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Group backs ban on turbines in waters

Waters continued to be muddied when considering the impacts of wind turbines in lakes throughout New York state.

Last month, the New York State Conservation Council, Inc announced it is supporting legislation sponsored by Sen. George Borrello to ban wind turbines on lakes and bodies of freshwater.

Concerned about the threat the wind turbines pose to the environment, council Board Members voted to support Borrello’s bill and companion legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Brian Mankelow during the council’s May Board of Directors meeting.

“The New York State Conservation Council has been fighting to protect our natural resources for 88 years. They recognize that once these wind turbines are forced into our lakes, the damage is done. I want to thank them for lending their voice to this fight and supporting my bill and its companion legislation sponsored by my colleague Assemblyman Brian Mankelow,” Borrello said.

In their memorandum, council board members said they are concerned that the negative impacts of allowing wind turbines in New York’s lakes aren’t being considered. Their memo reads in part:

“Moving forward on the construction of offshore wind turbines at this time is little more than a best guess from insufficient information. This is a guess we cannot afford to be wrong about. It is essential to enact this proposed moratorium until such time as significant supportive data becomes available … The NYSCC believes that too little is currently known at this time to support the installation of wind turbines on Lake Erie and other bodies of water. Therefore, we support the proposed legislative moratorium.”

Council Board President A. Charles Parker said there is too much at stake to allow wind turbines in New York’s lakes.

“We can’t afford to be wrong, not with our great lakes,” he said. “There’s not enough known. The data isn’t there and it’s just not worth the risk.”

Turbines have been considered for portions of Lake Erie in the past off the waters of Dunkirk Lighthouse and possibly in an area near Angola.

Borrello said Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s push to litter New York’s lakes with wind turbines is a move to appease his political supporters, not address climate change.

“This is nothing but crony capitalism gift wrapped to look like environmental policy. Governor Cuomo and his friends and allies who benefit from these projects would allow 460-foot industrial wind turbines in the waters of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario without considering the impact on the environment or human health,” Senator Borrello said. “This reckless push to industrialize our freshwater lakes is more about promoting a false political agenda than doing anything meaningful to reduce carbon emissions.”

Borrello said the governor’s green energy agenda also unfairly targets upstate New York. Our lakes, pristine woodland and productive farmland are at risk of becoming an industrial wasteland blemished with wind turbines and solar installations to help power New York City.

“Upstate is already green! More than 85 percent of upstate’s electricity comes from zero-emission sources. New York City is the issue — 70 percent of the city’s power comes from fossil fuel plants. These projects will only harm the upstate communities where they would be located,” Senator Borrello said. “It’s unconscionable that Governor Cuomo would endanger upstate’s beautiful lakes, quality of life and economy to feed New York City’s insatiable appetite for power and support a false narrative that will do nothing to truly address climate change.”

Borrello’s wind turbine moratorium bill (S.6314) is under review by the Senate’s Environmental Conservation Committee.

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