If there was ever a lesson in how to sabotage potential support for a controversial project, the New York Power Authority exemplifies it.
By refusing to release the most basic details about proposals to place wind turbines in Lake Ontario and Lake Erie, the authority has frustrated both government officials and citizens, to the point that opposition is becoming the norm.
Gov. David Paterson, who appoints the power authority’s trustees, should push them to release, at a minimum, non-competitive information on who has submitted proposals, what parts of the lakes are being considered, and how many wind turbines would be erected.
Paterson has advocated for more transparency in government, and this is a good example of where it’s needed. Paterson’s spokesman said his office hasn’t had a chance to review the situation. They should find the time.
After all, New York state suffers from high utility costs that are often mentioned as a barrier to doing business. Wind power isn’t the total answer, but a strong portfolio of energy options is.
Meanwhile, the power authority continues to turn down Freedom of Information requests filed on behalf of citizens, both from the Democrat and Chronicle and Sen. George Maziarz, the state Senate’s energy committee chairman. Maziarz plans to appeal personally to trustees in October. If they remain steadfast, he says he will file a lawsuit.
The secretiveness is unduly swaying public opinion, and that’s a shame, given that there’s no real information to go on. Already, the town boards of Greece and Webster have come out against having turbines off their shores; the Irondequoit town board may do the same in October.
Secretiveness never builds confidence in government, and the power authority is taking the wind out of potential support for this energy solution.
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