Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Maziarz announces creation of power allocation board

State Sen. George D. Maziarz, R-Newfane, said this years budget negotiation process includes formation of the Western New York Power Proceeds Allocation Board.

The Niagara Power Project allocates a certain amount of power each year for use by citizens of this state. Upon the circumstance that there is allocated, but unused power, the proceeds from that unused power are collected into a single account to be distributed for local economic development as opposed to being placed into the general state fund.

The new five-member panel, whose members will serve a five-year term, will designate where this money will go. Three of the board members must live within a 30-mile radius of the plant, two of whom will be chosen by the heads of the state Senate and Assembly.

All eligible companies for receipt of the money either private or not-for-profit must also be located within 30 miles of the Lewiston Plant and must show that funding will support the growth of business in the state. Funding can be used for capital investments in buildings, research and development, tourism, transportation projects or for land acquisition.

This is a huge victory for our district and the people of Western New York, Maziarz said. Having this money stay in the area for economic development will not only help the growth of the business of the state, but more importantly the businesses in Niagara County.

(article is from the Batavia Daily News 3/27/12)


Losses can be up to 40%; values affected 3 miles from turbine sites

By Billie Jo Jannen

For East County Magazine

March 30, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--A real estate appraisal expert who has made a specialty of assessing impacts from nearby wind turbines has announced that he is revising his figures in response to a recent study of over 11,300 transactions near northern New York state turbine arrays.

Mike McCann of McCann Appraisal, LLC spoke at a Boulevard wind energy information meeting last winter and said property owners experience an average 25 percent value loss. At the time, he expected properties up to two miles away to experience value changes in response to turbine construction.

“I wish to refine my distance of forecast adverse value impacts to include at least three miles, should any 3 MW turbines be proposed by any of the developers in East County,” McCann said. “Furthermore, property value guarantees should extend to this greater range to reflect the nuisance and stigma effect of more powerful turbines on marketing of homes.”

The current study, released in July of 2011 by the Economic Financial Studies School of Business at Clarkson University, cites losses of up to 40 percent on properties located within 0.10 miles of new wind turbine facilities. This has prompted him to revise his loss figure upward to a maximum of 40 percent and expected adverse impacts out to three miles, with effects becoming less extreme with distance.

“The Clarkson study clearly shows value impacts out to three miles … and clearly shows the closer the turbine, the greater the impact,” McCann said.

A Department of Energy-funded study originally released in 2009 by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, often cited by wind proponents, says property value impacts are negligible and that effect of what is known as “wind farm anticipation stigma” goes away after the turbines are built. The Berkeley results are divided into sale values for pre-announcement, post-announcement and post-construction time periods. The study may be flawed, however, as it leaves out some of the very properties that might provide the most telling results, McCann said.

In the study footnotes, Berkeley authors specified that land without homes, properties of over 25 acres, homes where the sale price was thought to deviate too far from the norm and 34 repeat sales were excluded from the study.

A co-author of the study, SDSU Economic Department Chairman Mark Thayer, defended the exclusions as appropriate from a statistical standpoint and said he feels the Clarkson study supports the Berkeley conclusion that negative value impacts go away after the projects are built.

The Clarkson study is based mainly on pre-construction figures, Thayer said: “There is no impact. Property values do not go down near turbines.”

However, real estate appraisers, which are closely regulated by the federal government, base their calculations on “comps,” or nearby sales of comparative properties. A licensed appraiser would not have the luxury of leaving out the properties omitted by Berkeley, McCann said, so the older study does not offer a realistic assessment of the value loss that would be suffered by neighbors of turbine arrays. Statistically appropriate or not, those sales would not be excluded from an appraisal.

“The fallacy of the Berkeley study is the assumption that value impacts must somehow be statistically significant against a data background of sales located 5 to 10 miles from turbines,” McCann said. “Had they focused on the 1/10th-mile to 3-mile range, I expect their findings would be significant to the homeowners who are losing 15 to 40 percent of their home equity and value.”

Neither of the studies consider time-on-market, McCann said, adding, “And what about the homes that don’t sell at all?” The latter do not show up on studies because there are no transaction records for them.

The size of the turbines being built is also a factor in McCann’s announcement, as almost all the data available is on older installations that contain smaller turbines. Increasingly, 3-megawatt machines are appearing on the landscape with concomitant increases in visibility and sound pressure. Sound is a “disamenity” often mentioned by wind farm neighbors, some of whom have abandoned their homes altogether because of the constant noise.

McCann is a proponent for property value guarantees in communities that are heavily impacted by wind turbine projects. Both the Boulevard and Jacumba planning groups have asked for property value guarantees as a condition for permitting large projects, as well as evidence-supported setbacks and protections in the noise ordinance to include low frequency and sub-audible effects. Both wind developers and the county have, so far, resisted addressing either.

