like it if my name was added to the list of people opposed to this project.

Many of the land owners leasing property for the turbine sites do not reside on this land therefore the only impact to them is the monetary value of the lease. There is no visual or any other impact to them. The studies have indicated the impact on adjacent property owners. There is no information or safeguards for the properties, though not adjacent, but in very close proximity. My property value will definitely drop if these towers are allowed. Who would want to buy recreational property with these monstrosities next door? Michael Costello 359 Sandoris Circle Rochester, NY 14622

I think your letter sounds great as is.You can add my name to the letter you present to SCIDA.
Bob Allison, Baker Road, Prattsburgh

I definitely give you my approval and permission to put my name on this document. I hope this does not fall on deaf ears like so many other issues that SCIDA has ignored in the past. Please keep me informed as to the affect this may have on SCIDA. Thanks. Keep up the good fight!
Stephen J. Rowan
Claire Quadri P.O. Box 223 Westfield, New York 14787

Carl and Nancy Wahlstrom Symonds Road Prattsburgh New York
Anne Britton Brandon, NY
Timothey Yancey Martinsburg, NY
Gordon Yancey Martinsburg, NY
Rick Beyer Martinsburg, NY
Jeff Beyer Martinsburg, NY
Bill and Phyllis Hickey 5375 Hoghlands Drive in the Town of Italy
Rich and Carol Ann Joki, 11639 Davis Road Prattsburgh
Charles E. Koster 10812 County Road 7 Prattsburgh NY

We own the property that adjoins the UPC property up on Rosey Hill Rd. I have recently been informed that Harold [McConnell, Town Supervisor]assisted in putting the sale of that property to UPC together. This project will have a huge impact on us as they are to start construction of buildings there and drill a well. (According to the DEC) We are very concerned about the future of our well too, with the possibility of a collapse when they start blasting for the towers. Thank you Tim Gargana for Scott, Jean, Craig, and Evan Gargana

Brad Jones and Linda Jones 3996 Donley Road, Naples, NY 14512

Please include me in any correspondence involving the destructive issues "revolving" around wind farms, turbines, towers, atrocities...what ever you want to call them. Including the lying and sleezy actions on the part of developers and some politicians...lets quit this game and send them home!! Gratefully signed,Patricia E. Lynch1062 Edgemere Dr Rochester, NY 14612

I own the land that covers the intersection of Yates, Steuben and
Ontario Counties. The address is Thomas MacAllister, 6295 Edson Road, Italy Valley NY.....The land in Prattsburgh (Steuben) and Naples
(Ontario) is land locked with no real address. . . I agree with the email to the SCIDA Board. I have attended Italy meetings but cannot attend the Prattsburgh Meeting.

Of course you can add our signatures to your letter. Mr and Mrs Thomas Brickler 3460 Potter Hill Rd Cohocton, NY 14826

We support all you say in your letter. Albert & Deborah Wordingham 6142 Cook School Rd. Prattsburgh, NY 14873

Please add my name to the list of people who oppose this windfarm project. From the inception, this entire proposal has been led by a group which has questionable motives for implementing it. I most vehemently OBJECT to this and to the cabal which has facilitated entry of these "investors". Due to work and personal obligations I will not be able to voice my opposition in person; however I do give permission to add my name to the document listing owners against it.
Krystyna K. Loeffler 11470 Davis Rd. and 29 Spring Hill 14450


Jim, Judi and Blair Hall, Whiting Road, Prattsburgh

Alice and Saul Sokolow, Cayward Hill Road, Prattsburgh

Please include me in any correspondence involving the destructive issues "revolving" around wind farms, turbines, towers, Gratefully signed, Patricia E. Lynch 1062 Edgemere Dr.Rochester,

Bill and Phyllis Hickey
property at 5375 Hoghlands Drive in the Town of Italy

Please sign us as Carol Ann Joki and Rich Joki 11639 Davis Road

I definitely give you my approval and permission to put my name on this document. I hope this does not fall on deaf ears like so many other issues that SCIDA has ignored in the past. Please keep me informed as to the affect this may have on SCIDA. Thanks. Keep up the good fight!
Stephen J. Rowan 10227 Allis Rd, Prattsburgh, NY.

