Ed. Note: Si Kinsella is a resident of Suffolk County New York, a seaside community that is a staging area for South Fork Wind, a 132 MW, 15-turbine project located 35 miles offshore. He is representing himself on behalf of his neighbors. While not asking for damages, Kinsella is suing to ensure that the ecological protocols are met and that the project’s economics are fairly represented. Kinsella is asking Injunctive Relief: Disclose, Dismantle, Remove, and Restore.
“Mr. Kinsella repeats that the case is not about the construction methods of South West Wind, but rather is about the failure of BOEM (Bureau of Ocean Energy Management), to uphold legal principles of environmental review and oversight, water quality assurance, due process, and compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Relying on fraudulent materials, the permit was granted full sway.”
Citing fraudulent representations and permits to South Fork Wind by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), plaintiff Si Kinsella states:
Disturbingly, the case against BOEM concerning South Fork Wind proved beyond a reasonable doubt that BOEM acted in the interests of a private developer against U.S. interests. It appears the administration has handed over management of U.S. offshore resources on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf to a law firm representing foreign offshore wind developers.
I last wrote about Si Kinsella’s now well-known legal challenge to South Fork Wind:
“Mr. Kinsella (profile in Appendix A) claims egregious levels of disregard for process, legalities, and public health and environmental concerns. Defendants at District Court, District of Columbia are the Department of the Interior, and Honorable Deb Haaland, US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and US Environmental Protection Agency, and Honorable Michael S. Regan.”
Even more egregious levels of disregard for legalities and public health and environmental concerns are now evident. More hands appear in the cookie jar.
Si Kinsella’s recent message to supporters:
A storm is brewing in Washington, D.C. It concerns the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and its environmental review of South Fork Wind. Since my last South Fork Wind update (November 16, 2022), the nature and extent of BOEM’s fraudulent representations have been receiving more attention, especially by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
Questions are being asked. Why did BOEM fraudulently represent groundwater quality as “good” and conceal harmful PFAS contamination; materially misstate the project’s socioeconomic impact by excluding the single largest financial item, the cost of $2 billion; falsely state population-level effects on Atlantic Cod; leave out a viable alternative (Sunrise Wind), that intervenors did discuss during the state review; ignore procurement irregularities; and rely on an inaccurate purpose and needs statement? BOEM acknowledged receiving detailed information on these issues but failed to address them and did not require South Fork Wind to correct the inconsistencies. Instead, BOEM falsified the review to cover up the project’s many failings. The case against BOEM is fraud.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit is arguably the second highest court in the land (second only to the U.S. Supreme Court). Before the Court is a Petition for a Writ of Mandamus, asking the Court to issue an order mandating that the lower court reverse a decision. If the Court of Appeals believes a Petition lacks merit, it may deny it without an answer. However, in this case, the Court ordered BOEM and South Fork Wind to respond to the Petition (which they did on March 27, 2023).
The D.C. Circuit must give a Petition for a Writ of Mandamus preference over ordinary civil cases. The last time the D.C. Circuit heard such a petition was in 2020, regarding Michael T. Flynn making false statements to FBI agents (denied) and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton involving a deposition request (granted).
Today’s required reading is the Reply to Federal Defendants’ Response to the Petition (attached). The Reply is not long. It is worth reading because it provides context (you’ll understand when you read it). Note that the Petition uses Federal Defendants, principally BOEM but includes the EPA and Department of the Interior.
Exhibits are available at www.oswSouthFork.info/boem.
Please see the Organization Chart, “Org Chart” (attached). It shows the hierarchy of those responsible for approving and overseeing U.S. history’s most significant construction program in largely undeveloped environments on the Outer Continental Shelf (up to 45.3 million acres, Exhibit 5). It shows that Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Interior, Tommy Beaudreau, earned $2.4 million in partnership income at Latham & Watkins (reported in 2020). According to Mr. Beaudreau’s Nominations Report (2020), he received compensation from many offshore wind companies, including Ørsted and DE Shaw.
DE Shaw owned South Fork Wind (formerly Deepwater Water Wind South Fork) before selling it to Ørsted. In 2021, BOEM approved South Fork Wind based on a fraudulent environmental review. The Director of BOEM, now Elizabeth Klein (see below), also worked for Latham & Watkins but now reports to the Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management, Laura Daniel-Davis, who also worked for Latham & Watkins. In this case, the three partners representing South Fork Wind work at Latham & Watkins.
