COAX


RESOLUTION NO. 613-11: RESOLUTION OPPOSING THE POWER OF NY ACT OF 2011

Mrs. Collier presented the following:

WHEREAS, New York State recently enacted legislation known as the Power of NY Act of 2011; and

WHEREAS, Said legislation amended the public service law by adding a new article 10, which establishes a New York State Board of Electrical Generation Siting and the Environment; and

WHEREAS, Said Board will have the authority to permit the siting of electrical generating facilities in the State which have a nameplate generating capacity of twenty-five thousand kilowatts or more; and

WHEREAS, Previously, while various state agencies had regulatory oversight for such facilities, as a home rule state, New York’s local municipalities, by virtue of decisions made by locally-elected representatives, could ultimately decide whether such development was in their residents’ best interests; and

WHEREAS, The Power of NY Act of 2011 removes said decision making from local municipalities, and puts that authority into the hands of a bureaucratic State board which will have nominal representation from affected communities, and even that representation cannot be from elected representatives of those communities; and

WHEREAS, The new Board will have the authority to ignore “any local ordinance, law…or any local standard or requirement…if it finds that…such is unreasonably burdensome…on ratepayers whether located inside or outside of such municipality”; and

WHEREAS, The new law further states that “no…municipality…may require any approval, consent, permit, certificate or other condition for the construction of operation” of such facility; and

WHEREAS, While the law provides for the set-aside of funds for pre-hearing research on behalf of the affected communities, said funds are controlled by the Board and will be allocated as it sees fit; and

WHEREAS, The large majority of the Board’s membership will have no connection to the affected communities and will not be directly affected by their decisions; and

WHEREAS, While municipalities may be a party to the siting hearings, so may any individual within 5 miles of the proposed facility’s site, and therefore the municipality itself, which purpose, by law, is to represent the residents who elect its officials, is diminished to the level of each individual within the 5 mile radius, whether or not he/she lives in the affected municipality; and

WHEREAS, Said law follows a disturbing trend in New York State to remove powers from local jurisdictions and therefore from the affected electorate and transfer such powers to a faceless bureaucracy which has no constituency; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the Wayne County Board of Supervisors opposes, protests, and expresses its deep disappointment and concern over the establishment of said siting Board and of the enactment of the Power NY Act of 2011; and further

RESOLVED, that the Clerk of this Board is directed to send certified copies to Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senator Michael Nozzolio, Assemblyman Robert Oaks, and the New York State Association of Counties.

Mr. Lauderdale moved the adoption of the resolution. Seconded by Mrs. Crane. Upon roll call, adopted.

WAYNE COUNTY
Board of Supervisors
LYONS, NEW YORK

This is to Certify that I, the undersigned, Clerk of the Board of Supervisors of the County of Wayne, have compared the foregoing copy of resolution with the original resolution now on file in this office and which was duly adopted by the Board of Supervisors of said County at a session held on the 18th day of October 2011 and that the same is a true copy of said original and of the whole thereof.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto subscribed my name and affixed the official seal of the Board of Supervisors of the County of Wayne, this 18th day of October 2011.
_________________________________
Clerk of the Board

If there was any advantage to the Power NY-Article X legislation, it has become instrumental in organizing the citizens of New York State in a common battle against the loss of Home Rule.

Even former Senator Darrel Aubertine, when asked to intervene on behalf of the coalitions of people opposing industrial wind power, would tell his people to declare that industrial wind is a matter of Home Rule. He was a State guy and did not want to become involved. Not his problem. Plus, was and still is the proud owner of industrial wind leases in Cape Vincent, NY.

However, don’t confuse Home Rule with Corporate Rule. When your Home Rule is infested with corporate conflicts of interest, as has been the case in Cape Vincent, the problem becomes even more complex.

The citizens first have to overthrow those who infested us with Corporate Rule before you can establish Home Rule.

