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North Country senator supports Galloo Island wind project

Courtesy photo
A former island hideaway is jockeying to become an offshore wind installation.

A North Country state senator has indicated her support for a power purchase agreement for a remote wind power project, reports Nancy Madsen at the Watertown Daily Times.  We've been following the wind power installation on Galloo Island, in the St. Lawrence, because the developers want the project to be part of the (so far) secretive Great Lakes Offshore Wind (GLOW) Initiative.  Madsen reports that Senator Patricia Ritchie of Heuvelton has sent a letter to the state power authority (which is also picking the GLOW projects) supporting Galloo - if it uses underwater power lines:

Jefferson and Oswego counties are proponents of an underwater route that runs straight from Galloo Island to Scriba. Another route would run underwater to landfall in the town of Hounsfield, then go overland along Route 12F to the Coffeen Street National Grid substation. The [Public Service Commission, which regulates utilities] PSC has held off further consideration of the line while [the New York Power Authority] NYPA decides whether it will allow an agreement.

NYPA has previously said it doesn't want Galloo to be its GLOW project, so a power purchase agreement doesn't seem to be in the cards.

Pa. well blowout

At the Wall Street Journal [paywall], Ben Casselman reports that last week's Pennsylvania well blowout could do big damage to the reputation of natural gas drilling.

Marcellus shale commission

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett's Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission met yesterday, to discuss whether or not natural gas drilling should be allowed in state forests, reports Robert Swift at the Towanda Daily Review:

The focus of additional leasing of state forest land will be on parcels adjacent to existing well pads where gas deposits can be reached by underground drilling, Richard Allan, secretary-designate of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, told the commission. Allan said the agency will follow its own environmental impact assessment and guidelines and seek to minimize disturbance to the land surface in selecting forest parcels for leasing. While drilling for oil and gas on state forest land dates back 60 years, DCNR officials estimate that some 3,800 deep Marcellus wells will be drilled on state forest land by 2018. So far, 164 Marcellus wells have been drilled on state forest land.

Anti-drilling activists made themselves heard during that meeting, reports Laura Olson at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, both inside and outside.:

More than 100 protesters attended a noon rally outside the Department of Environmental Protection headquarters, where the commission is holding its day-long meeting. Following the rally, many went inside, planning to participate in the public comment period later this afternoon. The dozens who filled the inner hallway blocked entrance to the meeting room and heckled several of the commission members as they tried to squeeze through the crowd. One local activist, Gene Stilp, walked into the morning session and began handing out "delinquent drilling tax bills" to the commission members. He was quickly escorted out of the room, after saying the lieutenant governor was a "prostitute," because of his and Gov. Tom Corbett's campaign contributions from the gas industry.

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