The Osage Nation filed a complaint in U.S. District Court on Tuesday asking that the proposed wind farm on the tallgrass prairie, saying it violates federal law and will interfere with the tribe’s access to its mineral estate.
Wind Capital Group’s 94-turbine development in the Burbank oilfield “will interfere with the right of surface access, which will in turn cause serious and immediate harm to the Osage Nation, including canceled leases, inability to attract future lessees, and the inability to benefit fully from the mineral estate through the use of new technologies,” says the the complaint, assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Gregory K. Frizzell.
“Because the construction of a massive industrial wind farm on the land above the Osage nation’s mineral estate will interfere with access to the mineral estate, this Court should declare that the Osage County Wind Project on the surface above the Osage Nation’s mineral estate violates federal law.”
The complaint goes on to say that technological advances have led to the discovery of marketable amounts of oil and natural gas that will require flow and transmission lines to extract and market, construction that will be thwarted by the win farm’s own network of 400-foot-tall turbines, high voltage underground electric transmission lines, meteorological towers, substations, roads and storage yards plunk on top of the most active oilfield in the Osage.
That will harm the tribe financially in an amount “so substantial” that the damages “would far exceed any amount that the defendants would be capable of paying in a suit for money damages,” the complaint says.
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