Citizen Power Alliance

Energy and Environment

New York State’s money road to nowhere

IDAs “shifting the burden of taxation onto local residents and small businesses.”

Local, state, and federal political favor has created an artificial industry: industrial windpower. Massive turbines have resulted in negative effects economically and environmentally. Rural towns and countryside across the USA have become the dumping grounds for massive infrastructure for a paltry amount of remote, unreliable energy.

For many enjoying rural life, the invasion of industrial wind installations has turned environmentalism on its head.

New York State (NYS) has more than its share of such malinvestment and damage. State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli recently reported that tax exemptions by NYS’s Industrial Development Agencies (IDAs) were not creating jobs and “shifting tax burdens” from mega-corporations to local residents.

As a result, we have the spectacle in Upstate New York of taxpayer-subsidized industrial wind installations driving people from their homes — while further endangering the populations of eagles, hawks, herons, cranes, bats, and all magnificent flying creatures.

Rural wind power, in short, is not only a fiscal fairness issue, it is an environmental issue of the first order. Environmentalists, and environmental groups — Are you listening? (Do you care?)


The Wyoming County Industrial Development Agency (WCIDA) was established under New York State legislation and regulation as a “public benefit corporation.” Its mission “is to promote, encourage and attract economic development projects in Wyoming County that result in the retention and/or creation of job opportunities that will generate additional tax revenues.”

Supporting and attracting job-creating businesses is one thing, the IDA’s methodology is another – as told in a WCIDA recent press release, “Wind energy powers agency’s loan program.” In it, the WCIDA proudly reported redistributing “$3.2 million dollars over the last six years” that it had received from wind developers, to various businesses in the county.

The part they left out was that money was first taken from taxpayers, ratepayers and successful businesses. It was then given to Big Wind developers, who gave a tad bit of it back to the County, who then recycled some of those revenues back to businesses and people with the right connections.

What has been going on in our Towns and County (and across the nation) in regard to industrial wind flies in the face of any meaningful concept of “public benefit.” By relying almost solely on Big Wind projects for funding, the WCIDA has blinders on when it comes to the numerous larger issues — civil, economic, and environmental — surrounding industrial-scale wind energy.

Furthermore, reported a May 2 news article, NYS Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli found that

“tax breaks provided by the state’s IDAs are not effective in creating jobs…. DiNapoli’s office has found no significant correlation between the provision of tax exemptions and the creation of new job opportunities. Since IDA tax breaks reduce the overall amount of taxable land and enterprises within New York municipalities, they effectively shift the burden of taxation onto local residents and small businesses.”

In addition to providing few jobs and ultimately “shifting the tax burden onto local residents,” the IDA’s actions impose many other immeasurable negative impacts on the area. Besides making people ill and driving some from their homes, trashing peoples’ property values, and forever changing the character of the area – these giant bird killers (“Cuisanarts of the air,” as a Sierra Club official described wind turbines in a moment of candor) slaughter countless eagles, bats (already under serious threat from disease) and other magnificent flying creatures worldwide.

The mammoth footprints of industrial wind installations fragment prime habitats, drive species out of their nesting areas, and further threaten already endangered species with extinction.

Corporate Welfare Writ Large ($Billions, not $millions)

The real “economics” of wind power are horrible and can not be justified. Simply consider just a few of the taxpayer-funded corporate welfare programs that enable the industrial wind boondoggle to exist.

The $2.2 billion dollars of Stimulus money given to renewables (mostly wind) — 80% went overseas — transferring our wealth into the pockets of rich, multi-national corporations who have no allegiance to anyone or anything except their profit margin.

The “Section 1603 Direct Cash Grant Program” from the U.S. Treasury is worth 30% of the value of these industrial wind projects. The Production Tax Credit – PTC (aka: “Permanent Tin Cup”) pays another 2.2 cents per kilowatt hour.

The project manager of the Lackawanna Steel Winds Project told us (in 2008) that each turbine cost approximately $5 million. (Could be much more by now, as in December 2010, the U.S. Energy Information Administration determined that the cost of new wind projects increased by 21% in the previous year.) That makes Invenergy’s proposed ‘Stony Creek’ project of 59 industrial wind turbines in Orangeville, NY, worth approximately $295,000,000 – the 30% Direct Cash Grant totaling $88,500,000. There are nearly 250 wind turbines already up in Wyoming County. Do the math.

