The exit of Spanish wind developer Iberdrola Renewables from the town of Hammond will create a feeling of relief for the majority of residents who have felt the intrusion of this foreign conglomerate into the affairs of this small rural community was unwelcome.
As a group brought together by a common cause over four years ago, the Concerned Residents of Hammond have been guided by their original mission statement to provide factual information and education on all aspects of industrial wind energy installations and their impacts on communities. We were dedicated to ethical, open and fair governmental processes while promoting sustainable growth and future development.
Many kudos go to the 2010 Hammond Wind Committee and town board, who educated themselves on the implications of industrial wind development and revised a wind law that was upheld by state Supreme Court.
There are no winners in this situation. We watched as a foreign wind developer stealthily entered our community with promises that resulted in a division among residents that may not heal in this decade or the next. This company can now walk away unscathed as it was just a job to them, devoid of emotion. Unfortunately this scenario is being allowed to be repeated across the United States, and the people in small, rural communities are pawns in the game of corporate greed and political lobbying.
Our thoughts are with our neighbors in Cape Vincent, Lyme and Clayton who continue to be pawns in this game. The extraordinary Thousand Islands region is not deserving of the destruction being planned by these foreign companies that have no emotional investment and little interest in the broader economic vitality of our area only thoughts of financial gain at everyone elses expense.
If you have an emotional attachment to this area because you are full-time or seasonal residents or you visit here because you know it is one of the most beautiful places on earth, it is important to voice your feelings to the New York Public Service Commission Article 10 Siting Board in Albany. Visit http://documents.dps.ny.gov/public/MatterManagement/CaseMaster.aspx?MatterSeq=40867 and post your comments asking for protection of the Thousand Islands. This five-member board has been charged by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to decide which communities will be chosen to be subjected to the property losses and threats to public health and safety that accompany industrial wind projects. The few minutes it takes to register your thoughts can help this board understand the Thousand Islands is one area where industrial wind development is not appropriate and should be protected at all costs.
The writer is president of Concerned Residents of Hammond.