Big Wind

 

A wind farm is to be built near a nature preserve despite Osage Indian protests

Guest post by Dale R. McIntyre

A big-city corporation rams through industrial development on a pristine landscape against the wishes of the local Native Americans, who fear their burial grounds and traditional use of the land will be impaired. Sound familiar?

There are twists, however, and irony enough to make it a “three-pipe problem”.

The corporation is Wind Capital Group LLC, of St. Louis, building a wind farm west of Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

The Native Americans are the Osage Nation of Oklahoma, and the traditional land use they see threatened is oil and gas drilling.

On Thursday, Dec. 15th, 2011, Wind Capital Group won a ruling from US district judge Gregory Frizzel that the wind farm could proceed despite the protests of the Osages.

Wind Capital wants to rush construction of the wind farm to qualify for a 2.2 cent/kW-hr federal tax subsidy, loss of which would “jeopardize the very existence of the wind facility.” (Tulsa World, Dec. 16th, 2011, p. 1)

Osage Nation Principal Chief John Red Eagle has stated that”…the target area for wind development would intrude upon sacred Osage burial sites, posing a major threat to the tribe’s culture.”(Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise, Dec. 16th, 2011,, p.1)

The eastern edge of the proposed wind farm site is about 3 miles from the boundary of the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, home to 2500 bison on one of the last remnants of pristine tallgrass prairie left on the continent. To the east, Bluestem Lake hosts Canadian geese, pelicans, red-tailed hawks and peregrine falcons. Bald eagles winter over at Kaw Lake to the west.

I own land, fish, hunt and[ ramble] in the area so I know it as a majestic rolling grassland. In spring the Indian Paint Brushes, the red clover, bluebonnets and a dozen varieties of sunflower paint the landscape in a riot of color bold enough to delight Chagall. Deer and puma, wild turkey and coyotes play deadly games of hide and seek in the thick groves of cottonwood, cedar and blackjack oak along the creek beds.

The sight and sound of large wind turbines grates the nerves in such a place, as does their grisly record of killing birds. But the Osage Nation has another very pragmatic objection; they fear the wind farm will interfere with their oil and gas drilling.

In 1906, the Osage Nation took control of all mineral rights in the 1.5 million acre Osage Indian Reservation, now Oklahoma’s Osage County. Since then, surface rights pass by sale from owner to owner, but the mineral rights stay with the Osage tribe.

Thus for over 100 years, oil and gas have been critical to the economy of Osage County.  The royalties are shared out among tribal members every year, and make a welcome addition to hardscrabble incomes from ranching and farming. “Big Oil” has no presence in Osage County. Small local companies produce the wells and many very welcome local jobs. Osage County wells are small “stripper wells”, pumped by nodding “pump jacks”. They typically make 2 to 10 barrels of crude per day.

(Larger firms may join in future as more complicated horizontal wells are drilled to exploit the “shale gas revolution.”)

Chief Red Eagle insisted in court that the wind farm would impair this vital tribal revenue stream by intefering with access to key drilling sites.

Wind Capital Croup brought experts to court who testified that the inconvenience to oil and gas drillers would be small. The judge agreed.

Wind Capital Group spokesmen say they are eager to work with the Osage Nation. They point out that the wind farm will create jobs (Construction will require 150-200 workers,  but the construction contractor, RMT Inc., is from out of state. Permanent jobs are estimated as “12-15”. The believe property taxes on the wind farm will be a windfall to the tiny nearby rural school district of Shidler.

Tales with devilish villains and saintly heroes are for movies. Wind Capital Group is playing by the rules, and building on private land, whose owners have the right to exploit their property for lawful gain. The Osage Nation is not a collection of beggarly blanket Indians. They are well-represented, well-connected politically, with a shrewd sense of their rights and a determination to assert them. On January 24th, 2012, Chief Red Eagle announced a formal appeal of Judge Frizzell’s ruling (Lucinda Bray, Pawhuska Journal-Capital, Jan 25th, 2012)

As for those burial grounds, well, they are not so sensitive that oil and gas drilling disturbs them.

But all who dream of low-carbon energy should recognize that wind farms will intrude on huge areas considering the small amount of intermittent power they produce. The areas thus intruded upon are not sterile desert or blighted brownfield urban sites. The Osage County Wind Project is cheek-by-jowl with one of the most idyllic nature preserves in mid-continental America. Another wind farm, near Woodward, Oklahoma, is a prime suspect in the disappearance of the bats from neary Alabaster Caverns.

