Articles filed under General from Oklahoma
Senators voted 32-8 to pass Senate Bill 1440, which would halt wind developments east of Interstate 35 until 2017 in areas that have poor wind resources. Lobbyists for the wind industry said the bill could harm developments statewide and interferes with private leasing contracts.
As wind farm developments expand into new areas of Oklahoma, conflict has grown between landowners who want wind turbines and those who want to limit development. The disputes have led to calls for greater regulation from state lawmakers.
Nathan Baker, a staff attorney for FOCG, said the Aug. 29 Supreme Court decision “isn’t the final say in the matter.” “According to the Supreme Court, several issues are yet to be resolved, including wildlife mitigation and forest practices. In the words of the Supreme Court, these issues are not yet ‘ripe.’” Baker added, “Friends and SOSA will continue to participate in the public process on these and other unresolved issues.”
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has scheduled a Sept. 12 meeting with representatives from the Osage Nation and Wind Capitol Group, agency officials said. More than a dozen eagle-take applications have been filed with the federal agency since Wind Capital submitted its request in October 2012 - but, to date, no permits have been granted. Officials expect the Osage Wind application to be the first considered.
A Piedmont city councilman who faced a recall election Tuesday lost after one of his two challengers pulled in nearly 55 percent of the vote. Councilman Vernon Woods received 35.7 percent of the vote Tuesday night.Pam Suttles, a local resident who led the charge to hold the recall election, said many local residents became upset with Woods after he continued to meet with representatives of Apex Wind Energy Inc. after city officials decided not to allow the massive turbines to be erected within Piedmont city limits.
A Piedmont city councilman faces a recall election Tuesday after he drew the ire of local residents by meeting with a wind energy company that has shown interest in erecting giant turbines in the fast-growing town.
"I am a supporter of wind energy, but they don't have very much regulation in [Oklahoma] and they are moving in towards the Metro area very fast," said Johnson, R-Yukon. "I think we need to slow down and look at some things first." The city of Piedmont has already denied the placement of wind turbines inside its city limits.
Canadian County Commissioners have been asked to place a moratorium on construction of new wind energy towers in northeast Canadian County. Several concerned residents, worried about a project that will bring large wind turbines to the Piedmont area. "It is a big county concern," County Commission Chairman Jack Stewart said.
Officials with Trade Wind Energy and Chisholm View Wind Project LLC managing member Enel Green Power North America, did not respond to requests for comment on the liens. An official with GE Financial Services, the other parent company for Chisholm View Wind Project LLC, declined to comment on the grounds GE is the "non-managing member and does not control day-to-day operations."
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."