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Energy Siting Council is not looking out for public, natural resources

I just attended the Energy Facility Siting Council meeting in Pendleton. Following is what I learned:

1. The Oregon Department of Energy and the Energy Facility Siting Council are restoring the amendment rules that the Oregon Supreme Court determined were illegal. They allowed the public to comment but are not going to act on those comments until 2022. That means the public will have no opportunity to object to their decisions for three years.

2. ODOE and EFSC used the temporary rules, which are the same as those referenced above, to approve a change to the Shepherd Flat Wind development. These rules allow them to complete an amendment without allowing the public any opportunity to request a contested case. This change resulted in more than 14 new site certificate conditions as well as multiple changes to the current requirements. One of the things approved will allow the developer to have 12 turbines infringe upon the setback required for Bonneville Power transmission lines.

3. The report on the Boardman to Hemingway transmission line from the ODOE indicates they plan to approve roads outside the location the developer identified as the transmission line ā€œsite.ā€ This would mean that more than 100 miles of new roads would be allowed across forests, farmlands and public land without any notice to the landowners, disclosure of impacts or disclosing where they would be located.

All costs for wages, benefits and supplies for the Energy Siting Division are billed directly to developers proposing and building these energy developments. Do you think recommendations from the Energy Siting Division of the Department of Energy are looking out for the public and resources of this state, or are they looking out for their jobs?

Irene Gilbert

Co-Chair, STOP B2H Coalition

La Grande