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Wind farm controversy swirls in Osage County

Tensions were as tightly wound as a round bale, with both sides eager to hear what the future of wind energy would be in Osage County.

“My thought is, wind farms are good, but I’m not sure this is the right place for it,” said one board member as officials voted against allowing a permit for the construction of a wind farm.

And with that, plans for a wind farm have been halted, at least temporarily.

Legal battles in the future? “Have to be,” said Joe Bush. He would have had several turbines on his property, and just witnessed a very healthy potential income get blown away with the denial of the permit.

“Man’s use of his property should not be up to a public vote, should not be up to a public discussion, its private property,” he said.

But pleased with then vote? The Osage Nation, who lobbied against the turbines saying they would jeopardize the eagle, a sacred animal in their culture.

“We utilize those feathers from the time that our children come out of the womb,” said Osage Nation Principal Chief Scott BigHorse.

But the meeting wasn’t over yet, since initial construction has already begun on a second wind farm, and when opponents tried to get the board to halt that project as well, it failed.

“It’s OK for part of my property but not for the other part of my property,” said Bush. Does that make any sense to you? “No,” he said.

As for officials from the turbine company?

“Any comment? Uh, we have none,” they said.

Votes of both success and failure for both sides, as the issue continues to churn as powerfully as a massive turbine

“This is America. This is the land of the free where everybody stands up and says pledge allegiance to liberty and justice for all. I don’t feel like I got liberty or justice in this instance,” said Bush.