Governor’s Wind Farm Push Brings Community Backlash in Upstate New York

andrew cuomo

NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo thinks it’s ‘my way or the highway’.


The wind industry rides roughshod over rural communities wherever it goes, and Upstate New York is no exception. New York’s Governor, Andrew Cuomo is another of the wind industry’s willing ‘enablers’ who seems to believe that arrogance and malice are a political virtue.

Crash or crash through is a style long associated with those that are wedded to spearing these things into the hearts of thriving and prosperous rural communities. However, Cuomo & Co have well and truly underestimated the simmering rage that communities harbour for the wind industry; and the political puppets that, at their benefactor’s bidding, seek to ram wind power down their throats.

Sucking wind in the fight for renewable energy
New York Post
Robert Bryce
28 March 2016

Gov. Cuomo wants New York to be getting 50 percent of its electricity from “renewables” by 2030. But if the ongoing battle over the proposed Lighthouse Wind project is any indication, Cuomo and his green allies are in for a long fight upstate.

Three New York counties — Erie, Orleans and Niagara — as well as the towns of Yates and Somerset are all opposing the 200-megawatt Lighthouse project. If approved by state regulators, the project would install dozens of 500- to 600-foot-high turbines on about 20,000 acres in Niagara and Orleans counties, both of which abut Lake Ontario.

In January, the Town Board of Yates voted unanimously to oppose the project. Yates Supervisor James J. Simon told me the fight is “about trying to preserve our rural agricultural landscape.”

Simon, an associate dean at Genesee Community College, wasn’t active in politics until he saw how the push for renewable energy was going to affect Yates. He said that the attitude of the pro-wind forces has been “you all are small potatoes, and we are going to cram this down your throat.”

Some 65 percent of property owners in Yates and 67 percent in Somerset are opposed to the Lighthouse project. On February 24, the Somerset Town Board passed a law that dramatically restricts (and may, in fact, ban) wind projects in the town. Yates is drafting a similar law.

Rural and suburban residents in the United States, Canada and Europe are opposing wind energy for multiple reasons: visual blight, loss of property value, potential impacts on local tourism and concerns about the low-frequency noise and infrasound generated by bird- and bat-chopping turbines that can stand roughly half as tall as the Empire State Building.

The sentiment in New York is widespread. The town of Clayton, in Jefferson County, is considering a law that would ban wind turbines. Last July, the Town Board of Catlin passed a law prohibiting wind projects after Florida-based NextEra Energy proposed a $200 million project in the town.

In 2014, after a decade-long fight, oil-and-gas giant BP announced it was abandoning plans to build a 200-megawatt wind project near Cape Vincent. BP’s proposal was fiercely opposed by local residents. In 2007, the western Catskills town of Bovina also banned wind projects.

Rural wind resistance isn’t restricted to New York. Over the past 15 months, dozens of governmental entities have moved to reject or restricted wind projects.

Last July, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a ban on large wind turbines in the county’s unincorporated areas. In January, two members of the Vermont State Senate (both Democrats) introduced a bill that would ban wind projects in that state.

Cuomo’s renewable-energy push will surely feed the backlash in New York, because it’ll require dozens of new wind projects and, thus, lots of potentially angry rural landowners.

In January, the Department of Public Service estimated that meeting the 50 percent renewable mandate would require the state to produce an additional 33.7 terawatt-hours of renewable electricity per year.

Let’s assume the state plans to use wind to get 90 percent of the electricity needed. Since 2005, an average gigawatt of wind capacity in the US has produced about 2.4 terawatt-hours of electricity per year. To meet its goal, New York will need about 12.6 gigawatts of new wind capacity.

That likely means 5,000 new turbines covering almost 2,000 square miles — nearly four times the size of Albany County and roughly 85 times the size of Manhattan Island.

Cuomo needs a dose of energy realism. If he and his allies are going to be serious about climate change, they should support nuclear energy, which now provides about 60 percent of America’s zero-carbon electricity.

Rather than seeking to close the 2,069-megawatt Indian Point Energy Center, Cuomo should be doing all he can to keep it — and other nuclear plants — open and operating. Cuomo should also be supporting natural gas.

The hard reality is that the anti-wind backlash in New York and elsewhere exposes wind energy’s practical limits. Wind may be popular among urban voters, but landowners in towns like Yates and Somerset aren’t going to accept lots of new turbines. Not without a fight.
New York Post

no wind turbines

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.


  1. Thanks STT, I applaud the huge effort and strides that have made this a site with the most noteworthy selections of information complied since you started back in 2012. Thanks for making it easy to understand in simple laymen’s terms when writing articles and sharing information.

