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BP’s public involvement

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“Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets.” — Napoleon Bonaparte

Part of the Article X control siting wind energy projects is the Public Involvement Program. PIP is a written plan for engaging, interacting with and informing the community about the wind proposal. In Cape Vincent, British Petroleum has written what they consider their PIP. While that PIP is weak and vague, it seems there is another more powerful public involvement program quietly afoot.

BP wind leaseholders and members of Voters For Wind, a group BP claims credit for assisting to form, filed a lawsuit last summer that seeks to subdue and quiet our local blogs’ voices. While our community bloggers have stood firm and continued to convey information and documents into the public domain, there seems to be little doubt that the intention is to intimidate and shut these sources of information down as Article X proceeds.

The lawsuit is ongoing and unresolved. The lawsuit seeks to intimidate the blog authors and to expose John Does 1-10, authors of anonymous comments, and includes “continued findings,” meaning that additional comments and John Does could be added to the lawsuit. The BP leaseholders and Voters For Wind plaintiffs seek general damages, exemplary damages and punitive damages.

It would be appreciated if the Siting Board of Article X would simply ask BP if they are indeed directing or financing this lawsuit through their local group and their leaseholders or through a sweet in-house deal with the law firm Vorys? Would they care to acknowledge this lawsuit and its attempt to curtail public discourse in their official Public Involvement Program?

Hester Chase

Cape Vincent

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