Nicely done, and please include my name in support of this letter. John Servo Black Lock Road Prattsburgh

Yes...please add:

Donna Farrington
10521 Rosey Hill Rd.
Prattsburgh, NY

Todd Sharrow
10521 Rosey Hill Rd.
Prattsburgh, NY

Wayne and June Sharrow
10621 Rosey Hill Rd.

Put my name on your letter Richard J Henrie & Katerine e Henrie
Caroline and Al Muscianese Cook School Road Prattsburgh

SCIDA December 17, 2007 Letter by Ruth and Terry Matilsky

December 17, 2007

Steuben County IDA
7234 County Road 54 North
Bath, New York 14810

Mike Doyle Pleasant Valley Wine Company
8620 Pleasant Valley Road Hammondsport, NY 14840

George Connors 2905 Downing Road Big Flats, NY 14814

Rick Weakland 2036 Riff Road Corning, NY 14830

John Sirianni 10770 Hidden Meadow Trail Corning, NY 14830

Michael Nisbet 20 Bennett Street, Canisteo, NY 14823

Douglas Malone 11 Thorpe Avenue Hammondsport, NY 14840

Philip Roche, 5 Fox Lane East, tPainted Post, NY 14870

Steuben County IDA 7234 Route 54 North, Bath New York 14810

Steven J. Hancox Assistant Comptroller
Division of Local Government Services and Economic Development
110 State Street Albany, New York 12236

To the SCIDA Board and the Assistant Comptroller:

The attached letter contains comments directed toward the Board of SCIDA concerning the December 18 public hearing on the PILOT for Windfarm Prattsburgh (a UPC project). This is a project whose public benefit is seriously in question. Because inland wind turbines work at only ten percent of their rated capacity[1] and because this area has such a high incidence of icing incidents[2]it is doubtful whether the project will fulfill the intent of the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), displace coal and supply the grid with substantial power. It is a private project, with private investors who stand to make a lot of money whether or not it fulfills the intent of the RPS, and it is being subsidized in many different ways by the taxpayers.

From its inception, there have been many irregularities with this project. When the Town of Prattsburgh made a resolution on December 16, 2003 not to oppose the SCIDA from rendering assistance to Ecogen and/or Windfarm Prattburgh LLC, two members of the Town Board at that time had close relatives who signed leases with the wind company. Neither of these men recused themselves from voting.

One signer of the accompanying letter refers to a land deal that the Town Supervisor of Prattsburgh arranged for UPC in his capacity as a real estate agent. This is not the first time we have heard this. This is a potential conflict of interest that should not be overlooked, because there should not even be the appearance of wrong doing on the part of a public official. On behalf of the Town Board, Supervisor McConnell has signed an agreement with the wind company which says, “…In connection with this resolution [to place electrical collection system cables and conduits underground] the Town shall allow the Company to locate such ECS within the Town’s highway right-of-way or otherwise convey to the Company all necessary property rights to do so. The Town shall cooperate with the Company to obtain any other land rights it deems necessary to place the ECS within the Town’s highway right-of-way.”[3]

It should be pointed out that this is a peculiar project in that the towers are not located on one piece of property owned by one person, but rather spread out over thousands of acres. In order to connect the towers to each other and to the substation, easements need to be obtained not only from participating landowners but from many landowners in the project area, including those who oppose the project. UPC initially intended to put the lines overground, but we believe it was unable to get the required 100 foot easements. So even if the town were not requiring UPC to place the ECS underground, UPC could not be using overground cables.

Supervisor McConnell, according to many reports and by his own admission, has personally been calling landowners and urging them to sign easements. There have been reports of landowners being cajoled, bullied and threatened to sign easements and waivers. In one instance a resident has been approached numerous times by the company and by project participants to sign a waiver allowing the wind company to place towers closer to her property line than is deemed safe even by the standards of SCIDA. She has been told that the landowner next door has wetlands, and the only place to put the towers is close to her property line (and to her barn and animals). She has repeatedly declined to sign the waiver – yet the towers still appear on the map of the project. How can that be if there are wetlands that preclude the safe building of 400 high towers?

The decision of the Town of Prattsburgh to support and help one wind company in acquiring rights for transmission lines could easy be construed as arbitrary and capricious. According to Harry Willis at the DOS, the courts have held that land use regulations in a town without a written plan document must nonetheless bear relation to an identifiable planning process. Prattsburgh needs to ensure equal treatment; changes in land use require a full SEQR, public hearing and most of all, a plan that is developed prior to giving its support to one particular type of company for one particular project.

