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Local lawmakers oppose wind farm project; say decision-making needs to be made locally

BENTON COUNTY, Wash. – Some local lawmakers said they’re against the Horse Heaven Wind Farm project – a renewable energy proposal that has stirred up tons of controversy within the community.

“I do oppose this proposition and have been working with local citizens and elected officials to do everything I can to keep it from happening in our area,” 8th District State Representative Brad Klippert said.

The project, led by Scout Clean Energy, would put up to 244 wind turbines across 24 miles of the ridgeline of the Horse Heaven Hills.

Just last week, residents voiced both concerns and praise for the project in a town hall meeting lead by Benton County Commissioners.

The State of Washington Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC) is currently reviewing wind farm project.

Republican lawmakers said the decision-making needs to be made locally, not from a government agency in Olympia.

“We’ve tried to put amendments and put bills out there that would return the process of the decision making back to the localities in which these projects are potentially going to be cited,” 8th District Senator Sharon Brown said.

“I signed onto a letter to take this down and to not have this in our community,” 8th District State Representative Matt Boehnke said.

Those against the wind farm say it will cause “visual pollution” and won’t be efficient.

Residents who support it point to all of the well-paying jobs the project would bring to the area.

“Unfortunately, all of our efforts have been thwarted. We’ve not been successful, but we are raising the bar,” Brown said. “We are raising the awareness that these decisions are being made in Olympia through EFSEC, not made at the local level where they need to be made.”

EFSEC will host a virtual public hearing for the project on Tuesday, March 30.

To speak at the hearing you must register on EFSEC’s website before the meeting.