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Osage Nation files injunction against Wind Capital Group

On Tuesday, the Osage Minerals Council filed a complaint against Wind Capital Group, Osage Wind and WC Wind Capital Investment Group in an effort to halt construction of the Osage County Wind Project.

The Osage Nation is filing their case based on concerns over the “massive industrial network of wind turbines, high voltage underground electric transmission lines, met towers, a substation, roads, and storage yards” that will be constructed “over and upon the Osage Nation Mineral estate.” Construction of the project will make use of “numerous pieces of heavy equipment.”

The Osage Nation is in the process of exploring and developing their mineral estate in the area where the Osage County Wind Project is to be built. They claim that the construction and operation of the project will “illegally interfere with the construction, operation and maintenance of flow lines and transmission lines to the detriment of the Osage mineral estate and the Osage Nation.” It will also interfere with the Osage Nation’s ability to explore, develop, remove, operate, transport and market the Osage Nation mineral estate.”

The Osage Nation is requesting the court to declare that the Osage County Wind Project violates Federal Law, to guarantee the Osage Nation’s access to their Mineral Estate, and issue a preliminary and permanent injunction halting the Osage County Wind Project.

Osage Minerals Council Chairman, Galen Crum issued the following statement in reference to their complaint: “The Osage Minerals Council is taking the necessary steps to protect the Osage Minerals Estate.”

In December of 2010, there were at least three wind farms proposed for northern Osage County. Officials were working on regulations to control the impact of wind farms on the county. Controversy over the pros and cons of the environmental impact on the tall grass prairie, wildlife and the Osage Nation Mineral Estate was already growing. In March the County Commissioners approved a wind energy ordinance. Two wind companies, TradeWind Energy of Lenexa, Ks and Wind Capital Group of St. Louis, were planning wind farms west of Pawhuska and east of Shidler. Together the farms would total around 185 wind turbines. Construction would begin on the farms in the fall of 2011 with completion in June 2012. August and September brought more controversy with the BIA, the Nature Conservancy and ranchers joining the Osage Nation in their opposition to the Osage County Wind Project. Wind Capital held a public meeting for their conditional use permit and those attending the event expressed their support for the project. At the present time, some construction has begun at the Osage County Wind Project site and work is proceeding.