Cohocton Wind Watch: "Leading by Deceiving creates only division and error" Mary Kay Barton
Cohocton Wind Watch is a community citizen organization dedicated to preserve the public safety, property values, economic viability, environmental integrity and quality of life in Cohocton, NY and in surrounding townships. Neighbors committed to public service in order to achieve a reasonable vision for a Finger Lakes region worthy of future generations.


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Monday, August 04, 2008

"Leading by Deceiving creates only division and error" Mary Kay Barton

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Buffalo news reporter, John Bonfatti, prior to the publication of his 7/12/08 article on wind power, "Wind on the Water." Mr. Bonfatti agreed during our discussion that wind-generated electricity will have no effect at all on our oil dependence problem. Yet, Bonfatti repeated these very claims made by a local wind proponent in his article totally unquestioned. Consequently, Bonfatti's article came off more as a wind promotion piece, than as an unbiased, investigative report.

When Mr. Bonfatti admitted wind had nothing to do with oil dependence in our conversation, I asked him, "Why then, does the wind industry resort to lying about reducing our dependence on foreign oil in order to sell wind energy to the public?" Bonfatti said, "Oh, that's just politics," as if that somehow made the lies justifiable.

This is the sad reality of where our country is today - financially-motivated corporations, together with self-serving, energy-illiterate politicians, and agenda-driven media, all leading by deceiving. Deception only leads to division and error. The massive division that's been created by industrial wind is clearly evident in every community it enters.

We could put up industrial turbines from here to Timbuktu, and it isn't going to do a thing to alleviate our foreign oil dependence problem, or help bring our boys home from Iraq as was implied in a recent letter in the Daily News. The facts prove otherwise. The EIA stated in 2007 that less than 1.5% of total nationwide electric generation came from oil, and the U.S. actually EXPORTED more oil in 2007 than it used for electricity generation.

The obvious source of U.S. oil dependence is our addiction to gasoline. This can only be remedied by appropriate technologies such as hydrogen cells, cellulosic ethanol made with switchgrass, coal-to-oil, intelligent community planning that stops designing everything around the automobile, and long overdue, greatly-increased fuel efficiency.

Our otherwise increasing energy needs demand REAL energy solutions that will provide RELIABLE, DISPATCHABLE BASELOAD power - like geothermal, nuclear, hydro, and clean-coal - rather than wasting our money on the boondoggle of wind.

"Wind farms" provide virtually NO Effective Capacity, or Capacity Value (can't be relied on to be there when called upon). Even if wind achieved the 30% Capacity Factor they claim, 1,000 MW of installed wind capacity, at a capital cost of about $2 billion dollars (the bulk subsidized by taxpayers), would actually produce less than 300 MW of sporadic, volatile, unreliable energy - and NO Effective Capacity. Wishful thinking is no substitute for power on demand.

Besides being scientifically unsound and environmentally disasterous, industrial wind is not economically viable on its own. Thanks to their government lobbyists hard work, wind is receiving on average, 26.7 times the subsidy all other (non-solar) sources receive, while providing NO Capacity Value - which all the others do in spades. These subsidies also make wind a very lucrative investment for all the multi-national corporations and businessmen looking to get rich off American taxdollars.

So, it's no surprise billionaire oilman, T. Boone Pickens, decided to jump on the wind bandwagon. In a recent interview, Pickens revealed why. He stands to gain a quick 25% on his investment.

When Pickens was asked if he'd be building his industrial wind installation on his 68,000 acre ranch, Pickens admitted, "I'm not going to have windmills on my ranch. They're ugly! ... They're the size of 40+ story buildings!" Hmmm ... Guess T. Boone thinks it's OK to dump them his on his neighbors though. That's something we're seeing plenty of around here, too. In Alabama, Dave Bencic is being made out to be the bad guy because he objects to having 40+ story turbines plopped down only 1200' from his front door on property owned by Alabama Town Board member, Sam Scarborough.

What the public really needs, and deserves, is an investigative report on the trade-offs between the up-front investment "benefits" that will accrue to large corporations (such as Iberdrola, GE, and JP Morgan), in the form of significantly reduced tax obligations, and the fact that taxpayers/ratepayers will underwrite the capital and operating costs of energy projects from Limited Liability Companies (like Horizon, Noble, and Invenergy), that will produce NO Capacity Value, and do NOTHING - either for our aging electricity infrastructure, or for provisioning for future demand.

Unfortunately for the wind companies, many folks aren't as apathetic and uninformed as they had counted on, and are just plain sick and tired of being ripped off. Due to countless verifiable complaints that have been filed statewide, Attorney General Cuomo's Office is now investigating the criminal behaviors that have been blatantly displayed by wind industry officials and unscrupulous elected officials alike. Leading by deceiving leads to division and error, but truth eventually exposes error.

Mary Kay Barton
Silver Lake, Town of Castile

Mary Kay Barton
P.O. Box 69
Silver Lake, NY 14549
585-813-8173

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