Congress’s last minute extension of the PTC or Production Tax
Credit (aka: “Pork To Cronies”) within the December 31, 2012 fiscal
cliff deal was good news for Big Wind corporate welfare profiteers, like
Michael Polsky’s Invenergy. It was very bad news for rural/residential
towns that are being targeted by industrial wind developers here in New
York State, and across the nation.
Even though the Wyoming County, NY Town of Orangeville’s
conflicted Town Board approved Invenergy’s “Stony Creek” project in the
Fall of 2012, Invenergy admitted it would not go ahead with the project
unless the PTC was extended. This again highlights the fact that the
only thing Invenergy is interested in “harvesting” via its ‘wind farms’
is taxpayers’ money. Once Crony-Corruptocrats in DC extended the PTC in
that midnight fiscal cliff deal, the once-beautiful rolling hills of
the Town of Orangeville were doomed.
While Michael Polsky enjoys his new mansion,
many Orangeville residents are now helplessly looking on in disgust as
Invenergy turns their town into a sprawling industrial wind factory –
rendering their homes virtually worthless – thanks to the legalized
thievery of their own tax dollars for The Wind Farm Scam.
As Big Wind CEO, Patrick Jenevein candidly
pointed out in his Wall Street Journal op-ed, “Wind power subsidies? No
Thanks” and follow-up TV interview, “Wind farms are increasingly being
built in less-windy locations,” because the wind industry is focused on
reaping the lucrative taxpayer and ratepayer subsidies, rather than
providing efficient, affordable, reliable electricity.
Nowhere is this proving to be more true than
right here in New York State. Orangeville borders the Town of Attica
here in the western part of the state. It’s a town that “First Wind LLC”
pulled out of a number of years ago, after admitting that the Attica
area “was not a good wind area.” It seems Jenevein knew exactly what he
was talking about.
According to NYISO’s Goldbook, New York State’s
installed wind factories averaged a pathetic 23.5% actual capacity
factor in 2012. New York State wind factories are not generating enough
electricity to even to pay for themselves over their short life spans.
It’s basic economics, but it’s being ignored by politicians.
Renowned energy analyst Glenn Schleede examined
the data on New York State’s wind factories and found that one 450-MW
combined cycle generating unit near New York City (where the power is
actually needed) would provide more power than all of New York State’s
wind farms combined, at one-fourth the capital costs – and would
significantly reduce CO2 emissions, while creating far more jobs than
all those wind farm – without the added costs and impacts of all the
transmission lines to New York City.
It’s no wonder New York has earned the dubious
distinction of having the highest electricity rates in the continental
United States: 17.7 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) – a whopping 53% above
the national average! New York residents using 6,500 kWh of
electricity annually will pay about $400 more per year for their
electricity than if the state’s electricity prices were at the national
Despite making absolutely no economic sense, and
despite the utter civil discord embroiling Towns across New York State
for more than a decade, New York State continues to aggressively pursue
further industrial wind development – with no effort whatsoever to
protect the health, well-being or pocketbooks of New York State
citizens, especially those living next to or under the wind turbines.
Governor Cuomo and ‘Article X’
During his tenure as Attorney General, Andrew
Cuomo did nothing to protect New York State citizens from the predatory
practices and collusion evident among Big Wind developers. Once he
became Governor of New York, Cuomo actively began aiding and abetting
Big Wind’s efforts to trample rural communities’ Constitutional private
property rights in his pursuit of all things “green” (aka: Agenda 21),
by signing into law the new “Article X (10)” contained within his 2011
“Power NY Act.”
Cuomo's new Article X put in place an ”Energy
Siting Board” comprised of five Albany bureaucrats who now have the
final say regarding the siting of “power-generating facilities” in NY –
redefined to mean anything generating 25 MW or more. Cuomo’s intention
to clear the way for Big Wind developers could not have been any more
obvious had he rolled out a red carpet.
Article X proceedings are already being pursued
by British Petroleum (BP) in Cape Vincent, NY, and by Iberdrola in
Clayton, NY. These foreign-owned corporations intend to turn our
beautiful Thousands Islands, St. Lawrence Seaway area into sprawling
industrial wind factories. Devastating some of the most scenic,
historic areas in the nation in pursuit of the “green” energy boondoggle
of wind should have all Americans incensed – especially since they are
paying for it!
In Lichtfield, NY, another Big Wind LLC tried to
override the town’s restrictive zoning laws, by using Cuomo’s “Article
X,” so that they could install 490-foot-tall turbines. Luckily for
Litchfield residents, the FAA struck down Big Wind’s plans there.
Robert Bryce, Senior fellow at The Manhattan
Institute, reported on the lawsuit going on in Herkimer County, NY due
to the intolerable noise problems associated with industrial wind
factories. His article title sums it up: “Backlash against Big Wind
continues.” Other wind factories are in the works in New York, with
unsuspecting towns yet to recognize the fate that awaits them.
Considering the growing list of problems
associated with industrial wind factories in New York State (and
worldwide), Governor Cuomo’s actions reflect criminal negligence by a
duly-elected “public servant,” as he has not demanded health studies to
safeguard those he was elected to serve and protect.
Real Estate 101: “Location, location, location!”
Adding insult to injury, Ben Hoen and his pals at
the NRLB just came out with yet another bogus “report,” claiming
industrial wind factories do not hurt property values. They can't really
be serious, can they?
Any realtor who is not in bed with the wind
industry will tell you, location is the most important factor when
considering a home’s worth and value.
If you industrialize a neighborhood (and in the
case of industrial wind energy, entire towns, and those neighboring
them), you are going to devalue it.
Pretty much a no-brainer, right? Not according to Hoen and his pals in the ideologically-driven media.
Media Controlling the Message
After nearly a decade of researching and writing
about industrial wind power, I’ve lost count of how many times my
comments responding to wind-promoting articles have been rejected, and
how many news publications refuse to report all relevant information
regarding industrial wind power.
A number of local newspapers serving our area
here in Western New York State – which has been targeted by industrial
wind developers – have literally cut off all letters to the editor from
local citizens regarding the industrial wind issue. These same
newspapers continue to publish “Press Releases” and “project updates” on
behalf of wind developers, and yet refuse to do any responsible,
investigative journalism on the efficacy, effects and economics of wind
If “news”papers wonder why their circulation
continues to drop, as people choose to get honest news elsewhere, they
need look no further than their own refusal to adhere to “The
Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics,” which says “Support the open
exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.”
If wind enthusiasts actually believe all they
claim to about the supposed “wonders of wind,” then why do they need to
control the message the way they do? The answer is evident.
Either they are so ideologically driven that
facts are not “relevant” to them — or they are getting so rich via the
wind scam that they must squelch factual information as much as
possible, so that the “Emperor with No Clothes” doesn’t end up being
exposed for what he is — a charlatan who is swindling taxpayers and
ratepayers out of billions of dollars in the name of being “green.”
Mary Kay Barton lives in Silver Springs.