July 31, 2008
Dear Wayne County Star Editor,
The editor’s comments in the 7/30/08 Star on gas leases signed by naïve landowners who later regret their actions are nothing new - but there’s a new twist to the scam. The corrupt wind industry is also raping landowners who sign leases and easements for potential wind farms and subsequently the landowners discover that their wind lease includes gas and mineral rights too. And because the poor landowner didn’t understand the text of the lease contract and signs it – he’s legally obligated by terms of the lease. This bait and switch by the wind developer may not be discovered for years and well after a number of other landowners in the area have collectively made the same mistake. It might well be that the “wind developer” was more interested in the gas and mineral rights than wind capability since these leased “rights” could then be parlayed to a third (possibly foreign) party for future development and huge profits – profits that unfortunately exclude the landowner who was duped – he trusted and was then betrayed. Not only that – the landowner is likely to already have been a victim of antitrust violations, misrepresentations, false claims and outright fraud by the wind profiteers at the onset. Furthermore - the landowner may also be obligated by other terms of a lease that prohibit him from operating his property in his traditional manner unless the lessee approves of the new methods of (farming) operation. Landowners who leased their land to wind developers have later found out they couldn’t get a second mortgage (eg. home improvements) because the bank they applied to couldn’t be the first lien holder (the wind company is) - or not be able to subdivide their property because lease terms prohibit it. Competent legal help is required, as the Star editor recommends and even that’s no guarantee of a fair outcome for the landowner (farmer). Towns are ripped off too - ask Keith Pitman, President and CEO of Empire State Wind Energy (ESWE) – the so called “wind developer” that’s been romancing eastern Wayne County towns for well over a year now – why his company won’t respond to a $5,000 legal bill ESWE owes to the town of Huron! The message is blatantly simple – BEWARE THE CORRUPT WIND INDUSTRY!