Why Is Southern Tier Solar Works So Afraid of Questions?

Vic FurmanVictor Furman
Upstate New York Landowner Shale Gas Activist


Southern Tier Solar Works threatened Vic Furman with police intervention if he dared to attend their educational forum and not conduct himself with decorum.

I recently registered for a solar event near me. It was to be conducted by an outfit known as Southern Tier Solar Works. I intended to attend and ask questions. I had seen an advertisement back in May for what was described as a community solar educational event to take place in nearby Sidney, New York and decided to save three spots for myself and friends. No big deal, right? Apparently, it was a big deal for the people at Southern Tier Solar Works, who seem awfully afraid of any questions I might ask.

Southern Tier Solar Works

Who “Southern Tier Solar Works” really is – a group of hard-core anti-gas activists who want to shut down the questions and speech of others.

I say this because this is the email response I received from Southern Tier Solar Works after registering (emphasis added):

From: Southern Tier Solar Works <stswinfo@southerntiersolarworks.org>
Date: Tuesday, June 5, 2018
Subject: Important message regarding Wednesday event at Awestruck Ciders
To: Victor Furman <Vlfamf@aol.com>

Dear Mr. Furman,

Thank you for your interest in our event on Wednesday June 6th. These events are taking place in cooperation with county and local governments across the region for the benefit of their residents. While we welcome discussion that is respectful and on topic, you should be aware that we and our partners will not tolerate attempts to dominate or disrupt our educational programs.

Given your history of disrupting events, we respectfully ask that should you and your associates be planning on anything other than attending and maintaining proper decorum, that you please take this to another forum and respect this local small business. Otherwise, you and your associates are not welcome at this event and we shall notify the Sidney Policy Department to that effect.

We have made our partners aware of this situation as well.  We also take the comfort and safety of our employees, interns and guests very seriously.


The STSW team

What kind of a reaction is this a day before the event? It took place last night but I decided, in the end, not to go. I took this correspondence as a threat that if I did show up, I’d better keep my mouth shut up as they wouldn’t call on me and if I dared to interrupt they would have me arrested. This a threat from a non-profit public charity group that wants to interact with local goverment agencies and do business in New York but doesn’t want to take any hard questions in an open forum.

Southern Tier Solar Works is really just the Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition by another name. Tom wrote about them here several years ago. They then described themselves as an:

“…initiative of the Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition (BRSC) in partnership with the Susquehanna Group of the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and Catskill Mountainkeeper.”

Southern Tier Solar WorksThey’re anti-gas activists, in other words, who are feeding at the public trough to advance their Catskill Mountainkeeper anti-gas message, using tax-exemption and taxpayer rip-offs and subsidies galore to do so. Yet, they speculated I might disrupt their meeting and ordered me to conduct myself with proper “decorum” or they’d send the police after me.

Anti-gas activists don’t mind disrupting public meetings at will, but dare to attend one of their sessions and their fear of Karma takes over. They suddenly take a stand for decorum and order. Give me a break! They simply don’t want anyone exposing the subsidies behind their scam or what their real purpose is. They aim to stop natural gas development that might help the Southern Tier economy.

Think I’m exaggerating? Check out the “Guiding Principles” of BRSC, which state that “growth is no longer the prime measurement of progress” and prattle on about the “holos,”  “polycentrism,” the “creative molecular economy” and similar other garbage pseudo-intellectual nonsense.

Meanwhile, who can forget the most recently exposed and admitted complete failure of the Conklin, New York, Broome County Solar Farm that I spent months working on exposing through the FOIL process. The Broome County Executive recently admitted to Bob Josepth on local radio that the solar farm, for all practical purposes, has been one big expensive failure for the county.

I’m pleased my work helped expose this boondoggle but, apparently, Southern Tier Solar Works isn’t so happy. Its hardly a surprise given how much time these folks and their friends spent lobbying against natural gas and the landowners of the Southern Tier so they could later further their own business for personal gain. Call it a window into the world of anti-gas activism, intimidation and unjust profits at the expense of taxpayers.

