WWP, CBD and 3 Tribes fight Spring Valley Wind Project

Suit Filed to Protect One of Nevada’s Largest Bat Roosts, National Park

For immediate release – January 25, 2011

Contacts: Jon Marvel, Executive Director Western Watersheds Project, 208.788.2290
Rob Mrowka, Center for Biological Diversity, 702.249.5821

LAS VEGAS, Nev – Two conservation groups and three Indian Tribes filed suit today to protect a pristine mountain valley adjacent to Great Basin National Park in Nevada from a poorly-sited 8000 acre industrial wind energy project, approved by the Department of the Interior with minimal environmental review. The valley is home to rare and imperiled wildlife such as the greater sage grouse, and sensitive species including golden eagles and free-tailed bats. The project area is also a sacred site to Western Shoshone Tribes.

“We hope this litigation will lead the federal government to choose less damaging locations for wind power developments,” said Jon Marvel, executive director of Western Watersheds Project.

“Renewable energy is nationally and globally important for addressing the growing threats from climate change,” said Rob Mrowka, an ecologist with the Center for Biological Diversity, one of the parties in the suit. “But, renewable projects must be properly located with careful consideration of the values of not only the site but also of the surrounding area”.

On October 15, 2010 the Bureau of Land Management approved a proposal by Spring Valley Wind, LLC, a subsidiary of Pattern Energy of San Francisco, to construct the project on public lands in northeastern Nevada just north of Great Basin National Park. BLM approved the project over the objections of state and federal wildlife officials, nearby tribes, and conservation groups. Rather than carrying out a detailed review involving the preparation of an environmental impact statement, BLM instead prepared only a cursory environmental assessment.

“The best ways to avoid negative impacts of renewable energy projects are to carry out a thorough environmental review and site them carefully. Unfortunately, in this case BLM did neither,” noted Mrowka.

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Solar Or Wind Power? Why Not Both?

Using satellites to produce energy could eliminate the need for other power sources but how do you get the energy back to earth? Beam it.

This idea has been around for a while but it could have profound impacts that aren’t well understood. I find these kinds of stories fascinating and I think they relate to the discussions we have here.

Questions that aren’t addressed here are what effect would this have on climate? Yes, it could obviate the need for new sources of power but what about the effects of the beam itself? What about transmission lines and who would control it once it gets here? No doubt it would be controlled by some megacorporation if past history is any guide.

Other practical questions are how do you protect such a large object from space debris? What would such an object do to the night sky?

Solar Or Wind Power? Why Not Both?
Discovery News

Wind resistance

Will the petrocracy — and greens — keep Wyoming from realizing its windy potential?

Wind power is not a popular thing in Wyoming for some and very popular for others. It is very unpopular for advocates for sage grouse and other birds.

Wind resistance.
High Country News

Posted in birds, oil and gas, sage grouse, Wind, Wyoming. Tags: , , . Comments Off on Wind resistance

Sage grouse disappearing in S.D.

Only 1500 birds left in the state

Habitat destruction and fragmentation has caused a severe reduction in sage grouse numbers in South Dakota. Livestock grazing and energy development, especially wind, is a serious threat to the remaining birds there. The birds are behaviorally disposed to avoid tall vertical structures because they provide perches to predators.

Sage grouse disappearing in S.D.
JOHN POLLMANN • FOR THE ARGUS LEADER

China Mountain/Brown’s Bench Wind developer wants to keep its deals secret

Browns Bench © Katie Fite 2008, (Click to view Slideshow)

Brown's Bench © Katie Fite 2008, (Click to view Slideshow)

You might remember the controversial project that resulted in an IDFG regional supervisor to lose his job after pointing out the obvious – namely, that energy developments (yes, even ‘blessed’ Wind) on public lands impact wildlife and habitat in southern Idaho.  The wind company at issue on China Mountain/Brown’s Bench is RES Americas Inc., and recently it looks as if the only thing “renewable” about RES Americas is the questionable contracts it keeps producing.

They seem to want to keep their contracts secret. For example, they prevented a daughter from blowing the whistle on an RES wind-contract that her mother was asked to sign in South Dakota.  Mom asked her daughter to look over the contract because she worked as a lawyer for NV Energy, RES Americas Inc.’s partner on the China Mountain project :

Wind companies want to nix contract disclosuresAP

Sannes asked her daughter to look over the lease, and when she did, she “called me and said, ‘This is the worst contract I have ever seen,'” Sannes said in an interview. She said company representatives told her 80 of her Barnes County neighbors had signed it.

It just goes to show, Wind’s got good PR people – but with the same investors and business model as before is it really fair to call them “clean”.  It looks as though folk are getting blown over all over the country. Let’s not let our public lands be next.

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