Environmentalists Fight Themselves – Who Will Win??

Big plans for some big wind farms in southeastern Oregon have the environmentalists fighting themselves. So here we go with round one — the bell has sounded and only one corner has a fighter and he is hitting himself. No hitting below the belt, please.

Here’s the deal. Columbia Energy Partners wants to build 200 wind turbines (small ones at only 25 stories tall) along the edge of the Steens Mountain Wilderness. What could be better? No one lives there — so the incessant hum from the turbines will not affect people. The one or two or three or four or more bird kills per turbine per year can easily be absorbed by the abundant wildlife in the area. If we only lose 700 or so raptors, it will be worth it. The winds blow mostly in the winter, too, which is great, as the power generated by those winter winds can offset the power loss of the easing winds in the gorge. Who would not want this free, renewable, clean, energy coming from this desolate corner of the state?

The environmentalists, that’s who. So what is the problem, you ask? Simple – sage grouse, pygmy rabbits, migratory birds and scenery. All will be greatly conflicted when these mighty turbines begin churning out megawatt after megawatt of the power we are so addicted to — and all for FREE!

The Oregon Natural Desert Association is not happy. Motorists would actually be able to see the turbines (they are big, I guess) from the Kiger Gorge viewpoint. Also, many of these turbines are planned for areas that are primary flyways for migratory birds. So, in addition to the hundreds of raptors we may lose hundreds or even thousands of migratory waterfowl. The pygmy rabbits and sage grouse will most certainly succumb to the adverse effects of induced electrical charges and sub-audible frequencies — you could charge your cell phone standing under these transmission lines! They, and other forms of wildlife, will be harmed — you can be certain of that fact.

In this fight I have to side with the environmentalists who favor free, clean, renewable energy. I must also side with the environmentalists who are against harming wildlife and ruining, forever, the scenic beauty of a “protected” area. I wonder who will win?

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Posted by at 05:01 | Posted in Measure 37 | 8 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • bill

    *I wonder who will win?*

    New Clear power has none of these problems.

  • Rupert in Springfield

    I’ve always said this particular battle, windmill environmentalists vs. scenic/bird environmentalists is the closest thing to perpetual motion we will see in our lifetime. Now if only we could harness the raw energy of these peoples struggle in their ultimate goal, controlling the lives of others, we would truly have an energy solution in hand.

  • John Fairplay

    This situation is analogous to when Oregon State plays Washington in football. I don’t know who to root for, I just hope there’s lots of casualties.

  • Steve Plunk

    If history is a good indicator there will be no winners, only losers. More specifically the average Joe will lose as the enviro’s muck things up like the many times before.

  • Bob Clark

    I think another nuclear plant should be added at Hanford alongside the currently operating one. This would take pressure off of regional gas supplies, and increase the ability to avoid siting wind energy where aesthetics and bird life are an issue. I am even intriqued by the Eugene outfit which is developing modular nuclear generation about one tenth to one twenth the size of a conventional nuclear generation plant. Reprocessing of spent fuel can really reduce the volume of radioactive materials needing disposal or storage, too.

  • eagle eye

    Wind power is not “free” there are of course huge costs involved, and it only exists because of massive federal subsidies which have been documented elsewhere, as mentioned by several people at this website.

    The environmentalists who favor this are crazy along with conservatives and libertarians who are their fellow-travelers. T. Boone Pickens likes this because he wants to Pick your pockets with this Boone-doggle! A lot of ranchers — welfare ranchers, they have been called — like it because they want handouts to site this stuff on their land.

    The answer, of course, is nuclear power. Or if we must have renewable alternative energy, solar power is no more expensive than wind, will probably go down in cost much more, and is much less of an environmental nuisance.

  • David Waite

    FreedomWorks’ radio ad by lightsonoregon.com is VERY misleading! The announcer says that extreme environmentalists opposed a geothermal project in central Oregon, failing to note that this project was initiated by a private landowner within the Paulina Lakes protected area. There are plenty of other locations in central Oregon for such projects. Come on, tell the truth!

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