The Town of Prattsburgh has repeatedly ignored vocal public opposition to this project.[4] Recreational and seasonal landowners make up forty percent of the town’s tax base. The Town has consistently ignored evidence that this source of town income will be eroded by the introduction of wind towers. The question must be raised as to why the Town is so eager for a project whose public benefit has never been proven.

As for “public approval,” the originator of this project was Global Winds Harvest which four years ago held an informational meeting in a local tavern and paid people with free drinks in exchange for which they were asked to fill out surveys giving their opinion of the project. More recently, in their application for NYSERDA money, Windfarm Prattsburgh quoted a local citizens group as being supportive of the project. We believe this group was started by someone on the Windfarm Prattsburgh payroll.

SCIDA has paid no attention to the overwhelming number of people who have attended meetings voicing their opposition to this project. As we put this letter together it is December 16, 2007 and Prattsburgh is in the middle of an ice storm. This area has more icing incidents than any other area in the country, including the Rocky Mountains and Vermont (information available upon request) – yet SCIDA has repeatedly overlooked the significance of this with respect to the safety and efficiency of placing 400 foot wind towers on the ridges. The SCIDA shows a blatant disregard not only for the safety of local residents, but for the taxpayers’ dollars that are involved in subsidizing a project for which the meteorological reports have not been shown and the true benefit never been seriously researched.

Ruth and Terry Matilsky
6724 Baker Road
Prattsburgh, New York 14873

Cohocton Town Board Dec. 18, 2007 Letter by James Hall

December 18, 2007

Cohocton Town Board
15 South Main Street
Cohocton, NY 14826

Town Supervisor and Councilmen,

Cohocton Wind Watch asks that this correspondence be read at tonight’s meeting and be placed in the minutes. The Naples Valley Bristol Hills Association opposes any PILOT for the UPC project that includes turbines within their Naples School District. At the Naples School Board meeting on December 12, 2007, James Sherron, executive director of SCIDA, announced that the PILOT for the UPC Cohocton project would not be voted on at their Dec. 20, 2007 session.

Attached is a copy of a Cohocton Wind Watch October 12, 2007 letter to the Town Assessors. It states that since a valid PILOT has not been approved, that full industrial utility commercial taxes must be assessed and collected on the value of the UPC project. Supervisor Zigenfus has openly expressed at a meeting his support for taxing the UPC project at normal rates in the event that a PILOT is not approved. If the UPC project is built, every tax payer in the Town of Cohocton deserves the benefit from full tax assessment from such commercial development.

Note that there has been no effort to assess fair value on the numerous UPC test towers that have been constructed over the last few years. The Cohocton Assessors have not replied to the CWW October 12, 2007 letter and have not announced any assessed value for the UPC Cohocton/Dutch Hill projects. If the assessors need the guidance of ORPS in this task, it is imperative that the Town of Cohocton engage and demand NYS assistance.

A full industrial value on the components and additions not included in the Special Use Permits application like test towers and extra assess roads needs to be put on the tax rolls. In order to avoid a class action law suit, it is in the mutual interest of all Cohocton residents, property owners and tax payers that the Town Assessors publically disclose their assessed value on the UPC project. Approval of a SCIDA PILOT is very much in question.

It is the position of CWW that SCIDA no longer has the authority to legally approve a PILOT after the start of construction. In the UPC/Town of Cohocton Host Agreement Page 33, Section 17.2.4, UPC acknowledges that a PILOT is contemplated. There is no representation that a SCIDA PILOT is guaranteed. SCIDA’s conflict of interest as a land owner and UPC leaseholder in the project undermines its authority to approve a lawful PILOT. The March 28, 2007 audit of SCIDA by the Office of the State Comptroller illustrates problematic conduct of Mr. Sherron.

Also enclosed is a Buffalo News report 12/12/07 entitled - Gear problems shut down windmills in Lackawanna. The Clipper 2.5MW turbines at Steel Wind have design and mechanical failures and are still not certified by Germanischer Lloyd. These turbines are purported to be the same proposed for Cohocton. It is crucial that town officials take proactive measures to demand OSHA and all other federal and state oversight inspections to ensure public safety during construction and operational service.

