Category Archives: fighting big wind.

Stop subsidizing the Big Wind bullies

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Protest sign from Ontario

“The biggest recipient of taxpayer cash on ACENY’s roster is the world’s biggest and most-litigious wind-energy producer: NextEra Energy …NextEra is using some of that taxpayer cash to sue small towns including Hinton, Okla., and Almer and Ellington in Michigan. What did those tiny towns do to irritate the energy giant, which has a market capitalization of $73 billion? They prohibited installation of wind turbines, the latest models of which now stand about 800 feet high.”

Last month, Anne Reynolds, executive director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York, complained that the state is a “tough place to develop” big renewable-energy projects due to a “spirited tradition of home rule.” This came after her group and the Nature Conservancy released a report lamenting the fact that siting new renewable-energy projects is often “lengthy, uncertain and sometimes unsatisfactory for both developers and communities.”

It should be. With good reason, numerous upstate towns are actively fighting the encroachment of Big Wind. To cite just one recent example: Last month, the Watertown City Council unanimously approved a resolution opposing the development of eight industrial wind-turbine projects totaling 1,000 megawatts of capacity, because the projects could impair military training capabilities near Fort Drum.

Over the past decade or so, members of Reynolds’ group — some of America’s biggest subsidy miners — have collected $18.7 billion in federal and state subsidies. The burgeoning backlash against Big Wind means a growing group of rebellious New York towns stand between Reynolds’ members and even more taxpayer gravy.

The $18.7 billion sum was obtained by matching ACENY’s membership roster with data from Subsidy Tracker, a program run by Good Jobs First, a Washington-based government-accountability organization. That $18.7 billion includes all federal grants, tax credits, loans, loan guarantees and state subsidies.

The subsidies are corrosive. They encourage wind-energy companies to use legal action to bully rural landowners and small towns. They also induce the wind industry to kill more wildlife, including bats and birds.

The biggest recipient of taxpayer cash on ACENY’s roster is the world’s biggest and most-litigious wind-energy producer: NextEra Energy, which has collected nearly $5.5 billion in federal and state subsidies. NextEra is using some of that taxpayer cash to sue small towns including Hinton, Okla., and Almer and Ellington in Michigan. What did those tiny towns do to irritate the energy giant, which has a market capitalization of $73 billion? They prohibited installation of wind turbines, the latest models of which now stand about 800 feet high.

Speaking of bullying, NextEra also has a pending defamation lawsuit against Esther Wrightman, a Canadian activist who had the temerity to call the company “NextError and “NexTerror” on her Web site.

Another ACENY member: Spanish energy company Iberdrola (the parent company of its US subsidiary, Avangrid), which has collected $2.2 billion in subsidies. In 2012, shortly after Iberdrola began operating its Hardscrabble wind project, several dozen residents of Herkimer County filed a lawsuit against the company due to the nuisance, noise and sleep disturbance caused by Iberdrola’s turbines. That case, which now has 68 plaintiffs, is still pending.

Last year, after the New York town of Clayton imposed a six-month moratorium on applications for new wind-energy projects, Iberdrola sued the town, claiming the moratorium was illegal. But a state court sided with Clayton. And last November, citizens from two Vermont towns, Grafton and Windham, voted overwhelmingly to reject a proposed Iberdrola wind project.

Multibillion-dollar subsidies for Big Wind are also fueling widespread destruction of American wildlife. While the deadly effect that wind turbines have on birds, in particular eagles and other birds of prey, has been well documented, Big Wind is also killing hundreds of thousands of bats per year.

A paper published last year in Mammal Review found that wind turbines are now the largest single cause of bat mortality. A report by the conservation group Bird Studies Canada found that “across Canada, bat fatalities were reported more often than birds, accounting for 75 percent of all carcasses found.” To be sure, bats don’t get as much good press as eagles and hawks, but they are critical pollinators and insectivores.

