After attending the scoping meeting for the wind turbine project proposed for Bear River Ridge, it is my contention that the rush to widen Highway 101 through Richardson Grove is to facilitate Shell Oil’s wind turbine project. They stated that huge trucks will haul all the needed equipment up Monument Road to Bear River Ridge out of Rio Dell. So how to get the trucks, cranes, turbine parts and tons of other materials, such as concrete, to Rio Dell? If 101 is widened, then Shell Oil will have the ability to haul their equipment to Humboldt County. Isn’t it interesting that the timing of the road widening happens to be just “the right timing” for Shell Oil Company. And I was not impressed to learn that the meetings held in Fortuna and Eureka only concern “Phase One” of the wind turbine project. A Shell representative said that only 25 to 30 turbines are to be built, in Phase One. When asked, one Shell rep suggested many other phases of the project will follow with the number 300 total wind turbines planned. Why else would Shell have secured 35,000 acres for the wind turbine project? You don’t need 35,000 acres for 25 to 30 turbines. So what impact would 300, 300-foot tall wind turbines have on Bear River Ridge? Shell Oil is who will profit from widening Highway 101, not the communities, the wildlife or the citizens.
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