JLL Flashback #5: Galloo Island Wind Sacrifice Zone April 16, 2012

Monday, April 16, 2012

Opposition to Fort Drum purchase of costly Galloo Island Wind power.

Robert E. Aliasso, Jr. April 13, 2012
PO Box 148
Henderson, NY 13650

RE: Oppose Galloo Island PPA to Ft. Drum
Honorable Members of the US Senate and House of Representatives
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand F (202) 228-0282 
Sen. Chuck Schumer F (202) 228-3027ax
Rep. Bill Owens F (202) 226-0621
Honorable Members of NYS Senate and Assembly
Sen., Patty Ritchie F (315)782-6357 & (518) 426-6740
Ken Blankenbush blankenbushk@assembly.state.ny.us
Honorable Jefferson County Legislators  
Barry Ormsby  BarryO@co.jefferson.ny.us
The rumor that for each megawatt of expensive
Galloo Island designer electricity that Fort Drum purchases
they will receive a beautiful ivory toilet seat,
is not true.
I am contacting all the representation I have as Taxpayer and citizen of New York State, County of Jefferson.   It alarms me that Ft. Drum may consider purchase of energy from a yet to be built wind project, to be located on Galloo Island.  This project will cost taxpayers nearly US$200 million dollars in subsidies and tax breaks.  The existing power plant on Ft. Drum site was already built at taxpayer expense and ready for operation.  The conversion of this facility to biomass is aligned with NYS RPS and also assists local farms and tracts of land to supply the biomass for many years.  It was recently reported that this conversion would amount to US$34 million dollars and has been supported by Sen. Schumer.

In these extremely difficult economic times, I do not know how a single recipient of this letter can support spending six times the amount, subsidized by taxpayers, to supply renewable energy to Ft. Drum.  I fully support the conversion of the facility to a renewable energy facility, using biomass fuel, supplied by local farms.  I strongly oppose the Galloo Island WEC project and the unnecessary expense to the taxpayer.

I ask each of you to oppose the Galloo Island PPA and support the conversion of the existing facility as promoted by Sen.  Schumer.

Thank you.  Please contact me should you require further information, or wish to schedule a discussion on my views of this wasteful spending that must end.


Robert E. Aliasso, Jr.


JLL Flashback #4: Galloo Island Industrial Wind Sacrifice Zone March 14, 2012

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Voter for Wind claims Cape Vincent lost all of its elected officials because of home rule. A pro-wind attack on seasonal resident's legal right to vote

The following is a transcript of a discussion that occurred between Voter for wind,  Paul Mason of the Town of Cape Vincent and Assemblymember Addie J. Russell at a recent Article X symposium at Jefferson County Community College. I transcribed it from the Steve Weed Productions video:

Paul Mason expresses concerns that
people voted absentee in Cape Vincent.
Paul Mason:  OK Addie, I think you just kind of hit on what I'm going to talk about...Cape Vincent.  You're talking about elected officials. We've lost all of our local elected officials to outsiders because of home rule. We have lost home rule to the Town of Cape Vincent. We have over five hundred absentee ballots last year and the majority of them are only part time residents. They are are only there for thirty plus days. And, we've...can I have respect right now, I did not disturb anybody when you were talking.

So, anyways, for the last three elections, the local elections, we've lost all of our local people. And they were voted out because of these seasonal residents. So, if you are talking about having control in the election we don't have that no more. We've lost home rule in the Town of Cape Vincent. Now my question is under that is the wind blows in the Eastern Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence Valley. Is that going to have any influence on a project proposed in these areas? 

Assemblymember Addie Russell:  I don't think that, first of all, you are going to have any interest in the proposed projects in areas where you don't have wind. What I said before about believing that probably this part of the area will shut down projects because of the view shed and the unique nature of our geography. Obviously that's a component. You can't have any projects where the wind doesn't blow. But, at the same time, a region that in other state legislation has actually been used as the example to prohibit this type of development. And so, even though we don't have some for of formal declaration, like maybe they do in the Adirondack park, I think that the principle will be applied. 

And, I believe that the folks in New York City who have been successful in shutting down even improvements to water and swear to the smallest town in the Adirondacks - you're talking just water and sewer, health and safety. I think that the same folks in more popular parts of the state will have equal success in shutting down that. So we've taken it out of the hands of the few wealthy folks that have started voting locally. And what we now have is a heck of a lot more who now have the right to vote on this issue. 