In short, while Reynolds and other members of ACENY claim their push for renewable energy is about climate change, the numbers from Good Jobs First show that what they really want is more corporate welfare. And more corporate welfare for the group’s members means bad news for America’s small towns and even worse news for our wildlife.

Robert Bryce is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

Read article: http://nypost.com/2017/11/09/stop-subsidizing-the-big-wind-bullies/

Peaceful Presence at Niagara Wind

Today, November 2/17 marks the one year anniversary the Niagara Region Wind Farm (NRWF) joined the Ontario Grid with production.

In acknowledgement of this date a few of us took to the corner of Elcho Rd & Road #27, the new location of an Enercon facility, to express our varied concerns.

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Enercon Facility for Niagara Wind

At this point we were being pelted with rain for just over an hour and soaked from muddy road spray from passing trucks and vehicles.  Worth every minute!  Thank you ladies!!!

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Tim Horton’s coffee shop & dialogue about the impacts of industrial wind turbines

A vibrant, informed and concerned citizen, Catherine Mitchell, schooling the local gents at the nearby Tim Hortons.  She had them engaged and they asked wonderful questions.
Way to go Catherine!!!

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🚫NO INDUSTRIAL WIND TURBINES🚫

Citizen Group Gearing Up to Fight

Wallaceburg and area have formed a wind action group and are actively fundraising to appeal at the Environmental Review Tribunal if the anticipated approval for the Otter Creek wind project being developed by Boralex and Walpole Island First Nation is issued.  Water well contamination is a hot issue as they learn from reports of dirty well water in other areas such as Chatham Kent and the North Kent wind project.

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Citizen wind group prepares for fight

By David Gough
Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Wallaceburg and Area Wind Concerns group is prepared for a fight.

The group held their first public meeting last week at the UAW Hall where they outlined their concerns, as well presenting their plan on fighting the proposed Otter Creek wind project.

The group is currently raising money so they can try and stop the wind turbine project. The group has set up an account at Wallaceburg’s TD bank, and estimates that a legal fight will cost at least $10,000 and possibly much more, depending on a number of variables.

Read Article

Rally Draws Hundreds

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By Tim Miller, The Intelligencer
Sunday, October 15, 2017

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY — On Sunday opponents of wind turbine development in the County took to the streets to show that their concerns over a proposed wind energy project are about more than just a lot of air.

Hundreds of sign-waving and chanting residents marched down Main Street Picton shortly after the noon hour to kick off an anti-wind rally.

Upon reaching The Regent Theatre, marchers doffed their signs and settled in for the nearly three-hour town hall meeting to begin.

While people took their seats a video montage of anti-wind messages written by County residents in black marker on a stark white scroll of paper played on the big screen, followed by aerial drone footage of levelled and torn up fields. Over the montage played the melodic version of Dee Snider’s We’re Not Going to Take It.

Sunday’s town hall was in regards to the ongoing wpd Canada’s White Pines Wind Project which initially called for the erection of 29 wind turbines in the County.

The County has declared itself an unwilling host to industrial wind turbine projects that disrupt the lives and livelihoods of County residents and destroy the County’s historic landscapes while causing irreparable harm to the County’s wildlife and natural environment.

Because of challenges by local government and groups the initial plan of 29 turbines has been scaled back to nine — to be built near the south shore of Milford.

On stage activists sat beside entrepreneurs, doctors and local politicians. Their reasons for opposing the project was as varied as their backgrounds.

Dr Robert McMurtry, former Dean of Medicine at Western University and a member of the Order of Canada, spoke about the health impact turbines can have when placed too close to residential homes.

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Samsung Files Legal Action Against Protesters

Has Samsung SLAPP’ ed  back at protesters of its North Kent Wind project?

“Strategic litigation against public participation (SLAPP) has been defined as a lawsuit started against one or more people or groups who speak out or take a position on an issue of public interest. The purpose of a SLAPP is to silence critics by redirecting their energy and finances into defending a lawsuit and away from their original public criticism. Concerns have been raised that SLAPPs also act as a warning to other potential critics. The effect of SLAPP suits is to discourage public debate.”

