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Durbin, Obama express concern over halted wind farm work

CHICAGO - Illinois Democrats Dick Durbin and Barack Obama are among six U.S. senators who sent a letter Friday to two federal agencies expressing concern after the federal government stopped work on wind farms while it studies whether the giant turbines could interfere with military radar.

Durbin said in a statement that at least a dozen wind farm development projects in Illinois, Wisconsin and North Dakota have been affected.

The letter is signed by Durbin, Obama and Sens. Russ Feingold, D-Wis.; Herb Kohl, D-Wis.; Kent Conrad, D-N.D. and Byron Dorgan, D-N.D.

"This decision by the Department of Defense and the (Federal Aviation Administration) to halt windmill construction is premature and may have serious negative economic effects," Durbin said.

An amendment to a a military spending bill recently passed by Congress calls on the Defense Department to conduct a study wind farms' effect on military readiness, specifically whether they interfere with military radar, Durbin said. The DOD has since stopped development on wind farms within "radar line of sight."

"Until the potential effects can be quantified and possible mitigation techniques developed, it is prudent to temporarily postpone wind turbine construction in areas where the ability of these long-range radars that protect our country might be compromised," Eileen Lainez, a Defense Department spokeswoman, told the Chicago Tribune earlier this week.

Lainez could not say when the study would be complete.

Durbin said the... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  
Durbin said in a statement that at least a dozen wind farm development projects in Illinois, Wisconsin and North Dakota have been affected.

The letter is signed by Durbin, Obama and Sens. Russ Feingold, D-Wis.; Herb Kohl, D-Wis.; Kent Conrad, D-N.D. and Byron Dorgan, D-N.D.

"This decision by the Department of Defense and the (Federal Aviation Administration) to halt windmill construction is premature and may have serious negative economic effects," Durbin said.

An amendment to a a military spending bill recently passed by Congress calls on the Defense Department to conduct a study wind farms' effect on military readiness, specifically whether they interfere with military radar, Durbin said. The DOD has since stopped development on wind farms within "radar line of sight."

"Until the potential effects can be quantified and possible mitigation techniques developed, it is prudent to temporarily postpone wind turbine construction in areas where the ability of these long-range radars that protect our country might be compromised," Eileen Lainez, a Defense Department spokeswoman, told the Chicago Tribune earlier this week.

Lainez could not say when the study would be complete.

Durbin said the stalled projects include a large farm near Bloomington, one in LaSalle County and another spanning Lee and Bureau counties.

"Since much of the nation is in radar line of (sight), this interim policy has a sweeping effect," the senators' letter stated. "Prohibiting, even temporarily, the development of wind energy facilities within those areas would be a considerable setback for efforts to increase our country's energy independence."



Source: http://www.chippewa.com/art...

JUN 3 2006
http://www.windaction.org/posts/2903-durbin-obama-express-concern-over-halted-wind-farm-work
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