The Tall Grass Prarie Preserve - Image from Panaramio

Since these wind farms do not proceed at all in the absence of whacking great federal subsidies, wind farm projects seem to be creating a new special interest group, with its own lobbyists, its own pet legislators, and its own corporate sponsors determined to preserve a very high rate of return on capital.

Call it “Big Wind”.

Meanwhile, the bison in the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve will just have to learn to graze, fight, breed and give birth to the high-pitched whine and stroboscopic “swish” of the turbines.

As for the birds, the geese, the pelicans, the eagles and those graceful, soaring hawks making their “lazy circles in the sky”, well, they’ll just have to watch where they’re going. Inattention will get them chopped into coyote sashimi by the turbine blades.

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John Marshall

Desperate for the subsidies they ride rough shod over all.

Tom

Can we *please* drop the “grisly record of killing birds” line? Any actual research that’s been done has found that a wind turbine could kill as much as… er… 0.6 birds per year. And that’s the upper limit – the average is more like 0.2 (see Garcia 2007, Lekuona and Ursua, 2007 – Dirksen et al, 2007 found much lower rates). That’s right, each “bird-shredder” kills four birds in its twenty-year life, and some particularly vicious examples kill as many as twelve birds in twenty years.
If you really care about birds, there are bigger problems in the world. Radio masts, for instance – many of them situated in countryside / wilderness areas, on high ridges, just like turbines – kill 4.5 million birds per year (Erickson et al 2005). And simple glass windows account for more than half a billion.
If you have a slavish objection to windmills and are looking for any objection – sorry for interrupting, go right ahead.

The most telling sentence in this article is:-
Wind Capital wants to rush construction of the wind farm to qualify for a 2.2 cent/kW-hr federal tax subsidy, loss of which would “jeopardize the very existence of the wind facility.”
In other words, if the tax-payer was not being screwed by the government to give cash to Wind Capital, there would be no economic sense in building this monstrous wind farm.
This is lunacy run rampant.

I wonder which large mammals like caribou would prefer to be around at mating and calving season.
A) A field full of noisy, strobing wind turbines,
B) Or a nice quiet Trans Alaskan Pipeline that serves as a wind break?

This nonsense is playing out all over the world. We have a similar situation where we live – but minus the oil and gas. The corruption will hopefully be exposed very soon.
http://www.palmerston-north.info

Lady in Red

Nah, it’s Solyndra all over again. Wind Capital Group got $107 million in taxpayer bucks —
and is hosting a $25K plate fundraiser for Obama:
http://moneyrunner.blogspot.com/2011/09/wind-capital-group-gets-107-million.html
…Lady in Red

Jason

“Big Wind” is going to be that funny sound when the subsidies are eventually taken away.

Lady in Red

Here’s a report on protest events from outside the Wind Capital Group/politically connected Carnahan family fundraiser for Obama:
http://bigjournalism.com/dloesch/2011/10/04/obama-supporters-cuss-at-tea-partiers-their-kids-call-black-congressional-candidate-uncle-tom/#more-226132
…Lady in Red

DirkH

Tom says:
February 2, 2012 at 2:15 am
“Can we *please* drop the “grisly record of killing birds” line? Any actual research that’s been done ”
I’m European so I care little whether the Americans have an eagle or a wind turbine as their symbol; but I do notice the absence of any source citation in your claim.

DirkH

DirkH says:
February 2, 2012 at 2:43 am
“Tom says:
February 2, 2012 at 2:15 am
“Can we *please* drop the “grisly record of killing birds” line? Any actual research that’s been done ”
I’m European so I care little whether the Americans have an eagle or a wind turbine as their symbol; but I do notice the absence of any source citation in your claim.”
And I should learn to read before I comment. I wanted to say “link”, then changed it to “source citation”, but you did cite sources. So I’m away, googling them now.

Hmmm I wonder what rabid environmentalists would do if a development they opposed went ahead anyway?
Do as a rabid environmentalist would do, legal or otherwise.

