I am writing this letter in response to people that believe the threat of wind turbines being built in the Blue Mountains is over. The local talk of land contracts with wind companies being terminated is true.
But right behind the terminations, new contracts are being picked-up by a wind company, Horizon Wind Energy, owned by Energias de Portugal.
Not far from the east side of the Walla Walla River, up the foothills into the Blue Mountains, plans are being made to tear up the landscape and build too many miles of new roads to carry heavy machinery to build and service industrial wind turbines. Oregon land that is zoned Exclusive Farm Use (EFU) and Grazing/Farm (GF) was changed without public input to allow wind generation on land that is difficult to build a cabin or house.
With the 300- to 400-foot wind turbines also will come substations and major transmission lines that cut swaths of timber and cross lands to reach the closest electrical transmission highway. Proximity to transmission lines gives reason to build more wind projects in ill-advised, poor wind resource areas.
More plans are being made to the west of the Milton-Freewater area to fill-in between projects already in place. Why add more blinking red lights to disturb the beautiful sunsets and star-filled western night skies? That is the second reason for the push to build more wind turbines in our area – to get a place at the public trough of Oregon’s BETC credits and federal subsidies before they dry up.
Oregon has been generously giving to foreign companies at the expense of properly educating our children, caring for our elderly and disabled, and more. Oregon will be paying for years to be the “greenest state” with the “greenest governor” at an estimated $167 million in this biennium and $374 million for the 2011-2013 biennium. Is the cost really worth it?
Oregon says we have added 51,402 green jobs to our economy in 2008 because of this program. They didn’t tell us they counted a one-day job the same as continuing job, and many were not even out-of-work Oregonians.
Want to know more? Attend Thursday’s information meeting at 6:30 p.m. at the community building, “No Blades on the Blues,” to become better informed, get involved, and demand the people that represent us – all of us.
Debbie J. Kelley
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