When the conflicts of interest are removed from the Cape Vincent Town government, via the electoral process, the next step will be for our Town Board to consider joining the rapid-fire COAX movement by resolving to oppose the anti-home rule Power NY-Article X legislation.

North Country State public servants, Assembly Members, Ken Blankenbush and Addie Russell as well as State Senator Pattie Ritchie were ahead of the Albany game when they voted Nay on Power NY. Their reason?

Power NY violates New York States status as a Home Rule State.

Wind developers who are allowed to push around local citizens and local legislation by taking control of local governments by using legal tactics and conflicts of interest are in clear violation of the principle of Home Rule.

Recently, the Wyoming County Board of Supervisors joined the COAX movement and passed a resolution opposing the NY the Power NY act.

Source

PRESS RELEASE:
October 22, 2011

Following the lead of other Counties and Towns, on October 6, 2011, the Ontario County Board of Supervisors passed a Resolution opposing the Power NY Act of 2011.

Also, during the regular scheduled monthly meeting, held on Monday, October 17, the Hopkinton Town Board, introduced correspondence from COAX regarding the request for a resolution opposing Article X. With little discussion, the Board voted unanimously to pass the resolution. The resolution will read the same as the Town of Hammond resolution. Both towns reside in St. Lawrence County.

A copy of the Ontario County resolution opposing Article X is shown below.

Ontario County Board of Supervisors
Canandaigua, New York 14424

Supervisor Luckern offered the following resolution and moved its adoption:

RESOLUTION NO. 600 – 2011
RESOLUTION OPPOSING THE POWER OF NY ACT OF 2011

WHEREAS, New York State recently enacted legislation known as the Power of NY Act of 2011; and

WHEREAS, Said legislation amended the public service law by adding a new article 10, which establishes a New York State Board of Electrical Generation Siting and the Environment; and

WHEREAS, Said Board will have the authority to permit the siting of electrical generating facilities in the State which have a nameplate generating capacity of twenty-five thousand kilowatts or more; and

WHEREAS, Previously, while various state agencies had regulatory oversight for such facilities, as a home rule state, New York’s local municipalities, by virtue of decisions made by locally-elected representatives, could ultimately decide whether such development was in their residents’ best interests; and

WHEREAS, The Power of NY Act of 2011 removes said decision making from local municipalities, and puts that authority into the hands of a bureaucratic State board which will have nominal representation from affected communities, and even that representation cannot be from
elected representatives of those communities; and

WHEREAS, The new Board will have the authority to ignore “any local ordinance, law…or any local standard or requirement…if it finds that…such is unreasonably burdensome…on ratepayers whether located inside or outside of such municipality”; and

WHEREAS, The new law further states that “no…municipality…may require any approval, consent, permit, certificate or other condition for the construction of operation” of such facility; and

WHEREAS, While the law provides for the set-aside of funds for pre-hearing research on behalf of the affected communities, said funds are controlled by the Board and will be allocated as it sees fit; and

WHEREAS, The large majority of the Board’s membership will have no connection to the affected communities and will not be directly affected by their decisions; and

WHEREAS, While municipalities may be a party to the siting hearings, so may any individual within 5 miles of the proposed facility’s site, and therefore the municipality itself, which purpose, by law, is to represent the residents who elect its officials, is diminished to the level of each individual within the 5 mile radius, whether or not he/she lives in the affected municipality; and

WHEREAS, Said law follows a disturbing trend in New York State to remove powers from local jurisdictions and therefore from the affected electorate and transfer such powers to a faceless bureaucracy which has no constituency; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the Ontario County Board of Supervisors opposes, protests, and expresses its deep disappointment and concern over the establishment of said siting Board and of the enactment of the Power NY Act of 2011; and further

RESOLVED, That certified copies of this resolution be sent by the Clerk of this Board to the Finance Department, Senator Michael Nozzolio, Senator Patrick Gallivan, Assemblyman Brian Kolb, Assemblyman Sean Hanna and Governor Andrew Cuomo.