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7 thoughts on “Why Is Southern Tier Solar Works So Afraid of Questions?

  1. These people were constantly disrupting meetings in the past regarding the permitting of nat gas in NY prior to Cuomo extending the moratorium indefinitely. Here is but one of many that they acted like “animals” to coin a Trumpism – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCzvtgIcxOA and this gem – https://youtu.be/S9Zdmefn9co So it was ok for them to do this and pay no criminal price, but Vic can’t go to a meeting and ask questions? These “renewable energy” folks are nothing but a bunch of tyrants and zealots who reflect Cuomo’s personality and intentions for upstate: to cover our hillsides with these intermittent monstrosities and cut down our woods. VIC SHOULD SEND THEIR LETTER TO SENATOR AKSHAR AND ASSEMBLYWOMAN LUPARDO OR WHOEVER HIS ASSEMBLY PERSON IS TO LET THEM KNOW OF THIS THREAT TO HIS FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS! I wish I could have gone but had a prior commitment.

  2. Mr. Furman

    As Mr. Chernega’s above comment may indicate – and as you yourself point out – the tactics of the renewable folks are reaching levels of near frenzy as world events are showing how wrong headed their approach has been.

    I myself am constantly censored by anti fossil fuel websites despite polite, fact filled comments that point out their folly.

    The wider audience will carry the day in these affairs.
    Persistent engagement with ‘bite sized’ communication efforts that show how expensive, how ineffective non hydrocarbon operations actually are maybe well be the optimal strategy going forward.

    I once again salute your ongoing efforts and can only hope more of your neighbors join you in ensuring a better tomorrow for your families.

  3. Solar is a means for the Democrats to create government funded Jobs period. It has nothing to do with environment/ clean energy. The Democrats have no concept of Capitalism.

    • Ironically, there are plenty of brownfields and other marginal lands within democratic strongholds that could be used for siting solar or wind projects. It would be a win-win for those communities to invest their time and citizens in what they believe is the “future of energy”. This is a good opportunity for them to put their own money where their mouths are but I have yet to see any takers.

  4. I just went on the Facebook page of the Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition – https://binghamtonsustainability.wordpress.com/ and under their “:guiding principles” these items appeared:

    * That future is more local than global as we transition to an ecological/complex systems model to address our challenges. The model is nature, not machine. (From “Logos” to “Holos”; Integral Culture)

    * In governance, politics and community development we are moving toward multi-cellular/molecular inter-locking and adaptive living networks collaborating at ever increasing speeds to achieve well-being. (Polycentrism; Creative Molecular Economy)

    * Growth is no longer the prime measurement of progress. Well-being, equity, prosociality, and improved quality of life for all are the new metrics we are concerned with. (Regeneration; Wealth Creation)

    * Wealth creation requires a multi-disciplinary approach that starts at the neighborhood/community level. Wealth creation is comprised of seven forms of wealth capital that, in addition to Financial capital, include Built, Individual, Intellectual, Natural, Political and Social capital (Transformational Planning; communitarian).

    * Creating a society of stakeholders is one of the keys to unlocking our true potential for interconnection and living inter-dependently.
    Does anyone have the foggiest idea what this nonsense means – “In governance, politics and community development we are moving toward multi-cellular/molecular inter-locking and adaptive living networks collaborating at ever increasing speeds to achieve well-being. (Polycentrism; Creative Molecular Economy). If this outfit is receiving one penny of taxpayer dollars it should be stopped immediately!

  5. Adam Flint lobbied with the NYRAD movement in Albany to ban fracking not because it was environmentally threatning, but because he stood to further his failing Upstate NY solar sales through destroying cheap energy for his own personal gain. BY piggy backing The Action of these anti fossil fuel zealots, groups that received tens of millions of russian dollars, and helped keep NY in the recession, Adam Flint profited openly and dishonestly while chasing out thousands of high paying blue collar jobs that would have changed the economics of upstate NY, while cleaning our water and air Adam Flint thought only of himself and not for the good of NY

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