The PTC and 1603 Direct Cash Grant money is a TAX that ALL U.S. taxpayers are forced to pay for a product that doesn’t even work. Their real function is to generate income via tax avoidance schemes for rich multi-national conglomerates – and enable those conglomerates to use our tax and rate money as campaign contributions to ensure that friendly legislators and bureaucrats remain in power.

Still More Subsidies

In addition, the state of New York is involved. With the blessing of the NYS Public Service Commission, NYSERDA administers System Benefits Charges (SBC), Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) and a market in Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) – all subsidized by fees collected through your electric bills.

All in all, wind receives 26 times the public subsidies that fossil fuels get, but produces no reliable electricity capacity and very few American jobs. In fact, for every green job that wind supposedly creates, it destroys two to four regular jobs – in large part due to “skyrocketing” electricity rates.

Why would anyone willingly pay for such an obvious “lemon”? Government is subsidizing defective machines, not because it will improve electricity generation (quite the contrary), but rather because politicians are enriching their friends in Big Wind – and in turn, Big Wind helps them get re-elected. They are pretending to challenge the status quo, while in fact they are reinforcing it big time, while playing shell games with ratepayer and taxpayer money via the IDA’s nefarious loan programs.

The IDA is now trying to convince us that our recycled taxpayer money is creating secondary jobs across the county, thanks to wind. Most likely, these jobs will be added to the Administration’s list of supposed “green jobs,” in continued attempts to hoodwink the American public as to how many jobs the Green Scam is actually producing.

Questions for WCIDA

In the face of this overwhelming evidence that wind power is a civilly, economically, and environmentally destructive energy option, the Wyoming County IDA wants us to believe that it is somehow a good idea to keep pouring money into a one-dimensional economic development plan.

The WCIDA needs to answer some critical questions:

1) Shouldn’t the IDA be worried about what happens to a county that is so heavily dependent on a single government program, when the government could suddenly end that program – which in the case of industrial wind is inevitable, because it is simply NOT economically sustainable?

2) Shouldn’t the IDA be concerned about the growing negative public realization that payoffs are being made by corporate interests to government agencies and elected officials, who then have a vested interest in perpetuating and expanding this taxpayer-funded industry in return for “donations”?

3) Doesn’t the IDA have a responsibility to ensure that the programs, projects and industries it supports and subsidizes first and foremost do not harm people, or destroy vital ecological resources – including bird and bat species that are vital to the county’s and region’s agricultural base, tourism and ecosystem?

4) Would the IDA support any other industry that had such harmful impacts on people and the environment?

Why should Wyoming County, the State of New York, the United States Congress and the US Fish and Wildlife Service be subsidizing, protecting and promoting the destruction of both peoples’ lives, and these valuable and endangered species? Why should they do it on the backs of taxpayers and ratepayers? New Yorkers and indeed, all Americans, need to know.

On July 13, the Ithaca Journal article, “Report says IDA investment fails to create jobs,” stated:

“The annual analysis of Industrial Development Agency data, produced since 2009 by the statewide Getting Our Money’s Worth Coalition, shows ‘a widespread failure of New York’s main economic development tool to meet job creation goals.’ The analysis shows $182 million in IDA tax breaks went to companies that cut jobs, failed to create jobs, or didn’t promise to create any jobs.”

All this suggests that the WCIDA would much better serve all of us by developing a comprehensive and diversified economic development plan that does not rely on recycled tax dollars from the wind farm scam – which will inevitably disappear.

Time for Change

As the light of truth continues to reveal the massive wealth transfer from taxpayer’s pockets to those of private Big Wind corporations, IDAs across the country should brace for blow-back. This is already happening, as the performance of these programs is coming under increasing scrutiny.

The U.S. House Energy Committee recently delivered a blistering report about the Section1603 wind energy subsidy program: Where Are The Jobs? In another recent article, “Wind Energy Jobs Myth,” it was reported, “Seventy-five percent of the Section 1603 largesse was lavished on Big Wind, yet, despite billions of taxpayer dollars, the [wind] sector experienced a LOSS of 10,000 direct and indirect jobs in 2010.”

Thankfully, more and more U.S. taxpayers and ratepayers are waking up to the fact that our $16-TRILLION-DOLLAR indebted nation can NOT afford further taxpayer and generational theft. As a result, both the PTC and Direct Cash Grants corporate welfare programs are set to expire at the end of 2012.

Any politician who says s/he supports the extension of the PTC for Big Wind — or supports an “all-of-the-above” energy policy – is either uninformed, energy-illiterate, on the take from Big Wind, determined to destroy rural America and our birds and ecology – or all of the above.

