The Greece and Webster Town Boards have taken official positions against offshore wind power projects near their communities. A minority of county legislators, all of them Republican, don’t want them either.
But will they really influence the New York Power Authority, the quasi-governmental agency in charge of this whole shebang? That’s an important question; NYPA officials have said they won’t green-light a project if a community opposes it.
But NYPA hasn’t offered its definition of “community opposition.” Nor would a spokesperson tell me how much weight these opposing resolutions carry.
Says Connie Cullen, a NYPA spokesperson: “The Power Authority is keeping its options open concerning the project location in order to continue listening to the greatest amount of public input possible and to give the many different facets of the general public an opportunity to be heard, including individual citizens, municipal officials, and business, environmental, recreational, academic and civic groups.”
Since I couldn’t get a more specific answer, let me offer my interpretation. NYPA seems to be saying that these resolutions won’t disqualify these areas all on their own. Let’s say one of the sites is off of the Webster shore. The Town Board doesn’t like it, but maybe a couple of hundred residents tell NYPA they do want it. NYPA might give the residents’ comments more weight and move ahead despite what the Town Board thinks.
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