Yates councilman’s analysis of PSC comments is misleading

Posted 5 August 2016 at 6:48 pm


Let it be known that Mr. Riggi’s views are not shared by many of his constituents in the Town of Yates. I am deeply troubled by his recent letter to the Orleans Hub, in which he reviewed the PSC comments regarding Apex’s Lighthouse Wind Project.

His confident assertion that the comments “show a clear, ongoing and massive opposition to this project,” is misleading. Although the PSC is an important forum for voicing opinion, it is worth noting whose opinion is being voiced and at what frequency.

A closer look at the 776 comments now submitted reveals that 390 comments (over 50% of the total collected), were submitted by a mere 40 households (59 individuals). In fact, 35 comments – nearly 5% of the total counted – were submitted from one individual alone, a collection which reads more like a private diary and less like a public discourse.

When considering Mr. Riggi’s numbers, consider the number of hours many farmers work in a day, in a week, in a season. Although we are all given the opportunity to comment, sharing our opinions at such a statistic-bending frequency requires a lot of time, a luxury many of us cannot afford.

I spent this past weekend at the Orleans County Fair, a beloved event attended by a proper sampling of our towns.  This is the second year running Apex has supported the 4-H in Orleans as a top level sponsor. Not only did the Apex employees have an informational tent at the fair, presenting a genuine and respectful face to the community, but also I saw their plans widely embraced as “common sense” and “about time” by swaths of farmers and others alike.

It is a long time for both voices in this fight to be heard, and for the slanted and misleading arguments to be exposed.


Howard Pierce