Ask your elected officials where they stand on the Production Tax Credit and 1603 Direct Cash Grants for wind. If they are not clearly AGAINST these bird-and-bat-butchering turbines and taxpayer rip-offs – that “effectively shift the burden of taxation onto local residents and small businesses” – VOTE THE BUMS OUT!

If we are the fiscal conservatives that we say we are, we all better get to work to get off this highly-evolved system of state- and federal-financed corporate welfare.

Please contact your senators, and congressional representatives and committees, and state representatives. Tell them it’s past time for science-based energy policies!

Mary Kay Barton,

Mary Kay Barton is a retired health educator, New York State small business owner, and tireless advocate for scientifically sound, affordable and reliable electricity for all Americans.

NYS Public Service Commission in the Pocket of Corporatists

The corporatist culture of lobbyist Jack Abramoff is alive not only on K Street, but in the offices of the New York State Public Service Commission. The long awaited report on the rules for electric generation siting demonstrates that the industrial wind lobby is on speed dial to the agency tasked to regulate their power facilities. In the new gilded age of robber barons, the “public servants” at the PSC earn their stripes as capitalist tool lackeys. Damn the public interest, the expedited approval of projects is guaranteed. Money influence trumps sound science, property rights, municipal home rule and health & safety.

After submitting exhausting documentation and constructive comments that urged minimum industry manufacturers own standards, protective noise restrictions and siting distances to ensure the public health and safety, and meaningful citizen participation involvement in permitting approval; the permanent Siting Board for Article X ignored all improvements to their draft regulations.

The net result is that the industrial wind cabal gets carte blanche from New York State to defraud the taxpayers, pillage the electric ratepayers and run roughshod over the reasoned objections of local officials.

One example of interjecting public input into the approval process was the proposal to institute a citizen advisory panel. Electric Power Generation under NYS Article X provides the details for a balanced approach to unbridled and indiscriminate corporate domination of land use development.

CASE 12-F-0036 – DRAFT DISCUSSION DOCUMENT, JULY 2012 SITING BOARD MEETING (no longer available on the PSC web site), rejects a partnership approach to safeguard the public interest.
Public Health and Safety – input from Citizen Power Alliance

One individual asserts that a citizens advisory panel should be made a component of Article 10 because it would establish an equitable balance of interests through citizen participation to offset a bias in favor of developers due to fast-tracking under Article 10. The individual also requests that the regulations do more to protect the health and safety of citizens by requiring conformance with manufacturers’ safety standards. (page 50)

PSC Comments:

We do not adopt the recommendation to create a citizens advisory panel as part of the Article 10 process, because the statute and these proposed regulations already provide for extensive citizen input, through such measures as the ad hoc members of the Siting Board, the public involvement plan, and the provision of intervenor funding to aid the participation of local resident parties. (page 51)

Caps on Noise Levels – input from wind industry and DEC noise regulation

An engineering consultant firm (for wind developers) asserted that a 50 dBA sound level limit is consistent with limiting sound level increases in a high quality rural sound environment that is very quiet to an increase of no more than 6 dBA. In response, a municipality challenges that assertion by pointing out that if the preexisting sound level in a community at night, when wind farms operate, is 30 dBA, a 50 dBA sound level limit will obviously drive some people out of the area and/or discourage others from moving in. Several individuals arguing for caps on noise levels support a cap of 35 dBA measured at non-participating property lines, and incremental increases up to the cap of no more than 6 dBA. (page 54)

PSC Comments:

The disagreement described above lends support to the case by case approach in the proposed regulations. We have reviewed the comments and do not believe that any change is warranted. (page 56)

The lack of will, by the PSC, to establish substantive standards for siting of projects illustrates the cozy relationship the regulator has with the wind industry. Ignoring current noise restrictions by superseding the existing DEC noise regulation is definitive proof that wind developers dominate energy policy in New York State. The only case by case relevance applies in permitting approval will now be applied by permanent agency heads who comprise the majority on the Siting Board for Article X applications.

The insignificant allocation for intervening funding and the short time allowed for local town notification, effectively nullifies challenging the application in court. The insult that two ad hoc representative will be allowed to be lectured by the five permanent agency head masters demonstrates just how far the constitutional principle of Home Rule has dissipated in the empire state.

Any wonder that a sense of disgust strikes the sensibilities when the out of control wind turbines blow by the landscape as Robert De Niro pitches for crony cartel capitalists. The Daily News reports the following.

The $12 million TV campaign will run nationally and statewide for eight weeks.