STATE OF NEW YORK }
COUNTY OF ONTARIO}

I do hereby certify that I have compared the preceding with the original thereof, on file in the Office of the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors at Canandaigua, New York, and that the same is a correct transcript therefrom and of the whole of said original; and that said original was duly adopted at a meeting of the Board of Supervisors of Ontario County held at Canandaigua, New York, on the 6th day of October, 2011.

Given under my hand and official seal October 7, 2011 .
Karen R. DeMay Clerk, Board of Supervisors of Ontario County, NY

Sincerely,
Robert E. Aliasso, Jr. – Member COAX
raliasso@twcny.rr.com +1 (315) 771-9753

Board of Supervisors
Canandaigua, New York 14424

Supervisor Luckern offered the following resolution and moved its adoption:

RESOLUTION NO. 600 – 2011
RESOLUTION OPPOSING THE POWER OF NY ACT OF 2011

WHEREAS, New York State recently enacted legislation known as the Power of NY Act of 2011; and

WHEREAS, Said legislation amended the public service law by adding a new article 10, which establishes a New York State Board of Electrical Generation Siting and the Environment; and

WHEREAS, Said Board will have the authority to permit the siting of electrical generating facilities in the State which have a nameplate generating capacity of twenty-five thousand kilowatts or more; and

WHEREAS, Previously, while various state agencies had regulatory oversight for such facilities, as a home rule state, New York’s local municipalities, by virtue of decisions made by locally-elected representatives, could ultimately decide whether such development was in their residents’ best interests; and

WHEREAS, The Power of NY Act of 2011 removes said decision making from local municipalities, and puts that authority into the hands of a bureaucratic State board which will have nominal representation from affected communities, and even that representation cannot be from elected representatives of those communities; and

WHEREAS, The new Board will have the authority to ignore “any local ordinance, law…or any local standard or requirement…if it finds that…such is unreasonably burdensome…on ratepayers whether located inside or outside of such municipality”; and

WHEREAS, The new law further states that “no…municipality…may require any approval, consent, permit, certificate or other condition for the construction of operation” of such facility; and

WHEREAS, While the law provides for the set-aside of funds for pre-hearing research on behalf of the affected communities, said funds are controlled by the Board and will be allocated as it sees fit; and

Read the entire resolution

Editor’s Note: COAX NY representative addressed the following issue at this meeting. However, the questions as stated is not reported correctly, nor are the challenges to the responses from Senator Tom O’Mara and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano reported.

Q How is home rule affected by the Power New York Act that streamlines energy plant siting?

A O’Mara cautioned against the “not in my back yard” mentality and said the act sets aside funding for municipalities that challenge energy plant sitings. In addition, two local parties are appointed to siting committees as voting members.

Palmesano added that power companies must follow local ordinances, unless they are deemed unreasonable. Further, there is an appeals process. He said the challenge is that as much as two-thirds of the state’s energy production capacity could go offline with new state and federal regulations. However, no major plants have been sited in more than seven years.

“This was important to meet our stat energy needs,” Palmesano said. “We need to have a statewide energy plan.”

Source

Following the lead of other Counties and Towns, the Town of Hammond in St. Lawrence County passed a resolution 3-2 opposing Article X. Councilors James E. Langtry and James C. Pitcher opposed the resolution. Their families hold lucrative renewable energy leases, placing their personnel gain ahead of Home Rule. Some would argue these ethics issues will no longer be a problem with Article X in place. COAX contends that by inserting Albany bureaucrats to manage siting standards “backroom deals” will be the norm, and the public will have no input, nor ability to self-regulate through the voting polls as we do in Towns and Counties. It is important to keep municipal home rule.

**********************************

October 12, 2011 in Albany, NY on the Capitol steps, COAX addressed statewide media personnel on the perils of Article X as yet another tax which the state can levy. The Renewable Energy Standards, Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, FERC’s Order No. 1000 and Article X are all converging in a perfect storm to drive up commodity costs of wholesale electricity through the collection of various taxes imposed on ratepayers. The increase in energy costs will also only serve to drive business away from New York State, which Governor Cuomo claims is “Open for Business”.