Cohocton Wind Watch warned about gear box problems during the SEQRA process. Our concerns were ignored and no effort was made by the Town of Cohocton to ensure that NYS regulator agencies intervene. It is time to protect public healthy and safety and tax at full value.


James Hall for CWW

cc: Cohocton Town Assessors, Cohocton Planning Board, SCIDA, NYS ORPS, Senator Winner, Assemblyman Bacalles, AG Cuomo, Governor Spitizer

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Open Letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations

Dec. 13, 2007

His Excellency Ban Ki-Moon
Secretary-General, United Nations
New York, N.Y.

Dear Mr. Secretary-General,

Re: UN climate conference taking the World in entirely the wrong direction

It is not possible to stop climate change, a natural phenomenon that has affected humanity through the ages. Geological, archaeological, oral and written histories all attest to the dramatic challenges posed to past societies from unanticipated changes in temperature, precipitation, winds and other climatic variables. We therefore need to equip nations to become resilient to the full range of these natural phenomena by promoting economic growth and wealth generation.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued increasingly alarming conclusions about the climatic influences of human-produced carbon dioxide (CO2), a non-polluting gas that is essential to plant photosynthesis. While we understand the evidence that has led them to view CO2 emissions as harmful, the IPCC's conclusions are quite inadequate as justification for implementing policies that will markedly diminish future prosperity. In particular, it is not established that it is possible to significantly alter global climate through cuts in human greenhouse gas emissions. On top of which, because attempts to cut emissions will slow development, the current UN approach of CO2 reduction is likely to increase human suffering from future climate change rather than to decrease it.

The IPCC Summaries for Policy Makers are the most widely read IPCC reports amongst politicians and non-scientists and are the basis for most climate change policy formulation. Yet these Summaries are prepared by a relatively small core writing team with the final drafts approved line-by-line by ­government ­representatives. The great ­majority of IPCC contributors and ­reviewers, and the tens of thousands of other scientists who are qualified to comment on these matters, are not involved in the preparation of these documents. The summaries therefore cannot properly be represented as a consensus view among experts.

Contrary to the impression left by the IPCC Summary reports:

z Recent observations of phenomena such as glacial retreats, sea-level rise and the migration of temperature-sensitive species are not evidence for abnormal climate change, for none of these changes has been shown to lie outside the bounds of known natural variability.

z The average rate of warming of 0.1 to 0. 2 degrees Celsius per decade recorded by satellites during the late 20th century falls within known natural rates of warming and cooling over the last 10,000 years.

z Leading scientists, including some senior IPCC representatives, acknowledge that today's computer models cannot predict climate. Consistent with this, and despite computer projections of temperature rises, there has been no net global warming since 1998. That the current temperature plateau follows a late 20th-century period of warming is consistent with the continuation today of natural multi-decadal or millennial climate cycling.

In stark contrast to the often repeated assertion that the science of climate change is "settled," significant new peer-reviewed research has cast even more doubt on the hypothesis of dangerous human-caused global warming. But because IPCC working groups were generally instructed (see to consider work published only through May, 2005, these important findings are not included in their reports; i.e., the IPCC assessment reports are already materially outdated.

The UN climate conference in Bali has been planned to take the world along a path of severe CO2 restrictions, ignoring the lessons apparent from the failure of the Kyoto Protocol, the chaotic nature of the European CO2 trading market, and the ineffectiveness of other costly initiatives to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Balanced cost/benefit analyses provide no support for the introduction of global measures to cap and reduce energy consumption for the purpose of restricting CO2 emissions. Furthermore, it is irrational to apply the "precautionary principle" because many scientists recognize that both climatic coolings and warmings are realistic possibilities over the medium-term future.

The current UN focus on "fighting climate change," as illustrated in the Nov. 27 UN Development Programme's Human Development Report, is distracting governments from adapting to the threat of inevitable natural climate changes, whatever forms they may take. National and international planning for such changes is needed, with a focus on helping our most vulnerable citizens adapt to conditions that lie ahead. Attempts to prevent global climate change from occurring are ultimately futile, and constitute a tragic misallocation of resources that would be better spent on humanity's real and pressing problems.
Yours faithfully,

Ian D. Clark, PhD, Professor, isotope hydrogeology and paleoclimatology, Dept. of Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa

Richard S. Courtney, PhD, climate and atmospheric science consultant, IPCC expert reviewer, U.K.