The commercials address the state’s anti-business reputation and show success stories in different parts of the state designed to illustrate how things are changing.

No sensible person advocates an anti-business environment. However, promoting a destructive business industry with public funds is the definitive opposite of a success story. An axis of facilitation and favoritism exists within the bureaucratic agencies that effectively ignore the directions of legislation, and ultimately write preferential rules for preferred developers.

Hidden within the layers of public documents is CASE 12-F-0036.

1000.4 Public Involvement


(b) To ensure that the public and interested parties are fully assisted and advised in participating in the Article 10 process, an office of public information coordinator has been created within DPS. Public information coordination shall include:

(1) implementing measures that assure public participation in matters before the Board;

(2) responding to inquiries from the public for information on how to participate in matters before the Board;

(3) assisting the public in requesting records relating to matters before the Board;

(4) ensuring all interested persons are provided with a reasonable opportunity to participate at public meetings relating to matters before the Board;

(5) ensuring that all necessary or required documents are available for public access on the DPS website; and

(6) any other duties as may be prescribed by the Board, after consultation with DPS.

While the establishment of a public information coordinator sounds positive, the reality of the approval process boils down to the five permanent department heads that make the final decision. The regretful manner, comments and decisions made by the PSC staff in writing the Article X regulations is a textbook lesson in how to advance the interests of an economically defective industry.

As with many if not most bureaucratic functions, careerist lawyers decide the actual procedures and regulations. It is one thing to write the language of the ordinance, but is entirely beyond the scope and authority of an attorney culture to act as if the developer is their client. Overreaching administrators often circumvent their role. In this case, the fundamental health and safety safeguards that are essentially the basis for challenging inadequate siting practices go unprotected.

The inevitable conclusion is that the same staffers, who are entrusted to carry out the intentions of the legislation, have totally abdicated their responsibility to protect the public from harmful development.

Any lobbyists would do a jig to have their client’s interests represented in sheer mercantile terms. The attitude manifested in these regulations is much worse in their most current version from the vague and incomplete drafts used prior to the public comment and input period.

The corporatist economy is the manifestation of the evil axis of state partnership with shadow financial entities. The wind industry is notorious for their foreign ownership. Now it can be correctly said, that the tentacles of this octopus reach under the rock where the regulators reside.

Industry wind exists because of the production tax credits. Why would any state government or regulatory agency advance the use of an unreliable electric generation method if it were not in the political interests of crony careerists?

This is but one example of an entrenched pattern of facilitation that condemns the public interest while lining the pockets of vulgar predators. These companies have the skill and money to hire connected lobbyists that play the regulation agencies like a concert pianist. When your audience consists of administrators, legally trained in the art of disingenuousness, the outcome becomes a recital for a failed energy policy.

While direct links of systemic corruption are concealed under the weight of the filing volume, the culture of regulatory bias that shields the financial interests of the corporatist is unmistakable. Several county governments have gone on record with resolutions against Article X. Yet the PSC is willing to strip effective home rule authority with the misguided claim that local representatives will be part of the process.

When the majority on the Siting Board is nothing but a rubber stamp for their corporate friends, regulator review becomes a sham. Citizens can shout long and loud, and comments are filed in the record, but when the dust settles, the developer gets their way. Someone needs to tell De Niro he is acting as the mouthpiece for a criminal syndicate.

SARTRE – July 15, 2012  

Electric Power Generation under NYS Article X

The New York State Public Service Commission draft (link for comments) from the New York State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment for the proposed regulations to the Power NY Act 2011, known as Article X is deficient in its mandate. Since a SEQR review for electric generation projects that fall under the new regulations is no longer a requirement, New York State is effectively writing new regulations that abdicate the oversight role of the Department of Environmental Conservation. The motive to fast track permitting approval at the expense of environmental protection demonstrates a bias in favor of developer projects. Therefore, in order to establish an equitable balance in interests, it is prudent to include a comprehensive citizen participation process within the administrative structure of the DPS.

The initial draft of the Article X regulations cite the following needs.

To ensure that the public and interested parties are fully assisted and advised in participating in the Article 10 process, an office of public information coordinator has been created within Department of Public Service.

Public information (page 9) coordination shall include:

(a) To ensure throughout the Article 10 process that the Board is fully aware of the concerns of stakeholders and that the Board’s consideration of an application is not delayed, it is the Board’s policy to require applicants to actively seek public participation throughout the planning, pre-application, certification, compliance, and implementation process. It is also the Board’s policy to encourage stakeholders to participate at the earliest opportunity in the review of the applicant’s proposal so that their input can be considered.

