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Elected officials rally against Lake Erie wind farming


Senator George Borrello joins “Citizens Against Wind Turbines in Lake Erie” at recent protest

From the Office of NYS Senator George Borrello, 57th Senate district

IRVING, NY – Several state, local and federal representatives spoke out on the negative environmental and economic impacts of installing industrial wind turbines in Lake Erie at a rally hosted by the organization Citizens Against Wind Turbines in Lake Erie (CAWTILE).  

The beach and boat rally included remarks from speakers including Philip Gow, representing Congressman Nick Langworthy (NY-23), Senator George Borrello (57th District), Senator Pat Gallivan (60th District), Assemblyman David DiPietro (147th Assembly District), Assemblyman Andy Goodell (150th District) and Erie County Legislator John Mills (11th District).

The rally was one of many events that have been held in recent years by CAWTILE, a coalition of volunteers that has fought to protect Lake Erie from the environmental harm posed by industrial wind turbines.

Protesters on the shore of Lake Erie

Opponents of the projects noted that the movement received a boost when the long-awaited Great Lakes Wind Feasibility Study by the New York Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) concluded that because of high costs and too many uncertainties, wind turbines in the Great Lakes shouldn’t be prioritized. However, the victory was short-lived as legislation was introduced in the New York State Senate a few months later to establish a wind turbine pilot project in the Great Lakes.

Congressman Nick Langworthy has introduced federal legislation, the Lakes Before Turbines Act, that would prohibit developers from utilizing tax credits for the construction of wind installations on the Great Lakes. Because the projects aren’t feasible without government subsidies, the measure would effectively stop developers from pursuing these projects.

“Our Great Lakes are the lifeblood of our communities, providing recreation, clean water, and economic vitality. One of my first actions in Congress, introducing H.R. 426, the Lakes Before Turbines Act, will protect our environment and local economies from ill-conceived wind energy projects on these waters. I applaud Senator Borrello for his hard work to end these projects in the State Senate,” said Congressman Langworthy.

The group also expressed support for legislation sponsored at the state level by Senator George Borrello that would establish a moratorium on the construction or placement of wind turbines in the Great Lakes. There is precedent for the measure in Ontario, Canada which enacted a similar moratorium in 2011 and which remains in effect to this day.

“After being declared a ‘dead lake’ in the 1960’s, it has taken decades of public investment, strategic environmental policies and research and development to restore the health of Lake Erie. Yet, all that progress could be undone if we allow profit-driven developers to disrupt the lakebed and decades of buried toxins in order to construct these massive turbines in the lake. NYSERDA’s study confirmed there are too many risks and uncertainties to justify moving forward. Yet, that report hasn’t stopped the radical special interests that are motivated more by reckless virtue signaling and profiting at the expense of our lakes than by climate change,” said Sen. Borrello.

“We won’t stop fighting to protect our lake from the environmental and economic harm posed by wind turbines, which aren’t clean, ‘green’ or efficient enough to make a measurable difference on our energy supply,” Sen. Borrello concluded.

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