Read more about SLAPP lawsuits

Council of Canadians slams heavy-handed Samsung Energy legal tactics

Media Release
October 11, 2017

Chatham, ON – The Council of Canadians is condemning Samsung Energy for filing a million dollar plus statement of claim against Chatham area residents who blocked construction at one of 34 wind turbines the company is erecting as part of its North Kent One* wind power project.

Many of the people who took part in the 11 day blockade have filed well interference complaints against the developer, citing the vibrations from the company’s pile driving activity as the cause of the sudden influx of black silt in their wells. At least thirteen well interference complaints have been made since the company started pile driving for the turbine foundations last June.

According to the developer’s Statement of Claim, the impact of the construction delay caused by the blockade “amounts to costs ranging from $50,000 to $100,000 per day, covering only the current amount of labour and equipment idle.”

The Statement of Claim names Water Wells First spokesperson Kevin Jakubec and Cindy Soney as defendants. It also includes “other individuals who have been involved in the unlawful conduct….who have not yet been identified and have been named as John Doe and Jane Doe.”

The well water on the Jakubec family’s farm became polluted with black silt shortly after pile driving began nearby.

“Our well water was crystal clear for decades before the pile driving started,” said Jakubec. “Now, Samsung is claiming that we damaged them to the tune of millions of dollars. I wonder how they sleep at night because I sure can’t.”

In 2016, Kevin Jakubec challenged the government’s approval of the North Kent One project at the Environmental Review Tribunal where expert witnesses warned specifically that vibrations from pile driving could cause the pollution problems seen in the last few months.

“Million dollar lawsuits are usually meant to intimidate,” said Mark Calzavara, Ontario Organizer for The Council of Canadians. “But people don’t back down when it comes to protecting their water. The evidence clearly shows that the construction is causing the pollution. Samsung must stop this project now.”

* North Kent One Wind is owned and developed by Samsung Energy and Pattern Energy.

For more information or to arrange interviews:

Dylan Penner, Media Officer, Council of Canadians, 613-795-8685, dpenner@canadians.org. Twitter: @CouncilOfCDNs

Ontario Gothic

“So, a developer ruins drinking water without penalty, another bullies a young mother into silence, and yet another crushes rules meant to save an endangered species. This is our Ontario. There are dozens more distressing stories just like these. Too many sad accounts of families forced to leave their homes because the noise and vibration from the massive machines proved intolerable.”

Wellington Times, Rick Conroy
Mary Shelley is said to have conceived the story of Frankenstein, a manmade monster let loose upon the countryside, while under the influence of opium in the cold summer of 1816. The gothic horror story, it turns out, was the work of a dark imagination fuelled by opioids.

It begs the question: what was Kathleen Wynne and her government smoking when they let loose their own man-made monsters across rural Ontario—in the form of industrial wind developers and speculators?

Even if you buy the sentiment that their motivations were well-intentioned, the undeniable outcome of the Green Energy Act is that Kathleen Wynne and Dalton McGuinty have spawned armies of amoral monstrous corporate creatures and have let them loose to roam unfettered across the province. To wreak havoc in rural communities. To despoil the environment. To slaughter endangered species. To make folks sick.

Worse, our government has paved the way, clearing hurdles and slashing regulations to enable these creatures to prey upon vulnerable communities, natural habitats and endangered species. Now they have lost control of their grotesque creations. Even Kathleen Wynne must know how this story ends.

Near Chatham, folks believe the wind developer working nearby has poisoned their wells—allowing toxins into their drinking supply. They have done the testing. They have spoken out. They have protested. Marched on Queen’s Park. Kathleen Wynne has ignored them.

Wynne, her government and her supporters comfort themselves believing the scourge they have unleashed—though ugly and abusive— is a necessary evil. That the greater good is being served. They ignore the folks holding up jars of black liquid, pleading with the province to test their water, drawn from wells that have become undrinkable since the wind developer began driving piles into the bedrock to secure its massive wind turbines. Even Chatham- Kent’s mayor has demanded Kathleen Wynne intervene to protect these residents. It has made no difference.

