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New York abets Apex’s assault on our community

Despite overwhelming opposition to the Lighthouse Wind project, Big Wind LLC, also known as Apex Clean Energy LLC, remains intent on assaulting Somerset and Yates citizens.

Apex’s unscrupulous history of spreading misinformation is most troubling. Even worse is the apparent collusion between Apex and New York State’s bureaucracies. Consider:

Apex peddled a brochure claiming property values “increase” in wind project areas. That would be funny if our well-being, property values and the rural character and integrity of the entire area wasn’t at stake.

As a self-named Wyoming County industrial wind refugee who moved to Somerset before Apex’s proposed project was made public, I can tell you that in my former hometown, Orangeville, Wyoming County – now littered with 58, 430-foot-tall industrial wind turbines – home sales in 2015 averaged over 20 percent below their assessed values. And that does not include homes that have not been able to sell at all.

As real estate appraiser Michael McCann, who has a 30-year track record of documenting home sales in industrial wind project areas, has testified: Property value loss within five miles of wind factories can be as much as 25 to 40 percent – and even worse if homes that are unable to sell at all are factored in. Property value loss near one of Apex’s projects in Illinois was over 50 percent.

Then there was this …

At Somerset’s May 2016 Town Board meeting, Supervisor Dan Engert informed us that the town was excluded from meetings being held between Apex and state and federal agencies regarding the proposed industrial wind project here – even though a request was made by the town to be copied on the conversations. Unbelievably, Engert’s request was denied due to the claim that the information from these meetings was “proprietary.”

This lack of transparency – especially when we are the ones who are going to be stuck dealing with the destructive effects of these giant machines sited among our homes – stinks of corruption.

The New York State Public Service Commission is supposed to be working on behalf of all New York state taxpayers and ratepayers. Yet, when asked about the contents of the meeting, the PSC refused to allow Somerset to know what is being planned for our community. It appears Governor Cuomo’s New York is now being run as a dictatorship. This is simply unacceptable!

The mission statement of the PSC, according to its website, is “to ensure affordable, safe, secure, and reliable access to electric, gas, steam, telecommunications, and water services for New York State’s residential and business consumers, while protecting the natural environment.”

Thus, the PSC’s own mission statement advises against the installation of unreliable, unsafe, market-altering, environmentally destructive industrial wind factories! In fact, to use the word “reliable” and the phrase “protecting the natural environment” in any statement referencing wind factories makes an oxymoron.

Lighthouse Wind would forever alter the rural-residential, major migratory flyway along the shores of Lake Ontario and be detrimental to all New York taxpayers and ratepayers, especially those residents in the targeted areas.

No wonder everyday citizens in Somerset and Yates are rallying to protect their health, safety and welfare against the likes of these corrupt corporate invaders – as is our right under the Constitution!

Nineteen local agencies have joined our grassroots efforts to oppose Apex’s move to industrialize Lake Ontario’s shores and our beautiful rural countryside. These include the Niagara and Yates county boards of health and various avian, conservation and environmental groups.

You, too, can help us stop Apex’s senseless corporate assault on New York taxpayers and ratepayers, and save our beautiful rural countrysides. Write and/or call your elected representatives. Tell them to stop the organized crime syndicate that is Big Wind corporate cronyism. Tell them to abide by Sunshine Laws in New York and restore our long-held constitutional right to home rule in our communities.

Contact Save Ontario Shores at http://lakeontarioturbines.com/, and on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/SaveOntarioShores/, and help stop Apex!

Cathi Orr is a Somerset resident.