Among the numerous energy projects proposed for the Boulevard area is Tule Wind, an up-to 137-turbine project slated to be built along McCain Valley Road by Iberdrola Renewables. The turbines will range in size from 2MW to 2.5MW.

Asked why, if they are so confident of no impacts, wind developers wouldn’t offer value guarantees, Tule Wind project manager JeffreyDurocher said the terms of some proposed guarantee programs are just too subjective.

Some proposals “… give the homeowner leeway to claim that any value loss is attributable to the presence of turbines, despite the possible effects of other factors,” Durocher said.

“It’s very difficult to get agreement among the various parties on what causes the value loss. To do that for a number of homes for an unspecified distance is pretty unmanageable,” Durocher said.

The Ugly Truth About Wind

Here's what a wind farm will look like in 25 years. Now try to get these eyesores removed and you'll find the decommissioning money has disappeared or was never properly appropriated to begin with. Do you think your local municipality could afford to pull these down? This double hit wreckage "complex" is in Hawaii and will likely curse the view for years. This is what many communities have signed up for while thinking the wind factory would be a plus for the community. And now - because of the Power NY Act of 2011 law - this hideousness will be FORCED onto NYS communities thanks to your state legislature. Be glad this monstrosity doesn't live near you.

Please pass this sight along and share it with as many people as you can. This is the ugly truth about wind.

Deralict wind turbines.
Photo acknowledgment – treedork, Flickr

Monday, April 2, 2012

MOU Signed by State & Federal Officials




I. Purpose
The purpose of this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is to support the efficient,
expeditious, orderly and responsible review of proposed offshore wind energy projects in the
Great Lakes by enhancing coordination among federal and Great Lakes state regulatory agencies
(collectively, “Participants”).
The Participants that hereby enter into an MOU are the following Great Lakes states: the
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the States of Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and New York;
and the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) along with the following federal
agencies: the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), the
U.S. Department of the Army (DA), the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP), the
U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service (FWS), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

II. Background
Great Lakes offshore wind energy resources present a significant opportunity to stimulate
economic revitalization of key sectors of the economy, to enhance our national security by
accelerating energy independence efforts, and to diversify the region’s energy supply. Federal
offshore wind resource data for the Great Lakes indicates a gross resource of more than 700
gigawatts, representing a substantial portion of the nation’s total gross offshore wind resource.
However, offshore wind ventures must be evaluated against potential social or environmental,
safety and security impacts and fully considered by the appropriate Federal and State regulatory
and resource agencies. Because the bottomlands of the Great Lakes are owned by each State
within its respective boundary and both Federal and State regulatory authorities apply, proposals to develop offshore wind in the Great Lakes require consideration and decisions by a number of Federal and State entities, including each of the Participants.

III. Responsibilities of Participants
In order to ensure successful collaborative implementation of this MOU, it is the intent of all
participants to:
1. Commit to provide staffing and resources, including attendance at periodic meetings, to
implement the provisions of the MOU and resulting agreements, to the extent resources
2. Work together to create a regulatory roadmap – a document that describes the
regulatory review process and identifies current and anticipated data needed to inform
efficient review of proposed offshore wind energy facilities in the Great Lakes. The
roadmap should also set forth a clear process to efficiently coordinate data collection
and dissemination and reviews undertaken by the Participants that will include
anticipated processing times for review, to the extent possible, and decision-making
associated with each type of permit. The roadmap will remain consistent with
Participants’ existing authorities. The Participants will complete and publish the
roadmap within 15 months of the effective date of this MOU;
3. Participate in pre-application consultations and joint reviews of applications for
offshore wind development, consistent with Participants’ jurisdiction and authorities, to
the extent resources allow;
4. Discuss, document and apply lessons learned during implementation of this MOU when
evaluating existing and future proposed offshore wind energy facilities;
5. Designate one or more appropriate points of contact to coordinate implementation of
this MOU. The points of contact will (1) assist with identifying and assigning
appropriate personnel and resources; and (2) assist in ensuring that responsibilities are
6. Attempt to resolve issues arising under this MOU expeditiously; and
7. Agree that the White House Council on Environmental Quality can serve as a single
Federal point of contact for communications under this MOU, as authorized by the
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. § 4321 et. seq.) to ensure
federal responsiveness to state inquiries concerning this MOU and that nothing in this
MOU shall preclude a state from working directly with individual Federal agencies.

IV. Mission and Statutory Authority
Each of the participants asserts their authorities and responsibilities as follows:

CEQ – The CEQ has authority to enter into this MOU under NEPA. NEPA assigns CEQ the
task of ensuring that federal agencies meet their obligations under the Act. Its principal purpose
is to formulate and recommend national policies to promote the improvement of the quality of
the environment and to coordinate federal agency actions in order to advance those policies. The
CEQ Chair is also a co-chair of the National Ocean Council. Efforts undertaken by the
Participants to fulfill the responsibilities of this MOU will inform implementation of the National
Policy for the Stewardship of the Ocean, Our Coasts, and the Great Lakes, including the process
for collaborative, regional coastal and marine spatial planning.