Earlier this year, I had cause to file a complaint against those Latham & Watkins partners for knowingly providing false information (in this instance, lying) to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Latham & Watkins is a major law firm advising offshore wind developers. Disturbingly, the case against BOEM concerning South Fork Wind proved beyond a reasonable doubt that BOEM acted in the interests of a private developer against U.S. interests. It appears the administration has handed over management of U.S. offshore resources on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf to a law firm representing foreign offshore wind developers.
For specific details about this case and the underlying facts, read Exhibit 11.
Finally, although it has been kept quiet, you may have heard that the Director of BOEM, Amanda Lefton, abruptly resigned (on January 19, 2023). I cannot say for sure, but it may have had something to do with being explicitly named in reference to (seven) allegations of fraud. Amanda Lefton resigned soon after testimony (Exhibit 11) supporting the fraud allegations was filed in a related case (before the same court). Also, I’m sure it was a coincidence that Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc and Councilwoman Sylvia Overby announced they would not seek re-election that same week.
An update on recent developments regarding EMF emissions will follow soon, as well as PFAS contamination.
A few paragraphs from the Reply to Federal Defendants.
In July 2022, Petitioner filed a Complaint against Federal Defendants–– the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of the Interior (DOI), and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) (22- v-02147, ECF 1). The Complaint alleges reckless violations of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and violation of petitioner’s Constitutional rights to due process.
On November 2, 2022, Petitioner filed (as of right) First Amended Complaint (id., ECF 34-2) that includes eight new individuals working for BOEM and new claims regarding seven instances where BOEM falsified material facts in its environmental review. BOEM’s fraudulent representations benefited the developer to the public detriment. The proposal is for an offshore wind farm with onshore transmission facilities.
USCA Case #22-5317 Document #1994449 Filed: 04/12/2023 Page 4 of 22, referencing original Claims alleged in Complaint (July 20, 2022)
Claim Violation Federal Defendants’ failure to––
1 NEPA Include adverse environmental impacts
2 NEPA Assume responsibility for environmental analyses
3 NEPA Evaluate and verify information
4 CZMA Verify Federal Consistency Certification
5 NEPA Specify an underlying purpose or need
6 NEPA Consider viable alternatives
7 OCSLA Guarantee safety and environmental safeguards
8 OCSLA Ensure proper environmental safeguards
9 OCSLA Ensure consistency with maintenance of competition
10 EO 12898 Comply with Executive Order: environmental justice
11 US Constitution: Comply with Due Process Clause
12 FOIA Failure to comply with FOIA & NEPA
New claims alleged in First Amended Complaint (November 2, 2022)
Federal Defendants’ Fraudulent statements regarding––
13 FRAUD Adverse population-level impacts on Atlantic cod
14 FRAUD Adverse socioeconomic impact: Project Cost ($2 bn)
15 FRAUD Water quality: PFAS Contamination
16 FRAUD The BOEM’s Purpose and Needs Statement
17 FRAUD The Sunrise Wind Alternative
Mr. Kinsella repeats that the case is not about the construction methods of South West Wind, but rather is about the failure of BOEM (Bureau of Energy Management), to uphold legal principles of environmental review and oversight, water quality assurance, due process, and compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Relying on fraudulent materials, the permit was granted full sway.
A few more paragraphs outlining the denial to Justice and obfuscation of issues.
fraudulently represented groundwater quality as “good[,]” and concealed harmful onsite PFAS contamination; materially misstated the project’s socioeconomic impact by excluding the largest financial item (the cost of $2 billion); falsely stated population-level effects on Atlantic Cod; left out a viable alternative (Sunrise Wind) that intervenors did discuss during the state review; ignored procurement irregularities; and relied on an inaccurate purpose and needs statement? (Id.) This case involves more than mere procedural mistakes reviewable under the APA.
Federal Defendants and SFW acknowledged receiving detailed information on these issues (above) but failed to address them. Instead, they falsified the review to cover up the project’s failings. This case alleges fraud. (Our emphasis) The filings reveal repeated attempts to relocate the hearings, making filings and rebuttals even more difficult for the complainant, and other misdemeanors of fraudulent materials.
As Mr Kinsella states, recent earlier referenced compensations, and COI issues, attempts to “disappear” the claim, have markedly tarnished the undertakings to protect the developer. As many now state, time is nigh to name names.
However you wish to color this case: the consumer loses, the environment loses. Internal preferential treatments contrary to the Sherman Act (Anti Trust Laws, bid rigging) are tied to serious consequences. It is clear to this reader, that procurement is a huge responsibility with the wind turbine offshore permitting process: and few have the high-level privilege and power of offering or abetting, or challenging, these lucrative contractual benefits (Permits).
