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Offshore wind gets an opponent in Monroe

According to the Niagara Gazette account, some Niagara County lawmakers now are talking about rescinding their endorsement, and other elected officials are openly hostile to the idea. State Sen. George Maziarz, R-Newfane, Niagara County, apparently provided the most colorful commentary, comparing authority president Richard Kessel to "P.T. Barnum, a carnival barker," according to the Gazette.

Updating earlier information, we can report that a Monroe County legislator has introduced a resolution asking colleagues to go on record in opposition to the New York Power Authority's offshore wind farm plan.

Rick Antelli, a Republican whose Greece district includes that town's heavily populated shoreline, said his constituents are clearly opposed to the idea, which they fear would destroy the viewshed.

Antelli mentioned the 86-turbine wind farm that went into service last summer on Wolfe Island, which is located where Lake Ontario flows into the St. Lawrence River. The turbines are plainly visible from the water, and I've heard others cite them as an example of what NYPA's offshore turbines might be like.

"Oh my God, you have to take a look at it. Everybody's told me it's totally disrupted the landscape up there," Antelli told me.

He wants lawmakers to approve a non-binding resolution voicing opposition to turbines off the Monroe County shore. This will make opponents happy, as they've been lobbying for several months get Monroe on the anti-offshore bandwagon.

A Democratic legislator who represents Irondequoit shoreline residents, Vincent Esposito, has already told me he thinks Antelli's resolution is... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Updating earlier information, we can report that a Monroe County legislator has introduced a resolution asking colleagues to go on record in opposition to the New York Power Authority's offshore wind farm plan.

Rick Antelli, a Republican whose Greece district includes that town's heavily populated shoreline, said his constituents are clearly opposed to the idea, which they fear would destroy the viewshed.

Antelli mentioned the 86-turbine wind farm that went into service last summer on Wolfe Island, which is located where Lake Ontario flows into the St. Lawrence River. The turbines are plainly visible from the water, and I've heard others cite them as an example of what NYPA's offshore turbines might be like.

"Oh my God, you have to take a look at it. Everybody's told me it's totally disrupted the landscape up there," Antelli told me.

He wants lawmakers to approve a non-binding resolution voicing opposition to turbines off the Monroe County shore. This will make opponents happy, as they've been lobbying for several months get Monroe on the anti-offshore bandwagon.

A Democratic legislator who represents Irondequoit shoreline residents, Vincent Esposito, has already told me he thinks Antelli's resolution is premature.

Antelli's is a memorializing resolution, meaning it's an expression of opinion about something over which the legislature has no actual control. It will be circulated among legislators in coming days, and they can sign or not as they choose. Then, I'm told, the resolution will be mailed off to the power authority, bearing somewhere between 1 and 29 signatures. measure will wind its way through committee in the next few weeks. Unless, of course, the wind dies and the measure stalls, which has been known to happen.

We'll have a full report in tomorrow's Democrat and Chronicle.

Counterparts in four other counties on the Lake Ontario or Lake Erie shoreline - Wayne, Oswego, Jefferson and Chautauqua - have already gone on record in opposition to the location of the power authority's turbines in their aqueous backyards.

The one county that had endorsed the idea of offshore turbines was Niagara - but boosters came under fire there Monday evening in Niagara County.

According to the Niagara Gazette account, some Niagara County lawmakers now are talking about rescinding their endorsement, and other elected officials are openly hostile to the idea. State Sen. George Maziarz, R-Newfane, Niagara County, apparently provided the most colorful commentary, comparing authority president Richard Kessel to "P.T. Barnum, a carnival barker," according to the Gazette.

The power authority first broached the idea of promoting the construction of one or more wind farms in the near-shore waters of New York's two Great Lakes. The authority's consultants identified several places in the lakes that they considered to be acceptable sites, including the waters of Lake Ontario off of Monroe County from Greece over to Webster.

Five proposals from wind developers were received by the authority on June 1, but Kessel and his colleagues have refused to say anything about them, including who submitted them or where they seek to build their turbines. Citing a need to protect the proposers' business interests, the authority has said it will make a decision in secret and only inform the public of its choice after authority trustees have voted on it.

The Democrat and Chronicle filed a Freedom of Information request related to the five proposals early last month. A decision on the request by an authority lawyer is due tomorrow (Thursday, July 15).


Source: http://blogs.democratandchr...

JUL 14 2010
http://www.windaction.org/posts/27249-offshore-wind-gets-an-opponent-in-monroe
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