DOE – DOE has authority to enter into this MOU under Section 646 of the Department of
Energy Organization Act (Pub. L. 95-91), as amended (42 U.S.C. § 7256). DOE’s Office of
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) mission is to enhance energy efficiency and
production, to protect the environment, and to bring clean, reliable, and affordable energy
technologies to the marketplace. EERE’s Wind Program focuses on advancing the offshore wind
industry in the United States.
DOD – DOD has authority to enter into this MOU under powers and authorities contained in 10
U.S.C. 113. Consistent with its national defense mission, the DOD reviews and comments upon
whether proposed offshore wind energy facilities will adversely affect Defense activities and will
work with the Participants to identify possible measures to mitigate those impacts.

DA – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), a branch of the DA, has authority to enter
into this MOU pursuant to its responsibilities for administering laws for the protection and wise
use of waters of the United States, pursuant to the requirements of Section 10 of the Rivers and
Harbors Act (RHA) of 1899 (33 U.S.C. § 403), Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) (33
U.S.C. § 1344) and Section 14 of the RHA (33 U.S.C. § 408). Under Section 10 of the RHA, the
USACE may authorize work and/or structures in or affecting the course, condition, location, or
capacity of navigable waters of the United States, which include the U.S. side of the binational
Great Lakes, their connecting channels, and adjacent wetlands. Under Section 404 of the CWA,
the USACE may authorize the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United
States, including wetlands, where the USACE determines that the proposed action is not contrary
to the public interest and is in compliance with the Clean Water Act 404(b)(1) Guidelines (40
CFR 230). If any proposal would require alteration or modification to an existing Corps project
and/or structure, an additional authorization must be received from the Secretary of the Army
(delegated to the Chief of Engineers) in accordance with Section 14 of the RHA, or under 33
U.S.C. § 408. The USACE review is also subject to compliance with NEPA and several other
applicable federal laws.

ACHP – The ACHP has authority to enter into this MOU under Section 202 of the National
Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) (16 U.S.C. §§ 470 et seq.). The mission of the ACHP is to
promote the preservation, enhancement, and sustainable use of our nation’s diverse historic
resources, and advise the President and the Congress on national historic preservation policy.
Sections 106 and 110 of the NHPA require that federal agencies act as responsible stewards for
our nation's historic resources. When their undertakings affect historic properties, which can
include tribal historic and cultural resources, Section 106 requires federal agencies to take into
account the effects of their undertakings (which include issuance of leases, permits, and
licenses), on historic properties, and afford the ACHP a reasonable opportunity to comment on
such undertakings. The ACHP's regulations (36 CFR Part 800) set forth this process, involving
consultation with the State and Tribal Historic Preservation Officers and others, as appropriate,
to determine if the undertaking will affect an historic property, and if so, what measures might be appropriate to avoid, minimize, or mitigate adverse effects.

USCG – The USCG has authority to enter into this MOU under 14 U.S.C. § 93(a)(20), which
allows the Commandant of the USCG to enter into cooperative agreements with other
government agencies. The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security delegated to the
USCG her authority under the Ports and Waterways Safety Act (PWSA) (33 U.S.C. § 1221 et
seq.) to prevent damage to structures on or in the navigable waters of the United States and to
protect the navigable waters of the United States and the resources therein. The USCG has
safety and regulatory jurisdiction over projects located in navigable waters of the United States
and is responsible for granting permits for private aids to navigation (see 33 C.F.R. Part 66). The
USCG, in coordination with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, is a cooperating agency
for NEPA purposes and will provide recommendations to the lead federal agency responsible for
approving the proposed action on matters over which the USCG has jurisdiction by law or
subject matter expertise, to include, but not be limited to, issues related to safety of navigation,
OREI security, or to minimize potential impacts on other USCG missions.

EPA – The EPA has authority to enter into this MOU under a wide range of environmental laws,
including Sections 104 and 118 of the Clean Water Act (CWA, 33 U.S.C. §§ 1254 and 1268) and
Section 103 of the Clean Air Act (CAA, 42 U.S.C. § 7403). The EPA also has authority to carry
out the commitments contained in this MOU under a wide range of environmental laws,
including Sections 402 and 404 of the CWA (33 U.S.C. §§ 1342 and 1344) and section 309 of
the Clean Air Act (CAA, 42 U.S.C. § 7609). The EPA has responsibilities relevant to the siting
of offshore wind facilities, including participation in the CWA Section 404 permit process and
restriction, in certain circumstances, of the use of specific disposal sites for dredged or fill
material pursuant to Section 404(c). The EPA also has responsibilities related to activities that
involve discharges of pollutants subject to the requirements of the National Pollutant Discharge
Elimination System, established under Section 402 of the CWA. Pursuant to Section 309 of the
CAA, EPA is required to review and comment on environmental impact statements (EISs) for
proposed actions of other federal agencies in accordance with NEPA and to make those reviews
public. EPA also has the discretion to review and comment on other documents prepared under
NEPA. EPA is also the lead federal agency on the U.S. side for implementation of the binational
Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement under 33 U.S.C. § 1268. The Agreement, first signed in
1972 and revised in 1978 and 1987, expresses the commitment of the U.S. and Canada to restore
and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem
and includes a number of objectives and guidelines to achieve these goals. It also reaffirms the
rights and obligations of Canada and the United States under the Boundary Waters Treaty of

