Article

Lobbying against wind farms

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

About a dozen people spent Monday meeting top state lawmakers with hopes they would support new laws restricting development of high-tech windmills that generate electricity. They also pushed for legislative control over a new 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" since it was never approved by the legislature.

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

"We're not against wind power," said Dinah Miller, who lives in Churubusco, close to proposed wind farms, including one where 174 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. Jim Seward (R-Otsego County) that would restrict the development of wind turbines in or near towns with registered historic sites.

They also support a Senate Democrat's bill, which is unlikely to reach a... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  
About a dozen people spent Monday meeting top state lawmakers with hopes they would support new laws restricting development of high-tech windmills that generate electricity. They also pushed for legislative control over a new 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" since it was never approved by the legislature.

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

"We're not against wind power," said Dinah Miller, who lives in Churubusco, close to proposed wind farms, including one where 174 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. Jim Seward (R-Otsego County) that would restrict the development of wind turbines in or near towns with registered historic sites.

They also support a Senate Democrat's bill, which is unlikely to reach a vote, calling for a comprehensive study of the environmental impacts that development of wind turbines would have before they are 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 Monday also argued there were significant environmental impacts, such as visual impact, noise and birds being killed by wind-turbine blades, which should be taken into account.

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

"It's a local issue," said Sen. Betty Little (R-Queensbury). But, "it's a very viable means of alternative energy."

Patrick Doyle, spokesman for the Houston-based Horizon Wind Energy, which owns the 120-turbine Tug Hill wind farm, said such developments provide farmers who host them with significant extra income, and they don't pollute the air. He said the Tug Hill farm generates about 1 percent of the state's electricity.

"My position has been, if a town wants to develop wind energy, I'll do whatever I can to help them," said Assemblyman Chris Ortloff (R-Plattsburgh), "and if they don't want to develop wind energy, I will not shove it down their throats."

Source: http://www.pressrepublican....

FEB 8 2006
http://www.windaction.org/posts/1220-lobbying-against-wind-farms
back to top