And so, I think that had Article X not happened, I think you would have been able to have much more to say and that would have been able to evade it to an extent that you may have been able to have wind development, maybe not on your land but maybe in the region. But, now, you're debating against the metropolitan areas of this state. So, I said all through this talk about Article X, should the state come in and save us from this turmoil in the communities? Be careful what you wish for. And that's unfortunately where we're at. If we kept it local, you might have had the opportunity. But, like I said before there is still an opportunity how wind can help our struggling farmers.  You and I have had this, we've shared a couple of meals recently. And, I do believe that our communities in this, not anti-wind to the point where we can't continue to have a discussion about how wind can be used to benefit our communities and our rural residents.

Assemblymember Kevin Cahill:  I will address the question about will we build them where the wind blows. Yes, that's exactly where sponsors will go. Something else looks to where the wind blows as well. And that's birds that fly over our heads and specific in-power law in the Article X is a requirement that the DEC take into consideration the flight patterns. The impact on the avian and bat population. So, it just so happens that the wind has the impact of drawing wind developers. But, it also has the impact of drawing birds. We like these as they head north and south following the wind into the process. So it makes it specific in the law that would require it to be addressed. I come from a community that is not a privileged community. The city of Kingston is a little bit smaller that the city of Watertown. The area surrounding me, five minutes from my house is rural, and a place that is just as rural as this area. We're near a reservoir that is part of the New York City water supply. We are not immune to these very same considerations. We do not happen to live in the area that is suitable for wind development. 

We don't have the kind of quality wind, the sustainable wind that exists in this part of the state. But, what we have seen is both under the previous Article X and without Article X power generation has been focused on that very same Hudson Valley. Under the previous generation of Article X the only power plant was in (?) New York. The two power plants that have been (?) and have seen Article X expired were in the lower Hudson Valley. So, the developers will go where they think they can make money. Right now the bigger issue facing the development of wind or any other form of power is that there is beyond surplus, a glut of power in upstate New York. And abundance of power beyond that which impacts the price. The price is as low as it's going to get and there's a surplus above that supply that even if that supply would diminish significantly, the price would still stay low. There is no way to get it to New York City. Something that deserves as much of your attention as Article X is the Governor's proposal for an energy highway. 

The energy highway proposal will make it so energy can be moved from one part of the state to the other. That process begins next month and it will be over, administratively, by this summer without any further work from the legislators. That's an important thing to take into consideration that this (local wind development) is not the only game.

Paul Mason:  Thank you.


JLL comments are closed effective 5:00 PM today until May 8.

JLL Flashback #3: Galloo Island Industrial Wind Sacrifice Zone March 19, 2012

Monday, March 19, 2012

Assembly member Addie Russell, "I think you are probably better off if your community adopted regulations based on evidence-based researching instead of a blanket 'No'".

The following is a transcript of a discussion that occurred between Town of Lyme council member Ann (Boo) Harris, Assemblymember Kevin Cahill, Assemblymember Addie Russell and Dr. Ray Peterson during a recent Article X symposium at Jefferson County Community College. I transcribed it from the Steve Weed Productions video:

New York State Assembly members Kevin Cahill and
Addie Russell recently participated
in a Jefferson County Community College symposium
on Article X,  hosted by Dr. Ray Peterson (rt.).
Assembly member Kevin Cahill:  The current Article X law that was passed includes an obligation of the part of the potential developer to indicate alternative locations and my question here as historian of the area (Addressed to Dr. Peterson), was that requirement in previous Article X law and was there any such requirement upon the developer that they give a legitimate alternative location.

Dr. Ray Peterson:  There was some, I don't know if I would call it a requirement. There was a request to consider alternative locations for many of those facilities. It's a very difficult thing to try to prove what could have or would have happened in the absence of Article X. What I did my opening, what I was try to show was I think in some ways it is likely that because of Article X, the ability of community groups, of environmental groups to have an impact was greater. I think that without, it would simply be separate municipal  activity, response and push of  all theses plants without anything, without any kind of requirement or determination and we would then more likely have had more plants. And moreover, capacity and the problems with them, a technology that is out of proportion.