The ill-conceived government control of energy siting and technologies hasn’t proven to work at the Federal level, nor is it expected to work at the State level. Article X will prove to be too costly for New Yorkers due to subsidies and Industrial Development Authority tax breaks. Governor Cuomo’s re-enactment of Article X equates to taxation without representation.

Sincerely,
Robert E. Aliasso, Jr. – Member COAX
raliasso@twcny.rr.com
+1 (315) 771-9753

It was just a single bullet point in a giant omnibus energy bill.

Tucked between energy efficiency initiatives in the Power NY Act, Article X (pronounced “article ten”), had support from advocates for green power, who wanted to make it simpler to site new power plants in New York.

But now that single bullet point has blossomed into something else: a fight.

Streamlining the siting process

Article X provides a uniform, statewide review process for power projects that would generate 25 MW and up. It’s supposed to help power projects overcome the sometimes complex web of local reviews and regulations.

“It’s been tough – I think it’s been very tough,” is how Matt Nelligan describes the process of siting a power plant in New York. Nelligan is legislative director for the office of state senator George Maziarz, who chairs the Senate’s energy committee.

“It’s been very expensive,” he notes further. “And what [Article X] does is provide a streamlined process.”

But 25 MW isn’t a lot of power, which means that the state now has control over some very small scale, very local projects – projects that tend to kick up local opposition.

“Dictating their destiny”

Opponents to Article X maintain they’re as concerned about local home rule as they are about some of the small wind projects that the law will apply to. But when you map proposed wind projects that are garnering local opposition, they line up closely with a recently spate of local resolutions opposed to Article X.

Here’s an example. In its resolution expressing opposition to the legislation [DOC], the scenic North Country town of Henderson’s town board registered its concern that:

Despite the effort the Town has put into protecting its scenic resources, there is a real possibility that the Town of Henderson will be forced to accept the construction and operation of 230 kV extra high voltage power lines right through the heart of the Town.

Henderson lies in the 50-mile long transmission corridor that would connect the proposed wind project for Galloo Island to the state’s power grid. But the town itself has an outright ban on commercial wind turbines.

Town Supervisor Ray Walker says the ban, which came after a series of public meetings, seems to be what his town wants.

“When we made the decision to ban [wind turbines], no one said we did wrong. I don’t know what you knew about town of Henderson but it’s very vocal,” he says.

The same transmission line from the Galloo project would run through Oswego County, which also voiced opposition to the project. Oswego County, along with Jefferson County, have both stated their opposition to offshore wind in Lake Ontario. And both counties have offered anti-Article X resolutions. Both were written using language from the Coalition on Article X, or COAX.

John Byrne is a spokesman for COAX and hails from another town facing wind development: Cape Vincent. In September, anti-wind candidates swept the local elections with a wave of absentee votes coming from seasonal residents.

Byrne says municipalities “don’t want Albany dictating their destiny … And when [Albany takes] over that power plant siting, it’s got to make somebody wonder ‘what’s next?'”

Byrne declined to provide names of other towns considering Article X resolutions, saying he’d prefer to wait until they’re closer to passage.

An evolving statute

Article X replaces a similar, older state statute on power siting, which lapsed a decade ago. According to Nelligan, it was rewritten with new renewable technologies in mind – which is why it applies to smaller projects.

Nelligan says the new process brings technical expertise to all power projects, but leaves room for local input. He says the new process also requires developers to create what’s called the “intervenor fund” – money that will pay for local technical and legal inquiries into projects.

Given that Article X has been already been written into state law, the resolutions against it are unlikely to have much effect, according to Nelligan. But that doesn’t mean that the outcry will die down. The legislation is now being written into regulations – and that comes with a public comment period.

Source

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