Governor Andrew Cuomo and the far left’s latest darling, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, are “all in”for Big Wind. Indeed, Cortez lauded ‘Green New Deal‘ would entail industrializing vast swaths of rural-residential New York State with huge (bird-killing) industrial wind and solar factories, all while pushing an end to our use of any fossil fuels and nuclear power sources – this, despite the fact that fellow progressives have already learned that renewables won’t work.
A recent WGRZ Buffalo news report highlighted the ongoing conflict, and the massive size of Apex’s proposed industrial wind turbines that the company would like to site along the shores of Lake Ontario in Somerset and Yates, Niagara and Orleans Counties. As Somerset Supervisor, Dan Engert cites in the interview, the proposed 600-foot-tall turbines would be “obscene” and would forever change the character and rural integrity of their communities.
Apex showed up in Somerset and Yates nearly five years ago now. Despite saying they would leave the area if the community did not want the project, despite the results of 3 separate surveys which showed 70% of the targeted communities“oppose”the project, and despite the fact that Yates Supervisor, Jim Simons won the Supervisor position in Yates as a write-in candidate against a pro-wind incumbent – Apex still will not leave.
The Big Wind cabal at Apex keep threatening to go ahead with the project with the help of Governor Cuomo’s ‘Power NY Act,’ which removed NYS’s long-held ‘Home Rule’ and gave siting authority for power-generating facilities above 25 MW (ie: industrial wind factories) to a five-person board of unelected bureaucrats in Albany. Clearly, the fix is in, with the goal of supporting Governor Cuomo‘s and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’’s delusional #GreenNewDeal here in New York State.
Even more infuriating is that the Sierra Club has joined in the charade by pushing for the project. Recent opinion pieces and advertisements regarding the Sierra Club’s support for Apex’s proposed industrial wind project along the shores of Lake Ontario — despite the massive environmental destruction such a large-scale industrial project will cause in a major migratory flyway — are simply disgusting. Apparently the Sierra Club is indifferent of the local citizenry’s and other groups’ overwhelming opposition to the project. Or, like the corporate rent-seekers at Apex, they just don’t care.
The Sierra Club’s founder, John Muir, founded the group in 1892 to help protect the environment. Muir must be rolling over in his grave at the current Sierra Club’s diversion away from the group’s intended mission. The Sierra Club’s support of industrializing vast swaths of land with industrial wind sprawl is directly opposed to their Mission Statement “to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment.” It’s also ironic that it was a Sierra Club official who coined the term “the Cuisinarts of the air” in a late 1980s while battling against a wind project in California.
Most disturbing were some of the Sierra Club’s unfounded claims that there are ‘no negative health effects’ of living too close to these giant noise-emitting machines. (Important to note that not a single ‘Sierra Club’ elitist, Apex wind salesperson, or NYS elected official lives anywhere near an industrial wind factory.) The World Health Organization, and others, have concluded otherwise – determining that infrasound (sounds below 20 Hz that the ear can not hear, but the body can feel) caused by industrial wind turbines IS a human health hazard.
Other important issues that Apex and the Sierra Club prefer to ignore when it comes to the industrial wind debacle include, but are not limited to:
1.) The diffuse energy of wind provides no firm capacity, and therefore, does not provide reliable, dispatchable baseload power. In short, it cannot replace conventional power generators that do – ie: hydro, nuclear, natural gas, and coal (Less than 1% of NYS’s electricity generation comes from coal).
2.) Niagara Falls hydro plant is producing an excess of emissions-free power that is being sold on the open market because it is not needed in the upstate New York region. Building new generation in the face of this excess supply is a blatant rip-off of New York State taxpayers and ratepayers and an unnecessary assault on the environment – something the Sierra Club used to rail against.
4.) 308 industrial wind turbines in 5 Towns in Wyoming County, NY have provided few, if any, meaningful permanent local jobs. Wyoming County’s tax rate has skyrocketed by over 85% since 2000, in direct correlation with the installation of wind factories here, while the County’s population has simultaneously declined. Properties are selling well BELOW their assessed values (IF they sell at all). Lawsuits persist.
5.) Miles and miles of industrial wind sprawl cause massive Habitat Fragmentation. Habitat loss is cited as one of the main causes of species decline worldwide.
6.) Bird and bat populations are natural insect controllers and pollinators, and are being decimated by industrial wind factories. For those who are fans of organic foods, just be aware farmers may have to deal with the resulting insect problems by having to apply more insecticides.
7.) Irony of ironies – Harvard recently released a study showing industrial wind factories are actually causing warming. (Studies showing how wind energy can increase regional atmospheric temperatures also include: PNAS study (2004), MIT study (2010), Texas study (2012), Colorado study (2015), Kansas study (2015), Harvard study (2018).)
New York State residents have a message for the Sierra Club and their Big Wind pals at Apex, and in Albany:
We have NO intention of allowing Big Wind Bullies to force us to accept these “monuments of subjugation” and destroy the beauty God has blessed us with in exchange for the consumer fraud that is industrial wind.
Mary Kay Barton is a life-long Western New York State resident, New York State-certified Health Science educator (retired), Cornell-certified Master Gardener, and tireless advocate for RELIABLE, affordable electricity for ALL Americans.