    I am so happy to say, that seeing links to STT in our local media outlet comment sections in recent articles is a sight for sore eyes. Bravo

    CHEERS !

  2. Landowners across the nation are facing a major agricultural land grab during an election, and no one is paying attention. Landowners, farmers and agricultural industries across the country are desperately hoping the media will bring this issue to the spot light with actual facts about the impact to existing productive lives. We are working to protect the water and natural resources of every state. Agricultural land being one of the most precious resources along with the springs and waterways that feed them and both are nonrenewable. Farmers, landowners and agriculture industry are under fire by members of federal agencies such as the EPA, DOE and DOT who’s corrupt feeding off of our tax dollars to sell out to outside private interests is at the expense of every tax payer in our nation. 40 million acres of rural farm land lost over the past several decades to unbridled development … much lies vacant and abandoned due to poor planning, misappropriation, corrupt politicians and lack of merit. Creating toxic waste that has leached into water sources and fertile fields leaving citizens to bear the cost of clean up. Between 1980-96 we were losing farmland at a rate of 4.5 acres an hour in Illinois……50 acres an hour nationwide.

    Agriculture and agriculture-related industries contributed $835 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014, a 4.8-percent share. The output of America’s farms contributed $177.2 billion of this sum—about 1 percent of GDP. The overall contribution of the agriculture sector to GDP is larger because sectors related to agriculture—forestry, fishing, and related activities; food, beverages, and tobacco products; textiles, apparel, and leather products; food service and drinking places—rely on agricultural in order to contribute added value to the economy. U.S. Department of Agriculture final total for U.S. agricultural exports in Fiscal Year 2014 soared to a record $152.5 billion (up from the previous year’s record of $141 billion). Illinois agriculture contributes about @120.9 billion of total economic output. More than several other industries …, transportation and construction industries …… AND PROVIDES 432,831 JOBS in Illinois. Agriculture and food processing are the top industries in Iowa as well. Agriculture is one of the top industries in each state being impacted by Clean Line projects. Agriculture contributes to our nation’s overall economic welfare. Not to mention the many other industries that rely on agricultural products across this nation and around the world. Agriculture is one of the last top industries in this nation that hasn’t been shipped out of the country and still offers training and job opportunities to our youth during high school and after graduation. Why would the DOE allow a private investor spec project to impact such a vital industry to the US economy? Much less allow eminent domain against hardworking farmers, landowners and taxpayers in a highly productive sector of our economy? Strictly for private investor gain? A project without merit…does not meet DOE’s own 1222 Requirements. Doing Jimmy Glotfelty ex-director of DOE Transmission a BIG FAVOR? I think so and Conflict of Interest as well! Not to mention Undue Influence.

    Jimmy Glotfelty twisting and bending the law even after numerous states have denied his request for public utility status and/or eminent domain. Energy Brokerage doesn’t qualify you as a public utility. Jimmy Glotfelty and Michael Skelly are wolves in sheep’s clothing hiding behind a clean energy platform. Clean Line Energy Partners is basically an Enron clone. Who was vested with oversight of this industry and turned a blind eye to Enron’s misappropriations by friends Jeffrey Skilling and Ken Lay? And Enron helped take the American economy right down the tubes with help from Arthur Anderson. Michael Skelly owned Horizon Wind, sold out before the economic crash leaving it with EDP Renewables – Global Energy Broker – allowing Horizon Wind to collect 400+ million in green stimulus designated for US companies. Tax dollars going to a foreign entity at taxpayers expense. Add insult to injury, Mr. Glotfelty has now offered a 2% cut on the deal to the DOE and threatens federal eminent domain. Correspondence siting Secretary Moniz with ignoring scofflaw behavior and subversion of federal law in the DOE leaves little trust in any decision by the DOE. Allowing Clean Line eminent domain would set a dangerous precedent. One taxpayers won’t stand for when it impacts and impedes one of the most vital industries in this nation still providing much needed jobs and food to every table. It is time to change the rules created by Clean Line’s founder. When you establish, deregulate and create new agencies to endorse/promote/establish statistics for your own projects .…AWEA, Wind on the Wires, Southern States Energy Board, RETA…..etc. Are the single top benefactor of its profits at the expense of the farmers, taxpayers and landowners along the route……THAT IS CONFLICT OF INTEREST AND UNDUE INFLUENCE. Allowing ANY Clean Line project to proceed would be a travesty to American taxpayers and the agriculture industry. Food production should be the top priority of all nations. Not energy. Not greed. We will always need food.…to destroy any more farmland would be removing food from our own tables. Our agricultural resources are non renewable and should be protected not handed off to private investors on a silver platter. We are talking billions of acres here coming out of the agricultural industry across the entire nation. Sounds like shooting one of the nation’s best industries in the foot! As well as every industry that feeds off agriculture. If they destroy all the farmland, grazing land, orchards and ranches with unwarranted projects that do more damage than good…what will we have left to produce food. The hot cement roofs of development left abandoned and empty with no water supply. Hot dry lands laid waste by destructive spec projects that poison our water and forever remove the blessed soil from production. Remember….FOOD to feed YOU, ME, friends, family, veterans, homeless and other nations.

