Obama’s climate agenda doesn’t seem to be gaining traction with Americans despite increased efforts to tie global warming to extreme weatherpublic health concerns and national security.
Democratic mega-donor Tom Steyer spent $73 million during the 2014 election cycle backing liberal candidates and trying to make global warming a top tier issue in campaigns — but with little success it would seem.

       Negative Realities of the ‘Clean Power Plan’

New York State Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, claims that President Obama’s ‘Clean Power Plan’ is making a difference here in New York State. It certainly is, but it has been a NEGATIVE impact!

The destruction of rural America is ongoing thanks to those -- like NY AG Schneiderman and Governor Andrew Cuomo -- who continue to push ‘unreliables’ like industrial wind energy as a fantasy-cure for the alleged problem of “Climate Change.”

$Trillions have been spent on ‘renewables’ worldwide, yet carbon dioxide has not been significantly reduced, while rural America is paying the ultimate price. Our countrysides, wildlife, and Constitutional private property rights are being sacrificed on the altar of “Green” energy … for no net benefit.

Sadly, the mad rush for unreliable, non-dispatchable 'renewables' is taking New York State - and the nation, down the same path that has caused "skyrocketing" electricity rates in Europe over the past 20+ years, which has led to widespread 'Energy Poverty' (defined by power bills exceeding 10% of a household's income)Energy Poverty has been blamed for causing tens of thousands of deaths annually. 

One would think that emulating such destructive energy policies would be off the table here in the U.S.  However, when greed and ideology are the main drivers, denial of long-term reality occurs. 

Wyoming County in western New York State (where we live) was originally slated to have over 2,000 industrial wind turbines littering its beautiful countrysides.  Thanks to many good people getting involved, thus far there are only 308 (308 too many!) industrial wind turbines littering five townships on the west side of the Warsaw Valley here in Wyoming County (which negatively impact all those for miles around). 

Instead of focusing on long-term realities for all ratepayers and taxpayers (the ones who are funding this consumer FRAUD), officials have focused solely on the recycled taxpayer and ratepayer money payoffs that large landowners and targeted townships are promised they will receive from Big Wind developers.  The Wyoming County Townships who chose to turn themselves into sprawling industrial wind factories may not have to pay any town tax for the 10 – 20 year life of the project (usually a couple hundred bucks a year, per household), but the costs we’ve been left dealing with, far outweigh any short-term payoff. 


1.) Wyoming County taxes have risen yearly over the past 12 years (concurrent with the proliferation of wind factories in the County) - up another 9.68% this year.

2.) Wind factories are NOT paying their fair share of taxes, but instead "shift the burden of taxation on to local residents and small businesses."

3.) Real Estate 101:  LOCATION!  LOCATION!  LOCATION!  Property values are significantly negatively-impacted.  Many homes are selling below assessed value, if they sell at all. (Three more properties in the area of the wind factories are going to auction this week (11/7/15).

4.) The Town of Eagle, which has a wind project, was reassessed to what they were told was 100% just last year (2014), and had their assessments jacked up another 40% again this year (2015).  

5.) Few - if any, meaningful permanent jobs were created here (maybe a few dead bird/bat picker-uppers).  Western and Upstate New York continue to hemorrhage jobs as high taxes and electric rates continue to drive business, industry and people out of the state.

6.) The population of Wyoming County has decreased by 2.2% since 2010 as people flee the area.

7.) Nobody is getting "free" or reduced rate electricity here.  In fact, NYS electricity rates continue to "skyrocket" as $Billions more of our taxpayer and ratepayer dollars are thrown into the wind. 

According to NYSERDA, the average NYS residential electricity rate in 1999 was 13.3 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). The first wind factories went up in New York State in 2000 (Wethersfield & Madison).  20 wind factories later, and the average residential electricity rate in NYS as of February, 2015, is now 19.8 cents per kWh (according to the EIA, as cited by NYSERDA) – one of the highest rates in the nation, and nearly a 50% increase since New York State began mindlessly plastering the NYS countryside with redundant generation of industrial wind factories, which have been averaging a pathetic 24% Capacity Factor (actual output).

Noteworthy:  New York State was already getting nearly 50% of its electricity from emissions-free sources back in 2000 - 29% from nuclear, 19% from hydro, and about 1% from all other renewable sources.  15 years later, with countless $Billions of taxpayer and ratepayer dollars thrown into the wind, and the breakdown is now:  30% from nuclear, 23% from hydro, and approximately 3% from all other renewables (wood, biomass, wind, solar, geothermal, etc).  Natural gas is now providing the largest percentage of NYS electricity generation (approximately 40%), while coal is approximately 2% of electric generation in NY.

8.) The only thing that has been reliably generated by industrial wind is complete and utter civil discord.  Community relations have been ruined. People who used to be friends no longer speak. Even families have been divided.

9.) Habitat Fragmentation associated with the miles and miles of industrial sprawl and access roads associated with wind factories has forever destroyed “the sense of place Wyoming County was famous for, and is cited as one of the main reasons for species decline worldwide.