Willem de Lange, PhD, Dept. of Earth and Ocean Sciences, School of Science and Engineering, Waikato University, New Zealand

David Deming, PhD (Geophysics) , Associate Professor, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Oklahoma

Freeman J. Dyson, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton, N.J.

Don J. Easterbrook, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Geology, Western Washington University

Lance Endersbee, Emeritus Professor, former dean of Engineering and Pro-Vice Chancellor of Monasy University, Australia

Hans Erren, Doctorandus, geophysicist and climate specialist, Sittard, The Netherlands

Robert H. Essenhigh, PhD, E.G. Bailey Professor of Energy Conversion, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, The Ohio State University

Christopher Essex, PhD, Professor of Applied Mathematics and Associate Director of the Program in Theoretical Physics, University of Western Ontario

David Evans, PhD, mathematician, carbon accountant, computer and electrical engineer and head of 'Science Speak,' Australia

William Evans, PhD, editor, American Midland Naturalist; Dept. of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame

Stewart Franks, PhD, Professor, Hydroclimatologist, University of Newcastle, Australia

R. W. Gauldie, PhD, Research Professor, Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, School of Ocean Earth Sciences and Technology, University of Hawai'i at Manoa

Lee C. Gerhard, PhD, Senior Scientist Emeritus, University of Kansas; former director and state geologist, Kansas Geological Survey

Gerhard Gerlich, Professor for Mathematical and Theoretical Physics, Institut für Mathematische Physik der TU Braunschweig, Germany

Albrecht Glatzle, PhD, sc.agr., Agro-Biologist and Gerente ejecutivo, INTTAS, Paraguay

Fred Goldberg, PhD, Adjunct Professor, Royal Institute of Technology, Mechanical Engineering, Stockholm, Sweden

Vincent Gray, PhD, expert reviewer for the IPCC and author of The Greenhouse Delusion: A Critique of 'Climate Change 2001, Wellington, New Zealand

William M. Gray, Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University and Head of the Tropical Meteorology Project

Howard Hayden, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of Connecticut

Louis Hissink MSc, M.A.I.G., editor, AIG News, and consulting geologist, Perth, Western Australia

Craig D. Idso, PhD, Chairman, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, Arizona

Sherwood B. Idso, PhD, President, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, AZ, USA

Andrei Illarionov, PhD, Senior Fellow, Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity; founder and director of the Institute of Economic Analysis

Zbigniew Jaworowski, PhD, physicist, Chairman - Scientific Council of Central Laboratory for Radiological Protection, Warsaw, Poland

Jon Jenkins, PhD, MD, computer modelling - virology, NSW, Australia

Wibjorn Karlen, PhD, Emeritus Professor, Dept. of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, Stockholm University, Sweden

Olavi Kärner, Ph.D., Research Associate, Dept. of Atmospheric Physics, Institute of Astrophysics and Atmospheric Physics, Toravere, Estonia

Joel M. Kauffman, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia

David Kear, PhD, FRSNZ, CMG, geologist, former Director-General of NZ Dept. of Scientific & Industrial Research, New Zealand

Madhav Khandekar, PhD, former research scientist, Environment Canada; editor, Climate Research (2003-05); editorial board member, Natural Hazards; IPCC expert reviewer 2007

William Kininmonth M.Sc., M.Admin., former head of Australia's National Climate Centre and a consultant to the World Meteorological organization's Commission for Climatology

Jan J.H. Kop, MSc Ceng FICE (Civil Engineer Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers), Emeritus Prof. of Public Health Engineering, Technical University Delft, The Netherlands

Prof. R.W.J. Kouffeld, Emeritus Professor, Energy Conversion, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands

Salomon Kroonenberg, PhD, Professor, Dept. of Geotechnology, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands

Hans H.J. Labohm, PhD, economist, former advisor to the executive board, Clingendael Institute (The Netherlands Institute of International Relations), The Netherlands

The Rt. Hon. Lord Lawson of Blaby, economist; Chairman of the Central Europe Trust; former Chancellor of the Exchequer, U.K.