DOJ has strong medicine: fines and jail time.
It will be most interesting to see how the Kinsella case progresses across these murky waters, but as it seems now increased clarity is ensuing, and likely restitution. As we noted in our previous article, Kinsella is asking Injunctive Relief for: Disclosure, Dismantling, Removal, and Restoration.
The importance of this legal challenge cannot be overestimated. With the proliferation of anticipated “landings,” and substations, and cabling issues, for a vast array of offshore projects, this case will stand tall, and perhaps hinder or impact other fraudulent permitting.
Indeed, the permitting of all aspects of offshore wind on the Eastern Seaboard appears precipitous, giving development access to all manner of invasive and dangerous actions, including harassment permits for hundreds of marine animals, sonar and seismic testing permits that we know kill, and harm.
The most judicious action would be to completely halt all permits, all construction under way, all testing of the ocean floor, and undertake lengthy studies referencing the failures of Europe: we cannot find a single environmental harm study over 15 years for offshore actual numbers of marine animals killed, birds, bats. They all say the evidence is paltry, and obscure, while acknowledging massive holes in understanding of the complexity. Studies do acknowledge massive bird and bat kills, and disruption to coastal communities.
A study from Science Direct states:
We propose that OWF (Offshore Wind “Farms”) development in the MS (Mediterranean Sea) should be excluded from high biodiversity areas containing sensitive and threatened species and habitats, particularly those situated inside or in the vicinity of Marine Protected Areas or areas with valuable seascapes. In the absence of a clearer and comprehensive EU planning of wind farms in the MS, the trade-off between the benefits (climate goals) and risks (environmental and socioeconomic impacts) of OWF could be unbalanced in favor of the risks.
There is little question that the entire eastern seaboard contains sensitive species and habitats. (And industrial wind is of no benefit to climate, weather, but that is a story for another day.)
There is no comprehensive study plan for offshore wind in the USA. Nor anywhere really. It’s a scramble, almost incoherent rush to profits, at the expense of valuable seascapes, people, water quality, wildlife, marine life. The enormity of these errors will cause untold grief.
And we predict endless “studies” will be undertaken to envision how we got there.
Madness of our worship of wind: They despoil our glorious countryside, add £6 billion a year to our household bills and are arguably the most inefficient solution to our energy crisis. So why is the Government planning to make it even easier to build them?
God speed, Mr. Simon Kinsella.
READERS: Please note today’s tweet regarding offshore wind scams, an interview with Senator Michael Testa and Martha MacCallum Fox News.
Posted by Bonnie Brady, executive director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association
Why isn’t Kinsella demanding a EIS? Has one already been done?
Hi Mr Isselhard, Al….yes, an impact study was done.
QUOTE: The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) on the project, released on BOEM’s website Monday, Aug. 16, examines the potential environmental impacts of the proposal to build up to 15 wind turbines and an offshore substation in federal waters about 35 miles off the coast of Montauk. BOEM says in the FEIS that it prefers an alternative proposal to protect habitat by carefully siting just 11 turbines there.
The project, expected to be under construction by next year, would deliver approximately 130 megawatts of power to the South Fork, coming ashore at Beach Lane in Wainscott en route to a substation in East Hampton. It would be the first offshore wind farm to provide power to New York State.
The FEIS found the greatest potential for adverse impacts would be to the commercial and recreational fishing industry, “due to increased port congestion; changes to fishing access, primarily through reduced fishing opportunity when construction activities are occurring; damage to or loss of fishing gear; and impacts on the catch due to changes in target species abundance or availability during construction activities.”
See link below for approvals.
See more under the link.
“On January 18, 2022, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management approved the Construction and Operations Plan for the South Fork Wind Farm and South Fork Export Cable Project.
South Fork Wind COP Approval Letter
South Fork Wind Conditions of COP Approval”
As you can see, the potential for massive “road kill” doesn’t seem to count.
Where have we seen this before?
Not sure if my comment to Mr Isselhard registered. Will try again. Yes, FEIS was done, with fishing being of highest concern.
On January 18, 2022, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management approved the Construction and Operations Plan for the South Fork Wind Farm and South Fork Export Cable Project.
South Fork Wind COP Approval Letter
South Fork Wind Conditions of COP Approval
In November 2021, the Department of the Interior announced the approval of the construction and operation of the South Fork wind project.
South Fork Record of Decision (ROD) and Appendices
Another David and Goliath story. My hat is off to Si Kinsella for taking on the potential “minefield” posed by South Fork Wind’s proposed industrial wind turbine array project. Naming the developer and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), his lawsuit points to the insidious and seriously conflicted relationship between wind developers and BOEM.