Otter

Note to the Osage: GO FOR IT, GUYS!
I’ve always been on the Indian’s side (well, mostly. I Have done a lot of history research).
As to a comment above about .2 birds a year…. I have to wonder if the people who take care of the turbines, don’t squirrel away the corpses they must find, and then say ‘We’ve only seen a few birds hit.’ Not out of anything Evil, mind- they just want to preserve their jobs, and I don’t blame them. Besides, there’s probably an internal memo out there, somewhere- ‘hide the bodies or else!’

DirkH
Urederra

I am with Tom on the bird killing. Also, my guess is that those accidents are not completely random. Sick birds must have greater odds than healthy ones. It is natural selection at work, just like an old, sick or unfit zebra has more chances of getting captured by a lion or a man who uses his cell phone while driving has more chances of having an accident than one who doesn´t.

DirkH
Jakehig

There seem to be wildly-varying figures for bird-kill by turbines.
The UK’s Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has a case study for a farm of 57 turbines where the Environmental Impact Study estimated over 200 deaths per year amongst geese. However hard data for actual kills – birds and bats – is not easy to find (at least by my fumbling efforts). Yet the info must exist as some of these systems have been in use for 10+ years and, in the UK, the operators are obliged to monitor bird strikes.

It is an outrage. Try asking for a performance guarantee not for “MWhrs produced” or “bogus tons of CO2 saved” but for “actual conventional fuel subsituted”.
Wind fraudsters advertise “energy savings”. In the Falklands (a good example of a closed, easy to measure system) the wind types were advertizing “40% energy savings”:
http://en.mercopress.com/2010/02/17/wind-turbines-to-supply-40-of-falklands-power
Actual fuel saved 4.3% – 8.3% depending on the season. http://kirbymtn.blogspot.com/2008/02/less-than-one-fourth-of-projected-fuel.html
Also k.i.m. Germany’s actual experience. They have about 22,000 installed wind MW, said to produce 6-7% ot total AVERAGE annual demand (I have no figures on actual fuel substituiton but it is a different % number) and, thanks to this achievement, they prevent blackouts only by importing emergency electricity from Austria and France to prevent blackouts, PLUS they have to shed excess random power to Poland and the Czech Republic, to avoid frying their own grid (but frying the neighbors’ grids, instead). A casual search will verify these statements.
The wind generation fraud is of the same magnitude as “climatemania” and equally arcane to comprehend as one has to be an old-fashioned power grid engineer to understand trivia about grid stability, AND a micro economics utility pricing expert to see the financial scam. Wind generators produce quasi random power, fluctuating with wind speed to the third power, which assumes that it is either an insignificant % of total demand, or that there are suckers around the local grid to absorb excess (random power).
Never mind the verses “… purple mountain majesties above the enameled plain” may have to be rewritten to reflect obsolete rusting metalic poles as a new decor.

Every time I see a wind farm in future I will be thinking there goes more of my tax dollars. The same goes for solar panels on domestic roof tops. In Australia you get a subsidy for the capital costs and then sell all the power you generate at about twice what it then costs you to buy back what you need. You don’t just sell the surplus that you generate above your own needs: you sell the lot at a crazy subsidised price. I’d really like to see figures for the total government subsidies on all renewable energy.

I grew up in Ponca and acquired a respect and sympathy for the Osage. 50 years ago they were pretty much lost in an alcoholic haze, unable to adapt their warrior culture to the US game.
Contrast with the Cherokee, starting from a village culture, who were able to keep up with the whites and often get ahead of us. They quickly figured out how to leverage their oil money into real power.
With that background, I’m very pleased to see that the Osage have sharpened up their act! They’ve clearly learned how to play the US game, and they clearly understand the difference between real resources and fake resources. They didn’t win this round, but I’m betting they’ll win in the end.

Marion

Re : Tom says:
February 2, 2012 at 2:15 am
“Can we *please* drop the “grisly record of killing birds” line? Any actual research that’s been done has found that a wind turbine could kill as much as… er… 0.6 birds per year. And that’s the upper limit – the average is more like 0.2 (see Garcia 2007, Lekuona and Ursua, 2007 – Dirksen et al, 2007 found much lower rates). That’s right, each “bird-shredder” kills four birds in its twenty-year life, and some particularly vicious examples kill as many as twelve birds in twenty years.”
Tom, I’m not sure where you get your statistics from but the ‘…er…0.6 birds per year’ certainly was not the experience of a primary school in the UK who although desperate to prove their ‘eco-friendly’ credentials were forced to turn off their turbine after it killed at least 14 birds in the space of just 6 months badly upsetting the school children who witnessed it.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/7870929/Primary-school-forced-to-turn-off-wind-turbine-after-bird-deaths.html
No doubt the difference between the ‘actual research’ and the reality!!