Assembly member Addie Russell:  You know, I guess we have been focusing on aesthetics. But, I think what Ray's point was is that really the threshold that these projects are going to have to overcome is going to be the need. Correct? And the need for unreliable, intermittent power in the mix of what we have out there, what the State's needs are, to cover high demand peak times. Particularly when the wind isn't blowing. So, I guess we shouldn't minimize. We're talking about if theoretically it was determined that there was need for the state.  Need that has been proposed in all the various projects in this region. Probably there is not the need for all of them that have been proposed. Potentially some, but then we talk about the nightmare of getting the power to the main trunk lines to get it out of here. These things are already barriers to this happening and then you add...So where somebody might have been able to say, well, a community may come together and say yes, Galloo again is the example, yes we want this, yes these issues are addressed, and there is a huge problem with the view shed, and if the environmentalist get downstate to go along with it. That's theoretically that it is needed, then I am not sure you can get past me, either. Whereas that it didn't have to be a consideration at the local level. For everybody who thinks that Article X is great for wind development in the North Country, I think my point is, I don't want to speak again although Kevin keeps making me, my point is that I don't think it necessarily serves either group of people that are in this room.

Lyme Town Council member Ann Harris: I knew if I stood here long enough, someone else would say what I was going to say. I will take it a couple of steps further though.  You feel that there may be some need for wind projects somewhere. And, as far as all of us in this room, some of us are a little bitter because we felt blindside initially by the state pushing wind with our tax dollar.  And, then we did some research,  and formed  committees. We had elections. And, we voted out conflicted officials by ourselves without help from the state.  And so now, when we come to the end of it we tons of plans and surveys and things to back ourselves up. You are coming in and saying, sorry we are going to tell you what to do anyway. We feel like we have taken care of some of the problems with this. We feel that we have done our research that says industrial wind has no place anywhere. There's no room for it here and there isn't any need for it anywhere. We have a glut of power, we don't have the transmission capacity. It doesn't even fit, it doesn't work. It's intermittent, it's unreliable. So, when you say need, you are exactly right. A need for what? For our tax money to go for unreliable power plants that are going to destroy our property values? (Applause) 

So, we've done this research, we've formed committees, we've voted out conflicted officials,  formed a committee of elected officials and we determined that we would like to ban industrial wind turbines in our town. And, we're afraid to because we were told that if we do that, it's going to be called "unduly burdensome" and the state is going to come in and say, sorry there going to be built. You have to put them somewhere, you have to squeeze them in to your planning township even if you have people there,  there may be some people who move out, because of the problems. We don't have room for all of us.

Assembly member Addie Russell:  I will go on record. I'll stick up for Kevin by saying we are both strong proponents for solar. Which happens to produce power when you need it. The sun shines when it's hot and you need to cool places locally and in New York City. When there's no cloud cover and  it's forty below, the sun is shining and you need to produce the energy to heat things. So, I can dig him for authoring Article X, but we have these other problems and approaches in our energy portfolio because we see that this need is...

Lyme Town Council member Boo Harris:  We could feel that they are pushing industrial wind on us. You just said that part of that grew to twenty five megawatts from eighty megawatts because of these small power plants.  Your are using our tax money. It's going to cost us more in electricity. So when are we going to  determine what kind of...

Assembly member Kevin Cahill:  I am not clear what you mean by using your tax money. For what purpose? 

Lyme Town Council member Boo Harris:  You need to know that if our money wasn't being used to push this for wind,  Bp would go away.

Assemblymember Kevin Cahill:  That's not under Article X, right?

Lyme Town Council member Boo Harris:  I understand that, but I am saying...

Assemblymember Kevin Cahill:  Well, I am glad your raised it because I had it in my notes to cover that..

Lyme Town Council member Boo Harris:  Is that part of your overall energy policy because you were in charge of the energy policy in New York State?

Assemblymember Kevin Cahill:  No! I'm the chairman of the energy committee in the state assembly. And I have to compete with a lot of other people who say they are in charge of energy policy in New York State. And I have never, ever been quoted publicly as saying, "I am the government". But, I wanted to raise that point. It's not exactly on point of Article X, but it is very important to think about. If you have a utility bill from many of our utilities in New York State. 

You will see on that bill, please, every member of the audience look at your utility bill. It will shock you what you see. Read the back of the bill where the legend is that tells you what is on the front of the bill. It will shock you even more.  If I were to tell you that the cost of your electricity is between one quarter and one third of what you are paying for it, you might be a little surprised to find out why. Some of those charges on the bill, one is called the SBC, systems benefit charge. Another used to be call the RPS. Now, it will be called the EEPS. The RPS stands for renewable portfolio standard and the EEPS stands for energy efficiency portfolio standard. 