FWS – The FWS has authority to enter into this MOU under the Endangered Species Act (ESA,
16 U.S.C. § 1531et seq.), NEPA, the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 (16 U.S.C. §§ 742(a)-742d &
742e-742j-2), the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act (“FWCA”) of March 10, 1934 (16 U.S.C.
§ 661 et seq.), the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (16 U.S.C. § 703 et seq.), the Bald and Golden
Eagle Protection Act (16 U.S.C. 668-668d), and Executive Order 13186, Responsibilities of
Federal Agencies to Protect Migratory Birds. The mission of the FWS is to work with others to
conserve, protect, manage, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing
benefit of the American people. With respect to migratory birds, the Service’s goals are to
ensure long-term ecological sustainability of all migratory bird populations, increase
socioeconomic benefits, improve hunting and birdwatching and other outdoor bird-related
experiences, and increase awareness of the value of migratory birds and their habitats for their
intrinsic, ecological, recreational and economic significance.

FAA – The FAA has authority to enter this MOU under 49 USC § 40103, and 44718. 49 USC §
40103, Sovereignty and use of airspace, vests the FAA with broad authority to regulate the safe
and efficient use of navigable airspace. 49 USC § 44718, Structures interfering with airspace,
provides that that if the construction or alteration of a structure may result in an obstruction of
the navigable airspace or interference with air navigation facilities and equipment, the FAA shall
“conduct an aeronautical study to decide the extent of any adverse impact on the safe and
efficient use of airspace, facilities, or equipment.”
Section § 44718 requires a person to give notice of the construction, alteration or expansion (or
the proposed construction, alteration or expansion) when the notice will promote safety in air
commerce and the efficient use and preservation of the navigable airspace. Additionally, §
44718 requires an aeronautical study if the construction will result in an obstruction of the
navigable airspace. Based on the study findings, the FAA decides whether and to what extent a
structure will adversely impact on the safe and efficient use of the airspace, facilities or
equipment. The FAA decision is set forth in either a determination of no hazard or a
determination of hazard.
Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations part 77, Objects affecting navigable airspace, was
promulgated under the authority in the two above-referenced sections of Title 49 of the United
States Code. Part 77 sets out the specific requirements and procedures for the submission of a
notice and FAA review and decision making based on the notice. Part 77 requirements apply for
all structures affecting navigable airspace, including wind turbines.
NOAA – NOAA has authority to enter this MOU under the National Marine Sanctuaries Act
(NMSA, 16 U.S.C. §§ 1431 – 1445c-1) and the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA, 16
U.S.C. §§ 1451-1464). NOAA has responsibilities under several statutes including NEPA, the
Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 (16 U.S.C. §§ 742(a)-742d & 742e-742j-2), FWCA, the NMSA,
and the CZMA. Before permits for offshore wind facilities are issued, NOAA consults on
impacts to NOAA trust resources under the FWCA, and if appropriate NMSA, and makes
recommendations to avoid, minimize or mitigate impacts. The NMSA prohibits the destruction,
loss of, or injury to a Sanctuary resource and activities affecting a Sanctuary resource may be
subject to permits by the Secretary of Commerce. In addition, the Secretary of Commerce,
through NOAA, approves state coastal management programs under the CZMA. State coastal
management programs must have appropriate processes for siting energy facilities in their
coastal zones that consider the national interest in energy production as well as the national
interest in protecting coastal resources. All eight Great Lakes states have federally-approved
coastal management programs. NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS) uses a national radar
network to provide weather forecasts and warnings for the United States and adjacent waters for
the protection of life and property (15 U.S.C. § 313), and for meteorological services necessary
for the safe and efficient movement of aircraft in air commerce (49 U.S.C. § 44720). The NWS
has a process to determine whether proposed wind energy facilities will adversely affect the
radar network and actively seeks mitigation of adverse impacts from wind facility developers.
The NWS also is involved in cooperative efforts to improve the basic wind forecast for all users,
including wind power. In addition to statutorily mandated regulatory responsibilities, the
mission related responsibilities of NOAA include the provision of scientific and policy expertise,
products, and services many of which are necessary for offshore energy facility development and
The States of Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, and New York and the Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania have the authority to enter into this MOU under their respective laws and
constitutions and under the Submerged Lands Act (43 U.S.C. §§ 1301-1315). Specifically, the
Submerged Lands Act recognized and confirmed to the States the title to and ownership of the
lands beneath navigable waters within the boundaries of the respective States, and the natural
resources within such lands and waters, along with the authority to manage, administer, lease,
develop, and use such lands and natural resources. The nature of this authority is described by
applicable State and Federal law and the Public Trust Doctrine.