(b) To ensure that the public and interested parties are fully assisted and advised in participating in the Article 10 process, an office of public information coordinator has been created within DPS. Public information coordination shall include:

(1) implementing measures that assure public participation in matters before the Board;

(2) responding to inquiries from the public for information on how to participate in matters before the Board;

(3) assisting the public in requesting records relating to matters before the Board;

(4) ensuring all interested persons are provided with a reasonable opportunity to participate at public meetings relating to matters before the Board;

(5) ensuring that all necessary or required documents are available for public access on the DPS website; and

(6) any other duties as may be prescribed by the Board, after consultation with DPS.

(c) Each Applicant shall conduct a Public Involvement Program that includes:

(1) consultation with the affected agencies and other stakeholders;

(2) pre-application activities to encourage stakeholders to participate at the earliest opportunity;

(3) activities designed to educate the public as to the specific proposal and the Article 10 review process, including the availability of funding for municipal and local parties;

(4) the establishment of a website to disseminate information to the public;

(5) notifications; and

(6) activities designed to encourage participation by stakeholders in the certification and compliance process.

(d) Applicants shall submit a proposed Public Involvement Program plan in writing to DPS for review as to its adequacy at least 150 days prior to the submittal of any preliminary scoping statement, except that for good cause.

In order to facilitate the objectives of the public information coordinator office, Senator Pat Gallivan submitted, S-6924-2011. The essential elements of the legislation would create a citizen advisory panel within the Public Service Commission. Highlights and functions follow.

Section 1. The public service law is amended by adding a new section 174 to read as follows:





The Citizen Advisory Panel has the functions and SHALL CONSIST OF THE FOLLOWING SECTIONS:


The purpose of incorporating a Citizen Advisory Panel within the PSC is to have access, in a timely manner to the entire database of relevant information on each project. A review of applications and stakeholder input from representatives of citizen organizations is in keeping with the Article X mandate. Recommendations by the panel have the value of experience and expertise that deserves consideration by the Article X Siting Board.

The Citizen Power Alliance is a coalition of concerned citizen organizations that have years of involvement within the electric permitting process. From the perspective of local community interest, the spirit of Home Rule will remain in practice with the support of the multi-agency Siting Board. Individual municipalities, hard pressed to engage as an intervener or challenge the new Article X application process, will benefit from a central resource function of the Citizen Advisory Panel.

As part of the stakeholder submission process, specific comments and recommendations, previously submitted, need to be included in the final regulations. Absent from the PSC draft regulations are specific minimum standards for protecting the public safety. Local communities with existing industrial wind regulations that fall below inadequate siting requirements must adopt practices that are more protective. New York State must ensure that jurisdictions without specific legislation fall under regulations that conform to manufacturer safety standards, excess noise limits, verifiable usable electric generation monitoring and fiduciary solvency of developers with guaranteed bonding for de-commissioning costs.

NYS needs to demonstrate environmental leadership and resist acting as an agent that facilitates developer interests.

James Hall – May 23, 2012

Industrial Wind and the Production Tax Credit

The glimmer has been lost from industrial wind. The “Green” promises of an alternative energy hits a brick wall when applied to this industry. By an objective analysis standard, wind projects make no economic sense. Just look at some of the provisions that subsidized this botched industry.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (H.R. 1) allows taxpayers eligible for the federal renewable electricity production tax credit (PTC) to take the federal business energy investment tax credit (ITC) or to receive a grant from the U.S. Treasury Department instead of taking the PTC for new installations. The grant is only available to systems where construction began prior to December 31, 2011. The new law also allows taxpayers eligible for the business ITC to receive a grant from the U.S. Treasury Department instead of taking the business ITC for new installations”.

The entire economic basis for developing wind factories rests upon government money. The recent defeat of extending the Production Tax Credit comes at a time when the appeal of backing inefficient and undependable electric generation is sinking like a rock. The PTC and Section 1603 extension was tacked onto the Stabenow amendment, which failed to pass in the Senate. “Stabenow’s amendment would have continued the production credit through 2013, as well as a Treasury Department renewable-power grant program known as 1603.”