May David beat Goliath again!
Thanks to Sherri Lange for continuing to report on this important battle, and to MasterResource for covering this important story.
Thanks, Michael. You describe it well, David and Goliath.
It takes nerves of steel to stare down these Goliaths, especially those working against the USA, from within its bowels.
These areas along the coast are HIGH DENSITY wildlife and using falsifications to pretend otherwise. So much under the carpet permitting, one has to wonder: as Kinsella wonders, and questions legally, how is it possible?
Let’s put this entire project and all like it, to bed. As Kinsella says, Disclose, Dismantle, Remove, and Restore.
Thanks for commenting.
After a long series of excellent articles on wind power, Ms. Lange presented an article that was hard to read, and used a legal term that only serves to confuse people. But I recommended this article on my blog this morning anyway, as one of 20 climate and energy articles I recommended today, because the subject is important, and I have not read similar articles on how the permit process “works”.
— Too many quotes!
— Use more of your own words, as if talking to someone you like
— Don’t say “fraudulent representations” == just say “lies”, so ninth grade dropouts like me will understand.
— Optional: Throw in at least one joke, or sarcastic remark, because reading about the government gets depressing. Make sure the quality exceeds my lame jokes.
I had to look up fraudulent representations to get the official legal gal definition, and do not like having to look up any word in an article ( I speed read 40 articles every morning, and go berserk when I don’t know a word, and then I need to be sedated.)
Fraudulent misrepresentation is a tort claim, typically arising in the field of contract law, that occurs when a defendant makes a intentional or reckless misrepresentation of fact or opinion with the intention to coerce a party into action or inaction on the basis of that misrepresentation.
You are still the top wind writer, based on over 7,000 climate science and energy articles I read every year, but this article was hard to read.
Bingham Farms, Michigan
“we love global warming”
The Matt Ridley link is to a local filesystem, not a web page. Either it should not be a link or it should link to a web page, right? Maybe a footnote to reference the source?
The link is: file:///C:/Users/Sherri/Desktop/si%20kinsella%20new/Madness%20of%20our%20worship%20of%20wind:%20They%20despoil%20our%20glorious%20countryside,%20add%20%C2%A36%20billion%20a%20year%20to%20our%20household%20bills%20and%20are%20arguably%20the%20most%20inefficient%20solution%20to%20our%20energy%20crisis.%20So%20why%20is%20the%20Government%20planning%20to%20make%20it%20even%20easier%20to%20build%20them?
Firstly, David Strom….good catch. Thanks so much.
The correct link is:
Will ask our editor to correct that!
Richard Greene, thanks for your detailed comments.
This piece was intended as a follow up to the legal case initiated by Mr. Kinsella, and yes, it is complicated, as is the legality or we should say, illegality. It was intended to show Mr Kinsella in action, his own words to his followers as a follow-up up to the case. As you can see, the opposition is trying to Dismember the case, or Ghost it.
That’s what lawyers do, and in this case, the obvious interference by officers of the State, US, who should be protecting citizens’ rights, and environmental principles, got “noticed” by Kinsella and his legal team. Noticed, big time. I don’t apologize for doing the scanning of numerous documents and choosing those I felt highlighted the case. I think that synthesis may be appreciated by some, even many. Some readers are saying they appreciated being dunked right into the case!
As for the term “Fraudulent Misrepresentation,” it is a journalistic understanding that we don’t call folks, liars. Liars would in this case, be quite useful, I agree. But unprofessional. Richard, with your wide expanse of reading, and I applaud you! I think you could easily perhaps swing past that legal term?
Thanks for posting; and do appreciate your invitation to use more humor. I don’t really find this a humorous article, and am deadly serious about the implications this case may have for any and all going forward wind projects and their tangled, un principled, chaotic, unthinking application of intense electrical pumping of wires (yes, they are increasing array voltage from 66kV to 132kV in cases, globally), and currents into and past even through drinking water supplies….and of course, the ocean floor. Oh yes, and into the acoustic sensitivities of whales, dolphins, fish, etc. (Causing harassment, otherwise known as certain death.)
If we continue this conversation, I will say, humorously, I may need sedation!:)
This comment is posted by Jon Boone, but due to technical issues, I am posting for him.
Here is my comment to your recent piece in MR.
