Articles from California
Decision bypasses Campo’s tribal regulations and land use planning protections: Legal challenges are in the works
An appeal of the design for a wind energy project in the hills south of Lompoc was denied Tuesday by the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors, which previously denied an appeal of the land use permit granted by the County Planning Commission.
After Campo tribal chair Harry Paul Cuero Jr. reportedly refused to recognize a motion or allow a vote on a petition to overturn approval of the new Campo Wind project, as ECM reported, a new petition (posted below this article) has reportedly been presented to Cuero which seeks to remove him and potentially other executive committee members from office.
Developers of transmission projects that would send wind power from rural Wyoming and New Mexico to cities in California and Arizona made their cases at this year’s Western Planning Regions Annual Interregional Coordination Meeting on Feb. 27. ...Cost allocation remains a big question. The projects are merchant-driven and haven’t been fully embraced by CAISO and other planners yet, but developers think California’s ambitious climate policies will demonstrate their importance. “There’s been very little planning activity on these because of the absence of regional need seen through these projects.
The California Native Plant Society sued the County of Santa Barbara today for approving the Strauss Wind Energy Project, which violates both the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and California Fish and Game Code. The project threatens the federally- and state-endangered Gaviota tarplant with extinction and puts the local golden eagle population, a state Fully Protected Species, at risk.
Neighbors of the proposed Strauss Wind Energy Project south of Lompoc have filed legal action challenging the adequacy of the environmental review, calling it "inadequate, insufficient and misleading." George and Cheryl Bedford, represented by Santa Maria attorney Richard Adam Jr., have strongly opposed the wind farm planned for 3,000 acres off San Miguelito Road.
Whistleblowers in the Campo band of Mission Indians claim that their tribal leadership pushed through approval of a massive wind project during an improperly noticed meeting. They have now collected enough signatures to overturn that approval with a revote. But despite the Feb. 13th deadline to notify tribal members of a meeting to revote on the controversial project, several tribal members say they have not received any such notice.
After hours of public comment and debate on Tuesday, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors denied an appeal calling to turn down a wind farm proposal in Lompoc. The Strauss wind energy project is now officially ready to break ground in February.
Panel also denies appeal filed by neighbors and two organizations challenging the project to install 29 towers
Bedford and his wife, Cheryl, purchased more than 400 acres of land on top of one of the hills surrounding San Miguelito Canyon in the early 1990s. With the land previously untouched, they had to build a private road leading up to their home, which sits at roughly 1,700 feet in elevation, before beginning construction.
After an emotional, hours-long dialogue, the supervisors stopped short of approving the company’s proposal in a 2-3 decision, before voting again to officially deny the project. In the initial vote, supervisors Virginia Bass and Rex Bohn voted to move the project forward. In the 4-1 final vote, Bass switched sides to join the majority.
In an ironic twist, the rapid growth of solar power is one of the reasons energy regulators say it’s too soon to retire the four coastal gas plants. Growing amounts of California’s electricity are supplied by solar farms — sometimes 50% or more on spring afternoons, when sunshine is abundant and electricity demand is low. But all that solar generation drops off sharply each evening, at which point natural gas plants typically fire up to fill the gap.
The Terra-Gen wind energy project received a denial from the Humboldt County Planning Commission on Thursday, concluding an emotional series of meetings in which the commission appeared to be veering toward approval before swinging the other way.
The state Water Resources Control Board has raised objections to the controversial Terra-Gen wind energy project, saying its intended use of water could lead to the discharge of hazardous chemicals.
Strauss Wind Energy proposes up to 30 towers on nearly 3,000 acres south of the city
Once again, the Supervisors Chamber was packed with people standing in the aisles. About 40 people who could not fit into the crowded room stood outside in the hallway, and another 50 or so people filled a conference room down the hall, where the proceeds of the meeting were piped in. People in the hallway yelled en masse, “We want in!” and “We can’t hear you!,” and despite Chair Robert Morris' admonitions, frequently applauded — and occasionally booed — speakers.
Habitat will be lost. Recreational opportunities will be lost. Migratory birds including bald eagles, golden eagles, osprey and also bats will be killed. Important wildlife migratory corridors for deer, bear, mountain lion, neo-tropical birds, and bald eagles will be disrupted. And, our public safety will be threatened. Wind turbines cause fires and Walker Ridge is in high and extreme fire zones. Are we really going to construct a new fire threat in these conditions? Have we forgotten the Pawnee Fire or the Mendocino Ranch Fire that both burned on Walker Ridge?
There has been much confusion and misinformation regarding both the PG&E power outages and Humboldt County’s current ability (or lack thereof) to be an energy island, resilient, and independent from the larger grid in California. The energy we presently get from the grid comes from the east, across the rugged coast ranges all the way from the Central Valley. The proposed Terra-Gen Bear River (Tsakiyuwit)/Monument Ridge wind energy project is just more of the same — a centralized grid-tied energy project that will be dependent on PG&E’s fire-prone transmission lines.
As the controversial Terra-Gen wind energy project reached the Humboldt County Planning Commission table on Thursday for the first of a two-part public hearing, its numerous critics came out in full force, chorusing the project’s potential negative impacts as they filled the commission’s meeting chamber to the brim.
Federal judges today dismissed a challenge to a large wind farm near San Diego, rejecting claims that agencies did not adequately weigh potential impacts on bald eagles and other birds. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Bureau of Land Management conducted the legally required “hard look” at alternatives before approving the Tule Wind LLC project.