Rural Concerns


Help us fight poorly sited Industrial Wind in NYS here and now…the next community to be destroyed may be yours!

     On June 3rd 2020, the NYS Article 10 siting board approved Invenergy’s application and granted a certificate to proceed with their “Alle-Catt Wind Farm”.  Several concerned citizen groups from Centerville, Farmersville, Freedom, Rushford, Allegany County and Cattaraugus County fought for protections against the noise, shadow flicker, property devaluation and loss of rural amenities that these projects have inflicted on towns across New York.  In nearly every community that has been negatively impacted by poorly sited wind projects, developers corrupt local officials to suppress public participation, use dishonest practices and heavy handed tactics to force their product with no consideration for those left to live with the aftermath. Our coalition is not done fighting.

     Back in 2008, we brought to the attention of then NYS Attorney General Andrew Cuomo the fact that several town officials were asked to adopt a wind law that they personally stood to profit from.  His response was to require all wind energy developers in New York to agree to a “Wind Energy Code of Conduct” in which the corruption would be allowed to continue as long as they disclosed the names of officials with a financial interest in their project, and the amount of that interest.  Ten years later when Invenergy introduced this project, they claimed there was only one conflict of interest.  Our coalition was able to find 14, several of which are the very same individuals for which the “Code of Conduct” was originally introduced.  With the help of many hard working community residents, we were able to vote out of office many of the corrupted town board members and change local laws to protect the residents of some of these towns.  We were able to convince Cattaraugus County that PILOT programs are meant for businesses that actually create full time jobs in the host communities, that 600’ tall turbines with a 520' diameter would destroy our rural character and be a net economic loss to the County.  More and more NY counties are realizing these negative impacts and passing similar resolutions. Unfortunately, Allegany County has been so shortsighted and inept in attracting business that they are willing to allow Centerville & Rushford to become sacrifice zones where residential and recreational property values plummet and no future development will occur.  Residents of this County should be especially concerned that their town is next, as their elected officials are often welcoming these developers with open arms.

     This Coalition, with the help of some excellent attorneys and specialists in noise, energy, ecology and economics were able to prove this project's adverse impacts easily outweigh its contribution to the state's emissions goals.  Nearly every fact we presented was ignored and it’s not difficult to understand why.  We were denied the respect we deserve by yet another conflicted, unethical and biased board of Cuomo appointed cronies who’s only concern is pushing a vague and poorly conceived energy agenda, focused on big industrial solutions to climate change… the very kind of activity that causes global warming.

     Cuomo has spent NYS into the ground, but still intends to tax us another $33 billion “to address global warming”.  Well over half the cost of the $455 million dollar Alle-Catt project is paid for by public funds.  But this project is expected to decrease our carbon footprint by only .05% (by Invenergy’s estimate).  Electricity upstate is already generated 90% emissions-free, and the state's grid operator says new industrial wind projects will probably just replace older windfarms upstate.  So Alle-Catt's ability to offset emissions for fossil fuels is probably even less than they estimate.  Our grid is not capable of transmitting the power created downstate, nor to store it.  Industrial wind is not about saving the environment.  It is nothing more than a giant taxpayer & ratepayer funded corporate welfare scam and land grab being forced on poor rural communities without the means to defend themselves.  The Federal Energy Regulating Commission states that this agenda undermines all reliable forms of power, ultimately jeopardizing New York’s grid stability.

     Rural communities will not win with the NYS Siting Board as it is stacked with Cuomo appointees who are hell bent on pushing his unfair subsidies to the wind industry.  For example, NYSERDA is one of the deciding members.  They are a multi-billion dollar non-profit corporation funded by us but working hand and glove with the large-scale renewable energy industry.  NYSERDA has never reached out to rural towns.  They pick and choose the winners by “awarding” our money to wind developers, often before a project is even designed.  This redistribution of wealth is completely concealed from us by Albany.  Another voting member on the Siting Board is the NYSDEC, who’s Commissioner is also a member of the NYSERDA board.

     We have a solution to this problem.  Our Coalition of Concerned Citizens is appealing the Siting Board’s decision, and we are prepared to file a civil suit against New York State if necessary.  We have several very strong arguments and expect a promising outcome.  A win in our favor will create precedents that will help other rural New York communities in New York fight the same problem.  Please consider donating to our cause.  It’s in your best interest to help us fight on our front before your community is corrupted by the same greed and ignorance.  Our Coalition needs to raise $50,000 to fight this injustice, and we are asking for your help.

     Thank You,
     Jeff Tutuska
     
     Centerville’s Concerned Citizens
     Coalition of Concerned Citizens

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Organizer

Jeff Tutuska 
Organizer
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