Left without the protection of the province—without the safeguards that would protect them from any other development— these folks took matters into their own hands. In August, they began blockading the construction site— neighbours joining together to form a line against the threat to their drinking water.

On Monday, in a cruel blow, the developers— a Korean conglomerate and its American partner—won a court injunction barring any further blockades of the project. The judge said he wasn’t trying to muzzle opponents, but to “prohibit unlawful acts”.

In Ontario’s perverse hunger for industrial wind turbines, it turns out Chatham-Kent residents must first prove they have been poisoned by the developer, before they may seek justice. By then, of course, the damage will have been done. Recourse will expensive and, for most, unattainable.

Four years ago, the giant American wind developer Next Era sued Esther Wrightman for defamation. On her website she had altered the company’s logo to NextError and Next Terror. They wanted the logos removed or they would litigate the mother of two young children into oblivion. All these years later, the legal action is still pending. Wrightman wakes up every morning with the weight of this action still weighing on her head. Read article

Water is Life

Developers of North Kent Wind were granted an injunction to stop unlawful protests. Impacted residents meanwhile wait for Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) responsible for issuing the approval of the project to take meaningful action over rising number of reports of disturbed and dirty water wells (current count: 13 wells impacted since construction for the wind turbines began).

Water Wells First Told To Play Nice

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North Kent Wind located in Chatham Kent- Ontario was granted an injunction against unlawful protests at its construction sites

BY PAUL PEDROOCTOBER 2, 2017 5:23PM@PaulPedroNews
Water Wells First cannot continue unlawful protests at North Kent Wind sites.

Justice Kirk Monroe made the decision at an injunction hearing on Monday afternoon, saying trespassers and law breakers will be arrested.

He agreed with North Kent Wind that an injunction to stop blockades and the occupation of the turbine sites is the only remedy to continue the work.

Water Wells First spokesperson Kevin Jakubec says lawful protests will continue around North Kent Wind sites and Ministry of Environment offices, adding that the injunction ruling doesn’t weaken their resolve.

“To say that Samsung has been done irreparable harm, I understand where they come from, but then turn around and say these families have had no harm done to them. I think that’s scandalous and an injustice,” says Jakubec.

North Kent Wind isn’t seeking any damages for, what they call, “irreparable harm.”

Water Wells First claims that wind turbine pile driving is causing well water to go murky with sediments, clogging filters and stopping the flow of water into homes….

READ REST OF ARTICLE

Court Order Bans Defenders of Clean Water

 A Blessing in disguise. Time to take the evidence to Court.

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Defenders of clean water chained themselves at the North Kent Wind Project construction site.  Blockades continued as reports of dirty water (*11 wells & counting*) continued to rise. All adverse effects said to occur after construction began for the project located in Chatham Kent, Ontario.

North Kent Wind agrees to cease construction at turbine site until matter returns to court

By Ellwood Shreve, Chatham Daily News
Thursday, September 7, 201

Construction will cease at one turbine site for the North Kent Wind project, but a court order is prohibiting anyone from blockading, obstructing or impeding access to any other construction sites for project.

However, the matter will return to court at the end of the month, when the grassroots citizen group Water Wells First plans to be ready to make its case for stopping the project, due to the impact vibrations from constructing the turbines have had on area water wells.

In a statement released Thursday, North Kent Wind stated it appeared before the Superior Court of Justice on Wednesday seeking injunction prohibiting blockades and other interference with the construction of its wind project.

“We respect the rights of citizens who disagree with wind energy or the project to have their voices heard,” the company stated.

“The motion for injunctive relief became necessary because some protestors were engaging in what we believe was unlawful conduct, raising serious concerns about the safety of workers and protestors alike,” the statement added.

North Kent Wind said it sought the assistance of the court to enforce the rule of law and keep the peace.

