Category — New York State
“The Sustainable Development Challenge Grant program is also a step in implementing ‘Agenda 21, the Global Plan of Action on Sustainable Development,’ signed by the United States at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. All of these programs require broad community participation to identify and address environmental issues.”
- Environmental Protection Agency, 63 Fed. Reg. 45157 (August 24, 1998).
On January 26, 2012, I attended the final meeting in Batavia, NY, for the Finger Lakes “Regional ‘Sustainability’ Plan,” part of New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s $10 million statewide program to have regional Planning Departments orchestrate “sustainability” plans described in NYSERDA’s “Cleaner, Greener Communities” Program. Here is my take on what is going on in regard to this extensive plan across New York State.
As those who have studied the United Nations’s ‘Agenda 21′ plan know, “Sustainability” is a key buzzword that is part-and-parcel of the UN’s ‘Agenda 21′. There is no doubt that the “Sustainability” Plan currently being devised by Planning Departments across the state, who are acting “under NYSERDA’s thumb” (as one Planner phrased it at their first meeting in Batavia), is ‘Agenda 21′ in the works (think carbon taxes, ‘green’ energy transfer-of-wealth schemes, and one-world governance).
At the “open-house style” meeting in Batavia last week, folks were asked to read the poster boards relevant to each part of the overall plan: Land Use, Water Use, Agriculture, Forestry, Waste Management, Economic Development, and Energy — and to then use sticky notes to post their comments on the boards for each particular segment of the plan. [Read more →]
March 5, 2013 16 Comments
“[Sean] Lennon fancifully likened drilling and gas production to awakening a sleeping dragon. His mother said later of the comparison, ‘That’s beautiful,’ but, thinking on it some more, suggested ‘it’s a sign of a devil, actually. In my mind it’s more like a snake. A dragon is too big; you’re giving too much respect for this thing.’”
- Eric Roston, “On New York Shale Gas, Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon Say Let It Be,” Bloomberg.com (January 23, 2013).
That’s Sean Lennon and his famous mother, Yoko Ono, speaking to reporters taking a tour of Susquehanna County, Pa., in an effort to highlight the supposed dangers of natural gas development. They were accompanied by Susan Sarandon, Josh Fox (producer of Gasland) and Ghandi’s grandson, not to mention a bevy of local anti-development celebrities.
But the real story was the long list of folks not invited on the tour, which was billed as an “informational” affair but, as you could expect, was anything but.
The luxurious Mercedes bus wasn’t hard to find in the Montrose Price-Chopper parking lot, so a few colleagues and I tagged along behind, watching as entertainment intersected with energy policy. (I’m the “white haired” guy with the nice jacket in the Bloomberg story, and I was accompanied by Rachael Colley, our Field Director, who captured some great video to memorialize the tour and wrote about it.)
A Day to Remember–or Forget
It was an utterly bizarre day, as might be expected when the star of the event is the woman who made “bed-ins” famous, supposedly broke up the Beatles, and has launched a crazy clothing line conceivable only by someone with $500 million of inherited wealth to throw around. [Read more →]
January 30, 2013 2 Comments
While Invenergy waits for the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC) to be extended by this ‘Lame Duck’ Congress, as expressed in the 12/4/12 Batavia Daily News article: “Orangeville windfarm waits on the tax credit,” there are thousands of local tax- and rate-paying citizens who are eagerly awaiting the expiration, permanent expiration, of this $0.022/kWh subsidy. The PTC is nothing more than a tax-shelter-generator for wealthy, multinational, rent-seeking corporations like Invenergy.
How does a business plan dependent on massive taxpayer-funded handouts for profitability make it past the drawing board in the first place?!? Any of us would have filed such a plan to its rightful place—in the garbage can.
The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA)– with the help of political cronies in high places–have attempted, and failed to push the PTC through various bills, not once, not twice, but FIVE (5) times in a little over a year. Congressmen were inundated with letters, e-mails and phone calls each of those (5) previous attempts from a lot of us telling them to say NO to the PTC–which they did. Yet, here it comes again.
No Means NO!
We hope that our elected “public servants” understand that NO means NO! “We the People” do NOT want more wasteful spending on an inefficient, unreliable, antiquated energy source that ruins peoples’ lives, kills hundreds of thousands of birds a year, does nothing to significantly reduce CO2 emissions, and has exorbitant costs to boot. [Read more →]
December 10, 2012 3 Comments
In recent months, the state of New York has been a focal point in the broader public debate over hydraulic fracturing. Activists in the state have teamed with musicians (in the loosest possible definition of the term) and Los Angeles movie stars to try to block shale development from occurring.
Hollywood’s finest, including Robert Redford and airline aficionado Alec Baldwin, as well as celebrities like meat-suit-wearing Lady Gaga have expended great effort in trying to undermine scientific conclusions about the safety of hydraulic fracturing.
Meanwhile, unemployment remains unacceptably high in the areas of upstate New York where prospective natural gas development would be located. So, it was with perhaps little surprise that when the voters in the Southern Tier had their say at the ballot box last week, they sent a clear message that they’ve had enough of “artists” telling them how to live their lives.
As the Associated Press reported, candidates opposing hydraulic fracturing “were beaten up and down the ballot after intense campaigns, some of which were framed as referendums on shale gas development.”
Translation: bring all the tambourines and celebrity star power you want, but facts will win the day, and the people have spoken.
