Wind Project puts bald eagles in danger

Industrial wind not held accountable for violating the Golden and Bald Eagle Protection Act.
Powered by Blogger.

MN Public Utilities Commission Rejects Wind Plan

Posted on
  • Thursday, February 23, 2012
  • by
  • Eagle Siting
  • in
  • Labels: , ,
    Three juvenile bald eagles soaring.
    America’s symbol of freedom combined with relentless citizen participation proved to be a potent force at the MN Public Utilities Commission (MPUC).  T. Boone Pickens’ industrial wind project needs MPUC approval of an “Avian and Bat Protection Plan” (ABPP) before starting construction.  Commissioners rejected the Plan at Thursday’s hearing, instructing the wind developer to come back in a year if they have completed the work that the Commissioners ordered last summer.
     Eight citizens testified to the truth.  Armed with photos and maps and soaring on the support of people across the country, citizens told the Commissioners what has happened since they ordered the ABPP eight months ago. Was the American Bald Eagle winging us on our way?  Citizens driving to St. Paul reported eagles soaring over their cars and an eagle watching from a nest subjected to helicopter hazing that the ABPP said is “inactive”.  Another citizen reported four eagles perched next to her house as she watched the MPUC live webcast.   
    Spreading "eagle bait" in Goodhue County.
    Commissioners did not disguise their disappointment with AWA Goodhue or State staff.  Chairman Dr. David Boyd stated the ABPP “was not what I envisioned”.  Commissioner Betsy Wergin said that things only appeared to be getting worse since she voted against issuing the project’s site permit last June.  The third Commissioner in attendance, J. Dennis O’Brien, called the Incidental Take Permit a “license to kill” and re-affirmed his apparent disgust with Energy Facilities Permitting staff from the MN Department of Commerce for their ongoing undisguised advocacy on behalf of AWA Goodhue, LLC. 
    O’Brien’s choice of words differed, but he essentially expressed what citizens and the Coalition for Sensible Siting attorney, Dan Schleck, have long said:  EFP staff are MN tax-payer funded cheerleaders for the wind industry.
    Minneapolis/ St. Paul’s channels 4 and 5 led with the story that evening. Rochester Post Bulletin, Star Tribune, Pioneer Press featured the outcome on their front pages.  Conservationists, legislators, electric utility staff, wildlife agency personnel and industrial wind fighters across the county have expressed their agreement with this historic decision.
    February 23, 2012 MPUC hearing webcast: AWA Goodhue ABPP deliberations begin at 4:56; citizen testimony begins at 5:40.
    (above is update from 2/25/2012; below from 2/23/2012)

    The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission today rejected AWA Goodhue's  Avian and Bat Protection Plan.  The Plan was a condition of the industrial wind project's site permit.  Citizens provided key testimony about the wildlife in their area.  Photos and testimony supported existing public record that the Plan was inaccurate and misleading.  The Commissioners had clearly done their homework and asked tough but fair questions of the wind developer.  They were not swayed by representatives of this T. Boone Pickens owned project.  The truth won out.  Goodhue County Minnesota is in the Mississippi migratory flyway.  AWA Goodhue failed to perform pre-construction surveys required.  The Commissioners did not accept it. 

    Citizens are thankful for the thoughtful deliberation of the Commissioners.  Citizens also thank MN DNR staff for their tireless efforts to document and disseminate the truth. The DNR staff was truly dedicated.  The citizens who testified were supported by friends and neighbors around the State.  It was a great day.

    Here are stories on today's historic hearing:

    Minneapolis based CBS news.

    MN KSTP Channel 5.

    Star Tribune

    St. Paul Pioneer Press

    Rochester Post Bulletin (login required for full story)

    Commission Denies Approval of Bird and Bat Protection Plan for Goodhue Wind Project


    Post a Comment

    Copyright (c) 2010 Blogger templates by Bloggermint