National Review: Big Wind SLAPPs Critic

page_2012_200_bryce_squareRobert Bryce, The National Review
The Goliath of the wind-energy business is suing David. The defendant is Esther Wrightman, an activist and mother of two from the tiny town of Kerwood, Ontario, which sits roughly halfway between Detroit and Toronto.

Wrightman, 32, has angered the Florida-based NextEra Energy (market capitalization: $32 billion) by starting a couple of bare-bones websites, and, as well as a YouTube channel, which she uses to lampoon the company. In its lawsuit, filed on May 1, NextEra claims that Wrightman has misused its logo and libeled the company by calling it “NexTerror” and “NextError.” And while the company doesn’t specify the amount of damages it seeks from Wrightman, it says that it will donate any proceeds from the litigation to United Way.

NextEra owns some 10,000 megawatts of wind-generation capacity, or about one-sixth of all U.S. capacity. And the company is aggressively developing six new wind projects in Canada, one of which, the Adelaide Wind Energy Centre, aims to put 38 turbines just north of Wrightman’s home. (You can see her property and the surrounding land by going here.)

NextEra’s filing against Wrightman is a textbook case of a SLAPP suit, a strategic lawsuit against public participation. And it’s a particularly loathsome one as NextEra filed it in Ontario, the epicenter of the backlash against the encroaching sprawl of the 150-meter-high, noise-producing, bird-and-bat-killing, subsidy-dependent wind-energy sector. Read article

39 thoughts on “National Review: Big Wind SLAPPs Critic

  1. Of mice men and Eagles — worth a read…

    May 16, 2013
    National Review Online

    The wording of the Eagle Protection Act could not be any clearer. It “prohibits anyone, without a permit issued by the Secretary of the Interior,” from “taking” bald or golden eagles. The law defines “take” as “pursue, shoot, shoot at, poison, wound, kill, capture, trap, collect, molest or disturb.”

    Despite that language, the Obama administration continues to cast a blind eye to the largest eagle-killing industry in America: the wind-energy sector. Not only is the Department of Justice refusing to prosecute the wind industry despite clear and repeated violations of two of America’s oldest wildlife laws — the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and Eagle Protection Act — but the administration is also helping the wind industry cover up the number of birds it is killing.

    Hypocrisy loves company!

  2. NextEra – wants family car – that’s what this is about…………..

    ‘[excerpt] They transport their two children, Thomas, ten, and Clara, seven, in their one car, a silver 2001 Toyota Echo, which has over 200,000 miles on it.

    If NextEra wins the lawsuit against her and “they want that car, go for it,” Wrightman told me with a gentle laugh. “What else can they take?”

    Hide the car!!!!! – Hide the car!!!!!!

  3. I am hoping that the United Way is not impressed. I hope they refuse any donation that might come from this ridiculous lawsuit.

    • Maybe the United Way can’t say anything. Maybe they’ve been effectively neutered by Corporate and or Union donations. There could be way left for them to take the high road

      Just a thought
      Keep your stick on your sign

    • Perhaps United Way could give any funds received to house people who need a place to live due to wind turbines harming their health. This would be such dirty money.

    • If enough of us write to them, and tell them we will NOT donate to their organization ever again, if they accept money from a heavy-handed and abusive corporation like Nextera. The donations of thousands over long periods of time is important, and so is not sullying their reputation by siding with a company that is openly abusing so many people and animals, for the sake of the all mighty dollar. Just because they pay huge dollars to lobby our government to change laws that used to protect us, does not mean that what they do is moral. What the government is doing is not moral either. The Nazis also did some horrific things, that were perfectly legal, by their government standards.

  4. Pretty sad when a major corporation uses terroristic tactics against a young mother.

  5. John, just want to thank you for the inspiration to keep fighting against the slaughter of the people’s wildlife and the blatant arrogance of the companies we entrusted and we pay to install electrical equipment. If you notice, not a single vendor or designer has stepped up to the plate to redesign their equipment and put grills over the blade to prevent the birds and bat from being killed. Instead, they’ve been lobbyin and bribing sleasey governments, the U.S. department of the interior that has neutered the men and women working for the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife and silenced them while changing the laws for vendor/suppliers. It’s time the people take it into our hands to knock them down to size and put them in their place which is serving us, not the other way around.

  6. NextEra is at the top as total slease bags.
    I posted this on another site to show just how low they stoop to get contracts. Here is the reason why NextEra has a clear path to kill eagles or basically anything else they want to do. Steve Black who is the advisor for the Department of the Interior was “bedding down” yes, sleeping with a NextEra Lobbyist, who was using the oldest trick in the book – sex with a young woman for favors – to pave the way for NextEra to achieve approval for just about any project they wanted to construct. Mind you NextEra in a vendor, a supplier of construction of wind turbines. They do this on subsidy money from American and Canadian taxpayers. They’re also dispensible and the people should not let the SLAPP lawsuit filed by NextEra succeed against Esther Wrightman, an Ontario, Canada citizen.