V. Administrative Provisions
1. Nothing in this MOU is intended to or will be construed to limit or affect in any way the
authority or legal responsibilities of the Participants. This MOU neither expands nor
limits those powers and authorities vested in the Participants by applicable law or
regulation, including preliminary and final action on leases, permits, licenses, or any
other matter requiring official decision, and nothing in this MOU should be interpreted to
preempt, abridge or supersede the rights of each State to manage the respective
submerged lands within the boundaries of each State in accordance with the laws,
directives and policies of each State. If a section or term of this MOU is inconsistent
with the authority or legal responsibilities of the Participants, that section or term shall be
invalid, but the remaining sections and terms of this MOU shall remain in full force and
2. Nothing in this MOU may be construed to obligate the Participants to any current or
future expenditure of resources.
3. The mission requirements, funding, personnel, and other priorities of the Participants may
affect their ability to fully implement all the provisions of this MOU.
4. Nothing in this MOU is intended to, or will be, construed to restrict the Participants from
participating in any other activities or arrangements with other public or private agencies,
organizations, or individuals.
5. This MOU is intended only to enhance and strengthen the working relationships of the
Participants in connection to offshore wind energy proposals in the Great Lakes region
and is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural,
enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States or any State, its
departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
6. No Participant will make an official statement on behalf of any other Participant in
connection with this agreement.
7. Information furnished between the Participants under this MOU may be subject to the
Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552, et seq. (FOIA), and, for participating State
agencies, a relevant State Freedom of Information Act. Determinations regarding the
release of federal agency information exchanged pursuant to this MOU that is responsive
to a valid request under FOIA will be made by the agency from which the information
originated. Absent express Congressional authorization, federal Participants will not
disclose to the other Participants any privileged or confidential trade secret, commercial
or financial information obtained from a third party, or other information protected by
law, unless the owner of such information expressly consents to such disclosure in
writing. Documents furnished to States under this MOU may be subject to applicable
state information handling and disclosure requirements.

VI. Contacts
All notices, communications and coordination will involve, at a minimum, the following
individuals, their successors and/or designees as follows:

White House Council on Environmental Quality: Deputy Director
U.S. Department of Energy:
U.S. Department of Defense:
U.S. Department of the Army:
Advisory Council on Historic Preservation:
U.S. Coast Guard:
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:
Federal Aviation Administration:
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:

State of Illinois:
State of Michigan:
State of Minnesota:
State of New York:
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:
Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary
Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable
Executive Director, Siting Clearinghouse
Regulatory Program Manager
Army Corps of Engineers
Great Lakes & Ohio River Division,
Mississippi Valley Division
Office of Federal Agency Programs
Chief, Navigation Standards Division
Great Lakes National Program Manager
Region 5 Regional Administrator
Senior Advisor to the Director
Manager, Obstruction Evaluation Group
Director of Policy
Deputy Director
Illinois Department of Commerce
Director, Office of the Great Lakes
Deputy Commissioner
Minnesota Department of Commerce
Commissioner, New York State Department
of Environmental Conservation
President & CEO, New York Power Authority
Energy Executive
Office of the Governor

VII. Effective Date, Modification, and Termination
1. This MOU is effective as of the date the last Participant executes the MOU and expires
five (5) years from that date, at which time the MOU will be subject to renewal or
expiration. When effective, the MOU will not be modified except through written
agreement executed by all Participants.
2. Any Participant may terminate participation in this MOU 120 days after providing
written notice to the other Participants.

Fact Sheet—Great Lakes Offshore Wind Energy Consortium

What is the Great Lakes Offshore Wind Energy Consortium?

To remain a leader in the global clean energy economy the United States needs Federal and state
governments to execute permitting and review processes in an efficient and effective manner that protects the health and safety of our communities while supporting vital economic growth.
In particular, the excellent offshore wind resource in the Great Lakes region presents a
significant opportunity to stimulate economic revitalization. Accordingly, a bipartisan federalstate memorandum of understanding (MOU) has created the new Great Lakes Offshore Wind Energy Consortium to support the efficient, expeditious, orderly and responsible review of
proposed offshore wind energy projects in the Great Lakes.

What will the Great Lakes Offshore Wind Energy Consortium do?

Offshore wind proposals must be evaluated for potential social, environmental, cultural, safety
and security impacts by the appropriate Federal and State agencies. The Consortium will enhance coordination among participating federal and Great Lakes state regulatory agencies, working toward the shared goal of coordinating reviews and data collection and dissemination needs to the extent practicable. The MOU facilitates coordinated, regionally-based planning that has the potential to lower costs and improve the efficiency of decisions. The MOU also embodies a fundamental principle of the National Ocean Policy to support sustainable, safe, secure, and
productive access to, and uses of the Great Lakes.