Douglas Leahey, PhD, meteorologist and air-quality consultant, Calgary

David R. Legates, PhD, Director, Center for Climatic Research, University of Delaware

Marcel Leroux, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Climatology, University of Lyon, France; former director of Laboratory of Climatology, Risks and Environment, CNRS

Bryan Leyland, International Climate Science Coalition, consultant and power engineer, Auckland, New Zealand

William Lindqvist, PhD, independent consulting geologist, Calif.

Richard S. Lindzen, PhD, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology, Dept. of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

A.J. Tom van Loon, PhD, Professor of Geology (Quaternary Geology), Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland; former President of the European Association of Science Editors

Anthony R. Lupo, PhD, Associate Professor of Atmospheric Science, Dept. of Soil, Environmental, and Atmospheric Science, University of Missouri-Columbia

Richard Mackey, PhD, Statistician, Australia

Horst Malberg, PhD, Professor for Meteorology and Climatology, Institut für Meteorologie, Berlin, Germany

John Maunder, PhD, Climatologist, former President of the Commission for Climatology of the World Meteorological Organization (89-97), New Zealand

Alister McFarquhar, PhD, international economy, Downing College, Cambridge, U.K.

Ross McKitrick, PhD, Associate Professor, Dept. of Economics, University of Guelph

John McLean, PhD, climate data analyst, computer scientist, Australia

Owen McShane, PhD, economist, head of the International Climate Science Coalition; Director, Centre for Resource Management Studies, New Zealand

Fred Michel, PhD, Director, Institute of Environmental Sciences and Associate Professor of Earth Sciences, Carleton University

Frank Milne, PhD, Professor, Dept. of Economics, Queen's University

Asmunn Moene, PhD, former head of the Forecasting Centre, Meteorological Institute, Norway

Alan Moran, PhD, Energy Economist, Director of the IPA's Deregulation Unit, Australia

Nils-Axel Morner, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Paleogeophysics & Geodynamics, Stockholm University, Sweden

Lubos Motl, PhD, Physicist, former Harvard string theorist, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic

John Nicol, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Physics, James Cook University, Australia

David Nowell, M.Sc., Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society, former chairman of the NATO Meteorological Group, Ottawa

James J. O'Brien, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Meteorology and Oceanography, Florida State University

Cliff Ollier, PhD, Professor Emeritus (Geology), Research Fellow, University of Western Australia

Garth W. Paltridge, PhD, atmospheric physicist, Emeritus Professor and former Director of the Institute of Antarctic and Southern Ocean Studies, University of Tasmania, Australia

R. Timothy Patterson, PhD, Professor, Dept. of Earth Sciences (paleoclimatology) , Carleton University

Al Pekarek, PhD, Associate Professor of Geology, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Dept., St. Cloud State University, Minnesota

Ian Plimer, PhD, Professor of Geology, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide and Emeritus Professor of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne, Australia

Brian Pratt, PhD, Professor of Geology, Sedimentology, University of Saskatchewan

Harry N.A. Priem, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Planetary Geology and Isotope Geophysics, Utrecht University; former director of the Netherlands Institute for Isotope Geosciences

Alex Robson, PhD, Economics, Australian National University Colonel F.P.M. Rombouts, Branch Chief - Safety, Quality and Environment, Royal Netherland Air Force

R.G. Roper, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Atmospheric Sciences, School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology

Arthur Rorsch, PhD, Emeritus Professor, Molecular Genetics, Leiden University, The Netherlands

Rob Scagel, M.Sc., forest microclimate specialist, principal consultant, Pacific Phytometric Consultants, B.C.

Tom V. Segalstad, PhD, (Geology/Geochemist ry), Head of the Geological Museum and Associate Professor of Resource and Environmental Geology, University of Oslo, Norway

Gary D. Sharp, PhD, Center for Climate/Ocean Resources Study, Salinas, CA

S. Fred Singer, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia and former director Weather Satellite Service

L. Graham Smith, PhD, Associate Professor, Dept. of Geography, University of Western Ontario

Roy W. Spencer, PhD, climatologist, Principal Research Scientist, Earth System Science Center, The University of Alabama, Huntsville