Johnnythelowery

There is a rumour (which i’m starting) that Penn State, after the catastrophe of their Nittany Lion tag going the way of ‘the cougar’ (what do you call an older women who likes young men…Cougar. Whatdya call an older Man who likes young men…) . They might be changing their name to:
MichaelBunkport

The lunacy of Big Wind is something I explore in Don’t Sell Your Coat, which is now out on Nook, iPad, and Kindle.
Kindle here: http://amzn.to/w0Lj6H

JimBob

Those are my old stomping grounds. Osage and Pawhuska Counties are beautiful, especially in the spring when everything is green. I’ve always hoped of moving back there and buying a nice piece of land on which to retire. Now it looks like I’ll be paying taxes to ruin the beautiful landscape I’d hoped to help preserve. There’s irony in there somewhere.
The same thing has already happened in Kansas, with the Elk River wind farm. Southeast Kansas has some truly beautiful scenery but the big wind farm pollutes it for miles and miles. I think it’s ironic that you can’t build a shed in your back yard in some communities without someone complaining it’s an eyesore, but if you are “green” you can build a wind farm that is an eyesore for dozens of square miles and get away with it.

david

Birds and windfarms…
Tom has a point:
There might be ten billion birds in spring and up to 20 billion in fall. That is billion, and of course from that number some 10 billion die each year from all causes.
The following site tries to summarize the total bird population in the U.S. and North America.
http://birdstuff.blogspot.com/2002/07/how-many-birds-are-there.html
Look like Wind turbines are not a big source of bird deaths, yet.
I am no fan of wind farms, they blight the landscape and are a miss-allocation of resources. But, now I am educated on their impact on birds.
One final note: Where wind farms are sites, will have an impact on the local population, that could have adverse effects on birds that are threatened.

Steve Keohane

Tom says:February 2, 2012 at 2:15 am
Can we *please* drop the “grisly record of killing birds” line? Any actual research that’s been done has found that a wind turbine could kill as much as… er… 0.6 birds per year. And that’s the upper limit – the average is more like 0.2 (see Garcia 2007, Lekuona and Ursua, 2007 – Dirksen et al, 2007 found much lower rates). That’s right, each “bird-shredder” kills four birds in its twenty-year life, and some particularly vicious examples kill as many as twelve birds in twenty years.
If you really care about birds, there are bigger problems in the world. Radio masts, for instance – many of them situated in countryside / wilderness areas, on high ridges, just like turbines – kill 4.5 million birds per year (Erickson et al 2005).

Maybe if we call the radio towers ‘turbines’ they won’t kill so many birds either…/sarc

Wade

So to sum up: If a wind farm destroys the natural landscape, that is okay. But if an oil derrick does so, it is a mortal sin to the earth.
The hypocrisy by Big Environment is sickening.

The solution is to get the Congress, via the Oklahoma congressional delegation, to repeal the wind-power subsidy. Unfortunately, the Democrat-controlled Senate would probably stymie that effort, but after the November elections, there’s a good chance we’ll have a Republican Senate. Make sure your candidates pledge to get the federal government out of subsidizing, and thereby distorting, the energy marketplace.
/Mr Lynn

B.O.B.

Tom,
Given the fact that wind turbines are completely unnecessary, then so are the bird deaths, as well as all of the other wasteful and annoying aspects. You can’t say the same for radio towers, buildings, etc. Here are the stats for the 86 turbine facility at Wolfe Island in Ontario (data from engineering report):
Details on Fatalities:
703 birds were killed in this 2H2010 period, compared to 602 in 2H2009. For the year 2010 an estimated total of 1,207 birds were killed, a rate of 6.28 birds/MW. For the entire 2010 a total of 21 raptors were killed, a rate of 0.096, which is above the threshold.
1,878 bats were killed in this 2H2010 period. This compares to 1,270 killed during 2H2009. For the year 2010 an estimated total of 2,327 bats were killed, an annual rate of 11.75 bats/MW.
Furthermore, the bird mortality studies were conducted on low-wind days (i.e. the chopper blades were moving quite slowly). One critique indicated there was a 1% chance that the sample periods could have been randomly selected to coincide with such wind conidtions. I would also add that once the local populations are wiped out, mortality will certainly decline, becuase there wll be nothing left to kill.

