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Wind threatens Kansas' prairieland

The Star's recent editorial celebrating the prairie was a treat. But it overlooked the biggest threat to our prairies now: commercial wind farms. Few people realize that the state of Kansas has utterly opted out of regulating wind farms. Instead, it has punted the whole question.

The Star's recent editorial celebrating the prairie was a treat. But it overlooked the biggest threat to our prairies now: commercial wind farms.

Few people realize that the state of Kansas has utterly opted out of regulating wind farms. Instead, it has punted the whole question of where to put them to its 105 counties and their part-time commissioners. Many counties have no rural zoning. They're desperate for development. They're wide open.

Meanwhile, corporate wind farm developers are zeroing in on never-plowed prairie hilltops. That's where the wind is strongest.

The Kansas Sierra Club, far from attempting to preserve the prairie, has aligned itself with the corporations. Its official position paper artfully redefines "prairie" as "cow pasture," then says that "cow pastures" should generally be open to wind farms.

This unprecedented combination of state laxity, corporate profit-making and Sierra Club complicity is very bad news. Our clean, beautiful prairies, including much of the Flint Hills, are in danger.

The Star's recent editorial celebrating the prairie was a treat. But it overlooked the biggest threat to our prairies now: commercial wind farms.

Few people realize that the state of Kansas has utterly opted out of regulating wind farms. Instead, it has punted the whole question of where to put them to its 105 counties and their part-time commissioners. Many counties have no rural zoning. They're desperate for development. They're wide open.

Meanwhile, corporate wind farm developers are zeroing in on never-plowed prairie hilltops. That's where the wind is strongest.

The Kansas Sierra Club, far from attempting to preserve the prairie, has aligned itself with the corporations. Its official position paper artfully redefines "prairie" as "cow pasture," then says that "cow pastures" should generally be open to wind farms.

This unprecedented combination of state laxity, corporate profit-making and Sierra Club complicity is very bad news. Our clean, beautiful prairies, including much of the Flint Hills, are in danger.


Source: http://blogs.kansascity.com...

AUG 28 2009
https://www.windaction.org/posts/21954-wind-threatens-kansas-prairieland
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