Peter Stilbs, TeknD, Professor of Physical Chemistry, Research Leader, School of Chemical Science and Engineering, KTH (Royal Institute of Technology), Stockholm, Sweden

Hendrik Tennekes, PhD, former director of research, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute

Dick Thoenes, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Chemical Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands

Brian G Valentine, PhD, PE (Chem.), Technology Manager - Industrial Energy Efficiency, Adjunct Associate Professor of Engineering Science, University of Maryland at College Park; Dept of Energy, Washington, DC

Gerrit J. van der Lingen, PhD, geologist and paleoclimatologist, climate change consultant, Geoscience Research and Investigations, New Zealand

Len Walker, PhD, Power Engineering, Australia

Edward J. Wegman, PhD, Department of Computational and Data Sciences, George Mason University, Virginia

Stephan Wilksch, PhD, Professor for Innovation and Technology Management, Production Management and Logistics, University of Technolgy and Economics Berlin, Germany

Boris Winterhalter, PhD, senior marine researcher (retired), Geological Survey of Finland, former professor in marine geology, University of Helsinki, Finland

David E. Wojick, PhD, P.Eng., energy consultant, Virginia

Raphael Wust, PhD, Lecturer, Marine Geology/Sedimentolo gy, James Cook University, Australia

A. Zichichi, PhD, President of the World Federation of Scientists, Geneva, Switzerland; Emeritus Professor of Advanced Physics, University of Bologna, Italy

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Plenty of Wind, But No Action From Windmills by Erika Brason, Reporter WGRZ

Many people have been commenting lately on the wind farm along the lakeshore in Lackawanna. But it's not because the giant windmills are spinning in the breeze.

In fact, the windmills have been practically idle for many weeks. The wind farm, called "Steel Winds" is on the former Bethlehem Steel site. At full capacity, it's supposed to generate enough power for 6,000 homes.

We asked the manufacturer, Clipper Windpower, what's happening with the eight wind turbines, and why they're not working. It seems there's a problem with the gear boxes and all of them will have to be replaced.

Lackawanna Mayor Norman Polanski says he didn't know until recently why the wind turbines weren't functioning. But the city does not lose out financially on its $100,000 per year payment.

"Them just sitting there doing nothing kind of puts a damper on western New York. You got wind but, they don't turn," says Polanski.

The repairs may take up to four months to complete. It involves removing the huge blades on all eight of the wind turbines.

The city of Lackawanna is currently in negotiations with the developers, UPC Wind and BQ Energy, for the installation of 13 more windmills.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Wind Companies tax credits dropped by H. JOSEF HEBERT AP

Tax breaks for a wide range of clean energy industries, including wind, solar, biomass and carbon capture from coal plants, were part of the tax package that was dropped. Senate Democrats earlier also abandoned a House-passed provision that would have required investor-owned utilities nationwide to generate 15 percent of their electricity from solar, wind and other renewable sources.

(Click to read entire article)

Lake Erie Windmills Idle by Eileen Buckley

LACKAWANNA, NY (2007-12-14) Major repairs are underway to the giant windmills that stand along the Lake Erie shore in Lackawanna. The windmills stand behind the former steel plant. WBFO'S Eileen Buckley talked to the Mayor of Lackawanna who is very disappointed as he awaits repairs.

A mechanical problem has halted all eight large turbines idling the wind farm. The problem was discovered inside the gear boxes causing the windmills to run unevenly.

BQ Energy and UPC Wind teamed up to open the wind farm. The companies purchased the windmills from Clipper-Wind -- a California based business. Repairs are expected to take several months.

Click and "listen" to hear Eileen Buckley's story now or use your podcasting software to download it to your computer or iPod.

Senate Approves Energy Bill; Bush Will Sign It

The U.S. Senate approved energy legislation that would increase vehicle fuel efficiency for the first time in more than three decades and boost the use of biofuels to reduce gasoline consumption.

The legislation passed 86-8 after two failed attempts to approve it with provisions that would increase taxes on oil and natural gas companies and require investor-owned utilities to purchase a portion of their power from renewable sources. Those initiatives were stripped from the final legislation because of Republican opposition.

President George W. Bush will sign the legislation, press secretary Dana Perino said in an e-mailed statement. The White House earlier today issued a statement threatening to veto the legislation if it included the tax provisions.

