In a press release which attempted to justify EFSEC’s autocratic, uninformed, and frankly, incompetent decision on the Kittitas Valley Wind Power project, Chairman Jim Luce stated:
“The council has heard the governor loud and clear and has taken additional steps to help minimize potential visual impacts raised by some non-participating land owners in the affected area.”
This has turned out to be a classic “Daily Show with Jon Stewart” moment; but not in a funny way.
Gov. Gregoire’s exact question was: “My directive to EFSEC that the Agreement be reconsidered is solely focused on the need to determine on this particular Project whether additional setbacks beyond the four times height (4xh) requirement for non-participating landowners are achievable while allowing the Project to remain economically viable. EFSEC’s recommendation, inclusive of attachments, is silent on this issue.”
Did EFSEC determine at what point the project would become economically unviable? No, because Horizon would not answer. EFSEC’s recommendation continues to be “silent on this issue”.
Did EFSEC “take additional steps” to minimize impacts to neighboring properties? No, they “requested” that Horizon try to increase setbacks with no consequences if they do not.
If Jim Luce has heard the governor “loud and clear” then one of two possibilities exists.
1.) He has a hearing problem and should seek medical help.
2.) As a career, non-elected, bureaucrat he feels comfortable putting words in the mouth of Gov. Gregoire.
This whole EFSEC process has only shown how totally corrupted the siting of energy facilities has become in Washington state. If Gov. Gregoire wants to really show that “local sentiment about this project is just as important to her as it was for the Wild Horse Project,” then a good first step would be to deny the KVWPP as designed and then appoint a new EFSEC chairperson that will not accept the role of mouthpiece for any special interest business group that may want to make an obscene amount of money on the backs of non-participating land owners.
If this project is the precedent for siting renewable energy projects in the future, no one will win. Litigation will become the norm and commercial wind power will become even more economically unviable – if that is even possible.
18 August 2007
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