    Here is NextEra’s corporate office phone number and address to call or write to let them know exactly what you think of them. Remember that they are merely vendors that install electrical equipment. The vendors are a dime a dozen. I’d like to lobby to have them removed from all the vendor lists and send these arrogant sobs packing.

    NextEra Energy Resources
    700 Universe Boulevard Juno
    Beach, FL 33408
    Canada: 416/364-9714

    • This information has now been picked up in Ontario. Needs to be brought to everyone’s attention.

      • With the new information, this company has been laid bare.
        Maybe they should change their name to NEXT (the line forms on the right).

    • My oh my, what a scandal!
      Black(listing), pillow talk, peanut butter legs, eagle killing, lawsuits … the list goes on.
      What can they do for an encore? Another lawsuit?

  7. Office of the Integrity Commissioner of Ontario > Lobbyists Registration > Enter company name
    NextEra Energy Canada ULC
    Philip Dewan, Counsel Public Affairs Inc,, Toronto
    Bob Lopinski, Counsel Public Affairs Inc., Toronto
    Caroline A. Pinto, Counsel Public Affairs Inc., Toronto
    Elise Herzig, Ontario Energy Association
    Counsel Public Affairs Inc., Toronto
    Philip Dewan, Chief of Staff for Dalton Mcguinty 1999 thru election Oct.,2003
    Bob Lopinski, “Recognized by the Toronto Star as both ‘an architect of Prmeir McGuinty’s rise to power’ and one of the most influential officers in government.”

  8. This is truly a parasitic world we live in. Think of your off springs inheriting all this crap that is being made to play here. These parasitic bugs are just a sample of how wrong this system is but you all have to change your own baggage that we allowed to happen. This is now about our freedom and this corporated fictional government is not working for you. They have and forced to jump ship in favour of larger corporations that dictate to your elected governments. You have become strawmen in there system.
    They court us to go to court and we consent to being rapped by them. Ask them were do they get there authority from,ask them for there oath of office,ask them who gave them jurisdiction over these lands,why does court rooms have flags with gold fringes on them,why do court rooms have a railings and and sort of deck and gates to enter the look alike captains ship? Why do judges were black robes?. I can bet you they do not have a right answer for these questions or just jump ship.
    I have moved from my paradise to now living in the city, I miss the my country life but I do not miss the turbines and I for one am looking to kill this corruption of the highest degree,which means by living as a non corporate citizen that they have you believe is a good corporate dead fiction,strawman,.I believe this is were we have dominion over these fictions and turn our public servants to please us and not the parasites that control our public servants.This system is failing at an alarming rate and it is up to us to say no more of this.
    This change will also allow free energy to finally appear from the hidden patent offices and more helpful devices that will free us even more.ut sadly most will pass this off as another nutter and fall back into there sleep world of slave world.
    And owe yes I am now having full sleeps and dreams that I forgot I had not have for a while,which is nice to regain.

    • There isn’t a single point I don’t agree with. There are answers and solutions. Some of them are right in front of us. It’s reinventing America based on sustainability rather than growth. 1) Recycling vs drilling and mining; 2) capture and separation of components; 3) remaking into new. I like to refer to it as an eco economy/capitalism. The job roles in this model are endless. I won’t dwell on this but those green cat litter containers sold at Costco are rated PD-HE, the same as milk bottles. Yet, they’re just put into the trash. Another. Got a droid a while back. The phone weighed less than 4 oz but the paper packaging and paper mail materials were 1.35 lb. If we can cut coal and oil energy pollution 25-30%, dont need to cut down as many trees or poison our water supply by remaking from already refined products it’ll turn the tide on where the power base lies.

      • Much of the packaging today is done for product security reasons. Food and medicines in particular and other products as well. Remember the UNI BOMBER and the guy that sabatoged Tylenol?

  9. Hello Canyon gal,
    Any concern about the people of rural Ontario who are being killed by exposure to the low frequencies from industrial wind turbines?
    BTW, the bats are dying when their lungs explode from the air pressure.
    It doesn’t matter what contraption you stick on a blade; if a bird is hit by it…same result.

    • I live in the Tehachapi Pass and can see hundreds of turbines from my property. I’m angry every day of my life from the sound of them. The outdoors is like living next to an international airport. I have a hard time sleeping because the turbines from 2-3 miles away comes in through the windows. We’re lost our night sky from the FAA required red beacons and strobes. It’s too bad this site doesn’t include the ability to post wind energy opposition images. I consider mine to be unique. My avatar is the California condor.

