Saturday, August 04, 2007

Catskills the new target for Industrial Wind

The above picture is a proposed spot for a wind mill in Meredith, NY.

"The tiny, intermittent output of electricity and the negligible CO2 savings cannot possibly justify the huge sacrifice of that most finite resource -- our unspoilt and irreplaceable countryside. It is our duty to protect our rural heritage for present and future generations from such gross and unnecessary industrialization."

— Angela Kelly, Country Guardian, U.K.

The above video is done by community members in Arkville fighting industrial wind.

What is Industrial Wind you may ask? Well it is a big business and the beautiful Catskill Mountains of New York are now in their sights. Wind power companies have descended on the rural communities of the Catskills in droves and have pitted neighbor against neighbor as they secretly meet with land owners and farmers, have them sign contracts that swear them to secrecy and then court local town boards to get approval before townfolk know what is happening to their towns. This has happened in my town of Meredith, New York. The irony is that we live here because we love nature and love our environments, and these companies profit from huge government subsidies and limitless mutual fund cash because of all the lucrative tax breaks and federal funding alternative energy schemes get. Wind looks like it is good for the environment but it does not make enough power to justify huge wind turbines the size of sky scrapers in rural communities as beautiful as ours.. In fact, Meredith’s planned industrial wind project would not create much power, and would do nothing to make our community sustainable. This power does not go back into our grid, and would do NOTHING to lesson our astronomical energy costs. It is about big business, making money of investment schemes and ruining our beautiful homes with 400-foot wind turbines all our mountaintops. This article says it well! Here is an expert:

"So why, apart from the well-intentioned New York state legislators, who want renewable energy but don't understand the costs and inefficiencies, should the beautiful Catskills await the new industrial rapists? The claim of new jobs doesn't stand any scrutiny, since teams of contractors will be brought into the area and taken out again after the turbines have gone up.

No, the real reason that Goldman Sachs and other big mecantile financiers are backing the giant windmills are good old-fashioned tax breaks. The US government permits a triple depreciation for tax purposes on wind turbines, and those with enough capital can invest in tax shelters that use these depreciations to remove the tax on profits for other ventures.

In the words of one Catskills campaigner: "If I had the ability to invest $1 million in a wind farm, I could avoid paying taxes on another $2 million in profits from some other venture. Yup, that would save me half a million in taxes. Hmmmmm".

Maybe, when it comes to some of the solutions offered by well-intentioned environmentalists, it would be wise to examine the motivation of some of the lobbyists who profess to support them. It's still not too late for the Catskill Mountains."
---Mark Seddon, Gaurdian, U.K.


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