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Community has remained vigilant in opposing Lighthouse Wind

Posted 7 December 2016 at 10:07 pm

Editor:

Apex Clean Energy has hired Cassidy & Associates to lobby for its Lighthouse Wind project here in Western New York. Apex claims that 70 industrial wind turbines placed along 12 miles of Lake Ontario shoreline will not have an impact on the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station (NFARS), since a base official indicated that with regards to the high-flying KC-135’s, it is a “non-issue.”

In his role as a lobbyist hired to protect military installations, Barry Rhoads, chairman of Cassidy & Associates, dispensed the following advice during an address at the Defense Communities National Summit in Washington, D.C.:  “There are a lot of communities that are almost playing ostrich and they are hoping that this goes away and their military infrastructure stays there.  But they don’t proactively do things to protect themselves.”

Barry Rhoads gave some advice to base communities: “Don’t focus on what today is, but focus on what five years is and 10 years is because that is really what they’re looking at – ‘they’ being the Pentagon. If you say you are not encroached now but 10 years from now you know there is a housing development going up someplace or there is a road network going in there, you need to be thinking about what your base looks like 10 years from now, not what it looks like today.”

Cassidy & Associates says this to other military base communities, but they are not saying it here in Niagara County when it comes to 620 to 650-foot wind turbines, which would be the tallest in the United States. It would be to the advantage of Apex Clean Energy if our communities put their heads in the sand, but our elected officials and local citizens are doing the opposite – they are engaged.  This local community understands the difference between current missions which might have high elevation flights and the acquisition of future missions that may require low altitude operating ability.

It is to the advantage of Cassidy & Associates if we are inattentive to future encroachments for the base. Cassidy & Associates has been hired by the state of New Jersey to help protect several military installations located there. If New York air bases are less competitive that is a benefit to New Jersey bases. SOS has labeled this conflict of interest #CassidyGate.

We believe that their statements are more reason not to trust the “spin” by Apex or Cassidy & Associates. These 70 industrial wind turbines, taller than any building in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse or Albany, each with blade spin area larger than a football field, will very likely impact the future viability of the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station. Remember to plan for “what your base looks like 10 years from now, not what it looks like today.”

You can watch Rhoads’ comments by clicking here.

Kate Kremer

Vice President

Save Ontario Shores