Whrrrrr…..Whooosh….Time for a Class-Action Suit

By August 15, 2008Briefly Legal, Energy

From The Oregonian, “Wind whips up health fears.”

Dr. Nina Pierpont of Malone, N.Y., coined the phrase “wind turbine syndrome” for what she says happens to some people living near wind energy farms. She has made the phrase part of the title of a book she’s written called “Wind Turbine Syndrome: A Report on the Natural Experiment.” It is scheduled for publication next month by K-Selected Press, of Santa Fe, N.M.

In contrast to those who consider wind turbines clean, green and an ideal source of renewable energy, Pierpont says living or working too close to them has a downside. Her research says wind turbines should never be built closer than two miles from homes.

This is an important breakthrough in the war against wind. Previously the objections had been mostly aesthetic, although sufficient to provoke talk of class-action lawsuits.

Despite the vibratory violence, plans are moving forward for wind, more wind.

The Eatons and their neighbors have more to worry about than the Willow Creek Project. Approval was given July 25 by the Oregon Facilities Siting Council for construction of as many as 400 more wind turbines in the nearby Shepherds Flat Wind Project spanning parts of Gilliam and Morrow counties. The planned 909-megawatt project by Caithness Energy of Chicago is expected to be the largest wind farm on Earth, generating enough peak energy to power 225,000 homes.

We were going to suggest that a nice, compact coal-fired plant might be preferable, but even in sparsely populated Eastern Oregon, the objections keep coming. From today’s Oregonian:

Portland General Electric should spend more than $400 million of ratepayer money in the next decade to cut 80 percent of the haze- and acid-rain causing pollution that spews from its Boardman coal plant, Oregon regulators proposed Thursday.

Environmental groups and Columbia River Gorge advocates, who have threatened to sue PGE to improve controls at Oregon’s only coal-fired plant, said the state’s proposal doesn’t move fast enough or require enough pollution reduction. PGE said it is concerned about the plan’s costs, which could boost rates by 3 percent or more.


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