(Click to read entire article)

Over 100 Prominent Scientists Challenge UN Move For Global Carbon Tax

The UN has officially announced what the fearmongering about man-made global warming has been designed to justify all along - a global carbon tax which will do nothing to reduce carbon emissions but everything to feed the trough of world government. Over one hundred prominent scientists signed a letter dismissing the move as a futile bureaucratic scheme which will diminish prosperity and increase human suffering.

Following a discussion entitled “A Global CO2 Tax," a UN panel yesterday urged the adoption of “a global burden sharing system, fair, with solidarity, and legally binding to all nations,” to impose a tax on plant food (CO2).

Othmar Schwank, one of the participants, said that the U.S. and other wealthy nations need to “contribute significantly more to this global fund." He also added, “It is very essential to tax coal.”

The bounty from this $40 billion dollars a year windfall will go straight into the coffers of a UN controlled "Multilateral Adaptation Fund".

(Click to read entire list names and credentials of the 100 scientists who signed the letter, again dispelling the myth that the man-made explanation behind global warming is an overwhelming"consensus" view)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Mechanical problems still wind mills

LACKAWANNA, N.Y. (AP) _ A wind farm on the Lake Erie shoreline is temporarily idle as crews work to replace the gear boxes on all eight turbines.

The Steel Winds project got up and running at a former Bethlehem Steel site about six months ago and was the first to use the massive Liberty 2.5 Megawatt turbines commercially.

But engineers found that the gears' timing was off, causing the windmills to operate unevenly. Bob Gates, senior vice president of the manufacturer, ClipperWind, said repairs will take several months. They involve removing all three blades on each turbine _ each longer than the wing of a Boeing 747.

The wind farm is operated by UPC Wind and BQ Energy.

Letter to the Editor by Elisabeth Johnsen Cowley

The following article was published in the Naples Record on December 12, 2007. Used with permission.

Letter to the Editor!

Are you a taxpayer in the Naples School District?

It has come to light that 2 if not 3, industrial wind turbines from the Cohocton UPC Pine Hill project are under construction within the Naples School District. SCIDA(Steuben Industrial Development Agency) and UPC, Cohocton(developer) would like the Naples School Board to accept a PILOT program(payment in lieu of taxes) for the part of UPC' industrial development that will be within Naples School District, Ontario County.

If you compare the numbers from The Daily Messengers article;" A Stirring To The South " concerning the PILOT program in Cohocton, you will realize that the money SCIDA and UPC might offer the Naples School Board is minuscule in comparison to taxation based on full value for these turbines.

The school board members are elected to fulfill the obligation to provide the best possible education for our children and youth. Every property owner in the Naples School District contributes to this effort and should be treated equally. Every piece of property with homes/buildings/etc..., is taxed depending on its value. This should be the case also for new industrial sites like the wind turbines, an industry we do not benefit from locally.

Turbine 1,2 and 3 in the UPC project, with a value of at least $ 2-3 million each, would be a considerable addition to the tax base in the Naples School District.(keep in mind that more leases have been signed for turbines in our district)

If one looks at recent history we remember that the last school budget in Naples was rejected. Enrolments in our school system have gone down. Property values in our area are decreasing. As concerned citizens we might worry that school taxes will increase and thereby make it difficult for many families to keep residing in our community.

As tax payers and part of the elective body, we ask that the Naples School District take action to reject any PILOT for the UPC industrial wind project that lies within the Naples School District. Any attempt by SCIDA to circumvent the fair and equitable tax treatment of the Naples School District should be rejected too.

Representatives for both SCIDA and UPC have been invited by the school administration, to the school board meeting in Naples December 12th, to present/inform the board members about their PILOT program.

It is important that the Board and residents of Naples School District voice their concerns on the questionable proposed PILOT program for UPC Steuben county at SCIDAs public hearing in Prattsburgh at the Town Hall 19 North Main St. December. 18th 2007 at 10 am.

The PILOT program will be voted on two days later, December 20th, at SCIDA's offices in Bath.

The Naples School Board's members are serving the community as volunteers. They put in countless hours and work for the district the very best way they possible can. They deserve our utmost respect!

As an obsrevation, the Naples School Board has a very short time to form an educated decision on this challenge.

Good luck to them!

Elisabeth Johnsen Cowley, Naples New York