Few stories encapsulate contemporary human follow better than the swirl around this South Fork Wind project, calls to spend millions in order to “understand” its impact on the environment, the lack of any accountability for the mendacious claims that purport to justify it, and the breathtaking lack of common sense and critical thinking that enables it. The best way to understand it is to marinate the narrative in the sensibility of Moliere’s antic comedies; in the sardonic experience of Lemuel Gulliver when he encountered the flying island of Laputa, then visited the capital city of Legado down below, where the scientists there undertake wholly impractical projects as extracting sunbeams from cucumbers, even as the farm fields are turned to ruin and the residents live in apparent squalor; and in the wonderment of Huck and Jim as they engage the exotic charms of the Duke and Dauphin as they all float down the Mississippi.
The overarching reality of South Fork Wind is farcical pretension writ large, wherein a tax sheltering mechanism masquerading as an electrical power plant purports to solve the nonexistent problem of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. Wind technology is antediluvian, incapable of providing modern machine capacity; it’s mode of delivery, dictated by the laws of physics, continuously subverts any electricity grid’s mission of providing supply to meet demand precisely every sub-second of every day throughout every year. Its hiccuping unpredictable skittering swish produces substantial inefficiencies on the operation of mainly fossil fired conventional generation deployed to compensate for the hundreds of times wind generation changes its output throughout any day.
Even more Swiftian is the realization that these inefficiencies, rather than weakening or lessening the production of fossil fired machines, actually enhance the use of fossil fuels. All the big energy corporations put wind with pride of place in their energy portfolio, knowing that wind will actually protect their conventional fleet. Wink. As well as provide them with PR cover. Wink, wink.
Beyond this are the stylish natterings of pundit poseurs who declaim wind is too expensive or too unreliable or too energy diffuse as they soft pedal reality. They NEVER address its real problem, which renders it wholly dysfunctional as an energy source. Evidently, they don’t want to alienate their many colleagues who “believe” in climate change, many of whom are invested in “renewables” themselves. They rightly perceive that, if they reported the truth, they’d be immediately labeled as a denier and quickly blacklisted, excommunicated from their elite brethren. Oh, the horror….
So, yes, let’s unleash a host of regulatory cottage industries to study the impact of this fraud, each raking in lots of cash, none of which will contribute anything to expose the underlying trickeration.
Rather then risk the fate of the boy who manned up to claim, using his honest eyes, the emperor was wearing no clothes–yet another instructive parable that seems to have no traction in a world where vainglorious fantasy holds illimitable dominion over all.
Thanks, Jon Boone. As ever, your language and literary history skills, are up to the task.
Wholly Dysfunctional. I respectfully ask readers to consider re reading these two classic pieces by Jon Boone.
THE LESS ONE KNOWS ABOUT THE UNIVERSE, THE EASIER IT IS TO EXPLAIN
By Jon Boone — January 19, 2011
Windspeak: Language used by those who profit financially, politically, or ideologically from wind technology that disguises, distorts, or reverses the meanings of words in order to promote the technology. Oxymorons, which combine incongruous or contradictory terms, abound in windspeak—viz, windpower, wind capacity, responsible windpower (double oxymoron), windfarms, wind parks, wind jobs, wind reliability workshops, and wind as alternate energy. Generally any claim made for the technology in windspeak produces the virtually opposite effect in reality.
With the right story and no accountability, Madison Avenue can sell fantasy wholesale.
PLEASE READ THE ENTIRE PIECES. 13 AND 12 YEARS OLD AND STILL THE GOLD STANDARD
Your comments here, when combined, would make a good article that would have been much easier to read and understand than the original. Complicated subjects can always be explained in a simple way, if you are an expert, and you are an expert.
Windmills belong in museums,
not connected to electric grids.
For the comment by Jon Boone, posted by Sherri Lange. I understand since I posted this for Mr. Boone, it makes sense that I must change the first sentence, which contains a typo.
Please use this sentence as the start of his blog post.
Thank you so much.
Here is my comment to your recent piece in MR.
Few stories encapsulate contemporary human “folly” better than the swirl around this South Fork Wind project, calls to spend millions in order to “understand” its impact on the environment, the lack of any accountability for the mendacious claims that purport to justify it, and the breathtaking lack of common sense and critical thinking that enables it….
I always enjoy your comments, and welcome positive or instructive feedback.
I know you enjoy the comments as much as the blogs, and I agree, that is where often flesh is put on the bones.
I hope you will allow that I tried to synthesize a few thousands of pages of materials, and give the jist. The FEIS alone is over 1300 pages. I myself like to see the meanderings of the legal proceedings, as it instructs me better on how these legal matters are being forged, or dislodged, or corrupted, or hopefully in this case, on a ride to success for Kinsella and all of us.
Thanks again for taking the time.