What is the potential for Great Lakes offshore wind and how does this agreement help?

Deployment of offshore wind in the Great Lakes region would stimulate economic revitalization
in key sectors of the economy, diversify the Nation’s energy supply and enhance our national
security by accelerating energy independence efforts, and reduce air pollution and greenhouse
gas emissions. Offshore wind turbines are being used in a number of countries to harness the
energy of the moving air over the oceans and convert it to electricity. The total offshore wind
potential is over 700 gigawatts in the Great Lakes regions. This represents about one-fifth of the
total offshore wind potential in the United States. While offshore wind is an emerging
technology in the United States, over 3800 MW of installed capacity already exists today, mainly
in Europe. Work under the MOU will spur collaboration on innovative ways to address
significant market barriers to offshore wind deployment in a key region of North America, the
Great Lakes. A similar agreement forming the Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy Consortium, has
been successful spurring cooperation and increased efficiencies with respect to wind
development in the Atlantic outer continental shelf.

Why are the federal government and the states signing this agreement now?

The Administration and participating states are committed to building the foundation for a clean
energy economy. In addition, the President has directed federal agencies to speed infrastructure
development through more efficient and effective permitting and environmental review. This
agreement also responds in part to a request to the President by a bipartisan group of the nation’s
governors to establish a combined intergovernmental state-federal task force on wind energy
development in order to help meet America’s domestic energy demands in an environmentally
responsible manner, while reducing the nation’s dependence on imported energy sources and
stimulating state and national economic development.

What is the scope of the Great Lakes Wind Resource?

The map created by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory describes the high wind
speeds, corresponding to excellent wind power resources, available in the Great Lakes.

Which federal agencies are parties to the agreement?

The White House Council on Environmental Quality
The U.S. Department of Energy
The U.S. Department of Defense
The U.S Department of the Army
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
The U.S. Coast Guard
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
The Federal Aviation Administration
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation

Which Great Lakes states are currently parties to the agreement?

New York

(Note - Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin are NOT a party to the agreement as of this date)

Obama Administration and Great Lakes States Announce Agreement to Spur Development of Offshore Wind Projects

March 30, 2012

As part of President Obama's all of the above approach to energy, the Obama Administration today joined with the governors of Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, and Pennsylvania to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will streamline the efficient and responsible development of offshore wind resources in the Great Lakes. This effort underscores the President's commitment to American-made energy, increasing energy independence, and creating jobs.

"President Obama is focused on leveraging American energy sources, including increased oil and gas production, the safe development of nuclear power, as well as renewable energy from sources like wind and solar, which is on track to double in the President's first term," said Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. "This agreement among federal agencies and Great Lakes states is a smart, practical way to encourage the development of homegrown energy that will create jobs, power homes, and help increase our nation's energy security."

"As the President has made clear, an American economy that lasts is one built on American energy, designed and produced by American workers," said Deputy Energy Secretary Daniel Poneman. "This effort will allow us to tap into our abundant offshore resources, enhancing our energy security through an all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy."

The MOU will enhance collaboration between federal and state agencies to speed review of proposed offshore wind projects. Specifically, federal and state agencies will develop an action plan that sets priorities and recommends steps for achieving efficient and responsible evaluation of proposed offshore wind power projects in the Great Lakes region.

Unlocking the Great Lakes' offshore wind energy resources could yield tremendous economic and environmental benefits throughout the region, and has the potential to produce more than 700 gigawatts of energy from offshore wind, about one fifth of the total offshore wind potential in the United States. The development of even a small portion of the area's offshore wind potential could create tens of thousands of clean energy jobs and generate revenue for local businesses. These efforts are in line with the steps the Administration has taken to increase domestic energy production, including increased production of our nation's oil and natural gas resources—with domestic oil production higher than any time in the last eight years and natural gas at an all-time high. The Administration is also supporting the construction of the first nuclear power plant in 30 years, and today's announcement builds on the extensive effort by the Administration to increase energy from renewable sources like wind and solar, which will double by the end of the President's first term.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates that each gigawatt of offshore wind installed could produce enough electricity to power 300,000 homes. The efforts made possible by today's agreement will also bolster existing investments in offshore wind technologies by promoting a consistent and predictable regulatory environment that inspires innovation and helps to bring clean energy solutions to market.

"In Illinois, we believe investing in clean energy projects and the development of wind resources helps promote economic development and create jobs, while reducing our dependence on foreign energy sources," Illinois Governor Pat Quinn said. "We are extremely pleased to collaborate with the U.S. DOE and our fellow Great Lakes states to harness the clean, natural power of our offshore wind."

"Minnesota has been a leader in developing wind energy for nearly two decades. We now have more than 2.7 thousand megawatts of wind projects online, and we rank fifth among the states for the most installed wind capacity," said Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton. "We look forward to sharing our expertise with other states and federal agencies, to learning from them, and to collaborating on the further development of offshore wind resources."