Not to be rebuffed by democracy, “Artists Against Fracking” founders Yoko Ono and Sean Ono Lennon – best known for breaking up the Beatles and, well, being the son of the lady who broke up the Beatles, respectively – have paid for a huge billboard that says “Imagine There’s No Fracking.” [Read more →]
November 15, 2012 7 Comments
Special political favor at the local, state, and federal levels have created an artificial industry: industrial windpower. Massive turbines have resulted in negative ecological and economic effects. Rural towns and countryside across the USA have become the dumping grounds for massive infrastructure producing a paltry amount of remote, unreliable energy.
New York State has more than its share of such malinvestment and damage. State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli recently reported that tax exemptions by NYS’s Industrial Development Agencies (IDAs) were not creating jobs and “shifting tax burdens” from mega-corporations to local residents.
As a result, we have the spectacle in Upstate New York of taxpayer-subsidized industrial wind installations driving people from their homes — while further endangering the populations of eagles, hawks, herons, cranes, bats, and all magnificent flying creatures. Rural wind power, in short, is not only a fiscal fairness issue, it is an environmental issue of the first order. Washington, D.C. environmental groups, are you listening … ?
Background: Wyoming County Subsidies
The Wyoming County Industrial Development Agency (WCIDA) was established under New York State legislation and regulation as a “public benefit corporation.” Its mission “is to promote, encourage and attract economic development projects in Wyoming County that result in the retention and/or creation of job opportunities that will generate additional tax revenues.” [Read more →]
August 1, 2012 16 Comments
“Ultimately, New York’s RPS will cost ratepayers billions of dollars to support the construction of new generation. And if the state continues to rely on wind as the dominate resource, more turbines will be necessary to make up for low capacity factors. The program is up for review again in 2013. It’s time for the PSC to remove the rose-colored glasses and acknowledge the program for what it is: Regulatory Capture at its finest.“
Tens of thousands of acres across New York State have been transformed into sprawling electric generating facilities. Specifically, some 18 industrial wind complexes house nearly 1,000 towering wind turbines that consume the landscape and threaten otherwise pristine communities.
Now, consider that another 1,500 giant towers will need to be erected by 2015 in order to satisfy the state’s 30% renewable energy mandate.
New York’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) can be credited with most of the wind development in the state. Officials insist the policy has helped New York diversify its energy resources and will ultimately lower electricity prices but such claims are more rhetoric than real.
New York’s RPS has already exceeded original budget projections, it’s current renewable targets are unrealistic, and claims that prices will drop are predicated on a flawed understanding of how the New York wholesale power market operates.
New York first enacted its renewable energy mandate in 2004 through regulations adopted by the Public Service Commission (PSC). At the time, about 19.3% percent of electricity retailed in the state was derived from renewable resources, with the vast majority coming from large-scale hydroelectric facilities upstate and in Canada. The PSC ordered the state reach a 25% renewables target by 2013 which meant an incremental increase of 10.0 million megawatt hours (MWh) from projects built after 2003. [Read more →]
May 31, 2012 4 Comments
Wind Power Gets an Environmental Pass in New York State (Power NY Act’s Article X vs. grassroot environmentalism)
Joke: ‘When is an environmentalist not an environmentalist? …. When it comes to windpower.’
[This press release from August 10th is reproduced in its entirety. A description of the sponsoring organizations follows.]
The North-American Platform Against Windpower (NA-PAW) objects to the passing of the “Power NY Act” on August 8th. Also known as “Article X”, this law reverses decades of democratic rights in New York State.
Municipalities no longer have the power to veto harmful projects targeting their constituencies. Albany bureaucrats will decide where energy and other industrial projects are to be built, and the people will have to bite the bullet.
Says Sherri Lange, NA-PAW’s CEO: “I believe New Yorkers won’t take it lying down. I have faith in the North American spirit: we won’t let politicians take away our freedoms.” Sherri is also founder and president of Toronto Wind Action. She has her own “article x” to fight in Ontario: the Green Energy Act, which equally tramples citizens’ rights.
It is believed Governor Cuomo repealed the right of veto from municipalities so as to impose numerous industrial wind facilities on them. But citizens are increasingly concerned with health issues associated with these industrial installations. Recent peer-reviewed scientific studies have shown that wind turbine syndrome is not imaginary. Infrasound and low-frequency noise emitted by wind turbines cause insomnia, headaches, stress, nausea, and more. This is confirmed by research from Dr Nina Pierpont, and by an epidemiology study by Professor Carl V. Phillips.
There are also concerns regarding the destruction of jobs in tourism, recreational industries, and elsewhere as subsidies increase public deficits, causing taxes to be raised. Other harmful effects include the killing of rare bird species such as eagles and falcons, of migrating birds, and of the very bats that help NY farmers save millions of dollars in pesticides. Water contamination, forest fires and reduced property values are also of concern.
Taxpayer Issue to Begin With
NA-PAW disapproves the un-democratic process which led to the vote of Article X. Citizens were not consulted, yet they will pay a high price for this. Sherri Lange said:
We will fight Article X with determination and with all our heart. North Americans have had enough of the wanton destruction of their great countryside and wilderness by monstrous machines that don’t deliver on promises. Home Rule must come back to New York State and to Ontario.
NA-PAW has received the support of the European Platform Against Windfarms (EPAW). Its CEO, Mark Duchamp, warns that the huge cost of renewable energies is in part responsible for the crisis that is shaking the Euro: “Spain, for instance, is paying €8 billion ($11.3 billion) in subsidies to renewable energy every year. This makes it difficult to contain the national debt, while unemployment won’t come down from 20%. It is truly unsustainable.” [Read more →]
August 12, 2011 5 Comments