Under the RPS and the SBC, we all contributed on a monthly basis to a fund that is not in control of the legislature, that is not part of the state budget, that actually subsidized to a very great extent to the tune of tens of millions of dollars the development of wind, that even if it didn't make sense to do it from an environmental standpoint. And certainly there is no consensus on that.  Did not make any sense to do from its economic standpoint. And, we took those precious resources and we diverted them to such things as energy efficiency. Which by the way I will put in front of solar in terms of my agenda. We took them away from solar, we took them away from transmission upgrade, our system work pattern. And we took them away from some place that I think is most important. Educating the citizens.  We paid people to develop wind when we didn't need that. When the marketplace wasn't there. That's another thing we have been fighting against on a regular basis. 

Separate and  apart from (?) this is a good opportunity for me to say, once again This ain't the only game in town. Article X is not the only place where we are dealing with energy policy. 

Town of Lyme council
member Ann Harris asks
Addie Russell and Kevin
Cahill if a community
can ban industrial
wind turbines.
Lyme Town Council member Boo Harris: Well I know, my question is, can we ban them?

Assemblymember Kevin Cahill:  Can we ban them? Can localities ban them? I think that's a subject that the courts will sort out. They are sorting out the question of whether a municipality can ban hydrofracking in their community. It's not a question the legislature will ever be able to answer. Whether a community can do something or not. That's going to be a determination by the court. Because, it not just the state interest in competing. It's not just state laws. It's individual property rights. And, that's what's being determined by the courts in the case of  the hydrofracking decisions. But I think, ultimately, the the decisions in the hydrofracking cases will have far reaching effect the over how much a municipality or locality can govern their environmental decision making.

Assemblymember Addie Russell:  I think you are probably better off if your community adopted regulations based on evidence-based researching instead of a blanket "No". I think that, if your what you are concerned about is standing the legal test. That is probably where you ought to go. And that is just from a legal standpoint.


Blog author asks what have development corporations achieved?

Outside Looking In
Time to love the one you’re with

The slow economic recovery that is creeping over the nation continues to elude the north country. Unemployment rates here continue to be in the state’s top five, and job losses are not being reversed. 
And yet, about four dozen public and quasi-public agencies continue to pour resources......

Obituary and arrangements announced for Brooks Bragdon.

Jefferson County JCIDA does not do PILOTs on transmission lines for industrial wind turbine sacrifice zones.

"The portion of the project in Jefferson County is for transmission lines, Mr. Alexander said. The JCIDA does not do PILOTs on transmission lines and believes it is appropriate for the full tax value to be paid."

Copenhagen Wind Farm update

JLL Flashback #2: Galloo Island Industrial Wind Sacrifice Zone August 10, 2010

The Town of Cape Vincent Wind Economics Committee in a report of its "Initial Findings" says:

The committee has nearly completed its' findings, however the committee is unable to finalize our report prior to 7PM August 18, 2010 at which time the Planning Board has the option to act on the FEIS. Therefore, this report on initial findings is submitted to Supervisor Hirschey with courtesy copies to Councilman Marty Mason, Councilman Donald Mason, Councilman Brooks Bragdon and Councilman Mickey Orvis. It is request that Supervisor Hirschey forward this report to each member of the Town of Cape Vincent Planning Board. A final report is planned for submission that will include details to support initial findings. 

In the initial report they state:

"Impacts on property values are likely to vary depending on the proximity of turbines to neighboring properties and site lines. Indications are that there will be an overall decrease in property values with the potential for significant negative mpacts on assessments and related factors such as tax rates and the ability to market property at a fair price. This is in contradiction to St. Lawrence Wind Farm's statement (SDEIS/FEIS) and should be carefully considered by the Planning Board prior to action on the FEIS. 

Also, the committee has reported that:

A perceived change in property values is likely to result in a demand for reassessments for the entire Town. In that property values are likely to decrease it would result in lowered income to the Town unless tax rates are increased to compensate for a lowered revenue. Pilot money to the Town could offset lower tax revenue but this would not be guaranteed revenue if the developer reduces or terminates his operation. 

And, in disturbing news about the benefit of  a PILOT to the Thousand Island School District, the initial report confirms:

"The schools share of the pilot agreement could be offset by a reduction of an equivalent amount of State Aid. This has the potential to be a no gain situation for the schools other than a potential loss in school revenue for any decrease in property values that are not recovered in increased school tax rates. 
There are several minor short and long term items related to income that will not be significant enough to cause meaningful change in the overall economy. These minor impacts will be covered in the final report."

