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Whiff of Corruption

In Rural New York, Windmills Can Bring Whiff of Corruption

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BURKE, N.Y. — Everywhere that Janet and Ken Tacy looked, the wind companies had been there first.

Dozens of people in their small town had already signed lease options that would allow wind towers on their properties. Two Burke Town Board members had signed private leases even as they negotiated with the companies to establish a zoning law to permit the towers. A third board member, the Tacys said, bragged about the commissions he would earn by selling concrete to build tower bases. And, the Tacys said, when they showed up at a Town Board meeting to complain, they were told to get lost.

“There were a couple of times when they told us to just shut up,” recalled Mr. Tacy, sitting in his kitchen on a recent evening.

Lured by state subsidies and buoyed by high oil prices, the wind industry has arrived in force in upstate New York, promising to bring jobs, tax revenue and cutting-edge energy to the long-struggling region. But in town after town, some residents say, the companies have delivered something else: an epidemic of corruption and intimidation, as they rush to acquire enough land to make the wind farms a reality.

“It really is renewable energy gone wrong,” said the Franklin County district attorney, Derek P. Champagne, who began a criminal inquiry into the Burke Town Board last spring and was quickly inundated with complaints from all over the state about the wind companies. Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo agreed this year to take over the investigation.

Click here to read the entire New York Times article by Nicholas Confessore.

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Anonymous Anonymous Says:

Hello, I used to be a NYS resident but now live in Ohio. After reading about Lowville's problems on Yahoo I sent the article to many friends still living in NY. I was surprised to find that a dear friend had set up this website. As I perused it I couldn't help but notice how huge the windmills loom beside the trees, and how strange they look on the landscape. Upstate NY and the Adirondacks have always been beautiful and it is sad to see the change in Malone and Lowville. I never thought much about it because when I saw them in San Joaquin Valley, Ca. in the 90's they seemed right for that agricultural area. I'd never seen the turbine stations and transfer stations against the NYS landscape-that was a shock. Reading on I was dismayed to find out about the conflict of interest in Malone, NY,with the legislation. My sister, who lives in Dallas, says that Mr. Pickens made a fortune in oil and stands to make a fortune in wind power, hence his prowindmills tv ads. If NY doesn't have these ads, I suspect they are to whip up support here in Ohio before the eminent domains legislation creeps into the landscape! It is scary! I think we all need to beware and tread carefully in all of these energy matters. It is clear we need something different. We can't depend on the OPEC cartel forever!The largest transfer of finances is in effect now from the US to OPEC! I hope everyone reading this website is trying to reduce their carbon footprints and help in their own way. Thank you for an informative website which to me serves as a warning too. I will recommend it to many more people in Ohio too. This central Ohio area is much like the rolling hills of NY and I'd hate to see it lose that appeal. We need to know about what is happening in NYS now!
Marsha H. Jaenke


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