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Dinosaur (and cow) gas?

Methane-emitting dinosaurs could have warmed the earth

Some scientific findings are just too good to leave alone, even if you don't know if they can ever be confirmed: Such is the case for a study saying that plant-eating dinosaurs could have emitted enough digestive methane to warm Earth's climate 150 million years ago.

"It is known that the time of these dinosaurs was warmer than now," said David Wilkinson, an environmental scientist at Liverpool John Moores University who's the lead author of a paper on the subject appearing in the journal Current Biology. "This is explained usually by an enhanced greenhouse effect, mainly carbon dioxide. If we are correct, then methane from sauropods may have been a contributor to this greenhouse effect."

Methane is a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, and modern-day livestock are thought to be responsible for about a quarter of the methane released in the United States. Some say that the belches and flatulence of cattle, pigs and sheep are a significant contributor to the warming effect caused by greenhouse-gas emissions. So why wouldn't it have been the same in the age of giant plant-eating dinosaurs, when global biomass density was at least several times what it is today?

Click here to read full article by Alan Boyle.


Prattsburgh Update

Monday's Town Board meeting was called to discuss the situation with the Ecogen Lawsuit. Many of you may recall that a significant issue in the lawsuit was if Ecogen had vesting in the proposed Prattsburgh project. Judge Ark said that the town board did not have a right to grant vesting, it is something that a developer achieves by significant construction.

The Judge had given Ecogen 168 days to do substantial construction to vest in the Prattsburgh project. Ecogen did not do any substantial construction. Now they have gone to Judge Ark to clarify when the 168 days starts, or started. They have also requested a stay.

Our attorney has advised that if our town board did not take counter action, it would indicate to the judge that we did not have an issue with Ecogen’s request. It has been the position of the majority of the town board that the 168 days has gone by and Ecogen did nothing.

There was some discussion between Lenny and Chuck about how much it would cost the town to respond to the Ecogen action. The board was able to get the attorney and clarify the issues to the satisfaction of the board.

The board voted to advise our attorney to counter sue and say that our opinion is that the 168 days are over and deny a stay. This part of the legal action will cost the town between 5-15 thousand dollars. Some of you know that at the last town board meeting $10,000 was given to the town board, money that had been collected from local people who want the money to be used for legal action. This $10,000 could be used for this legal

I am not an attorney and this is my best effort at relaying what I saw at the meeting.

There were quite a few people in attendance at the meeting. It is so important for each of us to remain involved in these important issues.

Nancy Wahlstrom


Letter to the Secretary

April 29, 2012

Hon. Jaclyn A. Brilling, Secretary
New York State Public Service Commission
Three Empire State Plaza Albany, New York 12223

RE: Proposed Article X Regulations and Proposed Rulemaking

Dear Secretary Brilling

This is a brief comment about windmills and their siting. My wife and I own property in Cohocton, NY where an industrial wind facility with 50 turbines was installed 3 years ago after extensive local discussion and in spite of very intelligent arguments to the contrary.

We were promised that the facility would be beautiful, quiet, and benefit the community with significant tax savings. Unfortunately, none of these promises is true. The windmills can be seen for over 10 miles around, are profoundly unsightly, and mar what was for generations a very scenic part of New York State. Every acre of our property, which was a very quiet and serene place to dwell on, is now overrun night and day by the intrusive noise of windmills, an aggravating noise that sounds like jet airplanes at an airport that never quite land or fly away. Our taxes haven’t improved a bit. We don’t even have access to information that would indicate that the Cohocton Wind installation is generating electrical power at a level that would justify its existence.

We sincerely hope that the New York State Public Service Commission will begin to recognize before it’s too late that the entire impetus for the establishment of industrial wind facilities in New York is based entirely on raw profit-making motives that are supported by extravagantly fraudulent claims. Please allow New York citizens to retain a measure of Self Rule in this volatile area of development or send the wind developers packing entirely.

Sincerely yours,

Bill and Susan Morehouse

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You're on, Mr. President


Tax savings

We were promised big property tax savings 
when the windmills were being proposed.
Here's how it's worked out for us:

2005 $1949
2006 $2043
2007 $2336
2008 $2476
2009 $2300
2010 $2268
2011 $2356

Notice the big savings?



16 Scientists on Global Warming

Princeton physics professor William Happer on why a large number of scientists don't believe that carbon dioxide is causing global warming.

Click here to read full Wall Street Journal article.



Merry Christmas!

Greetings from the Morehouses!

We deeply appreciate all your support and look forward to serving together with you in the coming year.



Doubts About Offshore Wind

Michael Townsend doubts viability of offshore wind farms

New York Power Authority board chairman Michael Townsend questioned Monday whether the authority's offshore wind farm proposal should go forward.

"From my perspective, I don't think that project is very viable at this time, politically or economically," said Townsend, a lawyer with the Perinton-based law firm Harris Beach.

The authority, an independent arm of state government, has been reviewing five private-sector proposals to erect wind turbines in state waters of lakes Ontario or Erie. Officials are supposed to announce a decision by June.

Townsend, appointed to the board in 2004 by former Gov. George Pataki, does not expect to be reappointed when his term expires later this month.

He noted that authority President Richard Kessel, a champion of the offshore idea, had said offshore turbines would not be built where they're not wanted. County lawmakers in seven of the nine shoreline counties, including Monroe, have voted to express opposition to the plan for aesthetic, environmental and other reasons. "We're not being welcomed," Townsend said.

He also said the project might be financially burdensome. Kessel had said the authority would support an offshore wind farm by signing a long-term power purchase agreement on terms favorable to its private development.

But Townsend said the authority, which generates or purchases electricity for hundreds of business, government and other customers, might be "spread too thin" financially to sign an expensive agreement. That's especially true, he said, if the authority finalizes a costly purchase agreement to support construction of a huge transmission line under the Hudson River to carry power to New York City.

He said that "unofficially, other board members agree" that offshore wind may be too expensive. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who supported the offshore concept during his gubernatorial campaign as long as it was financially feasible, is "the big X factor," said Townsend, who pointed out that offshore projects elsewhere in the Great Lakes have been axed or frozen.

Connie Cullen, a spokeswoman for the authority, said Monday that "while we greatly respect the opinions of our trustees, NYPA hasn't yet completed its review of the bids for the ... initiative. We hope to present the full results of the review to our trustees in the next couple of months."

Townsend said the common wisdom is that John S. Dyson will replace him as chairman. Dyson chaired the authority during the Hugh Carey and Mario Cuomo administrations, and he was named to the board again by Andrew Cuomo earlier this year.

Townsend said he had nothing to say to rumors that Kessel, authority president since October 2008, could be leaving. Cullen said Kessel had no plans to resign.

Written by Steve Orr, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle staff writer.

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