    We aren’t against clean energy or progress….when a project actually benefits the constituents of the surrounding communities and doesn’t steal someone else’s hard earned home and living. Many of these states have plenty of renewable energy projects that benefit the constituents locally without harm or damage to other industries in their states. Clean Line’s projects do not. The millions of people who stand to lose their homes are living productive lives as part of a vital industry to our economy and this project stands to disrupt the entire agricultural industry. A project requesting eminent domain for private gain….period….is not acceptable. Any elected official who endorses their projects does not have the best interest of their constituents at heart. To pull this during an election so constituents protests are lost in the campaign rhetoric is heartless. During planting season…..even worse when farmers have no choice but to address the work in their fields rather than defend their hard earned living. The media manipulation and suppression of this issue has been absolutely pathetic, and it is shameful that any of the constituents along the routes of these projects should fear someone taking what is rightfully theirs for their own personal gain.

  3. Reblogged this on citizenpoweralliance.

  4. faithfulsceptic says:

    I expect New York City would not have functioned without horse transport in 1916. Not for a week. Even though lots of folks were using automobiles.

    Horse dooky was everywhere, I’d guess, and the occasional dead horse.

    What sort of electricity generation do you recommend?

    • The first requirement is satisfying the 3 electricity essentials – that the power source and its delivery to homes and businesses be: 1) reliable; 2) secure; and 3) affordable. Which means that wind power – a wholly weather dependent power source, that can’t be stored and costs 3-4 times the cost of conventional power – scores NIL on all three counts.

      There is no alternative to presently existing conventional sources that satisfies the above.

      If CO2 emissions are the issue, its either hydro or nuclear which have fitted neatly within the criteria above for decades (almost a century with hydro; almost 60 years with nuclear). Geo-thermal also has potential, but is limited to specific location. Only nuclear can be built in proximity to markets, wherever they are. The French have relied on nuclear for well over 50 years, and get over 75% of their power from it.

      Hard-core CO2 warriors have reached the same conclusion:

      Wind power is a childish fantasy, designed by shysters at the expense of the gullible. Take away the massive subsidies and they disappear.

      And bulk power storage is a delusion:

      So, if you’re prepared to live freezing (or boiling) in the dark, 60% of the time (and you will never know when you’ll have power), then wind power is for you.

    • In a hideous, modern day ‘green’ and dis-powered useless wind turbine world, dried horse manure would burn rather well ‘faithfulsceptic’. Useful to cook on it, keep warm, fertilize crops, make paper and so on. You can even choose to speak it or believe in it or keep flogging a dead horse; but once you are aware of the facts as STT and it’s supporters so kindly point out, you would perhaps realise that even a poor dead, decomposing and gas producing horse has more worthy use than a dead in the air, rusting wind turbine without wind or political back up to power it. The wind industry doesn’t care about Nations or the planet nor provision of electricity, it cares only for profit. Keep reading STT or actually visit a wind farm with an understanding that the towers, blades and turbines you see are only the tip of the ice burg in understanding what a wind farm is and what the impacts are to the surrounding communities and to our nations. If you are paying extra for ‘green power’ on your energy bill, thinking you are doing your bit to save or power the planet, think twice and understand that what you are really paying for and really supporting is akin to a sanctioned horse racing scam without any scam watch.

    • E Griffiths says:

      I bet there were people people shovelling up horse dookey as fast as it was being produced – very good stuff for their gardens!

      Rural living Tibetans (nearly all of Tibet) rely on dried yak dung for their fuel – there’s very little else available. It is far more useful that the dung sprouting forth from the mouths of deluded turbine loving zealots.

      Anaerobic digesters could be used to convert our bodily waste into useful fuel, with the added benefit of producing perfectly good compost as an end by-product.

  5. Terry Conn says:

    Urbanites may think wind power is a good thing, but all that proves is they are ill informed or totally stupid. Rural communities who actually know the truth about ‘wind farms’ have to bear the burden of ramming the truth home — if New York thinks it can function on wind power then let’s see if it can be arranged! And that means ‘no back up’ – just 1 week will do the trick.

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