"The Great Lakes have the potential to provide clean energy from offshore wind and related green jobs in upstate New York," said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. "This MOU offers a responsible mechanism for enhanced and efficient collaboration among federal, state, and local interests in evaluating processes and proposals for development of this resource."

"This agreement will enable states to work together to ensure that any proposed off-shore wind projects are reviewed in a consistent manner, and that the various state and federal agencies involved collaborate and coordinate their reviews," said Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett.

To safely and responsibly develop offshore wind resources, federal and state agencies—which share jurisdiction in the Great Lakes—must fully evaluate the potential social, environmental, safety, and security impacts of projects. The agreement signed today will enhance collaboration between federal and state agencies to speed review of proposed offshore wind projects and accelerate the development of clean, American energy from offshore wind energy resources in the Great Lakes region. Under the MOU, federal and state agencies will develop an action plan that sets priorities and recommends steps for achieving efficient and responsible evaluation of proposed offshore wind power projects in the Great Lakes region.

The following participants have signed the MOU:

  • State of Illinois
  • State of Michigan
  • State of Minnesota
  • State of New York
  • Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
  • White House Council on Environmental Quality
  • U.S. Department of Energy
  • U.S. Department of Defense
  • U.S. Department of the Army
  • Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
  • U.S. Coast Guard
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Federal Aviation Administration
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

The Power NY Act of 2011 - Its About Wind

The Kevin & Addie Show

Many COAX members attended the forum held Thursday (3/8/12) at Jefferson Community College (JCC) in Watertown, NY. Power NY Act of 2011 & Art. X co-author, Assemblyman Kevin Cahill was there to defend this law while area Assemblywoman Addie Russell took the position opposing the law – both are Democrats. A good-sized crowd of about 100 people also attended and the meeting was video taped as well by Steve Weed Productions. The forum was hosted by JCC’s Dr. Ray Petersen – an expert on NYS energy.

COAX provided 2-sided color flyers that were passed out to all who attended – flyers critical of the Power NY Act of 2011 & Art. X emphasizing the loss of municipal home rule.

Cahill spoke before Russell and I was shocked that not once did he mention “home rule” during his initial comments. He did say he thought Addie Russell’s main complaint about the Power NY Act would be the Art. X reduction of the power threshold from 80 mgw to 25 mgw. Cahill also admitted he and other Kingston, NY residents fought a garbage to energy plant proposed for his area years ago that would burn waste – does that make him a NIMBY? A hypocrite?

Cahill also confused others and myself in the room when he alluded to the siting board possibly containing more than 7 members, that local governments under the new law have significant representation on the board, saying that if a power plant was proposed within a village that the village and town and county gets to appoint representatives on the board and that the state legislature gets to appoint people on the board. I do not know how he could have this issue mixed up as the law Gov. Cuomo signed clearly says 7 board members.

Assemblywoman Addie Russell followed Cahill’s comments and her second sentence was on point: And, Kevin was right when really one of the major concerns I had and the reason why I voted against this piece of legislation was the reduction in the megawatt threshold because the reduction in the megawatt threshold resulted in the loss of local control.” Yes… loss of local control, municipal home rule, is the crux of the matter at hand and Russell understands this.

Assemblywoman Addie Russell made this comment regarding turbines:

“Article X will never allow them to be built here”, said Russell. “I believe industrial wind is done for the entire region. With Article X, we have just lost the ability to have the projects that have been proposed here. Article X has relieved us of the burden of industrial wind.” And Russell also said this in her comments:I will also say that I actually think that this Article X likely will never allow industrial wind to be built here.”

In my opinion you must believe in the tooth fairy to accept Russell’s above comment. As soon as the Governor signed the Power NY Act into law – the legislature was out of the picture. Russell is only kidding herself to think that wind developers would be intimidated by the Power NY Act and avoid the beautiful Cape Vincent – Thousands Islands region. If she thinks the law will prohibit wind development she’s wrong. The developers are hoping the Power NY Act and the unelected siting board will force wind factories into this area against the will of the town’s officials and state legislators will NOT be part of the decision process. Time will tell the outcome but you can predict the first victim will likely be an rural upstate community that could ill afford litigation to prevent their town from being raped.

Im sure most people attended the forum for the opportunity of a question and answer (Q & A) period that followed the speakers formal comments. During the Q & A I asked Cahill about his reference to having more than 7 persons on the siting board and he back-pedaled in my opinion from what he previously said. I believe he was unsure about his answer but he did indicate that ad hoc board members would have the right to vote on a power plant site.

Also during the Q & A - A woman spectator kind of yelled out that the Latin “ad hoc” meant “no vote”. I checked this out later and this is NOT true and if I knew who she was Id call her to correct her. Per Wikipedia: Ad hoc is a Latin phrase meaning "for this". It generally signifies a solution designed for a specific problem or task, non-generalizable, and not intended to be able to be adapted to other purposes. Per Law.com: ad hoc adj. Latin shorthand meaning "for this purpose only."