And recommendations by the committee thus far:

Adopt a law (update current zoning law) that considers all impacts on all who are affected by wind farm development and within that law establish a Planned Development District where wind turbines would be permitted under site plan review to include the following: 
If and when wind turbines are proposed: 
- Negotiate a pilot agreement that fairly and fully compensates the Town of Cape Vincent using the recommendations presented to the Jefferson County Board of Legislatures by Mr. John Servo. 
-Mandatory and just compensation to individuals for impacts that can't be reasonable mitigated such as radio/tv signal interference noise, shadow flicker, stray voltage and flashing lights. 
-Property value protection assurance. 
-Buyout plan for properties negatively impacted. 
-bonding to insure compliance. 
Establishment of a reserve fund to cover any costs relative to a project such as administration, compliance, assessor added costs legal advice. 
-Establishment of a decommissioning plan to cover costs at time of decommissioning. 

Cape Vincent Town Supervisor, Urban Hirschey, commented that the committee still has lots of work to do before they accomplish their complete economic analysis. JLL has observed all but one of the committee's meetings and has been impressed by the thoroughness of their research as the committee wades through thousands of pages of reports, maps and town of Cape Vincent tax and parcel documents.

JLL obtained by FOIL request a copy of the initial report and it can be viewed here by clicking this link.


A proposed Galloo island wind turbine sacrifice zone located near an international border would interfere with strategic Fort Drum operations.

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Planned wind farm in Maryland blown away by military objections
By Moe Lane    
April 16, 2015    

LIKE DUST IN THE WIND: A planned wind farm in Somerset County, Maryland has been cancelled over objections from a nearby air base.

By Moe Lane | Watchdog Arena

Turns out that national security can still trump Big Green. A project that planned to litter Somerset County with crony-capitalist, taxpayer-subsidized, bird-killing, whirling scythes of death got canned after lawmakers realized that you probably shouldn’t have that sort of thing near a military air base.

At the heart of this particular issue is that a company called Pioneer Green Energy (PGE) has tried and failed to put up wind turbines in Somerset County, Maryland. PGE is actually rather bad at setting up wind farms; it’s been spending the last few years turning $20 million in funding into failed wind projects in AlabamaNew HampshirePennsylvania–and now, Maryland.

What killed the Maryland project?  Well, ostensibly: the Department of Defense.  It turns out that the military gets antsy when you put up giant (575-foot) towers around an air base.

"He was always looking for the good of the community...."

KWiley iPhone Photo

Precious memories replaced Town Councilman Brooks Bragdon at
the April 16 Town of Cape Vincent Board meeting.

Councilman Brooks Bragdon remembered for love of Cape Vincent

JLL Flashback #1: Galloo Island Industrial Wind Sacrifice Zone April 2009

Big industrial wind has plans to sacrifice Jefferson County's Galloo Island in the Golden Crescent of Lake Ontario.


Galloo Island Flashbacks will take JLL readers back to the first development proposals for Galloo island and other attempts to sacrifice the eastern end of Lake Ontario to big industrial wind.

Galloo Island Flashbacks

Each day, starting tomorrow, Jefferson's Leaning Left will, from the hundreds in the archives, publish an article related to wind developers' previous attempts to sacrifice the Golden Crescent and the Thousand Island Region to the production of wind using turbines which now reach over 600 ft. high.

Coming to an Island near you.

Yes! Coming to an island in Lake Ontario near you!

·         Despite PTC, US wind has reasons for optimism
Wednesday, April 15 2015 
“…the industry continuing to advance technology in several areas. These included improved siting techniques to larger rotor diameters and taller towers that are increasing energy production, the trade group says in its Annual Market Report for 2014 released Wednesday.”

No more welfare for wind in Texas.

Fort Worth, TX
Texas Senate OKs ending breaks for wind energy 
The Senate approved legislation Tuesday that would close the book on two programs that helped fuel the state’s yearslong surge in wind energy production. 
With a 21-10 vote, the chamber sent Sen. Troy Fraser’s proposal, Senate Bill 931, to House lawmakers. It would end the Renewable Portfolio Standard, which established a state renewable energy goal. It would also close Texas’ Competitive Renewable Energy Zone initiative, a power-line program that sparked huge investments in wind energy.


So long, pardner.

Brooks Bragdon
1947 - 2015

I am deeply saddened by the death of my 
childhood and lifelong friend. We were "pardners" since our little boy days of  playing cowboys in the stable and riding though the canyons of bailed hay.