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High court hears wind farm issues  

The West Virginia Supreme Court Wednesday heard arguments in an appeal that could affect plans to place 124 industrial wind turbines on Greenbrier County ridges.

The state’s Public Service Commission (PSC) last August granted Beech Ridge Energy of Chicago a permit to build the turbines.

Mountain Communities for Responsible Energy (MCRE) filed an appeal to set aside that decision claiming that PSC staff had simply rubber stamped Beech Ridge environmental and community impact studies without doing any of their own.

MCRE spokesman Dave Buhrman reported from the hearing that, “At one point, the PSC attorney let it slip that the process used for permitting large wholesale wind generating facilities is so new that they are ‘learning as they go along.’”

“Several Justices leaned forward and said, ‘That’s scary.'”

By David Cottrill

Mountain Messenger

12 January 2008

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