  10. Why the lawsuit? It’s worth it!

    FC: You mentioned that the policy involves the largest wealth transfer between the poor and the rich in history during your talk. Can you just expand on that?

    BP: We are talking about a wealth transfer in the order of about 600 billion euros in the last eight years. Subsidies paid to green investors mainly land owners and very wealthy families who put up large solar panels on their farms or roofs. These 600 billion euros are being paid by ordinary families and small, medium sized businesses to the most privileged members of European society. That is the biggest wealth transfer in modern Europe for a very, very, long time if not ever.

    I was going to add some bold for emphasis — but how would I choose?

    • I’ll spend some time figuring out who to contact on the U.S. House Ethics committee who is investigating Steve Black’s “behavior”. I heard he met personally with Kern County Supervisors during the wind farm proposal. The Freedom of Information Act compels governments to turn over all correspondence and records and will come into play here.

  11. Also with that group was Manal Yamout, the woman now in a relationship with Black. Until last summer, Yamout was special advisor on renewable energy facilities to Gov. Jerry Brown. She held the same position in the Schwarzenegger administration.

    Yamout declined to comment for this story.

    NextEra spokesman Steve Stengel said that since the 28-year-old was hired as a lobbyist in July 2011, she has not engaged in any lobbying involving the Interior Department or the state of California.
    WOW: They brought in the big guns to Ontario. Mr Stengel is quoted frequently in Nexterrors statements to the press. Maybe Kathleen is “advising” in other ways we only have nightmares about.

  12. Can someone point me to the actual complaint/lawsuit describing the charges against Esther please? I’m not Canadian and don’t know how to find the complaint. My husband is an attorney and there are a few other attorneys in opposition to wind turbines and I’ll pass the lawsuit along for interpretation.

    I think there is much more to NextEra’s success. A question is who else has been bribe using the sex for favors program…judges, planning personnel, legislators, electricity providers? Right now the U.S. House Ethics Committee is investaging and review Steve Black’s behavior. If possible let’s also point them right to NextEra’s executive officers.

      • Emails are already sent. This might be a battle for wind opposition groups to take on considering that the U.S. House Ethics Committee views his behavior as a possible breach of his position.

    • Ontario & the U.S. are under English Common Law.except for Louisana. Does any of this extend into Ontario from the U.S.?

      • Barbara:

        Why does a contract with a USA based company typically (always) have a long preamble — whereas a Canadian or British contract might — or might not?

      • The contract is international and has to satisfy the legal requirements of both countries. Just done to insure all the bases are covered.
        A contract between two commonwealth country parties might not require this.This would be one of the benefits of being a commonwealth country when it comes to doing business.

      • Generally in the USA decisions of lower courts might be made by people with less than stellar legal backgrounds. Decisions of the appellate courts are more respected. This is the major difference. Hence the need for the long preambles on contracts — to replace the many rulings that make up the common law — by specifically spelling out the reasons and rationale for the agreement or contract.

        In Mexico you run into a similar issue where each legal case must stand on its own merits and there is no requirement for a judge to look at the accumulated body of law/decisions — i.e what we see as the common law or body of precedents.

        There are differences that are not always so subtle and some that are.

        I have spent lots of time writing or resolving these contracts. It can be a minefield for the inexperienced.

        It is especially entertaining when you are dealing with environmental issues where there is less experience all round and people are not quite sure how to approach resolution or even the initial drafting of such agreements.

        Dealing with Mexican environmental Law is the most entertaining of all when I have to deal with government employees who are like dogs worrying a new bone and really enjoy the feeling of gnawing on the yummy new bone.

        Been there — been had!

  13. Just want to mention I used to work as a sales rep in the software consulting industry. There was a vendor who got the lion’s share of major contracts. It wasn’t until I was at a private airport with a friend who was a pilotm that I figured out how the owner was landing the multi million dollar contracts. The man was a private pilot who flew a twin engine plane. He invited prospects to fly down to Mexico on all expense paid weekend trips to ocean fish along with including young women who he invited along. Bingo. Indescretion is a profitable hammer to have over heads of company decision makers.

    • I sat down in a booth in a restaurant one day and ordered lunch (first time there — no idea why I went in even)…. the next booth had the two owners of my only serious competitor discussing how they were going to scoop the next contract and undercut my bid. We had never met before… so they had no idea it was me listening to their every word.

      So anyway…. they lost the next big contract, and since I knew their methodology (less than fair) they never got another big one. In the meantime — I did rather well.

      It happens…

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