The July 17 Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council meeting in Ellensburg concerning the Kittitas Valley Wind Power Project was not a referendum on wind power, not a meeting on who is for renewable energy, not a meeting on limiting greenhouse gas emissions, not a meeting on energy independence and not a meeting to discuss how to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
It was a meeting in response to Gov. Chris Gregoire’s inquiry as to whether setbacks from non-participating landowners could be increased and the project remain “economically viable.” She asked the EFSEC to look again because there are large impacts to adjoining property owners that were not adequately addressed in previous meetings.
When the governor dedicated the Wild Horse Wind Power Project, she made it very clear that support of the local Kittitas County residents was important to her decision to permit it. Wild Horse was permitted within eight months. It used the exact process that the Kittitas Valley project is using, which has gone on for close to five years. The only logical conclusion is that the developer (the same developer who built Wild Horse) is building in the wrong place for the size of the project they want to build.
Economic viability is not a criterion for determining setbacks in siting an energy facility. Setbacks should address only identified public health, safety and individual property rights impacts.
The setbacks are inadequate as currently designed. The project is being proposed in the wrong location.
24 July 2007
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