Even under these generous subsidies, projects continue to fail. The latest causality is the UTC subsidiary Clipper Windpower. Bloomberg reports, that United Technologies is classifying Clipper as a discontinued operation. Forbes announces on their website, United Technologies Unloads Clipper Windpower,

“UTC in January 2010 invested an initial $207m to take a 49.5% stake in Clipper following a liquidity crisis at the wind turbine manufacturer. It gained full control in December 2010 for an additional $223m . . . Clipper was then losing money and share in its core US market. Installations of its flagship 2.5 MW Liberty wind turbine plunged to 28 in 2010 from 242 the previous year . . . .

The company’s image had also taken a hard hit after cracking problems surfaced in 2007 that required a $330m remediation program to replace the blades on all its turbines. Many of its third-party customers left for other vendors.”

The prospect of selling this business is remote. The company was only an assembler of components based upon their designs. Gearbox failures continue to plague these turbines. Under a capitalistic system, businesses that sell an unreliable produce go bankrupt. Clipper Windpower will soon be remembered as an example of a company providing defective and inept technology. Wasting public funds on such a venture exemplifies the shortcomings of “Green” zealots.

Clipper turbines were used on several First Wind projects. The subsidy carousal extends to the developer, as seen in the essay; First Wind swindle has just committed another heist. Cited in the 9/1/09 Democratic and Chronicle business section, the following article appeared – Southern Tier wind farm gets $74.6 million in grants. This amount is in addition to the PTC. As with any federal gift, connections and strings attached usually precede the process.

“First Wind has ties to the administration of President Barack Obama. A New York City hedge fund, D.E. Shaw & Co., is a major investor in First Wind, according to statements issued in recent years by First Wind. Lawrence H. Summers, who now heads Obama’s National Economic Council, was a compensated managing director at D.E. Shaw before leaving late last year.”

Since Clipper Windpower is in no position to honor service warranty agreements with First Wind, just how long will their wind farms continue to operate? Actually, First Wind is on very shaky ground and has serious financial troubles. The Sun Journal reports,

“First Wind, Emera Inc. (the Nova Scotia-based parent company of Bangor Hydro and Maine Public Service) and Ontario-based Algonquin Power and Utilities Corp. propose to jointly build and operate wind-energy projects in Maine and elsewhere in the Northeast. After a failed bid to go public in 2010, which left First Wind cash-hungry, the deal is a way for the Boston-based company to continue building wind towers across Maine and the region, as well as a way for Emera and Algonquin to reach new energy consumers in the U.S.”

After this arrangement collapsed, First Wind sought to sell an equity interest to Algonquin. The publication Recharge states,

“Algonquin Power and Utilities has dropped a bid to purchase a 12% stake for $83m in First Wind Holdings’ 370MW wind portfolio in the eastern US, citing delays in winning approval from regulators in Maine.

First Wind, whose main investors are hedge fund operator DE Shaw and private equity company Madison Dearborn Partners, cancelled an IPO in October 2010 after facing investor concerns over its debt load and future profitability.”

Soon First Wind will succumb to the same fate of Clipper Windpower, a discontinued operation.

The defeat of the Production Tax Credit may not be an assured and indefinite reality, but this is an election year. Surely, the corporate wind lobbyists will want to insert this boondoggle back into the federal budget. However, the ground swell against industrial wind factories is growing.

The little secret that wind projects often are paid not to produce electricity. The power grid is incompatible with many wind projects. Government-Subsidized Wind Farms Told NOT to Produce Energy reports,

“Wind farms in the Pacific Northwest – built with government subsidies and maintained with tax credits for every megawatt produced – are now getting paid to shut down as the federal agency charged with managing the region‘s electricity grid says there’s an oversupply of renewable power at certain times of the year.”

This is an absurd corporate welfare system. It is long overdue to let the free market compete. Industrial Wind is really a corporate/state pet program that operates just as unwisely as all government bureaucracies do. The money that is wasted through the Production Tax Credit and other subsidy grants is a national disgrace. Do your part and express your opposition to your elected officials.

James Hall – March 21, 2012

Read the entire article on the BATR archive page

John Byrne appearance on the Sean Hannity radio program 8/29/11

Citizen action on Article X

COAX NY member and spokesman John Byrne represents the Citizen Power Alliance appearance on the Sean Hannity radio program 8/29/11 speaks on Article X – Power NY Act

Governor Cuomo Signs Article X Strips Home Rule from State’s Municipalities

On August 4, 2011 Governor Andrew Cuomo stripped away the municipal “Home Rule” rights of the very public that elected him, by signing into law the “Power NY Act.” Also known as Article X, this swiftly passed law was prompted by separate bills initially sponsored by Senator George Maziarz (R – 62nd District) and Assemblyman Kevin Cahill (D – 101st District). The combined bill passed both houses with very little public input, late at night behind closed doors. The public’s rights were taken – literally – while they slept. COAX would like to say thank you to our elected officials who did the right thing and voted against Article X trying to preserve Municipal “Home Rule”, unfortunately, too many voted yes.

