Look beyond vitriol, emotional appeals in weighing pros and cons of wind turbines

Posted 18 December 2018 at 9:56 am


I take Mr. Kent’s blazing fast response to my LTE published Friday evening as a compliment.  There were no “clever, selective [or] obfuscating” motives behind my submission, only that the myths spread by Mr. James C. Hoffman are often repeated, but never disputed, and far more is in play in NY and regionally, than just the Niagara Hydroelectric plant.

I did not prod a Hornet’s Nest intentionally, nor did I insult the intelligence of any of these communities’ residents – 99.99% of New York state residents have very little recognition, nor understanding of the complex energy systems within which we live. Unfortunately for me, I do not gain an income for sharing my knowledge of our energy landscape, it’s my passion like others love cars or horses or …

Mr. Kent’s response and viciousness however does appear to any moderate and rational reader as though I just kicked the Hornet’s Nest… so much anger. Over what? Helping all readers to better understand our energy needs and how they can directly benefit in their pocketbooks through advances in technology, such as electric cars and heat pumps? That is a cost-benefit analysis in itself, not a presumption of “hicks from the sticks” intelligence. Your local car dealership salesman is not going to tell you electric cars are cheaper in fuel and more importantly maintenance costs. I would hope local HVAC providers would be offering the option of heat pumps for residents to perform their own cost-benefit analysis… however, I suspect they are not.

While I was pushing for my LTE to be published, my niece informed me Barker Central School announced it will need to consolidate, closing down part of it in a plan yet to be fully detailed to students or teachers alike. All just before Christmas! I graduated from BCS over 20 years ago, back during the days when we lived “high on the hog” off the Somerset Power Plant $20 million a year tax base. Something I have acknowledged in appreciation openly in several open letters to the local communities. Something I have also made clear… even though our resources back then were the best in Niagara or Orleans counties, it didn’t stop rival students from calling us “stupid pig farmers.”

It is starting to appear, as the $20 million per year long ago dried up, and Supervisor Dan Engert blows Somerset’s “rainy day fund” on subsidizing residents’ garbage collection, and Save Ontario Shores saddles the towns of Somerset and Yates under mountains of legal fees, the lipstick has started to wash off the pigs that we were all along, and the reason I like many after me got the hell out as soon as we could.

If Mr. Kent, like Mr. Hoffman, like Mrs. Bronson, like Mr. Riggi, like Mrs. Barton, want to continue throwing the proverbial cow manure at the wall that is Apex, hoping any of it will stick, then please do. I have no vested interest in Somerset or Yates or Barre, none in Apex either. I could give two cow patties. I have no children, nor will I have any… business as usual suits me just fine, I’ll be dead before the impacts hit us. Can all those in opposition to Lighthouse, Heritage or Galloo Island say the same about their children’s and/or grandchildren’s future?

I actually support natural gas pipelines and new, highly efficient combined cycle plants… something most do not. I support the governor’s efforts providing ZEC – Zero Energy Credits to our upstate nuclear fleet, something replicated in Illinois, but not anywhere else in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio and all other states with nuclear plants. I even support downstate Indian Point, contrary to most downstate residents.

There is no potential for new hydroelectric power plants in the Northeast US, especially nothing of the scale of the Niagara or Robert Moses projects. Quebec is offering us a lifeline, with the new Romain project coming online in stages. But of course, NIMBY – Not In My Back Yard, is fighting against new transmission in Vermont & New Hampshire too, just like in New York.

Mr. Kent suggests distributed “rooftop solar” as a solution to Orleans and Niagara residents. I have done the feasibility study… and the numbers are not there. Sure residents can benefit from NEM – Net Electric Meter, accounting, but on a cost basis for New Yorkers, they don’t solve our energy need problems.

Mr. Kent, is not throwing out a viable alternative to the situation New York faces as a net electricity importer and a far greater net ENERGY importer if we consider oil and natural gas.  He like many of his cohort is sowing discontent, moving people to react emotionally, and sadly, not by their own personal best interests. Keep the old ways going, don’t change anything and just leave us alone.

I encourage readers to look outside the Facebook echochambers where Mr. Riggi, Ms. Barton, Ms. Bronson, Ms. Atwater, Mr. & Mrs. Nacca operate and spread their vicious vitriol like a Hornet’s Nest just kicked. Information is available that is not so twisted and distorted by a very select group of people. All might just find, there are real direct benefits available to each of us.


Hans Hyde