As most of you know I’ve been trying to get an answer from Cahill for months on the ad hoc member voting matter and where in the Art. X text it says ad hoc board members have or have not the opportunity to vote on siting the electric plant and he has steadfastly refused to answer me. My own assemblyman has also refuse to answer me on this. I also requested an answer from Assemblyman Speaker Sheldon Silver – never expecting he would answer me. But he DID answer my 2 simple questions in a letter I received the day after the JCC forum. Here is the key text of Assemblyman Sheldon Silver’s typed reply to me: Although the law does not explicitly state that members vote on a final decision, it as envisioned that ad hoc members vote on the siting of a facility, just as they had under the previous law, which expired in 2003.” Now - having Assembly Speaker Silver’s reply - do you feel my question is adequately answered and that you are convinced that ad hoc siting board members will have 2 of 7 votes on the siting of a power plant when a vote is taken? I am not convinced they will have a siting vote!

In any case, at the JCC forum Cahill was asked about the siting board and two ad hoc board members and here is his reply:

The local governments, if there are multiple local governments, each of the local governments get to appoint to the board. The board will expand based upon the number of local government entities that there are. The local governments get to appoint those representatives. You are absolutely correct in that they are not elected by the people. They are appointed by the local governing board. The very same people who would have been making the home rule decision had there not been an Article X process. In addition to that, legislative leaders upon the recommendation of, from a pool recommended, would also be making decisions. So, it's very (?) board. It's not a very small board.

This answer brings confusion and does NOT jibe with what is now sign law as the law clearly states 7 board members including ad hocs. The editor of the Jefferson’s Leaning Left blog site wrote this:

I then asked Assemblyman Kevin Cahill if the locally appointed members of the Article X siting boards were voting members. He (Cahill) said yes.

Well…….. this is only partly true – if you read the law there are clearly several issues to be voted on by the siting board that the ad hoc members are exempt from voting on. Despite the questions asked by these 2 attendees – my two questions were still not answered and they were (1) will ad hoc board members actually have a vote on the siting of a power plant? And (2) where does it say in the Art. X text that they do or don’t have the opportunity to vote on the siting of a power plant? I managed to put them directly to Cahill and actually received an answer – “It is my understanding that they do have a vote.” On question #2 – he said he could not answer because he didn’t have the text of the bill with him.

During the Q & A Cahill also said this:

What I started to see, particularly when it came to wind, was that promoters of wind development across New York state were town-shopping; they were municipality-shopping. And we saw a number of examples where town governments, in my view, were corrupted by wind developers.

I surely agree with this! Why did Cuomo, as attorney general, invent the Code of Ethics specifically for NYS wind developers to sign and agree to? Its because they are corrupt! What other businesses operating in NYS have you ever heard of that signed a Code of Ethics to behave?

Cahill said: Something that deserves as much of your attention as Article X is the Governor's proposal for an energy highway. The energy highway proposal will make it so energy can be moved from one part of the state to the other.” Now read between the lines here – what Cahill’s really saying is that wind factories and all their related consequences will be located upstate while their small amount of power will be shipped downstate. Upstate will be victimized as usual and should not welcome the “energy highway” because this would certainly involve more litigation as a result of eminent domain court actions involving unwanted power lines beginning at the turbines. And because of the loss of home rule – it will be difficult if not impossible to stop the siting process.

In the Q & A Cahill also mentioned that in the USA it would be possible for 7 carefully placed bullets to take out our entire USA power system. Both Cahill and Russell expressed surprise at how the passage of the Power NY Act and Art. X took place but if you again read between the lines – quick passage of the law was done at the behest of the Governor – the one who embraces transparency and ethics.

After the meeting was over someone wondered how Cahill could arrive at this forum without a full copy of the Power NY Act (and Art. X) with him?

Dr. Ray Petersen saved his last power point slide for the end of the forum after all comments had been made. Part of his opinion should be mandatory for Art. X but likely won’t be. Petersen indicated

· Generating facilities be build as close as possible to the demand centers and

· Regions with generating potential should keep a large portion of the power within the region for development and

· Expand intervener fund to cover legal costs.

Im surprised Dr. Petersen’s recommendations didn’t mention to home rule – that was a big one to miss. The NYISO (Independent System Operator) has also said repeatedly that new power plants should be located where the power is needed. Cahill and the Governor are quick to dismiss this compelling recommendation.

Make no mistake about Assemblyman Kevin Cahill – Cahill is a turbine hugging wind charlatan. He’ll welcome a wind factory in your neighborhood and could care less about the value of your property declining, the noise impact generated by the turbines and how it affects your health, and how the dozens of other insurmountable issues these subsidy sucking monstrosities infect the community and quality of life.