[ exact phrase in "" • results by date ]

[ Google-powered • results by relevance ]


News Home

Subscribe to RSS feed

Add NWW headlines to your site (click here)

Sign up for daily updates

Keep Wind Watch online and independent!

Donate $10

Donate $5

Selected Documents

All Documents

Research Links


Press Releases


Publications & Products

Photos & Graphics


Allied Groups

Morrow wind rules fall short of those in Umatilla Co.  

Credit:  East Oregonian, www.eastoregonian.com 1 February 2012 ~~

An article titled “Wind power protest airs in Morrow County,” printed in the East Oregonian on Saturday, January 28, contains an item worthy of further discussion.

Specifically, a quote attributed Jerry Reitmann, one of the primary organizers in the Ella Butte wind power project: “It’s perfectly valid for people to not like the idea of having wind turbines in their neighborhood. But it’s still a private property issue.”

While I agree wholeheartedly with that statement, it is important to note that private property rights are not unlimited. This seems to be a concept that escapes the notice of Mr. Reitmann. When the activities of Mr. Reitmann on his own property have a significant negative effect on the private property rights of his neighbors, well then, Mr. Reitmann’s activities are an infringement on his neighbor’s private property rights.

While wind energy developers continue to deny it, there is ample experience to confirm there are real negative effects on property values and quality of life issues due to close proximity to modern industrial scale wind turbines. These negative effects are reduced as distance from the turbines increases – and there are real, measurable negative effects up to at least two miles from the turbines.

So the functional meaning of Mr. Reitmann’s statement seems to be something like, “I’ll do whatever I want to do on my property to make money, and if that means your property value goes down, well, that’s just too bad.”

I find it extremely frustrating that wind project developers (and the attorneys who advise them) seem to be capable of only claiming to be good neighbors, rather than actually being good neighbors.

Indeed, here in Umatilla County, wind developers, involved property owners and their attorneys are doing everything they can to strike down development codes approved in June of 2011 that would force wind developers to actually be good neighbors, rather than just claim or pretend to be good neighbors.

I have heard the Morrow County planning director describe their wind energy siting codes as “robust.” My own review suggests that in this case, “robust” must mean something like “codes so loose they are easy to meet, hard to violate and with few enforcement mechanisms.”

Don’t let hot-button phrases like “private property rights” cloud your ability to consider all the issues related to siting commercial wind energy projects.

Ed Chesnut


Source:  East Oregonian, www.eastoregonian.com 1 February 2012

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding
Donate $5 PayPal Donate


News Watch Home

Get the Facts Follow Wind Watch on Twitter

Wind Watch on Facebook


© National Wind Watch, Inc.
Use of copyrighted material adheres to Fair Use.
"Wind Watch" is a registered trademark.