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Otsego group joins others in protest against wind fees

ALBANY — Outspoken residents from the rural North Country, Mohawk Valley and Otsego County lobbied legislators in Albany on Monday against unfettered development of wind generators and electric-utility fees that help pay for them.

About a dozen residents spent Monday meeting state lawmakers, hoping that they would support laws restricting development of high-tech windmills that generate electricity. They also pushed for legislative control over a utility-bill fee that helps pay for their development. They argue that a relatively new Renewable Portfolio Standard surcharge on utility bills amounts to "taxation without representation" because it was never approved by the Legislature.

"We want statewide siting guidelines for industrial wind and we want Renewable Portfolio Standard to go through the legislative proves so there is some statewide oversight as to where these moneys we contribute go," said Lynn Marsh of Roseboom. She is president of the Advocates for Cherry Valley, which is opposing a proposed wind farm.

Andrew Minnig, vice president of the Cherry Valley group, said the 24 wind turbines proposed would each be 420 feet tall.

"There are significant issues in terms of the impact on the human population — for instance, noise — particularly in topography like ours," he said.

All who came have been fighting proposals for wind-generator electric farms near or around their homes. There are currently proposals for such... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  
About a dozen residents spent Monday meeting state lawmakers, hoping that they would support laws restricting development of high-tech windmills that generate electricity. They also pushed for legislative control over a utility-bill fee that helps pay for their development. They argue that a relatively new Renewable Portfolio Standard surcharge on utility bills amounts to "taxation without representation" because it was never approved by the Legislature.

"We want statewide siting guidelines for industrial wind and we want Renewable Portfolio Standard to go through the legislative proves so there is some statewide oversight as to where these moneys we contribute go," said Lynn Marsh of Roseboom. She is president of the Advocates for Cherry Valley, which is opposing a proposed wind farm.

Andrew Minnig, vice president of the Cherry Valley group, said the 24 wind turbines proposed would each be 420 feet tall.

"There are significant issues in terms of the impact on the human population — for instance, noise — particularly in topography like ours," he said.

All who came have been fighting proposals for wind-generator electric farms near or around their homes. There are currently proposals for such large wind farms in various parts of the state, including Otsego and Delaware counties.

"We’re not against wind power," said Dinah Miller, who lives in Churubusco near the Canadian border and close to a variety of proposed wind farms, including one where 174 massive wind turbines are proposed. "We’re not against it if you have proper development, proper siting and proper turbines."

The residents support legislation proposed by Sen. James Seward, R-Milford, that would restrict the development of wind turbines in or near towns with registered historic sites. They also support a Democratic bill, which is unlikely to reach a vote, calling for a comprehensive study of the environmental impacts development of wind turbines would have before allowing them to be built across the state.

Miller said many companies looking to build wind farms have been targeting poorer communities with little or no zoning enforcement. She and others in Albany on Monday also argued there were significant environmental impacts that should be taken into account, such as visual impact, noise and birds being killed by wind-turbine blades.

Several lawmakers said the siting of wind turbines should be left to locals to decide.

Assemblyman Cliff Crouch, R-Guilford, said he is all for their development in the right areas.

"Obviously, some of the locals have concerns," he said. "I think people need to look at the true technology and go in with an open mind."

 

Source: http://www.thedailystar.com...

FEB 8 2006
http://www.windaction.org/posts/1218-otsego-group-joins-others-in-protest-against-wind-fees
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