Alan Robertson

John Marshall says:
February 2, 2012 at 2:13 am
Desperate for the subsidies they ride rough shod over all.
_________________
That about sums it up, that and cries of: “Oh, but jobs and money for the school district.”
It’s a money thing.
Mr.McIntyre has fairly summed up the pros and cons of the coming wind farms and I thank him for it.
I was born and raised in the Osage tall grass and it was home to my ancestors since my Great- Greats arrived by covered wagon in the 1800s. I return every chance I get.
While the prairie is no longer pristine- there remains scarcely a view without phone towers or remnant oil- field leases- there is very little opportunity for jobs, etc. and the residents of the dying towns are eager for any injection of cash that may come along.
I’ve stayed out of the fight, since I’m no longer a resident, having left the night I graduated from high school, but to my remaining friends and family who could not leave the beauty of the place, I only say: be careful what you wish for.
Oh, and be sure to try for some guarantee of removal when it comes time to de- commission those machines… you’ll need it.

Frank K.

“Osage Nation has another very pragmatic objection; they fear the wind farm will interfere with their oil and gas drilling.
HEH! I LOVE it! Of course, most people in the climate/green industries don’t care about other people’s jobs, particularly those in the oil and gas industries, just as long as they get their large slice of the climate ca$h pie.

henrythethird

2.Tom said: (February 2, 2012 at 2:15 am)
“Can we *please* drop the “grisly record of killing birds” line? Any actual research that’s been done has found that a wind turbine could kill as much as… er… 0.6 birds per year. And that’s the upper limit – the average is more like 0.2…”
Better re-read your sources. That “0.6” figure you throw out is the birds per MW per year.
So if Spain, for example, was scheduled to bring bird-shredders on line capable of producing 20,155 MW per year (according to their five-year Spanish Plan for Renewable Energies), that paltry 0.6 becomes 12,093 birds per year.
And it’s not just the blades, either – it’s the whole package.
From here: http://www.eci.ox.ac.uk/research/energy/downloads/birds-bats-edkins2008.pdf
“…Direct mortality at wind farms results from birds striking rotors, towers, nacelles, guy cables, power lines, and meteorological masts. There is also evidence of birds being forced to the ground by turbulence created by the moving rotor…”

Neil Jones

“pologies for being an ignorant Englishman but what’s a “Rample”? “I own land, fish, hunt and rample in the area so

Alan Robertson

In post above, I should have said, “It’s an ‘other people’s money’ thing.”
FYI: The largest producing oil field in Osage county (Burbank Field) was at one time the world’s third largest producing field, now having been heavily depleted. The people of the Osage Nation were at one time the world’s wealthiest per capita, since they were shrewd enough to maintain mineral rights in perpetuity. The Osages obviously have an interest in whether oil/gas production is curtailed by the wind farms.

adolfogiurfa

Then it is the right time for the noble knight Anthony the Quixote to take his spear and make tumble down all those towers of infamy, to kill all those big monsters borned from greed and deceit. Make them be “Gone with the wind”!
Sancho! Dogs bark, that´s a signal we are advancing!

DirkH

DirkH says:
February 2, 2012 at 2:51 am
“I found Lekuona and Ursa 2007.
http://www.ucm.es/info/zoo/bcv/pdf/2009_BirdStudy_56_268.pdf

It’s really not my day. That paper is not Lekuona and Ursa 2007; it only quotes them:
“No data are
available on the total number of vultures killed each
year by wind power plants in Spain, but the numbers
may be high since these raptors patrol across mountain
ridges and highlands usually selected by wind
power industry. Lekuona (2001) estimated at least
eight Griffon Vultures killed per turbine per year in
the area occupied by the Salajones wind plant
(Navarre, northern Spain) and Lekuona & Ursúa
(2007) reported that Griffon Vultures were the main
species found dead at the wind plants of Navarre,
representing 63.1% of all bird fatalities. These losses
may be particularly damaging to vultures and other
animals with low reproductive rates and long life
spans which are unable to replace an accumulative
loss of individuals.”
I don’t know, Tom, this does sound pretty, uhm, alarming; at least for Griffon Vultures; I can see them congregating in the sky, forming a kind of Vulture Panel on Climate Change, pondering the mysterious correlation between Global Warming and the plague of the giant Helter Skelters… for them, depending on thermal updraft, warming would be the good part… if only it didn’t lead to the Scourge Of The Birdwackers…

