Turbines generate power and benefit local taxpayers, without polluting environment

Posted 15 August 2020 at 8:43 am


I live downwind from the shuttered coal-fired power plant located in the Town of Somerset, Niagara County. For more than a generation, Somerset residents benefitted tremendously from the taxes generated by the plant. It was a major step in the industrialization of the town.

It now is an eyesore. Beneath the artificial grassy mountain near the smokestack lies a huge deposit of unusable hazardous ash. The power lines that connect the relic to the NY power grid sit unused, a natural, open invitation for a clean alternative to the pollution spewed from that 600-foot smokestack.

The hypocrisy of the town’s leaders of all stripes is what turned me off to Somerset’s crocodile tears about the windmills. It was like delayed outrage over the vast harm caused by their smoky  benefactor.

I think they were just trying to hustle the developer for a sweetheart deal that never came. All they did was blaze the path for the State of New York to correct the shortcomings of the original Article 10 process. In the new tweaks, the developer does not have to fight wearing a blindfold or one arm tied behind its back.

While the Barre project does not have to incur the wrath of the nouveaux riche crowd huddled along the lakeshore, it does attract the occasional otherwise well-concealed elite of a principally agrarian landscape. This tiny minority’s bold-faced attempt to sway Barre’s political leaders with a  fatally flawed “survey” needs to be rightfully turned aside. It was not created to be impartial and it clearly isn’t. It has no value.

If the leadership of Barre stays focused, they will greatly benefit the environment and the town’s taxpayers and residents. And no pollution downwind.

Ralph E. Smith