“At the request of the court and out of respect for those who oppose the project and wish to be heard, we agreed to cease construction at one turbine site, which is currently blockaded and occupied by protestors, until the motion is heard by the court on Sept. 28-29.”

The court has granted an interim order restraining and preventing anyone from blockading, obstructing, or impeding access to any of the construction sites for the project.

Kevin Jakubec, spokesman for Water Wells First, called the upcoming court appearance “a blessing in disguise.”

He said when the matter returns to court, this will be the first time, that he is aware of, that evidence will be brought before a court in Ontario regarding the damage a wind farm has caused to the environment and a water resource….

READ REST OF ARTICLE

Turbine Protesters Chain Themselves Together to Stop Construction

Protecting clean water from wind turbine construction has seen residents chaining themselves together in protest to stop further damage of reported turbid drinking water that occurred after the pile driving for turbine foundations in Chatham Kent.  What is it going to take?   It is time to halt the wind project!

By Trevor Terfloth, Chatham Daily News

1297986670881_ORIGINAL (1)In In an effort to halt construction of a wind turbine project in North Kent, three protesters chained themselves together in a show of solidarity on Tuesday.

Sheltered from the rain, but weathering the elements, Rick Ball, Lee Montgomery and Yvonne Laevens were at the entrance to the site on Bush Line, near Highway 40 in the former Chatham Township.

“It should have never have gone this far,” Laevens said. “We have to (do this). We’ve tried just about everything else.”

Several water wells in the North Kent Wind project area, currently under construction by Samsung Renewable Energy and Pattern Energy, have been clogged with sediments shortly after recent pile-driving took place for constructing industrial wind turbines.

Tuesday’s protest was peaceful, with Laevens adding that Chatham-Kent police have been “congenial” with the group.

Ball said he appreciated the members of the public who were on hand and hopes the government takes notice.

“Start paying attention to what we’ve been saying for a year and a half,” he said.

Last week, Chatham-Kent council passed a motion asking the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change to halt the project until water well concerns were dealt with.

Ball said a halt would allow everyone involved to work together on a solution.

Also part of the council motion was to implement independent water testing for the wells currently experiencing problems.

In a media release, the municipality stated that residents near the North Kent One wind farm project whose wells have water-quality issues will be contacted by Chatham-Kent officials this week to allow them to select a firm to test their well water at no cost.

Municipal chief administrative officer Don Shropshire said the municipality, working with public health officials, have identified 17 labs in Ontario that are licensed and accredited by the Canadian Association for Laboratory Accreditation to test drinking water for microbiological agents, organic chemicals, inorganic chemicals, and other particulate matter.

Shropshire said in the release that residents will have the option to choose any of the accredited labs.

“We want to ensure there are no concerns about who does the testing,” he said. “We’ve provided the list but the choice will be up to the residents.”

At a meeting last week between municipal officials and ministry representatives, the province also committed to contact owners of wells which have experienced issues and review those concerns with Samsung Renewable Energy and Pattern Energy.

As for the request to halt the project, the municipality’s release stated “that request is still before the premier’s office.”

In a statement e-mailed to The Daily News on Tuesday afternoon, the company said it was aware of the water well concerns.

READ REST OF ARTICLE

Fairwind Project Approval Revoked

Collingwood_Airport_12[7] As described in greater detail below, the Approval Holder has proposed an amendment to the REA to include additional curtailment measures designed to reduce little brown myotis mortalities. The Tribunal finds that these additional measures, provided they are amended to require that they be implemented from sunset to sunrise, is likely to significantly reduce little brown myotis mortality over the life of the Project. However, as neither the Approval Holder nor the Director has proposed effective means to mitigate the serious harm to human health, as found by the Tribunal in its October 2016 Order, the Tribunal concludes that the decision of the Director should be revoked. As such, an amendment to the REA to address harm to little brown myotis via an amended mitigation plan is rendered unnecessary.

READ FULL DECISION & ORDERS HERE : 16-036 WIGGINS V. ONTARIO (MOECC)

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