dtbronzich

Interesting citations on those articles. 2009_BIRDSTUDY_56, etc. universidad complutense de madrid and British Ornithology Trust. I wonder where the funding comes from? 2009-2010 saw a big push in Spain for wind turbines, and this study is on only one species of birds, the Griffon Vulture, which has only 20,000 breeding pairs in Spain. This is a normal range for large raptors which subsist on carrion and very small prey, if it were birds of prey, such as Eagles, the numbers would be even lower. I would find a study more helpful if it were about the impact on all species, rather than one species.
However, my main objection to windpower is design vs. use, i.e. wind turbines when first visualized, were conceived as backup power charging banks of batteries and capacitors.
If your main power was off line for maintenance, for example, you would draw on the batteries until the main generator(s) came back on line. In that regard they work perfectly. They were designed for individual operation: one, operating alone, providing power to a single source, which would provide it’s own maintenance on site: i.e., a radio station transmitter, a factory, a hospital. You will note that most of these places do not have a wind turbine, as reliability was always an issue, but rather has diesel, propane, gasoline or natural gas power generators.

Bandmeeting

My parents and the guy on the next ranch over both put up windmills in about 1980 in Osage county. The other guy’s lasted until it was introduced to a tornado in about ’89. My parents’ conked out on its’ own just a few years later in spite of the fact that the literature touted the brand’s durability and had a photo of a mill, still whirling away, somewhere in the former Dust Bowl after 50 or so years. They never bothered to fix it because of the expense.
I’ve got nothing against them but they sure aren’t the panacea that the greenies are claiming and those huge windfarms are blight. Federal dollars for them, don’t get me started.

Pamela Gray

A few years back while hiking in wilderness old growth, I watched an owl fly through thick canopy in its persuit of a smaller bird. The ability of both birds to miss and thread through the trunk, branch and leaf tangle was amazing. And bat sonar is unbelievably accurate down to a gnat. We have large picture windows at our ranch house. Day birds hit those windows on at least a monthly basis. Bats never do. The bird thing is a non-issue for me.
The things I don’t like about wind turbines are this: The foot print is HUGE relative to the juice they produce, and they are…fugly. Dams are fugly too and their foot print is equally large, but they produce lots and lots of continuous juice and do a pretty damned good job of controlling flood waters and providing irrigation water.

Noelene

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2008-01-03/wind-farm-a-black-hole-for-endangered-eagles/1001600
There are less than 1,500 Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagles left.
An Australian bird expert has labelled the country’s biggest wind farm a “black hole” for endangered wedge-tailed eagles.
The Woolnorth farm in north-west Tasmania has 62 wind turbines and is one of the largest wind
farms in the Southern Hemisphere, but the group Birds Tasmania says the farm could already have killed 18 endangered eagles.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2008-08-20/concerns-over-wedge-tailed-eagle-numbers/483022
There are growing concerns the nesting sites of Tasmania’s endangered wedged-tailed eagle are no longer being monitored.
Wildlfe carers say there has been a marked increase in the number of injured eagles over the last two years.
A three-year old male wedge-tailed eagle was released back into the wild yesterday after being restored to health.
Wildlife carers say the logging of the eagle’s old-growth forest habitat has resulted in a decline in populations.
Wildlife carer, Vicki Silcock, says Forestry Tasmania’s 10-hectare buffer zone around eagle nesting sites is not enough.
“The whole forest should be a buffer zone for the eagle, the eagle doesn’t know that it has a buffer zone,” she said.
Forestry Tasmania is defending its measures to protect the endangered wedge-tailed eagle.

Douglas DC

Pamela-I hear Cricket Flat is next to be covered in NE Oregon, Re; Dams Governor
Hayduke of Oregon is woking to get the Snake undammed-then it’s lights out and no
flood control if that happens not to mention the tons of silt relased…
“Split Atoms not birds.”

Unattorney

Who needs efficient energy when you can borrow $1.6 trillion a year?

