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Wind Farms Sign AG's Ethics Code

By Dave Lucas


Albany, NY – New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo says about 90 per cent of companies that have either developed, or are planning major wind energy projects in the state, have signed an ethics code. Capital District Bureau Chief Dave Lucas has more...

The Wind Industry Ethics Code came about as a result of Cuomo's ongoing investigations into accusations that wind power companies improperly sought land-use agreements with public officials and citizens, and whether the companies provided benefits to public officials to influence them. The A-G's task force monitors wind companies to ensure they comply with the ethics code. The task force also fields complaints about the wind industry.

The A-G announced Tuesday that 16 companies, representing the vast majority of the wind energy business in New York State, have signed his "Wind Industry Ethics Code."

One company was targeted for alledgedly REFUSING to sign the A-G's ethics code: Vermont-based Reunion Power, initially declined to sign the ethics code but changed course Wednesday, according to Cuomo. The attorney general has an ongoing investigation of allegations of improper dealings involving the company. Reunion Power has potential wind projects in Otsego, Schoharie and Warren counties. Reunion Power's Managing Director Steve Eisenberg, says the A-G's team made a grand oversight when it singled his wind firm out, that Reunion has been consistently compliant with the code and has signed it.

Among the provisions in the ethics code: wind companies are banned from hiring municipal employees or their relatives, giving gifts of more than $10 during a one-year period, or providing any other form of compensation that is contingent on any action before a municipal agency-- it also requires companies to publish on the Internet the names of any municipal officers and their relatives who have financial interests in wind farm development.