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The Politics of Wind

It’s been 10 months now since UPC Wind first notified the general public in Cohocton about its plans to build an industrial power plant on all of our hilltops, kicking off the mandated State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) process. Prior to involving the public and nonleaseholders, UPC had spent over 3 years quietly selling their project to local leaders and signing up supportive leaseholders.

What did Cohocton see when UPC’s project “went public”?

– A full website, complete with an 800+ page Draft Environmental Impact Statement outlining the proposed project in fine detail.

– The opening of a fully furnished and staffed “public outreach” (read “sales campaign”) office right beside the Post Office.

– The formation of an advocacy group called “YES! Wind Power for Cohocton” complete with yard signs, green “YES” hats and scarves, and a well-financed ad campaign in The Valley News.

– Local leadership all lined up to pass whatever zoning law the developer could want or need.

With this kind of support, you’d think the thing would have been a fast “slam, dunk” for leaseholders. The only problem is that local citizens started looking closely at the project and found problems with the whole concept as well as its local specifics. Sadly, as these concerns have been brought out, the response of supporters has often been anger, scoffing, character assassination, and just plain shady politics.

At www.cohoctonfree.com we’re more interested in the facts about wind turbines than we are in politics. Will they really reduce CO2 emissions? Are they properly sited? Have the SDEIS and DEIS studies been done properly for SEQR? Is the community aware of the whole story? Are we rushing into something we’ll regret later? We’re confident that truth will eventually triumph over half-truths. Check out our “Updates” on the web and let us know what you think.