Monday, March 23, 2009

You Can't Satisfy Environmentalists

Case in point is this story generating plenty of controversy (but no wind power as yet) near the town of Burns, Oregon, where the unemployment rate is over 20%. The only thing that satisfies liberal environmental radicals is the total eradication of all things capitalist, which begs the following questions: Do they own a car? Do they live in a home that requires electricity or heat? Do they own a computer or a cell phone? The list goes on, but alas, we forget: sacrifice is for everyone else, never for them, for they are the "intellectuals"; the great thinkers with the great ideas that never work...

Plan to build wind farms near Steens is generating controversy

by Kate Ramsayer

The Bend Bulletin
Nov 30, 2008

Several miles northwest of Steens Mountain in Southeast Oregon, 400-foot-tall turbines would sit on top of ridges, catching the wind and generating enough electricity to power 60,000 houses.

The turbines are at the heart of two proposed projects in Harney County, called the East Ridge and West Ridge wind farms, that would each have a string of between 40 and 69 wind turbines.
While some portions of the wind farms would be located within the boundaries of the Steens Mountain management area, they would be built on private property.

Harney County has given a preliminary OK to the projects, but some environmental groups and wildlife agencies are concerned about whether people know enough about the environmental and visual impacts of wind turbines in the unique area to move forward.

To address those concerns, Columbia Energy Partners, the developer of the wind farms, is working on additional studies, slated to be released this week, that will focus on wildlife, views and socioeconomic impacts, and the county planning commission will hold another hearing on the proposals Dec. 17.

“Our primary concern has been the lack of information that was submitted in the original proposal,” said Brent Fenty, executive director of the Bend-based Oregon Natural Desert Association.

While wind developers in the Columbia Gorge have drawn up voluntary guidelines for projects, many of those guidelines weren’t addressed by the Steens Mountain wind developers when the first hearing was held Aug. 20, he said.

“Some of these areas are ecologically sensitive, and because this is renewable energy and something that we all expect is done ‘green,’ there’s an expectation that they balance environmental impacts with the development,” Fenty said.

Turbines can strike and kill birds and bats, and their construction and maintenance can disturb elk, deer and pronghorn, he said. The developer needs to take a look at the effects of the project, and show that these turbines won’t have a substantial impact on the environment, Fenty said.

“We’re very supportive of renewable energy development,” he said. “But it doesn’t need to happen everywhere, and we need to be very thoughtful about where we site renewable energy projects,” he said.


Right. That's code for, "Anywhere but here!"

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