Neil Jones says:
February 2, 2012 at 5:39 am
“pologies for being an ignorant Englishman but what’s a “Rample”? “I own land, fish, hunt and rample in the area so“
==============================================
lol, Neil, I live only an hour away from there. I fish and hunt. I’m part Osage. I have no idea what “rample” is………..ramble + trample?

klem

Wind turbines receive big subsidies because wind turbines are symbols of the enviornmental left. Because they are symbolic, they want as many of these things built as they can, and built in rural locations which tend to lean to the right. Its the left saying “In your face” to those evil righty’s. And once they are up, you can’t get them down for decades.
Wind turbines don’t deliver much power, but they give the lefty’s a warm and fuzzy feeling when they see them on a far hillside spinning away. Thats about all they deliver.

Chris B

Wind Capital (C)roup brought experts to court who testified that the inconvenience to oil and gas drillers would be small. The judge agreed.
We have a minor whooping cough, similar to Croup, in our area.

People are usually the first to be sacrificed in the name of vested interests.

Austin

Bob wrote:
“The same thing has already happened in Kansas, with the Elk River wind farm. Southeast Kansas has some truly beautiful scenery but the big wind farm pollutes it for miles and miles. ”
I know the family that owns the ranch that wind farm is on. That project took over 20 years to get into place and was the idea of the landowner long before subsidies. He carefully kept logs of the wind for decades to make sure the project would stand on its own. That ranch is in phenomenal shape as well compared to the bigger ones around it owned by absentee owners who get there money from non-ranching activities. There are 500 year old walnut trees in the canyons. And thousands of prairie chickens. Deer and turkey. But first and foremost, the family are realists and are very sharp businesspeople.
I am always amused by people who enjoy the “beautiful landscape” but do not know the horrors that lie in the balance sheets of most ranches or the backbreaking despair of a long drought or the misery of constant rains. You get to enjoy the beauty but contribute NOTHING to making ranching work. Then one day show up to tell us how to run our place or try to stop us from doing what we have to do to pass the land on to the next generation.
I am a critic of wind power. But there are a lot of projects that make sense and each must be examined on its own merits. Elk River, and based on what I know about the wind in the pawhuska area, make sense.
I think if you dig deeper, you will find a Big Green group behind this article. You do not have to dig far.

mkelly

Tom says:
February 2, 2012 at 2:15 am
If you have a slavish objection to windmills and are looking for any objection – sorry for interrupting, go right ahead.
I do have a “slavish” objection to windmills. I donot want to pay twice for the same electricity. Every wind farm must be backed up by a power plant to supply electricity for when wind = zero.
The foot prints are large the output is small and you need a backup. So whats not to love.

higley7

As wind turbines are built in the windiest places, they are often in valleys and passes which funnel the air. These also tend to be migratory routes, so the bird kill rate is seasonal. Some wind farms are now being shut down during certain times of year.
How anyone can think that such a low tech, 18th century, energy source that would have so many negative impacts, as well as being just a lousy energy source, would be worth spending billions on is beyond me. It is a boon for the builders as millions are funneled to them and to the owners as they rake in taxpayer subsidies. The taxpayer and the customers get hurt.
Wind energy is the least green of all energy sources. Topping the list of negatives is the fact that the electricity from these disparate energy sources can only be sent about 50 miles. It is simply not the case that Europe could rely on wind power by assuming that the wind is blowing somewhere in Europe at any given time. The energy cannot be distributed that far to make it work. The same is true for photovoltaic.
Solar heat electricity is a higher power energy source and can be sent further, but it tends to be built in deserts with lots of sunlight and requires lots of water which deserts do not have. So, they have to take water from local regions who already have water usage problems and cannot spare water for an energy source that is a fair weather source and only during the day. They can store energy for the night, but again there are huge losses as they are not built near the usage sites, as nuclear and coal power can be.

I live in California… I’ll trade them our high-speed rail for their wind farm.

harrywr2

Pamela Gray says:
The ability of both birds to miss and thread through the trunk, branch and leaf tangle was amazing. And bat sonar is unbelievably accurate down to a gnat.
The wind turbine blades are moving and the turbulence behind them is awful.
Even wind turbines operating in the wakes of other wind turbines suffer ‘premature death’
http://www.ecn.nl/docs/library/report/2009/e09016.pdf