Articles filed under General from Oklahoma
Piedmont citizens, led by Mayor Valerie Thomerson, told the planning commission Monday that wind turbines were not welcome in Piedmont. Commissioners heard that message and voted to table indefinitely a proposed commercial wind turbine ordinance.
The prospect of the sale was first announced last month, when Otter Tail said it had a nonbinding letter of interest to sell DMI. The company said the economics of the wind power industry and expiring tax credits were hurting demand for turbines.
J.P. Morgan has announced its stake in a $220 million funding package for the Chisholm View Wind Project will not be affected by a $4.4 billion second-quarter loss. The investment firm announced last Friday it took a $4.4 billion second-quarter loss in investments made by the company's Chief Investment Office in London.
A planned electricity transmission line for the Canadian Hills Wind project will affect the flight operations of a local crop duster, the company said in court filings. But Apex Wind Energy Inc. said it has obtained the proper easements and permission from federal aviation authorities.
"We still have the same concerns, the Osage mineral estate and the ecosystem out there as well," Chris White, the Osage Nation's executive director of governmental affairs, said Thursday. "The Osage Nation will continue to pursue several other avenues to prevent construction from going forward."
The Osage Nation filed notice Thursday that it is appealing a Tulsa federal judge's denial of the tribe's attempt to prevent the construction of a 94-turbine wind farm west of Pawhuska.
A federal judge has ruled that St. Louis-based Wind Capital Group LLC's proposed wind farm in northern Oklahoma can go forward over objections that it would interfere with the Osage Nation's ability to produce oil and gas from the same lands. The ruling issued Thursday afternoon by U.S. District Judge Gregory Frizzell in Tulsa, Okla., comes just a day after the opening of a trial in the case.
A federal judge has denied the Osage Nation's attempt to prevent the construction of a 94-turbine wind farm west of Pawhuska, finding that the tribe's claim that the development would interfere with its mineral rights was based on speculation.
In one northern Oklahoma county, oil and wind don't mix. That's where plans by St. Louisan Tom Carnahan's Wind Capital Group LLC for a large wind farm have run into a roadblock - claims by the Osage Nation that it would interfere with the tribe's rights to tap oil and gas deposits.
The complaint notes that the tribe is the owner of all the minerals located "in and under" Osage County and claims that construction of more than 90 wind turbines - as well as an associated network of electrical lines and roads - would interfere with future oil and natural gas production.
Fitzgerald, representing defendants Wind Capital Group, Osage Wind and WC Investment Management, told the court that having a lawsuit such as this hanging over a project "makes lenders think twice." He said unless there is a prompt favorable ruling to the defense on the merits of the case "it probably kills this project."
With construction on a massive wind farm scheduled to begin in Osage County in less than a month, a federal judge has scheduled a hearing for Wednesday in the lawsuit the Osage Nation filed in an effort to stop the construction.
The Osage Nation is concerned that 94 wind turbines and their network of electrical lines and roads would interfere with oil production and harm the delicate ecosystem of the tallgrass prairie. The complaint says each of the turbines would require extensive digging to create deep pits containing concrete foundations similar to those required in the construction of tall buildings.
Word, Eagle Claw president, said sluggish economic conditions and Washington gridlock contributed to private investors' hesitation to fund the alternative-energy project. The political fallout from the federal investigation of Solyndra, a California company that makes solar panels, didn't help either.
"The Osage Nation will not wait until the damage is done to the tallgrass prairie by this industrial wind project to take legal action," White said. "The Osage Minerals Council has a legal team in place and preparation is nearly complete to file against the proper parties in this matter.
Osage Nation and local ranchers say they don't oppose green energy. But building wind farms in the county will do more harm than good. The sprawling land of Osage County is home to oil fields and cattle ranches. Old industries are being threatened by new technology. Wind Capital Group wants to put up nearly 100 wind turbines.
Proposed wind farm development in Osage County may interfere with the Osage Nation's mineral estate, according to the Bureau of Indian Affairs. ..."Thus, the mineral estate cannot be denied reasonable access to the surface, and may, indeed, use so much of the surface estate as may be necessary to develop and produce the minerals."
Wind Capital plans to start building within a few months and has signed a deal to buy the turbines from General Electric. The turbines will stand mostly north of U.S. 60, a highway that is federally designated a scenic byway, but a few will flank the road to the south. ...The Osage Nation is powerfully opposed to the wind farm and vowed to stop it.
It is my opinion that the proposed projects will have an adverse impact upon the overall ecosystem of the Tallgrass Prairie, a true national treasure. The last remnants of the Tallgrass Prairie run from Osage County northward, into northern Kansas and I believe that the Osage Nation must join others in its protection, restoration, and properly make use of the limited opportunities.
"The Southern Great Plains Property Rights Coalition supports any legislation which will help landowners protect their property now and for future generations," the group said Friday. "We feel this is a step in the right direction.