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Comments on DPS site continue to show opposition to Lighthouse Wind

Posted 5 January 2019 at 9:34 am

Editor:

Analysis of the fourth quarter 2018 comments to the state Department of Public Service regarding the proposed Lighthouse Wind project in Yates and Somerset continues to show overwhelming opposition.

In the quarter, there were 125 public comments received. Of these comments, 50 were found to be in favor of the project, 66 opposed, and 9 comments were actually found to reference the Heritage Wind project in Barre. In percentage terms, the comments related to Lighthouse Wind were 43 percent in favor, 57 percent opposed.

Since the inception of tracking the public comments, 339 comments, or 21 percent are in favor of the project, 1,260 comments, 79 percent, are opposed.

It has been suggested by other parties that multiple comments submitted by the same person be discounted, that is, each person’s opinion should be counted only once, not multiple times based on the number of comments submitted. Using that argument, during the fourth quarter of 2018, there were 43 commenters in favor of the project (45%) and 52 commenters (55%) opposed to the project. If anyone would care to go back to the beginning of the comments and perform a similar analysis on all 1,600+ comments, please feel free. I have better things to do.

It is interesting to note that only a few of the 50 fourth quarter comments in favor of the project contained any meaningful, substantive content.  Most of the in-favor comments were in the form of pre-printed postcards.

Also of particular notice during this quarter were the number of comments from persons living outside the project area and the immediate surrounding area, or who had no stated familial or recreational ties to the two affected towns. Strong weight should be given to the voices of those most impacted by this proposed project. Those living in other parts of New York State and even in other states may have their opinions, but those outside opinions cannot be given the same value as the opinions of those of us who would have to tolerate these industrial machines for the next 20 or so years.

Local comments in favor of the project numbered eight from seven individuals. Notable in this number is the fact that these in-favor comments came from four households, of which two are leaseholders who stand to profit from the project. A third is a relative of one of those two leaseholders. Of course these commenters would be expected to be in favor of the project.

Local opposition to the project was expressed in 60 comments from 50 individual commenters. In terms of percentages, 12 percent of local comments were supportive of the project, 88 percent opposed.

Whether or not you believe that climate change can be resolved through installation of hundreds of thousands of wind turbines across the country, and whether you support Governor Cuomo’s ambitious 50 by 30 plan or believe that it is a politically motivated, unattainable, unrealistic, economically wasteful boondoggle, the will of the members of the communities which would be affected by Lighthouse Wind remains clear. This project is overwhelmingly opposed.

Steve Royce

Appleton