Conflicts of interest
(Posted January 14, 2008)
Wind energy developers are increasingly benefiting from local town officers who have a conflict of interest in seeing developments built on their own lands. News of such conflicts emerged during the past year from communities in New York, Ohio, Wisconsin, and elsewhere.
In the town of Burke NY, two town board members voting on a proposed Wind Energy Facilities Law were exposed as clearly having "direct pecuniary interest in the placement of wind towers", according to a letter filed by an attorney representing citizens of Burke. The letter asserts "Town Board member Arnold Lobdell is a party to an Option and Lease Agreement with Jericho Rise Wind Farm, LLC.," and "Town Board member David Vincent has entered into an Easement Agreement with Noble Chateaugay Windpark LLC." (see agreements)
Such conflict is destructive to the democratic process and should not be tolerated anywhere in the United States of America. In the case of Burke NY, WindAction.org and others recommends swift action be taken by the Town Board to disavow the draft wind energy facilities law, and re-initiate the effort from scratch with the conflicted members removed from the process.