Coalition On Article X (COAX) was formed to preserve and regain our municipal “Home Rule” rights, taken away by New York’s Governor, Senators, and Assemblypersons who voted to strip the public of their ability to govern their own towns.

COAX members are appalled that Article X/Power NY Act was signed into law without any discussion from our elected officials to the citizens they were elected to represent. We find these actions to be totally unacceptable. New York State has always prided itself on the fact that it is a “Home Rule” State.

Municipal “Home Rule”, although never perfect, was implemented by local officials who actually live, work and raises their families within our home communities. “Home Rule” has been a viable municipal management tool for decades due to the very fact that community decisions were being made by duly-elected, caring and involved residents of the area. In direct contradiction, the “Power NY” Act allows unengaged, and mostly unelected, Albany bureaucrats to enact monumental zoning and planning decisions in New York State’s municipalities, to site electrical power plant in any municipality without local approval.

New York State legislators involved in this over-reaching under the auspices of streamlining the siting of energy facilities, are simply interested in – as Chris Horner of the Competitive Enterprise Institute puts so well – a Power Grab!

COAX promises to tirelessly and continually oppose the power-grab of the elected officials who voted ‘yes’ for Article X and to engage like-minded citizens to take back our municipal “Home Rule”.


NYSERDA seeks to ‘transform our economic system’

As the G20 summit meeting scheduled in Cancun approaches, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) co-chair, Dr. Edenhoffer of Germany, candidly admitted, “… One must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy.”  This has been clearly exemplified here in the United States by the fact that of the $2.2 Billion dollars of the stimulus money that was allotted for “renewables” (and all the “green” jobs it would supposedly create) — over 80% of that money went overseas (See: ).  Industrial wind is a major component of the IPCC’s “climate policy” redistribution of wealth scheme, and NYS – with plenty of Big Wind lobbyists and political cronies in high places, is a major player in this redistribution of wealth and, as Al Gore & George Soros refer to it – “global governance” scheme.

The push for the redistribution of our wealth through politicalization of our energy policies was made clear once again at the annual NYS Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA) “Partnership for Environmental Improvement” meeting held on 11/18/10 in Albany, when NYSERDA executive, Janet Joseph stated, “…We are looking at transforming our economic system.”

The objective of the meeting was supposed to be for NYSERDA to give Environmental Groups from across NYS an opportunity to bring their concerns to NYSERDA’s attention, so that NYSERDA could properly address these concerns.  The absolute frustration we have faced at getting them to address any of our concerns over the past several years now, was made even worse at this year’s meeting.  Dr. Thorndike, the Cornell professor on NYSERDA’s board who chairs these meetings, elected to skip over the folks from across NYS she knew were there about wind, while letting all the other attendees speak – despite the fact that we had all been invited by NYSERDA to this meeting, and driven hundreds of miles to get there.  When it got to be 3:00 – past the time the agenda said would be allotted for our comments – and the meeting was only scheduled to go until 4:00, I decided to speak out – much to their chagrin, I’m sure.

I pointed out to them that the entire focus in each of their varied presentations that day had been about improving “energy efficiency & reliablity” — of which industrial wind is neither. 

I asked, “You admitted that we don’t have the money, the equipment, or the transmission lines in your presentation on Offshore Wind, – so why are we wasting the time and resources soliciting these projects? I can testify that my hometown would be much better off if we spent the money insulating, and installing energy efficient windows in every home.  And I dare say, we’d probably save millions in dollars, and emissions in the process, while creating thousands of jobs!”  (Why create jobs for local contractors when it’s all about servicing Big Corporate, though?!?)

I went on and said, “Two things are missing when it comes to industrial wind — the science and the money!”  NYSERDA has yet to provide the independent, transparent, empirical proof that wind energy can live up to any of the wind industry’s claims.

I asked how they could compare industrial wind – something that has virtually a zero capacity value (can be relied on to be there when called upon), to our reliable, dispatchable, baseload energy sources (i.e. – hydro, nuclear, gas, & coal), which “is like comparing a soap box derby car to a Boeing 747.” (See: )

I referenced the Colorado/Texas Bentek studies, which looked at actual wind performance data in Texas and Colorado, and concluded that wind caused coal plants to operate more inefficiently, “often resulting in great SO2, NOx, and CO2 emissions than would have occurred if less wind energy were generated and coal generation was not cycled.”

