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Turbine campaigners take the message far and wide

Activists with the Broome County Concerned Residents gave testimony to a NYS Assembly Committee. The Hearing on Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) Implementation heard from and questioned a wide range of state agencies, voluntary organizations, and community groups who are involved in work on climate and environmental issues.

Anne Lawrence, co-chair of BCCR, spoke mostly of the unfair siting process that the state has adopted to assure that ‘enough’ green energy facilities are being built to meet the CLCPA goals.

She argued that all the incentives and laws regulating green energy development are heavily skewed in favor of the developer at the expense of local communities and natural habitat, which is eroding Home Rule and making a joke of environmental review requirements. Using some of the local issues with the Bluestone Wind project as an illustration, Lawrence said there is much work to be done to assure that the implementation of the CLCPA results in a fair distribution of the burden.

“What good is the right to be heard, if nobody listens”, Lawrence asked the panel.

Several other speakers from upstate communities also spoke of their experiences with the unfair fight against powerful wind projects. Stephanie Milks from western New York, where Alle Catt, the largest wind project is being built, concluded that “if you cut down a forest to put up a windmill that saves less CO2, you have made no progress.”

Ann Lawrence also spoke about the huge issue with the poor siting decision regarding the bald and gold eagle habitat and how 80 bald eagles and 24 golden eagles were projected to be slain. She said, “we’re throwing away the baby with the bathwater if we place these ‘green energy’ projects in the middle of unique habitats that need our utmost protection” and concluded that the project cannot comply with the State Endangered Species Act.

Joan McKiernan argued that renewable technologies, such as industrial turbines, are adding to the problem of environmental destruction, and are failing to reduce CO2 emissions. She was particularly critical of the tree removal that is occurring on our slopes. She said, “We need to keep our trees to protect us from carbon dioxide emissions. We also need these trees to protect our water supply and to prevent floods.”

McKiernan had earlier participated in a nation-wide webinar organized by Green Parties and other environmental groups to discuss the need for a stronger Green New Deal. Speakers argued that the various “green strategies” are damaging the land that they are intended to save. For example, they damage by intensive mining – lithium for electric car and other batteries – and precious minerals for turbines. They explained that these technologies also destroy habitats, increase global shipping, and produce more toxic waste.

Recent research reports confirm the criticisms that those living near these “green” technologies have made. One report is from The International Energy Agency, a body the Wall Street Journal calls “the world’s pre-eminent source of energy information for governments.” The Agency is particularly critical of green energy machines need to mine for critical minerals. The report exposes the hidden environmental costs of these renewable technologies and argues that it is not feasible to obtain the necessary minerals to go green. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/bidens-not-so-clean-energy-transition-11620752282)