10.) Negative impacts from wind turbine-related ‘infrasound’ have been documented worldwide.  The mental and physical stress this places on those stuck living too close worsens after prolonged exposure and increased loss of proper sleep.  (Observation: Murder, suicide, domestic violence, health issues, etc, have seemingly increased in correlation with the installation of wind factories, though no studies have been done.)

12.) Radar systems are severely impacted, thus impacting Homeland Security.  Since it wasn’t in Invenergy’s contract to cover it, Wyoming County residents are stuck paying for a new Emergency Communications tower (costing an untold amount) after the one we had no longer works adequately following the construction of Invenergy's Orangeville wind factory in 2013 (Another county-wide impact, as the new tower sits unfinished).

13.) The “flicker”/strobe effect created when the sun is behind the turbines, and the blinking red lights at night drive some crazy. The light pollution in our night sky now looks like a cheap blinking Christmas tree spread out for miles.
14.) All of the environmental, economic and civil devastation has been for naught, since the diffuse energy of wind cannot replace reliable, dispatchable, baseload generation sources.  Thus, consumers are paying twice for the redundancy of wind.  The cost of the transmission lines that must be added to run across New York State to New York City (where the power is actually needed in New York State) is also significantly adding to New York State ratepayers’ electric bills.

15.) It remains to be seen who will take these giant fans down once they are defunct. According to a prominent wind industry attorney, should the corporations abandon a project – whatever the reason, “The landowner will be liable.”

For more on the reality of industrial wind in New York State over the past 15 years, see the history as documented in this partial list of articles:

Critical Thinking vs. 'standing firm' (Regarding local 8th graders being given a 'science' lesson by wind salespeople at a local wind factory.) 

Learn more at: 

~ Mary Kay Barton

Mary Kay Barton is a New York State-certified Health Educator (retired),  Cornell-certified Master Gardener, and is a tireless advocate for scientifically sound, affordable, and reliable electricity for all Americans. She has served over the past decade in local Water Quality organizations and enjoys gardening and birding in her National Wildlife Federation “Backyard Wildlife Habitat.”

Lisa Linowes of Industrial Wind Action offers update regarding Congressional action on the federal subsidy for industrial wind Production Tax Credit (Thanks Lisa!)

Hi Folks. I’m long overdue in sending out this update re: the Wind PTC and what’s happening in Washington.

Where things stand: As you know, the wind PTC expired December 2014. Due to the “begin construction” language in the law and the overly lenient IRS rules that interpret Congress’ intent, projects can still squeak by as PTC eligible even if they have not yet turned a pebble of earth provided they are placed in service by the end of 2016. The wind industry is quickly losing its window for starting projects which explains why the pressure is building. 

Last summer, Senate Finance voted out of Committee a $95 billion tax extender bill that included a 2-year extension of  the wind PTC (2015,2016). The PTC was the 3rd most expensiveprovision in the bill at $10.5 billion. In October, Senator James Lankford (R-OK) submitted a bill to end the wind PTC. On the house side, the PTC Elimination Act offered by Congressmen Marchant and Pompeo (H.R. 1901) is still pending and new cosponsors have signed on every month since the bill was introduced. These different bills will need to be reconciled.

Last month, Speaker John Boehner handed the gavel to Paul Ryan (R-WI). Ryan was chair of the powerful House Ways & Means Committee. When he ran on the Romney ticket in 2012, he agreed with Romney that the wind PTC should expire . He still might support a phase-out so we’ll be watching. News from today is that Representative Kevin Brady (R-TX) has been named the new W&M chair. The renewables industry  is suggesting they can work with Brady, but so can we! Info on Brady can be found here - http://kevinbrady.house.gov/ . Brady will be a key voice in how the House deals with energy tax policy.

Next steps: It’s time to start beating the drum against any extension of the wind PTC. We need to call on our representatives, and the entire House leadership – with special focus on Rep Brady -- to walk the walk on fiscal issues. We can’t afford any more billions to “spur” wind growth. With the DOE touting wind as competitive with (or under) the price of gas, there is no justification for further subsidies. The 1992 tax credit had done its job and It’s now over! 

Next week House members will be home in their districts. Please, please take every opportunity to attend a town hall meeting or (low cost) fund raiser. Stand up and ask your representatives where they stand on the PTC. Let everyone know that the PTC is toxic and will not win votes. Call the district offices to get an events schedule. (If you need assistance, let me know).

Demand a standalone vote: There’s one more important ‘ask’. The wind PTC has rarely been put forward in the House or Senate as a standalone vote. The last time this happened was in 2012 and Senator Menendez’s amendment to the Transportation Bill. It failed. If the Senate and/or House insist on considering the wind PTC we want a standalone vote. That way we can know who in Congress is with us and who’s against us. We also don’t want big wind to gain a boost from other more beneficial tax credits seen as “must pass”. 

Thanks everyone for all your efforts! There have been impacting developments across the country that suggest the wind industry is quickly falling out of favor. Keep up the great work! You are all making the difference. As always, if I can be of any assistance, do not hesitate. Meanwhile, I’ll keep you posted on the PTC and our next steps.


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