No one debated any of the facts I presented.

I looked to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative presenter who had proclaimed that “We must raise the cost of carbon!”,  and told him that in spite of their demonizing of coal, there is the inconvenient fact that with over 100,000 IWT’s that have been installed worldwide to date, NOT one coal plant has been closed down anywhere in the world thanks to industrial wind.  I elaborated that it was cheaper, affordable energy that had made our country what it is today, and our poorest poor in this country are far better off than the poor in any other country in the world because we have had affordable power. Their plans to “transform our economic system” will hurt the lowest income folks the most. (See: “Resisting the Green Dragon” at the )

His response was, “We answered all your questions at the meeting a year ago.”

I said, “No you didn’t!  Dr. Jan Storm, the NYS Dept of Health rep who spoke at the June, 2009 meeting acknowledged the existence of health problems around the world due to citing these things too close to peoples’ homes — but that NYS had not yet undertaken any studies.  Here it is a year and a half later, and NYS still has done NO health studies.  Yet, you continue to push these projects through! Furthermore, former PSC Sound Engineer, Dan Driscoll, told us all at the June, 2009 meeting that setbacks of approximately 3500′ would probably alleviate most problems, yet you still have made NO recommendations to communities across NYS dealing with industrial wind developers.  As a matter of fact, you have done NOTHING to help protect NYS residents!” 

Of course, the typical reply came back, “It’s a local matter.”

I challenged them, and said, “As NYS’s Energy Research & Development ‘authority’, you have a responsibility to make recommendations to the state on behalf of the people you work for in regard to these projects!”

A fellow advocate from the Tug Hill area jumped in – citing the fact that she had brought in FERC numbers showing the ridiculous output levels of 12% & 16% from the Maple Ridge project at the last meeting, and then handed all of them copies of the latest peer-reviewed study on the negative health effects of living too close to industrial wind installations. Advocates there for the first time from the Great Lakes group, then voiced their utter dismay with the way we had all been treated and ignored, and got up and left. 

And how were our questions and concerns answered?  With lame excuses and condescending lectures. 

Why doesn’t our government listen, you ask?  One can only surmise that our government and its agencies (i.e. – NYSERDA) are in bed with the developers.  NYSERDA is bent on raising your electric rates in order to benefit multi-national developers, and in turn – themselves. 

NYSERDA told us straight out at last year’s meeting, “Industrial wind is not up for debate as it is a political agenda that has been handed down from Washington & Albany.”  Really??? 

The hypocrisy of the NYS Energy Research & Development bureaucracy’s Mission Statement of providing “independent, objective, scientific proof,” versus pursuing “political agendas,” is clear, and it is we – the NYS taxpayers & ratepayers, who will pay the price, while OUR tax & ratepayer dollars continue to be exported overseas in this “climate policy” fraud.

I’m afraid that I could not agree more with the statement Environmentalist, Jon Boone, made three years ago at a presentation in Chautauqua County:

“The politicalization of electricity production, which is what is happening here, corrupts any reasonable sense of enlightened public policy, driven as it is by propagandized sloganeering and a press that much of the time couldn’t hit water with an accurate story about wind if it fell out of a boat. New York State’s Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the politically correct renewable energy oversight group within the state’s PSC, has become one of those grotesque bureaucracies that exist to justify its existence, generating gratuitous inaccuracies about the potential for wind energy in much the same way Cinderella’s step sisters connived to make that damned slipper fit their outsized feet.  NYSERDA’s levy of a renewable energy surcharge is nothing more than a legalized bunko scheme for defrauding consumers.”
Folks, accountability is a biblical principle.  Not only is it time that we held our politicians and government bureaucracies accountable — we all have a duty to speak out!  Silence is agreement.  Ignoring what is going on is akin to denial of an addiction — It won’t get better until we acknowledge the problem, and ask God for His help to deal with it.  We have a responsibility to educate ourselves, speak out, and demand accountability from our elected officials.  As Edmund Burke said, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”

The next “political” development in NYS will likely be “Article X”, which is being promoted by Governor-elect Cuomo. This will effectively take away NYS citizen’s Home Rule rights to determine whether or not they want wind projects in their community, and if so, under what conditions.  Are you willing to sit back and accept this removal of our constitutional rights, or will you stand up and speak out?

Mary Kay Barton
Silver Lake, NY

To read up on previous NYSERDA meetings, see:  and


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