September 13, 2013
Ireland, Oklahoma, Opinions

One More Thing: NTR ruffles feathers with Osage plan

Mark Paul | The Irish Times | Sep 12, 2013 |

Tom Roche’s NTR appears set to offload a troublesome wind farm project in Oklahoma.

Its US subsidiary, Wind Capital, has applied for federal approval to sell a proposed 150MW wind farm that was to have been developed on land occupied by the Osage nation, a Native American tribe.

Wind Capital had got itself into a bit of a bind with the Osage people, whose assistant principal chief recently threatened legal action over the project. Although, you’d have to question the wisdom of having a barney with any man called Scott Bighorse.

The Osage consider bald eagles, a protected species in the US, to be sacred. Eagle feathers help them on their way to the afterlife, according to Osage beliefs, while killing one can attract a federal fine of up to $500,000.

Wind Capital was seeking a special permit from the authorities giving it a pass if any of the giant turbines proposed for Osage lands happened to kill an eagle. Bighorse said this month he would sue if Wind Capital got its way, and the company was due to meet the Osage tribe yesterday for talks.

Sale agreed
But it now appears that NTR has had enough. A filing this month with the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee shows it has conditionally agreed to sell the Osage project to its rival TradeWind Energy.

It has asked for FERC clearance for the change of ownership by September 27th, when the sale to TradeWind is due to close.

There is an old Native American proverb that says when you kill all the animals, you can’t eat money. Quite.

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